Closing the Door! Why Is Google Cracking Down on Doorway Pages?

Last month, Google released an update regarding their position on the use of doorway pages. A doorway page is simply a website or page that is specifically designed to obtain a high rank when certain search terms are used. In short, they are created to fill the search engine ranking results with similar pages that all lead visitors to the same end point. The reason this is a problem is because, as Google explains, “doorway pages that are created solely for search engines can harm the quality of the user’s search experience.” This is because a visitor can click on a site link from their search reach a page that isn’t what they were seeking. When they go back and click a different site link, a doorway page may cause them to end up on that same unhelpful page. So, now that we know what doorway pages are, it is important to understand what specifically Google is doing and which pages or sites they are targeting.

What Google Is Doing About Doorway Pages

Google stands on its mission to provide the best and most relevant search listings to their users. Since doorway pages can jeopardize the effectiveness of this, Google has decided to take action against them. They are launching a ranking adjustment to sites their algorithm views as a doorway. In other words, doorway sites will be penalized and dropped from the first-page results. While this may not affect small individual websites, it could spell trouble for sites using sophisticated doorway strategies.

What Google Is Targeting As A Doorway Page

As with any change to their algorithm, Google is careful to protect the exact details of the ranking adjustment. However, they have provided some considerations to determine if your website or pages are at risk. First, consider If you have pages, that are specially designed to funnel visitors to your key content, rather than act as a vital contribution to a visitor’s experience. It is likely those pages will be flagged by Google. Also, if the pages focus on directly drawing traffic rather than supplying any relevant information or value, it is probably a doorway. Another way you can help limit your chance of being flagged is to consider how accessible the pages in question are from your primary site. If visiting those pages from your site, instead of just finding your primary site through them, is challenging, you may also experience a sudden drop from the first page.

For Every Door Closed, Another Opens

If doorway traffic was a key driver of your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, if you desire continued success you need a new method. Fortunately, page one rankings are possible with the use of organic SEO initiatives that put your website on top naturally, without the use of tactics that Google disapproves. An experienced and professional SEO website design firm can help you overcome these changes.

Wondering how your digital marketing efforts are doing? Use our complimentary Digital Marketing Scorecard to gain valuable insight on how your website rank compares to others. We are also glad to answer any questions you may have and provide Cohlaborative digital marketing solutions to meet your company’s needs.

Google using schema.org tags to highlight events in search

~Recent Google Update

Google has now expanded the use of Schema.org tags and created a tool to check your website to see if there are any errors.  Here are 2 links that Google has created.

Structured Data Testing Tool

Prototype and test your markup

Knowledge Card

In March of 2015, Google made a change in how they display entertainment and events in their search results. Before the change, if someone searched for his or her favorite band, Google would often display a knowledge graph panel that presented a lot of great details about them. Details like the names of group members and upcoming concert dates appeared with clickable links for additional information. For Google, in their ongoing effort to provide the most accurate and relevant information possible, instead of providing information from various sources, they began providing information directly from the band’s website.

Musicians, comedians, and other entertainers could have their events shown to Google users with details about them and information on where and how they can purchase tickets. This great feature provides an exceptional way for entertainers to advertize their events, but also a super way for fans to learn more about them. However, in order to use this feature, it is the responsibility of the entertainer or their webmaster to make sure they have the correct schema.org markup tags on their website. If not, Google will not recognize and display their information.

About Schema.org Tags

You may be familiar with HTML tags that used on web pages that guide the web browser in the best way to display the information in the tag. The problem is that the browser may misinterpret HTML tags. A good example of this related to how browsers interpret HTML tags regarding dates. Because there are many different formats to display a date, the HTML tag may not display it as you’d like. The schema project is a collaboration between the major search engines to standardize the structure of the markup. Schema microdata helps to define what something is and how it to handle it. The use of schema microdata can help your SEO strategy because it has the likelihood of increasing visibility, including event information for entertainers.

How to Add Your Information with Schema.org

Schema is considered a best practice for SEO and a requirement under the new Google rules for their knowledge graph panels. That does not imply there is not some level work needed to do so. Fortunately, Google has provided comprehensive information that will assist webmasters and entertainers to appear in the feature. If you are promoting your event and would like Google to highlight information from your website, adding the schema microdata can provide a tremendous boost to your potential audience. After all, isn’t it more fun to entertain a full-house?

Wondering how your digital marketing efforts are doing? Use our complimentary Digital Marketing Scorecard to gain valuable insight on how your website rank compares to others. We are also glad to answer any questions you may have and provide Cohlaborative digital marketing solutions to meet your company’s needs.

5 Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Websites You Can Use All Year Long

After months of cold temperatures and gray skies, the thermometer is finally beginning to rise and the sun is once again showing its cheerful face. As we recover from our annual bout of cabin fever and begin to feel the energy and motivation that spring often brings, we often look for ways to do some much needed spring cleaning. However one thing many people miss is the spring cleaning that may be needed on their website. Just like our houses and cars, after a time they need a little freshening up, and spring is a wonderful time to make it happen. Here are the top 5 tips to give your website a spring makeover.

# 1 – Scrub Your Website Content:

Content is the lifeblood of your website and is one of your websites most important attributes. It is a key component that will generate traffic and increase the amount of time people are interacting with your brand. If you have older content that should stay on your site, consider freshening it up with a new structure. Perhaps change the titles to something a bit more interesting, or include updated statistics and information. Also, make sure there are no broken links. Another project could be to add links within content that is the least visited to help traffic. Or, simply add content that is fresh and relevant to provide something new to drive people to your site.

# 2 – Sweep Your Website Design:

If your website is looking a little tired and outdated, it may be time for a bit of design rehabilitation. This type of website spring cleaning may require a bit more thought and effort, but it can be invaluable to your digital marketing efforts. Imagine yourself as a visitor to your own site and think about if the information seems well organized. Are the pages are easy to navigate? Consider the message your website is providing visitors, and determine if there are any small adjustments you can make so it is more inviting and interesting.

# 3 – Dust Your Details:

It’s often the little details that people notice about your website that seem the most unprofessional. Check out things like your copyright date in the footer, the events on your calendar page, the staff on your about us page, or the contact information. Make sure everything is current. You might also want to read through your content, or have another set of eyes do it to find any grammar or punctuation issues.

# 4 – Tidy Up Your Website Calls to Action:

Websites serve many purposes. One is for marketing and brand recognition, but another is to prompt people to take action. To really move people to take the action you are shooting for, spend some time thinking about how well your call to actions are crafted. Make sure they are very clear and easy to find. Think about if they are easily shared to social media. If you have been wondering why your call to action is ineffective, it may be it just needs a ten-minute tidy.

# 5 – Shake Out Your Website SEO:

Search Engine Optimization is pretty important, that is if you hope people will find your website. It’s a good idea to take some time to review your SEO and make sure it is clean and polished. First take a peek at your analytics and use it to determine your best traffic drivers, and also any errors that visitors may be running into. Also important, think about how you are using social media. Add links to share content on your various platforms. Consider doing some guest blogs. Review your personal and professional contacts and think about who may benefit from your content. In short, seek out new ways to drive traffic and expand your traffic sources.

Make Your Website Shine Year Round

It’s always refreshing to spend some time doing a little spring cleaning. And while the warmth and brightness of spring is a good reminder to do a little freshening up, the truth is that these same tips to tidy up your website are great things to consider any time of the year. Efforts you make with your web presence today can bring excellent advantages for a long time to come.

Wondering how you are doing? Use our complimentary Digital Marketing Scorecard to gain valuable insight on how your website rank compares to others. We’re also glad to answer any questions you may have and provide Cohlaborative digital marketing solutions to meet your company’s needs.

 

3 Tips to Get the Most from URL Shorteners | Cohlab Digital Marketing

URL shortening is not new; in fact it has been around for many years. And while some may argue reasons why a small business should not use them, they can’t argue that there are some truly great benefits on the pro side. A URL shortener is a service that takes a long and messy looking URL and shortens it into a small and clean looking address. While this in itself can provide some obvious benefits, there are ways a small business can take the use of a URL shortener to the next level. Here are three important tips to get the most out of your URL shorteners.

What URL Shorteners Should I Use?

We recommend two URL shortening services for small business applications. The first is Google’s own Goo.gl. There are several benefits to using Goo.gl. First, people trust Google. Because a shortened URL provides little detail on what it points to, some can be leery. Knowing that Google is behind it and that they remove short URL’s used in spamming, they may not think twice. Also, Goo.gl offers some great analytics tools and is also fabulously easy to use.

Another great service is called Bit.ly. Like Goo.gl, Bit.ly is also a powerful analytic tracker with a full functioning dashboard to make things very easy and understandable. Also with Bit.ly, you are able to create branded short domains so that your short links are clearly recognized as coming from your company. Whichever platform you choose, it’s always good to use your short links wisely to get the most out of them.

Pay attention to your analytics

One of the best uses for shortened URL’s is the ability to better analyze your statistics. This is especially true for your social media. In fact with Bit.ly, you can even have a different short link for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn that points to the same content, and find which social media platform performs better. It can provide invaluable information about your audience and make your marketing efforts significantly more effective.

Use them in unique ways

Shortened URL’s are great for online marketing. Just don’t overlook ways in which they could be useful for traditional marketing as well. A great example would be to use alternate short links on different marketing materials to see which garner the most response. They are also great for things like billboards or signs so you can match specific content with an easy to remember address. Using a little creativity can make them go a long way for you.

Target Your Marketing

Shortened URL’s make it exceptionally easy to track click-through rates, and even determine in which areas you are finding the most response. This helps you to segment your audience and target the right people based on how they interact with your brand.

Use our complimentary Digital Marketing Scorecard to gain valuable insight on how your digital marketing efforts compare with others. We’re also glad to answer any questions you may have and provide Cohlaborative digital marketing solutions to meet your company’s needs.

3 Ways that Tesla and Digital Marketing are the Same

Tesla Motors has slowly made its presence felt in the United States car industry. A combination of product differentiation, and supreme customer service has taken Tesla motors from a small start up to a major player in the automotive industry. Initially viewed as an overpriced boutique car for the rich, Tesla barely registered on the radar of most major car dealers. Now the brand is seen as a viable threat to the entire automotive manufacturing and marketing industry. But sleek and sophisticated car design, and cutting edge technology, are not the only reasons that Tesla Motors is becoming a consumer favorite. Many in the automotive industry attribute its success to a well-designed digital marketing strategy. Check out these three ways that Tesla and digital marketing in general have taken the world by storm.

Digital Marketing & Tesla Blow Away the Competition and Deliver

Digital marketing is not a buzz word, it’s the lifeblood of the modern company. Investment in a solid and progressive digital marketing strategy is an investment in the prolonged success of your company. Digital marketing is more than just a company webpage; it exploits all of the digital tools at the disposal of the modern consumer. This includes websites, television, smartphones, email, QR codes, augmented reality, and more. At the heart of any impactful digital strategy is knowing the way that your target audience prefers to communicate and exploiting these channels.

Tesla has differentiated itself from the competition by actually being as good as they claim. Like digital marketing, the brand simply performs when utilized to its full potential. For example, Tesla’s Model S creators claim that the car can travel 250 miles on one charge. This has been tested and proven true, and has even been exceeded by some drivers.

Use of Social Media and Support

Social media is one effective instrument of digital marketing. Social media spaces like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumbler, Vine, and Youtube have connected businesses to their customers in new and unimaginable ways. Today’s customers expect an online presence. Companies who manage to establish daily interaction with customers develop customer and brand loyalty, plus their customers have a more positive view of them. Loyalty combined with trust and optimism leads to more sales.

Tesla has a reputation for going above and beyond in their customer support efforts. For example, Musk is working with Tesla to create a network of charging stations across America so that Tesla customers can charge up for free. Owners of Tesla’s Model S can look forward to having follow-up service delivered to their door.

Connect with Customers

Digital marketing will only really work if it connects companies with their consumers. Proper market segmentation and analysis will allow for companies to send specialized messages to different segments of their base via mobile phones, emails, and other forms of personal devices. This drastically increases the likelihood of sales and conversions.

Tesla’s level of dedication to customer service sets them apart from other car companies. A stroll through their retail store shows how much Tesla cares about satisfying their customers. Brand representatives float through the crowd to answer customer questions. A design studio allows customers to customize their own vehicles, surfing through various interiors, exteriors, and accessories.

Tesla and digital marketing share a few important traits that make them both highly efficient. They both deliver great results when handled properly, use social media and support to create loyalty, and connect with customers on deeper and more profitable levels.

Use our complimentary Digital Marketing Scorecard to gain valuable insight on how your website rank compares to others. We’re also glad to answer any questions you may have and provide Cohlaborative digital marketing solutions to meet your company’s needs.

5 Tips to Use MailChimp Effectively for Your Email Marketing Platform

The web is filled with different tools and services that are designed to help small businesses successfully implement an email marketing campaign, and for good reason. Email marketing continues to provide a phenomenal return on investment. One of the best known of these products is MailChimp. The service is fairly straightforward and easy to learn quickly. However, knowing how to send an email marketing campaign with MailChimp, and knowing how to maximize the use of it for the best possible result are two different things. In this article, we look at 5 ways your small business can maximize your success and use MailChimp more effectively.

Your Audience

Without a good list and a number of quality subscribers, nobody is even seeing your email campaign. A good subscriber list is the foundation on which any great email campaign is built. Generating a list of people who wish to receive and read what you are sending takes time to build, but it is worth the investment. More importantly, once you have a list, take the time to segment it into targeted groups. Separate them by demographic, their activities, purchase history, or other specialized groups. Once your list is segmented, you have the ability to specifically target certain groups with specialized content that will have the greatest effect on that particular segment.

Your Statistics

One of the great things about MailChimp, is that it provides a great deal of information that can help determine if your content is hitting the mark. Those stats aren’t just there for MailChimp to look professional. They are there to be used. Pay attention to your statistics like open rates, unsubscribes, and click-through rates. If you sent an email last week that had a 60% open rate, and your email this week is only at 20%, what made the difference? Taking the time to review and evaluate your statistics can greatly increase the impact your campaigns will have.

Your Opening Line

It has been shown that 33% of your audience opens an email strictly based on the subject line only. If your subject line isn’t something that entices recipients to open the email, you are eliminating a third of your list immediately. Use creativity, clarity, personalization, capitalization, powerful words, conciseness, and make it compelling. Sounds easy right? Don’t panic, if you are taking advantage of tip 2, knowing your exact target will make crafting a great subject line much easier.

Your Timing

Knowing when to hit the big red launch button that MailChimp ceremoniously provides takes a little research. Fortunately, the research has mostly been done; all you need to do is follow what it tells you. MailChimp did their own study and found that emails sent Tuesday through Thursday around 4 PM have the best open rates. You may find that your own segments have their own open rate sweet spot. And, MailChimp even provides a send optimization tool to help hit the moving target that is your audience.

Your Content and Layout

Even if you have a masterful subject line that is simply impossible for people to skip, the stuff inside that email is critical to achieving any action taken by the recipient. Various studies give an average email reading time of 7 to 15 seconds for over half of the population. That’s not much time, and chances are that whatever is at the top of your email will be the content that is viewed. Whatever your mission for the campaign, whether it’s information about an event or a call to action, make sure it is at the top of your layout. Structure your email so the most important information comes first. Use color, use images, use infographics, and use different design elements that capture their eyes like you want the written content to capture their mind. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a graphic designer to do this successfully. MailChimp has pre-made templates that guide you through the process and help find that balance between catching and overbearing.

Don’t Waste Your Time

As the old saying goes, time is money. Any activity you do, any investment you make regarding your company’s marketing strategy should be successful and provide a great return on the investment. MailChimp, and other email marketing products can be a tool that slingshots your marketing efforts into the stratosphere. But they can also be an utter waste of time. Before you decide to start your own email marketing campaign, take the time to familiarize yourself with how it works, and then follow these tips to maximize the result of your efforts.

Use our complimentary Digital Marketing Scorecard to gain valuable insight on how your website rank compares to others. We’re also glad to answer any questions you may have and provide Cohlaborative digital marketing solutions to meet your company’s needs.

 

Meta Tags That Google Recognizes

In our article titled Reasons Why You Should Stop Using Keywords Meta Tag, we discussed the reasons why you should stop focusing on keywords meta tags. Google decided that because of widespread misuse, they would no longer be a focus. Instead, other on-page and off-page optimization techniques should be used that will have a real impact on ranking. And, while keywords meta tags may no longer be of use, there are other types of meta tags that you should continue using that are recognized by Google.  The below list is not exhaustive however it does cover all of the meta tags recognized by Google, any meta tags not recognized by Google have been ignored.

Meta tags are added to the <head> section of the HTML page and typically look like this:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang=”en”>

<head>

<meta charset=”utf-8″>

<meta http-equiv=”X-UA-Compatible” content=”IE=Edge,chrome=1″>  <meta name=”description” content=”Organize anything, together. Trello is a collaboration tool that organizes your projects into boards. In one glance, know what’s being worked on, who’s working on what, and where something is in a process.”>

<title>Trello</title>

Google Recognized Meta Tags

The following list includes the current Google recognized meta tags.

  • Description: <meta name=”description” content=”A description of the page” />
  • Title: <title>The Title of the Page</title>
  • Robots: <meta name=”robots” content=”…, …” /> and Googlebot: <meta name=”googlebot” content=”…, …” />
    • “noindex”
    • “nofollow”
    • “nosnippet”
    • “noodp”
    • “noarchive”
    • “unavailable_after:[date]”
    • “noimageindex”
    • “none”
  • No Site Link: <meta name=”google” content=”nositelinkssearchbox” />
  • No Translate: <meta name=”google” content=”notranslate” />
  • Google Verification: <meta name=”google-site-verification” content=”…” />
  • Content Type: <meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content=”…; charset=…” /> and Character Set: <meta charset=”…” >
  • Refresh (Redirect): <meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”…;url=…” />

Google Recognized Meta Tag Descriptions

<meta name=”description” content=”A description of the page” />

Description meta tags provide a short description of the page, and should be unique for each page.  A readable tag that contains important keywords and entices the searcher to click on your link is the goal. They can be any length; however typically will work best at 160 to 170 characters long. Anything longer will likely be truncated by the search engine so it is important to write quality description meta tags.

<title>The Title of the Page</title>

The title tag is not actually a Meta tag, however it is listed here because the title tag is most often used in conjunction with the Meta Descriptions. Like the description, the title is important because it will likely be shown as the page title in search results just above the description when searchers are provided their results. Read more about Google recognized meta descriptions and titles.

<meta name=”robots” content=”…, …” />

<meta name=”googlebot” content=”…, …” />

It is the robots meta tags that directs how the search engine crawling and indexing behaves. Above you see two examples. The “robots” meta tag is for all search engines while the “googlebot” tag is Google specific. By default, the values are “index, follow” which is the same as “all”. They do not need to be specified, however there are other values that must be added to the tag. If you are using multiple tags, they can be separated by a comma as shown in the above example =”…, …”. The following list of values are used to modify search engine behavior.

  • noindex” – The page will not be indexed.
  • nofollow” – The links from this page will not be followed.
  • nosnippet” – A snippet will not be shown in the search results. In other words, the page will be removed from all search results.
  • noodp” – The alternate description from the ODP/DMOZ will not be used.
  • noarchive” – A cached link for the page will not be shown.
  • unavailable_after:[date]” – Allows you to set a date to end crawling and indexing.
  • noimageindex” – An image that appears will not show your page as the referring page.
  • “none” – This is used to apply both “noindex” and “nofollow”.

<meta name=”google” content=”nositelinkssearchbox” />

The site links search box is sometimes displayed for specific websites, as well as other site specific links. Using this meta tag will stop Google from showing this box for your site.

<meta name=”google” content=”notranslate” />

In some cases, the language your website uses is not likely to be the language the searcher would like it to be. When it is determined that this is likely the case, Google will place a translate link in the search results. While this is a great way to broaden your reach, there are sometimes scenarios when this is not preferred. In those cases, this meta tag will remove the translation link and any translation provided by Google.

<meta name=”google-site-verification” content=”…” />

Including this tag on the main or top page of your website allows you to verify ownership of it through Google Webmaster Tools. Google will provide you the input data for “name” and “content”. The site verification tag must match what is provided exactly and is case sensitive. Your site will then be considered “Google Verified”.

<meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content=”…; charset=…” />

<meta charset=”…” >

A site’s content type and character set are defined using these meta tags. It’s important to note that the content type value should be surrounded by quotes. Failure to do so may cause the character set to be misinterpreted. It’s also recommended by Google to use Unicode/UTF-8 when it’s possible.

<meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”…;url=…” />

In some cases, you may want a user to be redirected to another page or site after a set amount of time. This meta tag allows simple way to do this. The caution is that not all browser programs support this code and confusion can result. It is recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium that this is not the best meta tag to use. Google instead recommends using a server-side 301 redirect in its place.  If your site is built in WordPress we recommend the Simple 301 Redirects plugin.

The Importance of A/B Testing Your Tags

Description and Title Meta tags should undergo a/b testing. If you are unfamiliar with the process, a/b testing (also called split testing & multi-variant testing) is a method of comparing two different versions of a web page to see which one performs better. For testing tags, you would simply post two separate versions of the same page, but using a different set of tags. Then, both pages go live and are shown to similar visitors over the same time period. Using your analytics, the two pages are compared to see which version has a better conversion or click-through rate. By testing your tags, it allows you to confirm the success of any new design or change to your webpage. Instead of simply guessing and hoping that your tags will bring success, a/b testing will prove what is performing and allow you to make decisions about any code changes with actual data.

Other Meta Tags

There are many different meta tags that are used and the level of helpfulness they provide is debated. Below is a short list of a few types of meta tags that can be used.

  • Authorship markup meta tags that provide information about the author of your content can also help with your rank. Google is ranking content from authors they decide are reliable sources.
  • Social meta tags including open graph tags can help you gain an edge in the growing world of social media. Using the various tags can help grab attention and gain valuable clicks, and can even optimize how your content will appear in an individual’s social media timeline.

Professional Meta Tags and SEO

With so many changes that occur in SEO, partnering with an experienced and professional digital marketing firm can be a huge help. Many of us are not as in-tune to the trends, nor do we have the experience and knowledge to include meta tags in our web pages effectively. This makes Finding the right SEO company especially important. At Cohlab, we pride ourselves on being on the cutting edge of SEO and are dedicated to ensuring our clients experience real success.

Use our complimentary Digital Marketing Scorecard to gain valuable insight on how your website compares to others. We’re also glad to answer any questions you may have and provide Cohlaborative digital marketing solutions to meet your company’s needs.

Google Translate Example for Your WordPress Website

We are providing this page as an example of how the Google Translator would work on your blog should you ever need to include translation capabilities.  The Google Translate plugin is a basic translation service which programmatically updates the page.  Do not confuse this with a true translation service which will translate your entire site word by word.  When using Google Translate you have the option of selecting specific languages or all the languages that Google supports, for this example we are showing some of the languages.

We are providing two options for translation:

  1. At the bottom of the page we have included the capability to select the language flag then press translate.
  2. On the far right there is a yellow tab with the word “Translate”.  Click on the tab to get flag options then select one for the translation to happen.

After you have translated a page, go to another blog post to see what happens.  Does the content remain in the language selected?  Does it change then offer you an option to change back?  Did you notice the Google Translate bar at the top of the page?

Beyond the accuracy of the translation, it is important to take into account the translation usability of your website.  Remember that as you start selecting the architecture of your website translation capabilities.

Google Translate Example Content

The Great Gatsby – by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Chapter 1

In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.

“Whenever you feel like criticizing any one,” he told me, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages that you’ve had.”

He didn’t say any more, but we’ve always been unusually communicative in a reserved way, and I understood that he meant a great deal more than that. In consequence, I’m inclined to reserve all judgments, a habit that has opened up many curious natures to me and also made me the victim of not a few veteran bores. The abnormal mind is quick to detect and attach itself to this quality when it appears in a normal person, and so it came about that in college I was unjustly accused of being a politician, because I was privy to the secret griefs of wild, unknown men. Most of the confidences were unsought — frequently I have feigned sleep, preoccupation, or a hostile levity when I realized by some unmistakable sign that an intimate revelation was quivering on the horizon; for the intimate revelations of young men, or at least the terms in which they express them, are usually plagiaristic and marred by obvious suppressions. Reserving judgments is a matter of infinite hope. I am still a little afraid of missing something if I forget that, as my father snobbishly suggested, and I snobbishly repeat, a sense of the fundamental decencies is parcelled out unequally at birth.

And, after boasting this way of my tolerance, I come to the admission that it has a limit. Conduct may be founded on the hard rock or the wet marshes, but after a certain point I don’t care what it’s founded on. When I came back from the East last autumn I felt that I wanted the world to be in uniform and at a sort of moral attention forever; I wanted no more riotous excursions with privileged glimpses into the human heart. Only Gatsby, the man who gives his name to this book, was exempt from my reaction — Gatsby, who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn. If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life, as if he were related to one of those intricate machines that register earthquakes ten thousand miles away. This responsiveness had nothing to do with that flabby impressionability which is dignified under the name of the “creative temperament.”— it was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such as I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again. No — Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.

My family have been prominent, well-to-do people in this Middle Western city for three generations. The Carraways are something of a clan, and we have a tradition that we’re descended from the Dukes of Buccleuch, but the actual founder of my line was my grandfather’s brother, who came here in fifty-one, sent a substitute to the Civil War, and started the wholesale hardware business that my father carries on to-day.

Read More of the Great Gatsby

[google-translator]

How to Set Up Free Google Mail for Your Business Emails

How to Set Up Free Google Mail for Your Business EmailsAs a small business the idea of paying for an email client for our employee’s seems like an extra cost that is un-necessary.  However, to ensure legitimacy you need to have a professional email address that ties back to your domain (website).  The problem with most shared hosting platforms is that the email clients really suck after using Gmail for all of your personal emails.  Therefore, most small businesses opt to pay for the various email services out there which incur additional monthly cost that could get applied elsewhere.  After much tinkering, we have figured out a way to utilize Gmail for your email client while maintaining the professional email address needed for your business.  Set up only takes about 10 minutes to get this set up which we outline below.

I plan on demonstrating this using cpanel due to popularity; however the same concepts can get applied to other email clients easily.

Google Mail Step #1

First figure out what email address you want to set up for your business.  In this instance we will set up a new email address called foo@cohalb.com.

Google Mail Step #2

Find your cpanel or hosting platform login information then log into the control panel.  Here is a screen shot of our cpanel after logging in.

Cpanel OverView

Step #3

Click on the Email Accounts icon that is inside the Mail section.

Step 3 Cpanel Email Accounts

Step #4

Once inside the mail client add in your email address then your password.  We use the Password Generator* to ensure that we have a very strong password.  Once you have added the password press the “Create Account” button.  *Note, you will want to copy this password to a secure location.

Step 4 Create Email

If the account was created successfully you will see the following message:

Step 4 Email Creation Success

Now press the home button in the upper left hand side to go back to the main control panel.

Step #5

Once you are on the main control panel, select the “Forwarders” icon under the “Mail” section.

Step 5 Email Forwarders

Step #6

After arriving inside the screen, click the “Add Forwarder” button which will open up another screen where you will enter the email address for the domain that you just set up along with the email address that you want to forward a copy of the emails to then press the “Add Forwarder” button.

Step 6 Add Forwarder

 

On success you will get the following message:

Step 5 Email Forwarders Success

You can log out of CPanel now as the verification email that you need later will get sent to the forwarding gmail address that you specified in the above Forwarder screen.  *Note – In a future blog I’ll demonstrate how to automatically clean up the emails left on your hosting platform.

Step #7

Open up Gmail, ensuring that you are logged into Gmail, and click the Wrench in the far right side then click the menu Settings.

Step 7 Gmail Settings Icon

 

Step 7 Gmail Settings Menu

Step #8

After you click on the Settings menu item, a dashboard will open that has a list of items across the top, select the “Accounts and Import” tab.

Step 8 Accounts and Import

Step #9

Scroll down the page until you find the section called “Send Mail As:” then click on the blue link called “Add another email address you own”.

Step 9 Send Mail As

This will open another dialog where you will enter in the name you can use to reference later and the email address for your domain, we will use the foo@cohlab.com as our example.  After you enter that information, press “Next Step”.

Step 9 Send Mail Other Email Address

 

This will then take you to the next screen where you will just press “Next Step”.

Step 9 Send Mail Through SMTP

 

This will then take you to another screen letting you know that an email will be coming to the recently setup domain account to verify that you own this email account, press “Send Verification”.

Step 9 Send Mail Verify Email Address

 

An email has now been sent to your new domain email account, do not close this screen as we will come back to it later.  At this point open your Gmail client to get the verification code.

Once inside of Gmail open the email from Google labeled “Gmail Confirmation – Send Mail as ….” inside of that email you will find the option to use the confirmation code or just click the link to verify the email account.  For this demonstration we will use the confirmation code.  Copy the confirmation code and paste it into the Google dialog box that is still open then press “Verify” which will then close the dialog box and add the email address as a row in the “Send Mail as” section.

Step 9 Verification Code

 

 

Step 9 Add Verification Code

 

To ensure that you constantly use this email address as your outbound email address, press the blue link for “make default” on the right hand side.

Step 9 Make Default

Below this are additional settings that will allow you to select which address should be used when replying to an email, in most instances since this is your personal and professional email you will want to select the first radio button to reply from the address that the email was sent to.

Step 9 Reply As

 

That is the last step in the entire process for setting up Google Mail as your default Business Email client.  I will add that this is the simple configuration which does have some caveats.  We will list a couple, however we are certain that we are missing some (if you have additional situations please let us know).

1.  This setup does not track the emails that were sent from your domain in on your server, therefore if you want to track the outbound emails in your system for logging purposes then in step #9 you would change it from using Google Outbound servers to use your own.

2.  If an employee leaves, they can still send email from your domain.  You can turn off the forwarder and delete the email address inside of your CPanel should this happen.

Use these steps to set up business emails for yourself and your employees. We hope you find this as cost effective as we have.