Google is #1 in search, can Gmail be #1 in webmail?

Big companies with cult followings don not rest on their laurels. As least google does not. They recently launched a new idea to promote Gmail, find out where their users are, as well as strengthen their cult following. All with stickers:

Not too long ago, one of the Gmail engineers broke out her vinyl cutter and made some Gmail m-velope stickers. Pretty soon, they were pasted to our desks, stuck on our laptops, and adorning the walls around the office. Then other people started asking us about them — first it was just other Googlers. But when a guy I was sitting next to on an airplane asked where he could get a Gmail sticker, we realized other people might like them too. Read on and get yours.

When you are as big as Google you can certainly give something away.

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We won!


One of the AG Communications Group’s brand, Black Women in Europe Blog,?has won another award.? See all of the awards given to the Black Women in Europe Blog.

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Brand and Branding – A Fundamental Difference

The common misconception in branding is that your brand and branding your company are the same thing. They are definitely related, but they are definitely not the same thing. When you can grasp the fundamental difference between the two, you can leverage your brand more effectively. Confusion between the two can lead to problems establishing your brand because you might overlook something very important.

First, in their most basic sense, a brand is a concept and branding is communicating a brand concept. Did you catch it? A brand in an idea and branding is implementing that idea. To use an analogy, the brand is the bullet and branding is the gun. Branding applies the brand to your target market just like firing a gun at an intended target.

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Let us define what a brand is. Essentially it is a concept developed in the consumer?s head about your company as a result of their experience with your company. Now this concept can just occur naturally without any purpose or brand development from you, which could be a huge liability, or you can be proactive in creating and developing your brand concept that you want the consumer to have.

Now let us look at branding. It is the transmission of the brand concept to the consumer through the use of brand elements and brand signals. Branding will happen even if it is intentional or not. Proper branding will be successful in transmitting the brand concept to the consumer without losing the integrity of the brand concept.

Source: Branding

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How To Improve Search Engine Rankings

by Jennifer Ledbetter

Search engine rankings are a large factor to the success of your web site. If you desire free organic search traffic from the search engines you will have to learn how to improve your search engine rankings. The main search engine you should be focused on improving your rankings in is Google.

Why Google? Fact is, Google currently holds a 77% market share of the search engine business. Google handles 300 MILLION search queries every DAY. With over 8 billion pages in the Google index (with thousands being added daily), you need to have your ducks in a row and learn how to improve your search engine ranking or else you will get lost in the Google index. Without better search engine rankings, your web site will remain a virtual ghost town.

There are so many myths out there pertaining to unproven theories of how to better your rank in the search engines. We all already know that Google likes the following factors of a web site – and ranks a site with these factors in mind:

URL containing your keyword

Keywords in content (and close to each other)

Link Popularity (links pointing TO your site)

Keywords used to link to your site

Over-all theme of the site or page

Now, I have to mention that Google doesn’t mention optimizing meta tags, however,it is my experience that taking the time to optimize title tags and description tags can help… and certainly can’t hurt.

Improve Search Engine Rankings – The Myths

There is plenty of false information going around about how to boost the rank of your site in the search engines. Your first step in learning how to improve your rankings is to learn what is fact – and what is NOT.

These are some of the search engine ranking myths that you need to get out of your head:

Myth #1: Google Knows and Sees Everything

Myth #2: Google Will Not Rank Duplicate Content

Myth #3: You Must Get Links From Related Subject Sites to Rank

Myth #4: Your Site Must Focus On One Subject To Rank

Myth #5: High PageRank Means Good Rankings

Myth #6: To Maintain Good Rankings, You Must Add New Content

MYTH #7: THE BIGGEST MYTH: Ranking In Google Is Hard!

Improving your search engine ranking is not hard

Thankfully, getting better rankings in Google is not hard – if you know what you’re doing. Think about Google, and what their goal is. The goal of Google is to provide their users with the fastest, most relevant search results possible. They certainly are one of the only websites that I can think of that has the primary goal of getting visitors OFF their site as quickly as possible!

If you learn effective ranking methods – take time to learn what Google wants – and de-program yourself of all the inaccuracies regarding better search engine rankings, you will do fine. Improved search engine ranking will be easy for you to obtain.

About the Author:

Source: SEO

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Black Women in Europe

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A blog post from the European Union Commissioner for Employment Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Vladimir Spidla (http://ec.europa.eu/…tem_en.cfm:

Recently a friend of mine lent me an interesting book on the history of New York. It’s packed with historical maps, pictures and photos showing how Manhattan was settled, and its various building booms and economic highs and lows through the ages. What struck me in particular was the gulf in living conditions between the different social classes in the different eras ? grinding poverty on one side of the tracks and gilded luxury on the other.

New York is of course famous as a place where, for over 150 years, countless different nationalities and ethnic minorities have lived together, cheek by jowl. Still, life in the melting pot was by no means free from social tensions. The book contains this description, by New Yorker Gerrit Smith, writing some time around 1860: "Even the noblest black,? he wrote, "is denied that which is free to the vilest white. The omnibus, the bank, the ballot box, the jury box, the halls of legislation [?] are all either virtually or absolutely denied to him."

For over a hundred years, these words held true. But things have since changed, both in America and in Europe. We have seen the universal declaration of human rights, equal opportunity laws, measures to combat discrimination and successive campaigns to change people’s opinions. Today we know that discrimination is a horrendous waste of talent.

Yet despite all this progress, in reality, in our daily lives, many things still do not meet this ideal. This was highlighted by a 2007 study showing that black people still face bigger obstacles than all other ethnic groups. Especially black women, who often suffer multiple discrimination ? on account of both skin colour and gender, or even sometimes their religious beliefs. Indeed, women’s organisations dealing with discrimination often fail to give sufficient attention to these specific problems of black women.

This was one of the reasons for the founding of the Black European Women’s Council in Brussels on 9 September 2008. Its mission is to help black women by informing the public about the specific issues they face. I was asked to make a speech to mark the occasion ? something I was only too happy to do.

I know from conversations with black women that even when their families have lived in the UK, Belgium or Holland for generations, they can still be treated like foreigners. I want that to change, so that someday soon black women can enjoy the same kind of freedom in Europe as they do today in downtown Manhattan.

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Racism & Discrimination against Blacks in Europe

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September 24, 2008
Contact: Lale Mamaux
Phone: (202) 225-1901
Cell: (202) 279-0442

Hastings Urges Increased Support for Combating Racism and Discrimination against Blacks and Other Minorities in Europe(Washington, D.C.)

Today, Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission), introduced a resolution (http://blog.blackwomenineurope.com/…H.RES.1496)</a> calling on the United States government to increase support for public and private sector initiatives focused on combating racism and discrimination against blacks and other minorities in Europe.

?Black Europeans are a population of more than 7 million. Increasingly, they have become the targets of violent hate crimes, many resulting in death,? said Chairman Hastings. ?It is imperative that the U.S. government increase its support for European efforts to combat racism and discrimination.?

The introduction of the resolution coincides with the launch of the (http://bewnet.eu/) Black European Women?s Council (BEWC) and their effort to fight for equality. In an effort to raise public awareness at the national and international level, BEWC brought together over 130 Black women from across Europe to ?insist on the recognition and inclusion of Black Europeans economically, politically, and culturally.?

The resolution also urges European governments to implement recently introduced anti-discrimination legislation and action plans, including a fund for victims incapacitated as a result of a hate crime.

?Like African-Americans, Black Europeans continue to be hampered by inequalities in education, housing, employment, and the criminal justice system, (e.g., racial profiling). Few Blacks are in leadership positions and political participation is limited for many, providing additional obstacles for addressing these problems. I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this resolution recognizing Black Europeans, their numerous contributions to society, and the struggles they face daily,? said Chairman Hastings.

On April 29, Chairman Hastings held a hearing entitled, ?The State of (In)visible Black Europe: Race, Rights, and Politics,? (ctrl+click for link) focusing on the challenges and opportunities experienced by Europe?s Black population amidst reported increases in racism and discrimination, anti-immigration and national identity debates, and growing security concerns. Additionally, the hearing examined the impact of anti-discrimination measures as well as diversity initiatives aimed at ensuring and protecting equal rights for a population many do not know exists. Additional information on the hearing can be found at http://www.csce.gov/.

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The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, is a U.S. Government agency that monitors progress in the implementation of the provisions of the 1975 Helsinki Accords. The Commission consists of nine members from the United States Senate, nine from the House of Representatives, and one member each from the Departments of State, Defense and Commerce.

Lale M. Mamaux, Communications Director Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe Helsinki Commission)
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (FL-23), Chairman
Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (MD), Co-Chairman
234 Ford House Office Building
202-225-1901 (phone)
http://www.csce.gov/

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Vote From Abroad

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The whole world is watching to see who the American people will choose as their next President. In fact they are even voting:

http://www.voteforpresident.org/
Vote For President

While their votes don?t count towards electing the US President, the votes of Black American Expatriates do. Are you prepared to cast your vote?

Whether you are a student studying abroad, active duty military, a long time expat, or just traveling abroad during the election you can register to vote and/or request your absentee ballot online using the Vote From Abroad website:

http://www.votefromabroad.org/
Vote From Abroad

States deadlines to request your ballot or to register are fast approaching, so sort yourself out today.

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Women of the African Diaspora Site Anniversary

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Dear Sisters,

Sandra Rafaela of the Afro European Sisters Network (http://www.myspace.com/aesn) and Adrianne George of the Black Women in Europe Blog (http://blog.blackwomenineurope.com/) are pleased to announce that their jointly created Women of the African Diaspora (WAD-http://www.aesn.eu/bwie) website and social network (http://blackwomenineurope.ning.com)will/ celebrate their one year anniversary on 1 November 2008.

During the first year the WAD website has featured dozens of contributors and the network has grown to enjoy hundreds of members around the world. Anniversary celebration plans include a new look and domain name for the website, and new featured sections to highlight more talented women of the African Diaspora.

Additionally we would like to offer our readers and users "gifts of thanks" for their support and participation. We also want to encourage buying within our community by asking for Black Female Entrepreneurs to provide WAD Anniversary Sponsorships of product and service gifts and discounts.

Appropriate examples include discount coupons to your products and services, as well as free subscriptions to your magazine or associations and free products or services. Any and all gift sponsors will receive recognition and thanks on the WAD website and social networking that includes your logo and link to your website.

To participate as a sponsor please submit your logo, link and prize, along with directions on redemption, to Sandra Rafaela:sandrarafaela(at)aesn.eu.

Thank you for helping to celebrate the Women of the African Diaspora website and social network!

Kind regards,

Adrianne George
Sandra Rafaela
Women of the African Diaspora Founders

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Use Keywords In Page Titles

It is recommended to use keywords in page titles itself. This title tag is different from a Meta tag, but it’s worth considering it in relation to them. Whatever text one places in the title tag will appear in the title bar of browsers when they view the web page. Some browsers also append whatever you put in the title tag by adding their own name, as for example Microsoft’s Internet Explorer or OPERA.

The actual text you use in the title tag is one of the most important factors in how a search engine may decide to rank your web page. In addition, all major web crawlers will use the text of your title tag as the text they use for the title of your page in your listings.

If you have designed your website as a series of websites or linked pages and not just a single Home Page, you must bear in mind that each page of your website must be search engine optimized. The title of each page i.e. the keywords you use on that page and the phrases you use in the content will draw traffic to your site.

The unique combination of these words and phrases and content will draw customers using different search engine terms and techniques, so be sure you capture all the keywords and phrases you need for each product, service or information page.

The most common mistake made by small business owners when they first design their website is to place their business name or firm name in every title of every page. Actually most of your prospective customers do not bother to know the name of your firm until after they have looked at your site and decided it is worth book marking.

So, while you want your business name in the title of the home page, it is probably a waste of valuable keywords and space to put it in the title line of every page on your site. Why not consider putting keywords in the title so that your page will display closer to the top of the search engine listing.

Dedicating the first three positions in your title for keywords, while avoiding the stop words like ?and?, ?at? and the like is crucial in search engine optimization.

Follow these few simple steps in using keywords in your page titles and this will without a doubt help to improve your search engine rankings.

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Get a Good Domain Name

Selecting a domain names has become a major problem these days. If you wish to have a certain domain name, then it makes you feel terrible when you find out that it is taken by some one else. There are many tools that can help you to find a good combination of the domain name that you are searching. These tools do not always give you the best solution, so you should find out for your self. These tools have limited options as well as capabilities. So you should not rely totally on these tools and software?s.

One thing that can make a difference is that when you buy a Dot com domain name instead of others domain names like dot info. People find it is easy and preferable to type the domain names that have a dot com ending. So one must buy a dot com domain name instead of others. While you choose a domain name, you should not use double hyphens. People will not like to type domain names that will contain double hyphens. On the other hand, if you choose to have a single hyphen, then it can be acceptable. Nowadays you will find few domain names that will contain a single hyphen. People are getting use to domain names with a single hyphen. So a single hyphen domain name is an option that can be considered. However, it?s best to not use one. Users are very use to with the domains names that ends with a dot com. So it is good to pick a dot com for a domain name.

Choose a domain name that is not hard to remember and it must be simple. For example consider the domain name for Yahoo.com. It?s easier to remember as well as typing the address for the domain name of Yahoo.com. So you must think as a user before selecting a domain name. Try to select a domain name that?s not too long. People do not prefer long names as it is hard to remember for them as well as it is also not comfortable to type them too. One more thing is to select a name that will describe the idea of our website.

Try to select a domain name domain name registration that is very much chosen to the idea behind your site. How great it well be if you can select a name that can expressed the basic idea of your website and at the same time is easy to remember because of its fact which is not too long. These aspects play an extremely important role in your success for your web site. Think that if your site becomes a heavy traffic site one day and thousands of users will come every day. However, this is only possible if you select a decent domain name.

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