Office 365 gets an upgrade!

Office 365 gets an upgrade!

Did you know that Microsoft’s Office 365 platform provides updates to their online components once every quarter? This is quite impressive because as an end user, you’ll be able to enjoy a more feature-rich and intuitive experience with your cloud productivity suite without having to manually install the updates yourself. So what exactly does Office 365’s update have in store for you this quarter?
Word
This quarter, Office 365’s upgrade will focus on cloud-powered intelligent services, designed to maximize productivity while saving time. And Office 365’s upgrade wouldn’t be an upgrade if there were nothing new in Word, the business application that put Microsoft on the map. To that end, Word is getting two new features called Researcher and Editor. As you may have guessed, Researcher is designed to help you find reliable sources of information by using Bing’s Knowledge Graph to help search and then cite sources in your Word document. In the future, Researcher’s body of reference materials will also include sources such as national science and health centers, well-known encyclopedias, and more. The feature will be available on mobile devices too.
Now that you have Researcher to help you start your paper, you can count on Editor to help you finish it. This new feature builds on the existing spellchecker and thesaurus, and in addition to the wavy red line under a misspelled word and wavy blue line under bad grammar, Editor uses a gold line for suggestions on how to improve your writing.
PowerPoint
Currently, when making a presentation, you’re forced to use the 1-2-3-4 linear method of showing your slides. The problem is that you can’t change your presentation order as needed without having to exit PowerPoint’s slideshow mode, and let’s face it, sometimes you do make mistakes and need to go back or move to a different slide. But thanks to PowerPoint’s new feature, Zoom, you can now present your slides in any order you want at any time without a hiccup.
Outlook
The time has come for Office 365’s Outlook to get the Focused Inbox which has been available for iOS and Android for some time now. If you’re not familiar with Focused Inbox, the feature separates your inbox into two tabs: Focused tab which includes emails that matter most to you and the “Other” tab for everything else. This makes it easy to identify email that needs your attention so you never miss anything important.
Not only that, but as you move email in or out of the Focused tab, Outlook learns from your behavior and adjusts to your priorities. You can also flag someone by typing the @ symbol in the body of the email and pick whoever you wish to flag. This will automatically highlight that person’s email and their email address will be added to the To: line. If you are mentioned, the @ symbol will show up in Outlook so you can quickly find all email where you are mentioned.
For now, Microsoft hasn’t set a release schedule for these new features, but according to Kirk Koenigsbauer, Corporate Vice President for the Office team, you can expect to use them soon enough! And as always, if you would like to find out how you can make the most out of Office 365 or Microsoft Office, contact us and we’ll be happy to help.Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Enhance searches with these Google tricks

Enhance searches with these Google tricks

Much like capturing someone’s heart, mastering the art of fully utilizing Google Search takes time, dedication and the willingness to learn new things. It’s an undeniable fact that we use Google Search almost on a daily basis, yet the only expertise we demonstrate is inputting a couple of terms and then relying on the search engine to do the work for you. Enhance each and every search with the help of these 12 tips:
Get Olympic updates
Get into the spirit of the games by keeping up with the latest medal tally and other interesting news about the 2016 Rio Olympics. Simply type in “rio olympics” and you’ll be greeted with two options:

Above the search results, you’ll see a temporary suggestion offering a shortcut on your home screen to quickly look up the latest Olympic news. Ideal if you want to check every now and then.
If you prefer immediate notification, simply scroll down a little and click on “Get Olympics updates.” By doing so, notifications will be sent straight to your phone anytime a major event occurs.
Search for exact phrases with quotes
This tip is ideal if you're looking to locate results that contain a specific phrase. Searching for a phrase in quotes will bring up results that have only the exact words in the same order.
Specify unknown words within quotes
Look up variations of a certain phrase with ease. Simply replace a certain word with an asterisk. It’ll help you determine a song from its lyrics or find the missing words in an incomplete expression.
Utilize the minus sign
Refine search results even further by using the minus sign. That will help filter out results that aren’t of any interest. Figure out what terms you don’t want to see (e.g., Jaguar -car) and refresh your search.
Website keywords
This is similar to the “site:” function that initiates a Google search that sifts through one particular website. For example, if you want to see every time TIME.com is mentioned in Google, use Google site:TIME.com
Go through archives dating back to the mid-1880s
If nostalgia pays you a visit, Google won’t leave you hanging since there’s an option that allows you to search through newspapers from around the world archived centuries ago.
Use “vs” to compare foods
With the myriad of food options available these days, sometimes we just need help deciding. Not sure what to have for dinner? Try typing in “rice vs. quinoa” for a side-by-side nutritional comparison.
Filter search results for recipes
Don’t let dietary restrictions rain on your parade. After looking up your favorite dish, click on Search Tools under the search bar to filter recipes based on ingredients, cook time, and even calories.
DEFINE: the definition
Instead of flicking through dictionaries, save time by entering DEFINE: before any word (slang included). You’ll also see its etymology as well as a graph depicting its linguistic usage over time.
Where is the love?
For those looking to add a little romance into their lives, simply press the mic icon on Google’s search bar and say something sweet like “I love you.” This recently-released love quote generator does all the searching for you. If that doesn’t the stir enough butterflies in your stomach, simply click Try Again below the results bar.

With the right tips, you can save time and locate the needle in today’s virtual haystack with ease. If you still have any questions regarding any of the Google search engine tips mentioned above, don’t hesitate to mail us or give us a call. We are more than happy to accommodate your requests.Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Arrange meetings with Microsoft FindTime

Arrange meetings with Microsoft FindTime

While an impressive arsenal of weapons can help you win a battle, you need diligence, perseverance and sacrifice to win the war. But when that war is waged in the arena of calendar management, you’re dealing with a whole other monster. When scheduling meetings, uncontrollable factors like varying schedules and department-specific time constraints mean that the same war strategy won’t yield the same successful results. Allow Microsoft FindTime to lead your organization to victory in the battle of cross-organization meeting arrangement.
Before any meetings take place, you’ll need to download Microsoft FindTime first. Fear not, because this Microsoft Outlook add-in is easily downloadable and is 100 percent free. FindTime was developed to help you and your guests do just that -- find time! Coordinating all attendees’ schedules, FindTime will iron out a time that works for everyone.
Just the thought of having to organize a meeting across your organization can stir up anxiety and elicit a huge sigh... Sigh! Why? On top of handling your own hectic schedule, you’re expected to juggle your attendees’ schedules as well. This would be the moment when telephone calls start to flood in and emails start to go back and forth, rarely heading toward a unified decision.
Bid adieu to all of that with Microsoft FindTime. Simply compose a new email or reply to an existing one and click the New Messaging Poll at the upper right hand corner. From there, choose the attendees, propose a couple tentative meeting times, and let the voting begin! Once a consensus is reached, a confirmation email is automatically sent to everyone attending.
What makes it even easier is that attendees can take a look at the visual summary that tallies all the votes, and who voted for what times. This lets you see what times the majority of people have chosen, giving you a chance to rework your schedule in advance if and when necessary.
Another plus is that to receive a Microsoft FindTime invitation, your friends and family don’t need an email address or even an Internet connection! Participants aren’t required to have Office 365 either; only the organizers need to access Office 365. This means that you can reach out to your friends, loved ones, and colleagues to organize your meetings, set up playdates, and even plan surprise birthday parties -- the possibilities are endless.
For more info about Microsoft FindTime, feel free to send us an email or give us a call! Our experts will gladly answer your questions. We believe that time is money, and money is the last thing you’d want to jeopardize. Allow us to help safeguard your assets by ensuring that all the time you spend on the clock doesn’t go to waste. Every minute counts.Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

SMBs on Facebook: 6 tips

SMBs on Facebook: 6 tips

Facebook’s most recent monthly active users numbered over 1.7 billion. Billion, with a ‘b.’ Since creating and managing a page for your business is free, there simply isn’t an excuse to put off doing so another day. Whether your page is being neglected because of low traffic or ROI on the time you invest in it, 1.7 billion is too large a number to ignore. Here are our six tricks for making your page a worthwhile endeavor.
Use video whenever possible
Recently, Mr. Zuckerberg himself was caught opining about the value of video in social media. And while there hasn’t yet been any news about newsfeed algorithms giving preference to video, it’s definitely a safe bet when compared to texts and graphics. Facebook Live is an excellent way to engage your subscribers, and there are several ways to leverage it for increased profitability. Whether it’s an Ask Me Anything segment or a promotional announcement, hit that record button more often for more engagement.
Facebook only promos
While we’re on the topic of promotions, make sure you’re creating some that are only available through Facebook. If you’re simply reposting those from your website or e-commerce store, it’s harder for followers to justify maintaining any interest in your page. Use Facebook Live or a pre-recorded video to introduce a better-than-usual discount on your products or services. The key here is getting customers to actually visit your page, so make sure it’s not a coupon code or a link they can just pass on to friends. Ask the first 100 viewers to post their email address in the comments section of the video. If their increased dwelling time doesn’t make a lasting impression on them, it probably will make an impression on their Facebook newsfeed algorithm.
Facebook CTAs: use them and update them
Unbeknownst to most, the ‘call to action’ button on your business page can be edited to display more than a dozen different messages. Experiment with the different messages and where they link to. You’ve probably stared at the CTAs on your .com page for hours, hoping to come up with a hard-hitting sell -- why wouldn’t you do the same on Facebook?
Don’t just link to yourself
The most insightful page will always be the most valuable one. If someone has already liked your page, they know you exist and they have a decent idea of what you sell. Make sure to take a break from posting links to your site, and include relevant news and information that relates to your field. If your merchandise is videogames, inventory updates aren’t going to provide much value to your followers. Post third-party reviews of items you stock or industry news that readers will find interesting.
Pin to top function
When you find the post that keeps followers coming back for more, why bury it beneath more recent and less popular posts? Click the arrow in the upper-right corner of the post and select Pin to Top. This will keep it above everything else and impossible to miss for anyone visiting your page. It could be anything we’ve already discussed in this article: promotions, videos, popular third-party content -- anything timely and relevant.
Be personal
Lastly, use your company’s Facebook page as a place where followers can engage you on a personal level. There are countless opportunities for stiff, formal business language and attitudes, but social media isn’t the place for that. Post fun, behind-the-scenes photos of your business, respond to comments in a conversational tone, make jokes -- anything that sets your page apart from your customer service accounts.
Facebook may be free, but that doesn’t mean a profitable page is a walk in the park. For all the latest tips, trends, and features, you’ll need an expert. Exploiting social media for your bottom line is a slippery game, but it’s one we play every day. For a partner who can turn your ‘Likes’ into dollars, contact us today.Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Make plans with Office 365’s Bookings

Make plans with Office 365’s Bookings

The latest addition to the Office 365 family is Bookings. This online service helps schedule appointments with businesses using software. Good ‘ol pen and paper definitely still work, but given the world’s technological advances, digital appointment management makes sense. Besides never having to pick up the phone to schedule your events ever again, here are four other reasons why you should check out Bookings:
Visibility
Bid adieu to the days of scribbling on post-its and frantically going through your schedule to find out where you’re heading for lunch. Microsoft Bookings provides you with a unique webpage that is compatible on both desktops and mobile devices. Here, customers can select times and dates based on current availability -- simply enter contact information and then book it! The system fully automates the process of managing your appointments.
No more rain checks
Microsoft believes that “Businesses can avoid last-minute cancellations by controlling how much advanced notice is required to make a cancellation.” That’s why immediately after making the appointment, a confirmation email is sent to the customer along with a reminder email before the appointment time. The web page also offers a rescheduling service;simply click on the link on the confirmation email and pick a time that you’re more comfortable with.
Synchronization
Once completed, the booking is then synced to a centralized calendar where businesses are given the option to reschedule, cancel or re-assign the appointment to other staff members as they see fit. If you do decide to re-assign it to staff members, Bookings offers a nifty feature known as “split view.” This shows which staff members are booked at which times, and you can compare everyone’s schedules side-by-side. The appointments are synced not only to your calendar, but to the staff members’ calendars as well. Moreover, this versatile system accommodates Office 365, Outlook.com, and even Google Calendar, so users can keep whatever calendaring service they prefer
Double duty
Appointment-setting might be the primary goal of Bookings, but the system can also be utilized to build a company’s customer list. Once customers input their information into the system, it automatically creates contact entries for those customers. The contact card contains personal information such as name, address, phone number, and email addresses. As companies grow, they can add more staff members as well as create additional booking pages for free. Furthermore, staff members aren’t required to have Office 365 subscriptions to be a part of the service.
Efficient tech resources aren’t enough to maintain a successful business anymore; in order to really stand out from competitors, comprehensive appointment management is required. Feel free to give us a call if you need any questions answered or issues addressed We’re more than happy to help.Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Find the mail you want in Gmail

Find the mail you want in Gmail

How many times have you looked through your inbox for a specific email or file and ended up grumpy because you couldn’t find it? With hundreds or thousands of emails plus a certain number of attached files stored up in your inbox these days, sorting through them can be a hassle. Here are 6 search operators from Gmail that will help you locate what you need in no time.
1. Where did I put that file?
Looking for a file your colleagues sent you ages ago? Don't remember the file’s specific name but you do recall some keywords? That’s a good start. Simply type a keyword after filename: to search for a particular file. For example, you can type filename: minutes to search for a file named meeting minutes. Don’t even remember a part of the name but know what type of file it is? Then you can also use the same search operator to search for a file type. For example, type filename: doc to search for document files.
2. CC or BCC
There are times when you want to narrow down the recipients: whether they are direct, carbon copy (cc), or blind carbon copy (bcc) receivers. The basic “To” search boxes are proven to be useless in this case. What you can do to be more specific is to type cc: or bcc: followed by the recipients’ names or email addresses. For example, instead of typing “anna” in the “To” search box, you can type cc: anna to look for email sent to Anna as a carbon copy (cc) only. Note that you won’t be able to find messages that you received on bcc.
3. Search by time period
You don’t have to remember the exact dates to be able to search for a specific email. With the search operators before: or after:, you can just type the period when the email is sent or received. Don’t forget to use the date format yyyy/mm/dd, otherwise, Gmail wouldn’t get it. By typing after: 2016/07/01 before: 2016/07/15, Gmail will look for emails sent or received between July 1, 2016 and July 15, 2016.
4. Search for read, unread, or starred messages
You can search for messages that are read, unread, or starred by using is:read, is:unread, is:starred. By typing is:read is:starred from:Anna you are searching for messages from Anna that have been read and marked with a star. If you have more than one type of stars (or if you don’t, we suggest you learn how to manage your emails with Gmail’s stars option), you can type has:green-star to search for messages marked with that color.
5. Don’t ignore Spam or Trash
Whether using the simple search box or search operators suggested above, both ignore emails that are in Spam or Trash box. And from time to time, important emails can mistakably be thrown into Trash box for some unknown reasons. Use in:anywhere to look everywhere in your inbox, including those two places, to make sure that no important email has slipped through.
6. Look in the chat box too
We all hate it when our colleagues send important files or message via a chat box. That makes it difficult when searching for them later. But by typing is:chat followed by keywords or name of the person you’re communicating with, you can actually search for messages or files in the chat log. Next time you can tell your colleagues to send vital files or information via proper email instead. But if that still doesn’t work, now you know how to help yourself.
When it comes to managing and sorting through confidential emails in your inbox, no one can do it besides you. Yet there are still the matters of database management and security to take into consideration. Why not outsource those issues to us and enjoy a more carefree communication with your colleagues and customers? Call us today to see what our experts can do for you.Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

5 tips for cashing in on tech trends

5 tips for cashing in on tech trends

More money on less investment, that’s the dream, right? Well, counterintuitive as it may seem, flash-in-the-pan tech fads and trends may be just the way to achieve that. With the right tools, you can associate your SMB with popular new technologies without much investment. These are our five tips on how to cash in on things as silly and childish as Pokémon GO and as technical and trendy as the internet of things.
Get in early
One of the biggest indicators of how successful your SMB will be in making big gains off of a new trend is how early you get in. Fads, especially in the tech world, can come and go in no time. Be careful not to invest in resources with a long-term commitment like new logos or graphics, but instead in low-cost workarounds like special promotions and social media campaigns that put you front and center immediately. Once the popular kids have moved onto a fresh fixation, you’ll be ready to move forward without skipping a beat.
Use existing tools
How can you get up to speed quickly without investing too much in permanent resources? The trick is to hijack existing opportunities and strategies for your own message. For example, John Deere has been selling farming equipment for over 150 years, with no signs of slowing down. But with a creative combination of existing GPS technology and mobile devices, they quickly jumped to the forefront of the “Internet of Things” craze by connecting their vehicles to crop planning practices.
Participate in the narrative
So you’ve identified a trend you want to cash in on and you’ve commandeered existing tools to help sell your product. How else can you gain momentum? Social media is everywhere nowadays, and it doesn’t seem to be a dying trend. However, it’s no panacea; simply posting “We’ve got a promotion on all seasonal products #inserttechfadhere” won’t bring obsessed customers to your doorstep. Take a minute to understand the mechanics of what pulls everyone away from work, friends, and family, and show participants you’re one of them. Is it competitive? Polarizing? Take a stand or pick a team and invite customers who are “on your side” to get a discount.
Merge the fad with your business model
With a little creative brainstorming, most business models can actually integrate their product or service with a passing trend. Chatbots have been shoring up the “deep learning” revolution, and clothing retailers have come up with a really creative way to employ them to drive sales. By simply providing their chatbots with a fashion tree, the bots can ask basic questions which whittle down clothing recommendations to those that align with customers’ tastes.
Address difficulties presented by the fad
What if you can’t find a way for your products or services to directly interact with the blazing new trend? The next best thing is to provide solutions to problems presented by it. Does interacting with the popular app or activity eat up a lot of mobile device battery? Remind passersby your outlets are available for customers, or that you sell mobile battery packs. Does it require driving all over town? Remind customers of your latest car rental promotion. Sometimes just associating yourself with the trend is enough.
Not sure how to integrate your business with the latest fads? We’re the experts on all things technology related, from the most recent to the ancient. As a small- to medium-sized business owner, getting the most value out of your technology investments is crucial to getting your foot in the door and working your way toward bigger profits. From machine learning to Pokémon GO, no question is too trivial -- ask us today!Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Salesforce-Outlook add-on announced

Salesforce-Outlook add-on announced

According to Salesforce, an average sales rep spends more than 70 percent of their time each week in their email inbox. Despite this fact, email and customer relationship management (CRM) software has remained separate, forcing sales reps to toggle between them. Fortunately, we have some good news for small and medium-sized businesses: Salesforce will finally be integrated into Microsoft Outlook.
Salesforce and Microsoft have been working together for more than two years, and it has definitely been a win-win situation for everyone. In the latest development between these two tech giants, they've released a brand new product that promises to make the lives of sales representatives much easier. Lightning for Outlook, a flashy new add-on allows your sales team to access customer relationship management (CRM) software right from their Microsoft Outlook inbox without switching back and forth between the two applications.
The add-on accomplishes new levels of integration with Lightning Components, which allows for dragging and dropping of fields and elements from Salesforce directly into Outlook. For example, sales reps will be able to update a price quote with Salesforce’s SteelBrick -- a Quote-to-Cash software -- from within Outlook. This has been termed 'snapping'. Just 'snap' the code you want to migrate into the appropriate Outlook account.
One of the most exciting new features, called Lightning Sync, enables users to automatically sync contacts and calendars across Salesforce and Outlook. "When you update a contact in Outlook, it's reflected in Salesforce and on your mobile device," said Greg Gsell, Salesforce's director of Sales Cloud. "All devices and teams are immediately kept up to date."
Both Lightning for Outlook and Lightning Sync are available now; the former is free for all Salesforce Cloud users, and the latter is free for users of Salesforce Cloud Lightning Enterprise Edition or higher. Lightning Components Framework -- a UI framework for developing dynamic web apps, which gets integrated into Outlook, will be released later this year with pricing to be announced at a later date.
However, this doesn’t mean Lightning for Outlook will solve everything. This plugin simply makes it easier for the two programs to work together. Still, there is a maze of security, database and account management issues to navigate through to make this new feature work properly. At Omni212, our experts are well-versed in email and CRM systems, so why not give us a call today and work smarter, not harder.Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Do you speak “Data”?

Do you speak “Data”?

Quick, what’s the most important thing about your business’s precious data? Besides knowing how to back it up properly and protect it from catastrophic loss, how about understanding all the lingo used to describe it? The term “big data” - in reference to large, complex data sets - is a well-known buzzword these days, but a slew of new “data” terms are in style now, too.
Data is the lifeblood of the information age. It gets observed, collected, organized, and analyzed, and it allows businesses to compete for profit and prosperity. And it takes many forms, each one unique and often vividly-named by the addition of a simple descriptive word.
As such, we thought a short glossary was in order to help keep you current on a handful of new data buzzwords and how they might impact your business.
Small Data
If “big data” is about powerful machines, huge databases, and sophisticated analytics, its little brother “small data” is about people. Small data takes a scaled-down approach to data mining that relies on things like social media to acquire important information. Archiving it is also simpler since a complex central data warehouse isn’t necessary.
Slow Data
The notion of “slow data” may seem a bit counterintuitive since processing ones and zeroes means things are happening fast. Some information, however, is actually acquired more slowly. Take, for example, the polar ice caps, where things literally move at a glacial pace. Since this kind of data doesn’t require frequent analysis it is suitable for back-up in its native format in a secure data lake.
Fast Data
We’re guessing you knew this buzzword was coming next, and it’s probably exactly what you thought it would be. “Fast data” refers to data events that happen fast - as in thousands of times per second - such as financial tickers or electrical sensors. Being able to act on it without delay is critical, so storing it immediately in a stable, easy to access location is a must.
Dark Data
Put simply, “dark data” is nothing more than day-to-day operational data that’s not getting used. It often refers to unanalyzed information in the form of customer call records, competitors’ price fluctuations, or website visitor trends. It can also include data that’s no longer accessible, such as when a storage device becomes obsolete. Your business can bring some of this redundant, out-of-date, or hidden data into the light with software designed to tidy things up.
Dirty Data
And speaking of tidying, here we finally have “dirty data.” While not quite as provocative as, say, dirty dancing or a dirty martini, it does have a tendency to arouse anxiety. But it’s actually not harmful to your data warehouse; it merely refers to a data set prior to its being “cleaned,” such as a leads list that contains duplicates, spelling mistakes, or formatting errors. The key is ensuring it gets spruced up before moving it into production.
If this index of buzzwords has left you wondering about the ways that different types of information affect your specific business, we’ve got answers. Setting up and managing your databases, super-secure backup strategies, and a thorough understanding of information technology are what we provide, so call or message us today.Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

5 top trends in SEO and social media

5 top trends in SEO and social media

If you’re like us, you’ve always got a finger to the wind when it comes to search engine strategy and internet presence. If you’re not like us, that’s okay too, because we’ve got a breezy little article here to bring you up to speed on 5 of the latest SEO and Social Media trends that are blowing through the ether.
Everyone knows about death and taxes, the two most famous certainties that we must endure. If there were a third, surely it would be that without robust up-to-date search engine optimization (SEO) and social media strategies, your business will fall behind.
And since there’s no time like the present, we’d like to put forth some of the things that your business should consider taking into account this year in order to increase awareness of your brand, drive more traffic to your websites, and ultimately boost conversion rates.
1. Conversational search
With the success of digital assistants like Apple’s Siri, and the relatively recent roll outs of Amazon Echo and Google Home - two virtual helpers for the home - voice recognition is becoming much more prominent. For businesses, this means adapting your site’s content so it’s detectable by spoken phrase searches in addition to simple short keyword searches.
2. Social publishing
There’s tons of content published on social media, but what’s changing is the convenience with which it can be consumed. Users are ever more at ease with the videos and full-length articles dropping into their feeds - and with not having to leave the comfort of their favorite social apps to see them. The new challenge for companies will therefore be to publish high-quality content through social channels first.
3. Real-time customer interaction
Having interesting videos on your social media channels is practically old hat. Nowadays, given our speedy and seemingly omnipresent internet connections and our on-demand expectations, the move is towards live, streaming, “in-the-moment” interplay with customers, which has been shown to capture users’ attention for longer periods of time than recorded video content.
4. Increasing emphasis on apps
Mobile users spend nearly 90% of their time in mobile apps and just 10% on mobile websites. It’s not surprising given their relative ease of use, and this disparity could become even greater as social media platforms continue favoring apps and search engines like Google continue developing a “web of apps” - something that just might mean the end of traditional websites in the mobile environment.
5. More rich answers
“Rich answers” are Google’s attempt to provide search results that are sufficient enough to eliminate the need to click through to a website for more information. Their prevalence is on the rise, which could significantly reduce the amount of visits to your site. But it does provide an opportunity to use “structured markup,” a protocol that allows search engines to display your site’s data in more creative ways.
As always, the fast-moving advance of ways to optimize your internet presence is keeping us on our toes, and these 5 trends will likely make a difference for you in 2016 and beyond.
So if you sense a need to enhance your company’s SEO and Social Media strategies - but you’re not entirely sure about what to do first or how to do it - remember what Benjamin Franklin once said: “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
We’ve got the knowledge, call us today and start collecting on those dividends right away.Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Google indexing: 4 tips for better results

Google indexing: 4 tips for better results

It doesn’t matter if you’re a newbie or an expert in search engine optimization, the field changes so often that it can feel like trying to hold water in the palm of your hands. That can be pretty frustrating since businesses of any size and age need to get people to their sites in order to really grow in our web-driven culture. Thankfully, there are a few tried and true methods for improving your position in Google’s index and we’ve listed the best four below.
Make sure that you’re indexed by Google
This is the first, and simplest step. Go to Google.com and search ‘site:’ with your website domain listed after the colon (example: ‘site:acme.com’). If you don’t see any results from your page listed, that means Google hasn’t even added your site to its search results yet. Although some advisers recommend filling out a request form that Google offers, there is a much faster way to get recognized by the search giant.
Google is constantly scanning web pages for updates in content to include in their search results. As soon as they see a link to an external site on one of their already indexed pages, Google will add that link to the queue of new sites to be scanned and indexed. Feel free to fill out the form, but you’ll probably be waiting a long time. If you can get your domain name linked on a popular or trusted page, you’ll start seeing your page in the search results in no time.
Now go out and get more links
Alright, so your site is showing up in Google’s search results -- on the third or fourth page. Pretty much the only people making it that far into search results are students writing papers at 4 a.m., desperately looking for barely-related citations to pad out a bibliography. In this particular situation, we’re lucky enough that the solution is more of the same from step 1. The more links to your site from external pages, the higher you climb in the search results.
Other than getting affiliate businesses to link you on their pages, consider managing a blog or RSS feed. Content generation not only promotes interest and traffic in your site, it also opens up the opportunity for you to submit yourself to blog directories like Technorati and Alltop that compile source material and get you those external links.
Fine tune your content
After you’ve spent some time generating traffic to your site from links on external sites, it’s time to put a magnifying glass over your own site and start perfecting the little things. For starters, make sure Google has your .xml sitemap on file. It’ll help any content updates on your site get pushed to the indexes a little bit faster and improve your ranking. Head over to Google’s Webmaster Tools to submit your sitemap.
Once your site has been indexed, be very careful not to change any of your core ‘permalinks’. If users have links that direct them to pages that can’t be found, it could knock you pretty far down the ladder. Keep your pages live, and keep them named efficiently. Some website platforms, like Wordpress, use default link structures that create complicated, number-based links that can be off-putting to users and confusing to administrators and search engine indexers. If possible, make sure your links use category and page title references for more appealing links and organizational structure.
Measure and track your ranking
All the points listed in this article are ongoing projects. Just because you believe your site has achieved a desirable ranking on Google doesn’t mean it will stay there. Keep an eye on where it stands and never let yourself get lazy with your content production, site management and SEO monitoring -- it could mean the difference between moving up the search page, and disappearing from it altogether. Online tools like Cyfe and give you a more in-depth look at your site traffic and external links so you’re always ahead of the competition.
Optimizing your Google page indexing is a little like visiting an auction house where everyone has a megaphone and a bigger budget than you. Some designers spend countless hours becoming experts on this specific topic and market their services to a wider audience. Sure, a truly great and well-reviewed business is going to generate a lot of organic traffic, but why not call one of those experts to give you the boost you need? We’ve got the skills and the time to sit down with you and get your site moving up the ladder.Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

Microsoft Office 365 ravaged by ransomware

Microsoft Office 365 ravaged by ransomware

The Internet is a powerful platform that brings people together on a global level while giving them access to a wealth of information anytime they please. With the good, comes the bad - some utilize their skills in committing cyber crimes from the comfort of their own homes. Case in point, the recent Cerber ransomware attacked that ravaged millions of Microsoft Office 365 users worldwide. Here’s what a security expert and Microsoft had to say about the matter:
Steven Toole, a researcher for the cloud-security firm Avanan, detailed that his company experienced the first attack at 6:44 a.m. on June 22nd. Another interesting fact is that at least 57 percent of all Microsoft Office 365 customers on Avanan’s platform received at least one phishing attempt that contained the infected attachment. While Avanan did extrapolate the number of Office 365 users involved, the exact number has yet to be revealed.
This is particularly interesting since according to Microsoft’s first quarter reports in 2016, there are over 18.2 million Office 365 subscribers worldwide. On top of the global scale in which the attacks took place, it took Microsoft over 24 hours for the attack to be detected and for any attempts to block the attachment to be made.
Microsoft’s side of the story shares many similarities with slight differences on the detection and actions made about the ransomware attack. In an email to SCMagazine.com, the spokesperson wrote:
"Office 365 malware protection identified the attack and was updated to block it within hours of its origination on June 22. Our investigations have found that this attack is not specific to Office 365 and only a small percentage of Office 365 customers were targeted, all of which have been protected."
The point is Office 365 was compromised, regardless of how quickly it was detected - many people were asked for a ransom and were told that their files have already been encrypted. Still wanting to come across as polite, the ransom came with an audio recording that detailed what the attack was and what measures must be taken in order to regain access to the files. The unknown attacker asked for a ransom of 1.4 bitcoins or an equivalent of $500 in exchange for the decryption key.
Toole noted that “This attack seems to be a variation of a virus originally detected on network mail servers back in early March of this year," He also added that "As it respawned into a second life, this time Cerber was widely distributed after its originator was apparently able to easily confirm that the virus was able to bypass the Office 365 built-in security tools through a private Office 365 mail account.”
This proves that cyber criminals go to great lengths to not only use their tools but to improve on them and eliminate flaws. So no matter how many firewalls, passwords or fire-breathing dragons you have to guard your servers and networks, without the right network security measures in place, chances are they’ll manage to find a way to overcome the hurdles and wreak whatever havoc they can.
Network security isn’t something to be taken lightly, if you are unsure about how safe or how capable your systems are in fending off cyber threats - get in touch with us. Our experienced and friendly staff will help you with any ransomware or security-related issue you have.Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.