Friday, April 22, 2011

Alt Attribute & Seo

SEO Optimization images is becoming increasingly more essential in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for websites. The ALT attribute is a critical step that is often overlooked. This can be a lost chance of better rankings.

In Google's webmaster guidelines, they advise using alternative text for that images in your site:

Images:. Use the alt attribute to provide descriptive text. Additionally, we recommend using a human-readable caption and descriptive text around the image.

Why would they ask us to achieve that? The answer is simple, really; search engines have the same problem as blind users. They can't begin to see the images.

Many webmasters and inexperienced or unethical SEOs abuse the use of this attribute, trying to stuff it with keywords, hoping to achieve a certain keyword density, which isn't as relevant for rankings now since it once was.

On the contrary, high keyword density can, on some search engines like google, trigger spam filters, which might create a penalty for your site's ranking. Even without such a penalty, your site's rankings will not take advantage of this plan.
This method also puts persons who use screen readers in a greater disadvantage. Screen readers are software-based tools that really read aloud the items in what's displayed on the screen. In browsing the net, the alt features of images are read aloud as well.

Imagine listening to a paragraph of text that is followed by repetitions of many keywords. The page would be far from accessible, and, to put it mildly, would be found quite annoying.
What exactly is an Alt attribute?

An ALT attribute should not be used as a description or perhaps a label to have an image, though many people utilize it for the reason that fashion. Though it might seem natural to assume that alternate text is a label or a description, it's not!

What used inside an image's alt attribute should be its text equivalent and convey exactly the same information or serve the same purpose that the image would.

The thing would be to supply the same functional information that a visual user would see. The alt attribute text should function as a "stand in" in the event that the look itself is unavailable. Ask yourself this question: If you were to replace the image with the text, would most users receive the same basic information, and would it create the same response?
A few examples:


Some SEO Optimization Tips

If your search button is a magnifying glass or binoculars its alt text ought to be 'search' or 'find' not 'magnifying glass' or 'binoculars'.

If an image is meant to convey the literal contents of the image, a description is appropriate.

If it's meant to convey data, then that data is what's appropriate.

If it is meant to convey the use of a function, then the function is what should be used.

Some Alt Attribute Guidelines:

Always add alt attributes to images. Alt is mandatory for accessibility as well as for valid XHTML.

For images that play merely a decorative role within the page, use an empty alt (i.e. alt="") or perhaps a CSS background image so that reading browsers do not bother users by uttering things like "spacer image".

Remember that it is the function of the image we're attempting to convey. For example; any button images should not range from the word "button" in the alt text. They ought to emphasize the action performed by the button.

Alt text should be determined by context. Exactly the same image inside a different context may require drastically different alt text.

Try to flow alt text with the rest from the text because that is the way it will be read with adaptive technologies like screen readers. Someone listening to your page should hardly be aware that a graphic image is there.
Please keep in mind that utilizing an alt attribute for every image is required to meet the minimum WAI requirements, which are used as the benchmark for accessibility laws in UK and the remainder of Europe. They are also necessary to meet "Section 508" accessibility requirements in the US.

It is important to categorize non-text content into three levels:

Content and Function

I. Eye-Candy

Eye-Candy are things that serve no purpose apart from to make a site visually appealing/attractive and (oftentimes) fulfill the marketing departments. There isn't any content value (though there might be value to a sighted user).

Never alt-ify eye-candy unless there's something there that will enhance the usability from the site for somebody using a non-visual user agent. Use a null alt attribute or background images in CSS for eye-candy.

II. Mood-Setting

This is actually the middle layer of graphics which may actually set the atmosphere or set happens so to speak. These graphics are not direct content and could 't be considered essential, but they're essential in that they help frame what is going on.

Attempt to alt-ify the 2nd group as is sensible and it is relevant. There may be times when doing so might be annoying or detrimental with other users. Then try to avoid it.

For example; Alt text that's identical to adjacent text is unnecessary, and an irritant to screen reader users. I suggest alt="" or background CSS images in such instances. But sometimes, it's vital that you get this content inside for those users.

Usually this will depend on context. The same image inside a different context may require drastically different alt text. Obviously, content should always be fully available. The way you go in this example is really a judgment call.

III. Content and Function

This is where the look may be the actual content. Always alt-ify content and functional images. Title and long description attributes can also be so as.
The reason many authors can't understand why their alt text isn't working is that they don't know why the pictures exist. You need to figured out precisely what function an image serves. Think about what it is about the image that's important to the page's intended audience.

Every graphic has a reason for standing on that page: because it either improves the theme/ mood/ atmosphere or it is advisable to what are the page is attempting to explain. Knowing what the look is for makes alt text simpler to write. And practice writing them definitely helps.
A way to check the usefulness of alternative text would be to imagine reading the page over the telephone to someone. An amount you say when encountering a specific image to create the page understandable to the listener?

Besides the alt attribute you've got a couple more tools at your disposal for images.
First, in degree of descriptiveness title is in between alt and longdesc. It adds useful information and may add flavor. The title attribute is optionally rendered through the user agent. Remember they're invisible and never shown as a "tooltip" when focus is received through the keyboard. (So much for device independence). So make use of the title attribute just for advisory information.
Second, the longdesc attribute points towards the URL of a full description of an image. If the information found in a picture is important to the concept of the page (i.e. some important content will be lost if the image was removed), a longer description compared to "alt" attribute can reasonably display should be used. It can offer rich, expressive documentation of a visual image.

It ought to be used when alt and title are insufficient to embody the visual qualities of the image. As Clark [1] states, "A longdesc is a long description of an image...The goal is by using any period of description necessary to impart the details from the graphic.

It would not be remiss to hope that a long description conjures a picture - the look - within the mind's eye, an analogy that is true even for the totally blind."

Even though alt attribute is mandatory for web accessibility as well as for valid (X)HTML, not every images need alternative text, long descriptions, or titles.

In many cases, you're better off just choosing your gut instinct -- if it's not necessary to incorporate it, and if you don't possess a strong urge to get it done, don't add that longdesc.

However, if it's essential for the whole page to operate, then you have to add the alt text (or title or longdesc).

What's necessary and what's not depends a lot on the function of your image and it is context on the page.

The same image may need alt text (or title or longdesc) in one spot, although not in another. If an image provides absolutely no content or functional information alt="" or background CSS images might be appropriate to use. But if the image provides content or adds functional information an alt will be required and maybe even a long description would be so as. Oftentimes this type of thing is a judgement call.

Image Search Engine Optimization Tips

Listed below are key steps in optimizing images:

Choose a logical file name that reinforces the keywords. You should use hyphens in the file name to isolate the keyword, but avoid to exceeding two hyphens. Stay away from underscores as a word separator, like for example "brilliant-diamonds.jpg";

Label the file extension. For example, when the image internet search engine sees a ".jpg" (JPEG) file extension, it's likely to assume that the file is a photo, and when it sees a ".gif" (GIF) file extension, it's likely to assume that it is graphic;

Make sure that the text nearby the image that is relevant to that image.
Again, do not lose an excellent chance to help your site together with your images in search engines. Use these steps to position better on all of the engines and drive more traffic for your site TODAY.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Search Engine Optimization

Note the Client companies are based in either the US or Canada and the “percentage of traffic outside key service areas” are based on each client’s target market.

For instance, if a client only services the US only, any traffic outside the US would be traffic outside their service area.

Evaluating Your Own Traffic For Relevance

To use our own web design and Internet marketing business as an example, we service both Canada and the US, but were getting 24% of our traffic from other international countries. Big portions of that traffic were companies looking to sell their services to us.

These international visitors would fill in our web forms and call us to inquire, untimely skewing our website analytics data by not giving us a real understanding of how our website was performing to quality prospects.

A solution had to be implemented to significantly reduce the amount of resources we were dedicating to people outside our service areas.

Ultimately, we didn’t want to be contacted from people we couldn’t help. The four possible solutions we considered were:

  1. Create a custom report in Google Analytics to filter out the unwanted data (reporting related)

  2. Adjust the content of our website (website related)

  3. Block the traffic from specific Countries from viewing our website (server related)

  4. Don’t change anything.

Option #1

When evaluating the first solution, creating a custom report to filter out this data in Google Analytics, this would clear up our analytics data. Implementing a filter would provide a more realistic picture of quality prospects we could service in our geographic area instead of those prospects or solicitors in other counties we don’t service.

This option didn’t run the risk of blocking any traffic or robots that we do want. It’s also a simple filter to add in Google Analytics. We set up another Profile with the country exclusions filters. A new Profile was the preferred approach, rather than going through the extra steps of creating Custom Reports.

However, setting up analytical filters doesn’t fully resolve the issue, since these visitors could still access our site, fill in web forms, and contact us, ultimately wasting resources that we could dedicate elsewhere.

It wouldn’t give us a true picture of what was going on. It also wouldn’t resolve the problem – we didn’t want to be contacted by companies from some outside countries.

Option #2

Updating the website content to say you only service a specific area is another solution that we considered.  This would inject more geo-targeted keywords into your site, which would help in local SEO. Adding a graphical map, drop-down options and/or links that allow the visitor to select their country would help qualify visitors.

Some of the downfalls of this option include spending a much higher amount of time to implement versus the other options. The success of this would also be dependent on how honest the visitor is.

Assuming visitors are reading your website content, adding geo-targeted keywords into your site would set a clearer expectation of service area delivery. However, this option still doesn’t resolve the issue of sharing contact information that allows unsolicited visitors to contact us and invalid web form data.

Option #3

How about blocking or filtering visitors automatically based on their IP address? When considering to block website visitors by IP it’s important to first evaluate the reliability of the IP address(es). The accuracy of an IP list is over 99.5% on a country level and 80% on a city level. The smaller the location, the less reliable the IP address.

Internet Service Providers change IP addresses they designate to customers. Some change them more frequently than others, which is why you want to keep the database of IPs updated. Scheduling a monthly update is typically a good routine if city level IP authentication is required. Country level is much more static.

The benefit of blocking the country via IP address would not only clean up analytical data, but also ensure our sales funnel was more efficient and provide a more accurate picture of real prospects in all systems. We needed to consider other issues in this approach.

One concern was the potential for a search crawler coming from an IP in the location we were planning on blocking. For example, there was a possibility that Google’s search crawler would also be blocked if it came from the same country. The implementation of this option is more technical. One would need to obtain a list of IP addresses for the desired locations and update the websites htaccess file.

In our example, the inquiries from some countries became so frequent that we couldn’t ignore it any longer. After much debate, we decided to ban the countries; however, we would only ban one at a time to evaluate the effects.

For instance, one of the largest traffic sources, accounting for approximately 20% of this, was from India, a market we don’t service. These Indian visitors were companies looking to sell their services to us.

We executed the ban in the polite Canadian way. We also implemented the Google Analytics profile with the country filter to monitor future website statistics versus the past.

Those visitors that came from our blocked list would land on a different page that displayed a nice message. It read: “Thank you for visiting. However, we don’t provide services in your area.”

In sum, the tests have gone over very well. Banning the country from our website has significantly cut down the number of unsolicited calls, emails and web form requests. It also gave us a much more accurate picture of how our website was performing within our own target market and service area.

Considerations For Blocking Traffic By Location

If you’re considering this strategy, some factors to consider when filtering visitors include:

  • Why do you want to filter website traffic?

  • Which locations would you want to filter?

  • How much traffic do you currently get from locations outside your service area?

  • How important is this traffic?

  • How to funnel visitors outside your service areas?

  • The accuracy of the IP addresses locations in mind.

  • Effects of non-human visitors.

A few months after we implemented this, we received a direct mail package that contained pens with our logo on them from a company that wished to sell us branded pens.

Guess what it said under our logo? “Thank you for visiting. However, we don’t provide services in your area.” We had a good laugh. Someone obviously didn’t read what they printed. It was evidence that our website block was working and a nice souvenir.

The key takeaway, as always, is monitor your traffic and conversions. Track where your quality traffic is coming from and decide for yourself if you should block the traffic of certain countries. Make sure to proceed with caution to ensure that you are not missing some opportunities.

Think outside of the box for other ideas of how you can use that traffic. Perhaps referring the traffic to a partner or creating a unique service for specific markets is another option to consider.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: 100% Organic - Search Engine Optimization Tips | SEO: General

Marin Software, a startup that creates search engine management software for advertisers and agencies, has raised $16 million in Series E funding led by Crosslink Capital with DAG Ventures, with Focus Ventures, Benchmark Capital, and Triangle Peak Partners participating in the round. This brings Marin’s total funding to $51 million.

The company also announced that Eric Chin, partner at Crosslink Capital, will join the Board of Directors as an observer and that former Shutterfly VP of Finance John Kaelle has joined the executive team as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Marin Software offers a browser application to help advertisers and agencies managing paid search advertising campaigns across Google, Bing, Yahoo, and other search sites. In the past year, the company expanded its product offering beyond paid search and now offers applications for managing Facebook ads, as well as Marin Retargeting, a complete workflow, analysis, and optimization solution for advertisers and agencies. In addition, Marin also launched Marin Professional, which offers a simple version of the company’s platform for search marketers who spend less than $100,000 per month.

The company plans to invest the Series E funding to support the growth of its customer base which includes advertisers and agencies industries such as retail, education, financial services, insurance, travel, lead generation, automotive, B2B, and local. Marin currently serves 800 clients worldwide and manages 600 million keywords and more than $2 billion in annualized paid search spend for its customers.

And could the addition of a new CFO could mean that Marin may be eyeing an IPO in the future? John Kaelle joined the company from Shutterfly, where he was Vice President of Finance and Investor Relations. While at Shutterfly, Kaelle managed company growth from 150 to over 600 employees, revenue growth from $54 million to over $300 million, and an IPO in 2006.

seo optimization services

What Is Search Engine Optimization? by Lake Lariba

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bench Craft Company on the specialty of jobs

"Getting data privacy 'right' is an economic and social imperative. Trust and confidence in the security and privacy of the critical systems of our planet - especially the digital version of its central nervous system, the Internet - is foundational to individuals' continued engagement and reliance on such things as online commerce, e-health and smart grids. If individual consumers don't feel that their privacy and security are protected, they will not support modernization efforts, even though the capabilities of technology advancements are proven and the potential benefits to society are extensive.

"Here's an example of the tensions we face: The ability of smart grids to conserve resources relies on the ability of, and commitment from, consumers to monitor and modify their individual usage. An individual using a smart meter understands the difference in the cost of using electricity at peak versus non-peak hours and could opt to lower their usage during more costly time periods. At the same time, data from the meters can reveal sensitive information such as work habits, shower schedules, use of medical devices such as dialysis, and whether or not a house is occupied."

"I don't worry that the technology will have a negative impact on consumer privacy," wrote Mark Roberti, founder of RFID Journal in a June overview of the state of the RFID market where privacy is concerned. "Instead, I worry that ignorant legislators trying to score points with uninformed voters will pass laws that limit the many benefits RFID can deliver--and that is a much bigger threat to consumers."

Today's agreement in Europe appears not to be the kind of legislation Roberti feared. As a framework focused on self-reporting it may be too little, ultimately, but it's a start.

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NFL owners, union resume mediation in Minneapolis

The NFL and its locked-out players have completed their first day of mediation under a court order and will meet again Friday as they try to resolve their labor dispute.

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Big Media Falls for GE <b>News</b> Hoax (Cont&#39;d) - Giovanni Rodriguez <b>...</b>

The Week takes a short look at what yesterday's GE news hoax may have actually accomplished: --"It was a glimpse of an ideal world." Idea here is that the fake storyline might have helped people imagine a world where businesses "biggest ...

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Taptu allows iPad owners to “DJ your <b>news</b>” | VentureBeat

Anthony is a senior editor at VentureBeat, as well as its reporter on media, advertising, and social networks. Before joining ...

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As rumors of a later-than-usual iPhone launch for 2011 persist, a new report reveals that the notoriously secretive Apple is being even more careful than usual when dealing with overseas suppliers.

"Apple is keeping its iPhone 5 cards extra close to the vest on this launch to avoid a falloff in iPhone 4 demand ahead of a refresh, especially given the February launch of the CDMA iPhone 4 with Verizon," Analyst Brian White with Ticonderoga Securities said in a note to investors on Friday. He believes that the iPhone 5 could still launch in June or July, as previous models have.

White noted that various rumors have pointed toward a launch later than June this year for the fifth-generation iPhone. One report from March alleged that Apple has not even begun ordering components for the anticipated "iPhone 5," and the device is slated to arrive in the company's 2012 fiscal year, which begins in late September.

And a third report alleged that Apple is working on a major revamp of iOS, its mobile operating system, for version 5.0. New features like cloud-based storage of music, photos and video are rumored to arrive in the update this fall, likely alongside new iPhone hardware.

But despite all of those reports, White isn't yet convinced that the iPhone 5 will be introduced later than its typical June or July timeframe.

"Although we do not have a smoking gun that definitively rules out a delayed autumn unveiling or one that supports a launch this summer, there is a pattern of activity in motion with the supply chain that makes us question a delayed launch," he said.

White also cited sources who indicated that iPad sales could reach up to 40 million units in calendar year 2011. And supply chain sources also indicated that disruption from the earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan will actually end up benefitting Apple, as suppliers will "rush to support Apple at the expense of competitors."

The analyst already revealed earlier this week that Apple has been offering upfront cash payments to component suppliers in order to secure components in the wake of the disaster in Japan. Apple has apparently also been using a "three cover guarantee," referring to capacity, stock and price, to block out competitors and prevent them from building ample supply of devices.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak said in an interview this week that he would consider returning to an active role at the company he helped start if asked.

During an interview in England this week, Wozniak said, "I'd consider it, yeah," when asked whether he would play a more active role if asked, Reuters reports.

Wozniak, Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne founded Apple Computer in 1976. Wozniak left his full-time role with the company in 1987, but remains an employee and shareholder of Apple.

Since leaving Apple, Wozniak has been involved in a wide range of entrepreneurial and philanthropic endeavors. He currently serves as Chief Scientist for storage company Fusion-io.

Meanwhile, Jobs is currently taking an indefinite leave of absence to focus on his health, though he remains CEO of Apple and continues to be involved in strategic decisions.

Wozniak, who has widely been acknowledged as the technical genius behind Apple's early success, believes that he has a lot to offer the company he helped start, which went on to become the world's second-largest company in terms of market value.

"There's just an awful lot I know about Apple products and competing products that has some relevance, some meaning. They're my own feelings, though," Wozniak said during the interview.

When asked his opinion on Apple today, Wozniak praised the company for its track record with recent products. "Unbelievable," he said, "The products, one after another, quality and hits."

Even so, Wozniak admitted that he'd prefer Apple's devices to be more open, so he can "get in there and add [his] own touches." Last December, Wozniak revealed that he had purchased a DIY kit for the iPhone 4 and "modded" the device into the as-yet-unreleased white version.

"My thinking is that Apple could be more open and not lose sales," said Wozniak, while adding, "I'm sure they're making the right decisions for the right reasons for Apple."

Wozniak has been committed to openness since the beginning. In December, Wozniak told reporters that he didn't design the original Apple I to make a lot of money and had given the designs away for free after his former employer HP showed no interest in the computer.

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Next, Odeo moved into an office and started hiring more employees – including a quiet, on-again, off-again Web designer named Jack Dorsey and an engineer named Blaine Cook. Evan Williams became Odeo's CEO.

By July 2005, Odeo had a product: a platform for podcasting.

But then, in the fall of 2005, "the shit hit the fan," says George Zachary, the Charles River Ventures partner who led the firm's investment in Odeo.

That was when Apple first announced iTunes – which included a podcasting platform built into every one of the 200 million iPods Apple would eventually sell. Around the same time, Odeo employees, from Glass and Williams on down, began to realize that they weren't listening to podcasts as much as they thought they would be.

Says Cook: "We built [Odeo], we tested it a lot, but we never used it."

Suddenly, says Zachary, "the company was going sideways."

By this point, Odeo had 14 people working full time – including now-CEO Evan Williams and a friend of his from Google, Christopher "Biz" Stone.

Williams decided Odeo's future was not in podcasting, and later that year, he told the company's employees to start coming up with ideas for a new direction Odeo could go.  The company started holding official "hackathons" where employees would spend a whole day working on projects. They broke off into groups.

Odeo cofounder Noah Glass gravitated toward Jack Dorsey, whom Glass says was "one of the stars of the company."  Jack had an idea for a completely different product that revolved around "status"--what people were doing at a given time.

"I got the impression he was unhappy with what he was working on –  a lot of cleanup work on Odeo."

"He started talking to me about this idea of status and how he was really interested in status," Glass says. "I was trying to figure out what it was he found compelling about it."

"There was a moment when I was sitting with Jack and I said, 'Oh, I do see how this could really come together to make something really compelling.' We were sitting on Mission St. in the car in the rain. We were going out and I was dropping him off and having this conversation. It all fit together for me."

One day in February 2006, Glass, Dorsey, and a German contract developer Florian Weber presented Jack's idea to the rest of the company.  It was a system where you could send a text to one number and it would be broadcasted out to all of your friends: Twttr.

Noah Glass says it was he who came up with the name "Twttr." "I spent a bunch of time thinking about it," he says.  Eventually, the name would become Twitter.

After that February presentation to the company, Evan Williams was skeptical of Twitter's potential, but he put Glass in charge of the project. From time to time, Biz Stone helped out Glass's Twitter team.

And it really was Glass's team, by the way. Not Jack Dorsey's.

Everyone agrees that original inkling for Twitter sprang from Jack Dorsey's mind. Dorsey even has drawings of something that looks like Twitter that he made years before he joined Odeo. And Jack was obviously central to the Twitter team.

But all of the early employees and Odeo investors we talked to also agree that no one at Odeo was more passionate about Twitter in the early days than Odeo's cofounder, Noah Glass.

"It was predominantly Noah who pushed for the project to be started," says Blaine Cook, who describes Glass as Twitter's "spiritual leader."

"He definitely had a vision for what it was," says Ray McClure.

"There were two people who were really excited [about Twitter,]" concurs Odeo investor George Zachary. "Jack and Noah Glass. Noah was fanatically excited about Twitter. Fanatically! Evan and Biz weren't at that level. Not remotely."

Zachary says Glass told him, "You know what's awesome about this thing? It makes you feel like you're right with that person. It's a whole emotional impact. You feel like you're connected with that person."

At one point the entire early Twitter service was running on Glass's laptop. "An IBM Thinkpad," Glass says, "Using a Verizon wireless card."

"It was right there on my desk. I could just pick it up and take it anywhere in the world. That was a really fun time."

Glass insists that he is not Twitter's sole founder or anything like it.  But he feels betrayed that his role has basically been expunged from Twitter history.  He says Florian Weber doesn't get enough credit, either.

"Some people have gotten credit, some people haven't. The reality is it was a group effort. I didn't create Twitter on my own. It came out of conversations."

"I do know that without me, Twitter wouldn't exist. In a huge way."

By March of 2006, Odeo had a working Twitter prototype. In July, TechCrunch covered Twttr for the first time. That same summer, Odeo employees obsessed with Twitter were racking up monthly SMS bills totalling hundreds of dollars. The company agreed to pay those bills for the employees. In August, a small earthquake shook San Francisco and word quickly spread through Twitter – an early 'ah-ha!' moment for users and company-watchers alike. By that fall, Twitter had thousands of users.

By this point, engineer Blaine Cook says it began to feel like there were "two companies" at Odeo – the one "Noah and Florian and Jack and Biz were working on" (Twitter) and Odeo. Twitter, says Ray McClure, "was definitely the thing you wanted to be working on."


The Business Rusch: Royalty Statements

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Imagine this:

Pretend you run a very large business.  The business has a lot of built-in problems, things not easily fixed.  You’re aware of the problems and are trying to solve them.  A decade ago, you actually had hope you could solve them.  It will simply take time, you thought, but back then, your business was a leisurely business.  Back then, you had no idea that the word “leisure” would leave your vocabulary and never return.

In that decade, your business has changed dramatically. Your corporate masters sold out to large conglomerates, so now you can no longer point to your small but steady profit as normal for your industry. The conglomerate doesn’t care.  All the conglomerate cares about is quarterly profits, which should rise steadily.

Your industry doesn’t work that way, but you do your best to make those quarterly balance sheets work for the conglomerate.  Unfortunately, that means any long-term outlook you used to have no longer works for your corporate masters.  Now you can only look one year ahead, maximum, because that’s all the focus the conglomerate will allow.

One of your business’s largest problem comes out of the nature of the industry itself. The success of each product cannot be replicated.  Just because you build one really good widget doesn’t mean that your next widget will sell at all.  Your business has a luck aspect to it, an unpredictability that no matter how much you plan, you can’t fix.

The other built-in problems mentioned above cause your prices to verge on too high.  If you solve the built-in problems, you might lose even more revenue, because most of those problems benefit the stores that sell your product. Those stores have made it clear they will not order from you if you take those harmful (to you) perks (to them) away.  So your prices hover at a point too high for an impulse purchase, even though your business does better when consumers can buy your product on impulse.

You have maintained this system for decades now, trying different ways to fix the built-in problems.  None of the solutions work, because the only way to fix the built-in problem would be to have an industry-wide change, one that all of the businesses in the industry agree to.  Unfortunately, if all of the businesses in the industry make that change, it will hurt stores, which will say that the industry businesses colluded to hurt their retail business—and sadly, the stores, under U.S. law, would be right.

So the easy solution is impossible, and all other solutions are half-assed.  You hang on and your business maintains a consistent, if unspectacular, profit year after year after year.

Then some changes hit your industry that force you to cut costs where you can.  Some of that cost cutting comes in employees.  You have to lay off necessary folk and hope that the remaining staff can pick up the slack.  These things have happened before, and you believe that you’ll be able to rehire in a few years.

Only this time, the economy “craters” and a global recession hits.  Every business loses much-needed revenue and products like yours, which are not necessities, sell to fewer and fewer consumers because the consumers have less disposable income.

You anticipate, cutting everything you can, dumping real estate, abandoning rent, maybe even negotiating your way out of some long-term contracts.  At the very end, though, you can’t prevent it: You cut staff to the bone.

Now, in some departments of your business, one person quite literally does the job that five people used to do as recently as a decade ago.  You have no flexibility left.

And then the industry you work in undergoes a technological revolution, one so big, so profound, that it changes the way business gets done.  Because you aren’t flexible, you adapt to the change late.  You can’t hire new employees to help with the shift without firing the remaining good, valuable (and dare we say it), unbelievably efficient employees that you kept when the recession started.  Yet your old employees can’t adapt to the new world.

Worse, this new world requires new systems.  You have to figure out new ways to produce your product.  You need to shoehorn these changes into the existing contracts with your suppliers.  You need an entirely new production crew because the old ways to produce your widgets are becoming obsolete.

And, most annoyingly, you need to develop an entirely new accounting system, because everything you’ve known, everything you’ve done, no longer applies in this brand-spanking new technological age.

But you can’t hire employees who can actually help you develop these systems.  Because those employees won’t earn you any money.  At best, they’ll prevent a loss of revenue. At worst, the systems they develop will cost you money because your suppliers, whom you pay a percentage of the retail price of the product they supply, will realize you’ve been inadvertently shorting them since the technological change hit at the same time as the beginning of the global recession.

In other words, to fix this problem, you will need to invest—in  new employees, in brand new technological systems, in new ways of doing business.  More importantly, you will have to take a huge loss as you make this change.  A loss that might eat into your profits for not one, not two, not three quarters, but maybe for two to three years, something your corporate masters will never, ever allow.

Better to close your eyes and pretend the problem doesn’t exist.  Better to hope no one notices.  Better to keep doing business as usual until profits rise, the recession ends, the world becomes wealthy again, and you can make the changes without causing a series of quarterly losses on your balance sheet.

Better to keep kicking this problem down the road until you retire or move to another company, preferably one which has already solved this problem so you don’t have to deal with it.

Does this scenario sound familiar? It should if you watch the evening news or read a daily newspaper.  Industry after industry suffers a variation of these problems, some caused by inefficiency, some by technological change, and all exacerbated by the worst recession to hit in the last eighty years.

But this blog deals with publishing, and what I just described to you is the situation at traditional publishers—the big publishers, the ones most people mistakenly call The Big Six (there are more than six, but leave it)—all over New York City.

Last fall, I dealt with these problems in depth.  Before you decide to comment on this post and tell me that traditional publishing will die (which I do not believe), read the first few posts I did in the publishing series, starting here.

I’m grappling with the changes in publishing just like everyone else is.  I knew that the changes—particularly the rise of e-publishing—would hit traditional publishing hard.  And it has, although not as hard as I initially thought.  As Publishers Weekly reported earlier in the month, traditional publishers have remained profitable in the transition so far.

The reasons why should sound familiar to those of you who read my earlier posts.  Publishers Weekly puts it succinctly:  “While the improvement in the economy helped all publishers in 2010, companies where profits improved all pointed to two main contributing factors—cost controls and skyrocketing e-book sales.”

Right now, e-books comprise about 10% of the book market, but some analysts believe that e-books will be as much as 50% of the e-book market by 2015.  Some see evidence that e-books will grow faster than that.  A month ago, a Barnes & Noble executive made news when he stated in a speech that e-books will “dominate the market” in 24 months.

We all know these figures are important.  Daily, writers tell me about their careers and then ask me if they should become independent publishers or go to traditional publishing.  As I’ve said repeatedly, I see no harm in doing both.

Earlier this month, however, I opened my mail to find a big fat warning sign of the future.  And if the problem that I—and hundreds of other writers—noted doesn’t get resolved, then traditional publishing will cease to be viable for all writers.

What happened?

I got a royalty statement for backlist titles of one of my on-going series.  The statement came from a traditional publisher.  Let me give you some background.

A few years ago, the publisher refused to buy the next two books in the series saying that while the series had some growth, the growth was not enough to justify the expense of a new contract.  I started writing some novellas in that series and publishing them in the magazine markets while I searched for a new publisher.

Then the e-book revolution hit, and as an experiment, I put up two of those novellas as e-books. Since they were the first two e-books I had ever done, the covers—in a word—sucked.  I did no promotion and no advertising, except to say in the cover copy that these e-books were part of this particular series.

In the first six months of 2010, those badly designed short novels sold about 300 copies each on Kindle, the only venue they were on at the time.  No advertising, bad covers, just hanging out waiting for buyers to find them.

I would occasionally check the Amazon sales ranking (that weird number you see on each book Amazon publishes, the thing they use to compile their hourly bestseller list).  Even though that ranking did not give me actual sales numbers, I did note that the sales of the novellas were less than the sales of the traditionally published e-books on Kindle in the same series.

In August, I wrote to the traditional publisher, asking that my rights revert.  The kind woman in rights reversal explained to  me that she couldn’t revert the book rights because the e-books were “selling too well” to revert.  Okay. All well and good. What I care about is getting books into the hands of my readers. I figured I would eventually be compensated for this.  I just had to wait until the royalty statement hit.

Which it did. At the beginning of this month.

How many e-books did the traditional publisher say I sold? 30.  That’s right. 30.

When the novellas, which had worse sales rankings from Amazon, sold 300 each.

That 30 number didn’t pass the sniff test for me.  So I talked with other writers who have books in the same genre with the same company. The writers I talked with also had some e-book savvy.

Guess what? They had been shocked by how low their e-book numbers were as well, especially in comparison with their indie published titles.  The indie books which had Amazon rankings indicating fewer sales sold more copies than the traditionally published books by a factor of ten or better.

Let me indulge in another sidebar for a moment.  I’m involved with four different indie publishers, two of which allow me to see the day-to-day operations, and one of which I own part of.  We’ve been having trouble setting up an accounting system that works efficiently for more than 100 different e-book titles.  The problem is, in short, that the ebook distributors report sales by publisher and then by title, and not by author, so if you’re published by AAA Publishing and your book is called  The Embalming and I also have an older book called The Embalming through AAA Publishing and they’re both in e-book, AAA Publisher will get sales figures on a daily basis for The Embalming. Which Embalming does that statement refer to?

Also, the e-stributors report at varying times throughout the year (some daily, some monthly, some quarterly), so if I want to know how many copies my book The Embalming sold in March of 2010, I can’t easily get that information because the info might not have been reported yet from some e-bookstore in some faraway country.

What all of the various indie publishers have figured out is that using a standard spreadsheet for each title is labor-intensive.  You can easily input data into a spreadsheet for one or two or even ten novels.  But when it comes to 50 or 100, the data-entry—figuring out what book belongs where and when (even if you use the estributor’s the computerized spreadsheet)—becomes prohibitive.

What we need is a cloud-based system that can be queried.  For example, the system should easily answer these two questions: How many copies did KKR’s The Embalming sell worldwide in March; and how many copies did KKR’s The Embalming sell through Kobo’s out-of-country distribution channels?  Right now, no spreadsheet program can answer that information easily from a pool of 100 titles and various e-book outlets without a lot of man-hours of data entry.

Traditional publishers—and indie publishers, for that matter—don’t have the staff with the ability to organize this wealth of information. Still, traditional publishers must —by contract— report the information to the best of their ability on royalty statements.

To do so, they revert to an old pre-computer accounting method.  The method existed back when there was too much data to be quickly processed. We all learned it in school.  They used little snippets of data to estimate, often using an algebraic equation that goes something like this:   If The Embalming sold (x) copies in January and e-books sales rose on a trajectory of (y) copies over a six-month period of time, then (x) times 6 adjusted for (y) equals the number of sales of The Embalming.

Close enough.  And frankly, I would be satisfied with that, if the number the publisher had come up with wasn’t so wildly off.

For me, in the instance with the traditional publisher I mentioned above, the difference between 30 copies per title and 300 copies per title is pennies on the dollar.  It’s not worth an audit.

But I never think in small terms.  My training in three fields—journalism, history, and the extrapolative field of science fiction—forces me to think in terms of the future.

Right now, e-book rights are a subsidiary right, negligible and relatively unimportant.  Between two and five years from now, e-book rights will become the dominant book right.

If traditional publishers do not change their accounting methods now, then these accounting methods will end up costing writers hundreds of thousands of dollars per year.  (In some writers’ cases, millions of dollars.)

Those of you who have any knowledge of journalism have just looked up and asked, Why the hell did Rusch bury her lead? That’s the story: publishers are screwing writers on e-book royalties.

But those of you who have had journalism careers know why I buried that lead.  When I was a news director faced with a reporter who had brought me information like the information I gave to you above, I would have said, Sounds like a good story.  But it’s all supposition.  Now get me something concrete.  Somthing I can use.

So that’s what I tried to do.  Last week, I contacted dozens of traditionally published writers who also had put up some backlist on their own in electronic format.  The writers who had the information handy responded with actual numbers.  The writers who didn’t told me that they had worried about their royalty numbers when the statements arrived, but had no real proof that anything had gone awry.

I also spoke to some trusted agent friends, several lawyers who are active in the publishing industry, a few certified public accountants, and other professionals who see a lot of publishing data cross their desks, and I asked those people if they had heard of a problem like this.

To a person, they all confirmed that they had. All spoke off the record, none with numbers.  A few hinted that they couldn’t talk because of pending action.

In other words, I got the confirmation I needed, just nothing that a reputable journalist could print.  Most people spoke to me on what’s called deep background, confirming my theory, and giving me some suggestions of places to look, and people to contact.  Several people, mostly writers, spoke on the record, but rather than using their information in isolation, I’ve chosen to keep their statistics confidential and to only go with mine.

Frankly, what I’ve learned is this:

Right now, some—and I must emphasize some, not all—traditional publishing houses are significantly underreporting e-book sales.  In some cases these sales are off by a factor of 10 or more.

This is a problem, but at the moment, not a serious one.  When e-books are 10% of the market, we’re talking a relatively insignificant amount of money per author. As one long-term writer said to me, “Ever since I got into this business, I expect my publisher to screw me on the sales figures.  This is no different.”

If you don’t understand that writer’s point of view, read the trust-me post I wrote a few weeks ago.

In the past, I would have agreed with that writer.  But I don’t in this instance.  We’re at an important moment in publishing.  We have the opportunity to change the behavior of traditional publishers.  We can, with an effort, get them to change their accounting practices.

The reason I started the blog post the way I did is this: I wanted to explain, before I got to the heart of this post, how traditional publishing works.  I wanted understanding before I worried some of you.

Because here’s the truth: traditional publishers are not indulging in a criminal act. They’re doing the best they can out of necessity.  They see no reason to spend precious dollars revamping their accounting systems to accommodate e-publishing when those dollars can be used elsewhere in the company.  Especially when an accounting change will cost them money, and might lead to payouts that will hurt quarterly profits for months to come.

It’s up to writers—and writers organizations—to force publishers to allocate those scarce dollars to develop systems for accurate e-book accounting.

If you are a traditionally published author, do not—I repeat, do not—write a blistering letter to your publisher accusing him of stealing your money.  Instead, contact any writers organization you belong to and point that organization to this blog.

What needs to happen is this: writers organizations need to band together and order group audits of e-book sales on behalf of their traditionally published authors.  One organization cannot handle the cost of this group accounting alone.  It’s better to have all of the writers organizations work in concert here.

A group audit of all the traditional publishers in various publishing divisions will force an accounting change—and that’s all we need.  But we need it before e-books become the dominant way that books are sold.

If you’re a traditionally published author who has also produced some self-published e-books and you want to do more than contact your organization, do this:

1. Look over all of your royalty statements.  Compare your indie e-book sales to your traditionally published e-book sales.  Make sure your comparison is for the same time period. For example, do not compare January 2011 sales to January 2010.

2. Compare similar books.  It’s best if you have books in the same series, some indie published and some traditionally published.  If you don’t have series books, then compare books in the same genre only.  Comparing romance sales to science fiction sales will not work because romance novels always outsell sf novels.

3. If you see a discrepancy, report that—with the numbers—to your writers organization.  Be clear in the letter you send to your organization as to what level of involvement you want in this issue.  Are you only there to provide background information? Will you take part in a group audit? Will you work on this project?

I’ll be honest.  I’m not going to participate in any group action.  Even though I’ve published with every single major publisher in New York, I only have two books caught in this problem.  I’m more interested in getting the rights in those books reverted than I am in insignificant back royalties.

If I was still a reporter, I would spend the month or two going after this story with a vengeance. But I am not.  In  nonfiction, I am just your humble blogger, stirring up the pot.  My career is in fiction, and I have found no problem with the publishers of my frontlist books.  I also have six novels with firm deadlines that won’t allow me to take time away from fiction writing to pursue this.

So all I can offer is a blueprint.

If you’re a reporter who specializes in the publishing industry and you want to tackle this story, e-mail me privately.  I’ll tell you what I can without revealing confidential sources.

If you’re a traditionally published writer, please follow the steps above.

If you’re an indie-only writer, stop gloating and for heavens’ sake don’t tell me or anyone else that this is proof traditional publishing is dead.  The majority of writers don’t want to self-publish, even when told how easy and financially beneficial it is.  They want a traditionally published novel.

Here’s what I believe: If a writer wants to publish traditionally and can secure a contract, then that writer should be treated fairly, with accurate sales reporting and good royalty rates.

Let me state again for the record.  I do not believe that anyone in traditional publishing is setting out to screw writers on this issue.  I do believe the scenario I wrote in the first 800 words of this blog: I think traditional publishers are overwhelmed and stretched to the limit.  Accurate e-book sales reporting is not even on their radar.

Right now, changing the accounting system is not high on their priority list.  It’s up to the writers—acting in concert through their writers organizations—to make accurate e-book sales reporting and accurate e-book royalty accounting a number-one priority in publishing houses across the country.

Let’s work together to solve this glitch before it becomes an industry-wide disaster for writers—anywhere from two to five years from now.

Last week, a few of you asked in e-mail why I have a donate button on this blog.  Also, last week, this blog marked its two-year anniversary. Every Thursday for two years without a miss, I have published an article on freelancing, business, writing or publishing (and sometimes on all four of those topics).  For the first 18 months, those blog posts were part of a book I was writing called The Freelancer’s Survival Guide (which, even though it’s now published, is still available for free on this website).

Initially, I had hoped to make my publishing articles into a book as well, but the industry is changing too fast.  I cannot make the publishing articles into a book that will be accurate in the short time it takes to produce.  So when this month rolled around, I did the numbers like I always do.  When I do a strict economic analysis, I am losing about $100 per week on each post—even with donations.  That’s because I can’t leverage these posts into any other income source.

However, I always ask the next question: am I getting something besides money out of these blogs? Right now, I am.  I would be doing the same research, the same work, and the same analysis with or without the blog.  I would be discussing the changes with my writer pals.  But I would lose the week-to-week contact with writers all over the world, who comment on the blog or in e-mail, sharing their own stories.

And that would be a significant loss.  It more than makes up for the financial loss.  But the donate button is here to minimize some of the financial damage, and to encourage me in busy or difficult weeks to carve out the time to write my post.

I hope that answers the question.  As always, I appreciate the feedback and all of the support.

“The Business Rusch: Royalty Statements” copyright 2011 by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.



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Gwyneth Paltrow makes bulimia fancy again. - Robert Pattinson is spreading disease. - Emily Browning stars in a movie about high-end date rape and,

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We're in the technology news business. To that end, if it's old, it isn't news. Given that you're reading this, chances are that you live, eat, sleep and breathe the tech lifestyle and want to get the news as soon as it happens. ...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Roofing Contractors Vancouver - 5 Inquiries to Ask yourself

Roofing Vancouver - Faq's

1. Repair or Replace?

There's no opinion like an expert opinion. Most contractors will provide you with a totally free estimate. Get a list of a few trusted contractors and contact them well in advance of when you wish to get your roof fixed so you can compare costs and opinions.

2. Beauty versus Practicality?

Discuss this together with your spouse or partner. (The kids could care least the children.) Truth is, nobody wants an ugly roof just like nobody wants to be seen with bed hair. If you've got a great quality roof and you just have to repair it, it's worthwhile to pay for the price of the original shingle instead of doing patchwork. A roof replacement doesn't happen frequently (we hope!) and thus make a decision that best suits you and your family well or it'll stick out like a sore thumb everyday you go home.

3. Must i replace the roof in order to sell the home for additional?

Consider this cautiously before making a choice. With respect to the roofing material you choose, a new roof can last between twenty, fifty, to one-hundred years! This means you have to look into the year from the roof that's currently over your head first. Are you at year 18 of a 20-year warranted roof or year 30 of a 50-year warranted roof? Obviously, the standard is what makes the rooftop keep going longer, but when you're not likely to remain in your present home throughout your lifetime, the higher expense might not be worth your investment. Although a new roof can improve the worth of your selling price, the increase may not be enough to pay for neglect the and that's bound to hurt your wallet.

4. Could it be a good idea for me to repair the roof myself?

Sure it is. But before you do, consult an expert first. You can perform it yourself, however, you shouldn't be a complete ‘lone ranger.' With respect to the extent of your repair, you may or might not change your mind. Either way, it helps to obtain a professional eye on the problem first and perhaps a free quote to help you do the math later and see if it's truly worth your time, sweat, and cash to be mister or miss fix-it.

5. When is a great time to get the roof replaced?

Weather may cause delays from days to weeks. Most people prepare yourself to have their roof replaced in the summer once they know someone is going to be home throughout the day for a solid two weeks. Once you've this period in mind, create a call to some trusted contractor months in advance to get a quote. Some companies get booked up fast and chances are, they're the most reputable. Preparing in advance of the summer also provides you with time for you to ask around many compare costs...especially if you need to have the roof made by a specified date.


The very best Roofing Company In Vancouver!

Is there a leak in your home's roof? Have you lost shingles or tiles inside a storm? Have overhanging branches caused damage? Is your roof a lot more than 20 years old and showing wear and tear? Are your gutters overwhelmed and draining poorly?

If the response to any of these questions is "Yes" it is time to call the very best roofing contractor Vancouver - Crown Roofing & Drainage.

For over a century Crown Roofing continues to be the roofer of choice among our Vancouver neighbors. We offer complete roofing services, from emergency repairs and roof restoration, to complete roof replacement. All using the finest quality materials, installed with precision and the highest level of customer support.


The roof of the Vancouver house is the first type of defence against wind, rain, snow, ice along with other weather elements. Make sure it is up to the task. Among Vancouver Roofing companies, only Crown Roofing has got the depth of expertise and successful history to make sure your roofing system will be properly designed and installed.


One reason Crown Roofing continues to be the most successful roofing company in Vancouver is our resolve for our neighbors. We treat your home as if it were our very own and we were building a roof to protect our very own family. That's what neighbors do, and you can count on Crown Roofing being here to support you and also back our work. After all, we've been repairing and replacing roofs in Vancouver since 1902!


Visit the Roofers Vancouver for a FREE inspection and evaluation of your roof. Make sure you get the best roof for the Vancouver home, in the best value. We build roofs to last!


Monday, April 11, 2011

Tacoma Roofing contractor: Make your Home Beautiful

Not many people understand the worth of a solid roof, but your knowledgeable Tacoma Roofing contractor does. From first hand experience, they will be able to tell you why you need a strong, secure, and leak-free roof in your home.

Your local Tacoma Roofer is well aware how important a financial investment your house is for you, especially since it is a lasting one. Your home may have been damaged slowly through the years and you have to take steps to reduce this damage. For a lot of people, keeping their property beautiful is also a matter of pride. You will find those too who'd like to turn their house right into a economical and efficient living place. Your homes roof is an integral part of your property and plays a role in each one of the aspects mentioned above. For this reason, you need to employ the services of qualified a Tacoma Roofing company.

Kinds of Roofs installed with a Tacoma Roofing contractor

Among the more common types of roofs are asphalt shingles, steel or metal sheeting, fiberglass, slate and terra cotta tiles.

Each type of roof invites distinct problems, however they can all be easily looked after with a trusted Tacoma Roofer. It's vital that you nip roof problems in the bud before they become too costly or dangerous. You are able to schedule a scheduled appointment with the Tacoma Roofer to consider a glance at your homes roof to see if there are any issues or potential problems with it. If there are, they might be in a position to let you know how to approach them.

A Tacoma Roofer Helps you to Build Strong Homes

The exteriors of any house, primarily the roof and gutters, face the onslaught of bitter and varying climate conditions, every single day. Painting, repairing, and cleaning gutters may be necessary. In some instances you might want to replace them completely. Usually, when your gutters show signs of trouble, your homes roof also needs to be inspected for problems. Whatever issues there might be, a skilled Tacoma Roofing contractor can examine them in detail and suggest the remedy.

In case your gutters often clog all too often, or there are leaks along the walls of your house, it might imply that there is debris piled-up on the top. Loose branches, piles of leaves, along with other light objects which are swept on your roof throughout a storm can all contribute towards damaging your homes roof, which damages can be lasting. An educated Tacoma Roofing contractor will tell you that birds, mice, and other types of rodents often build nest within the debris that collects on the top. While these nests may look rather innocent, they're great at collecting moisture, which can lead to loose shingles, mold, and indoor leaks in your house. Additionally, it may also cause vermin infestation. Following a storm, your Tacoma Roofer will suggest that you inspect your homes roof for any signs of debris or damage.

Reverse Damages by using a Tacoma Roofing contractor

However high quality the rooftop may be, it is going to wear down over time. There are shingles which are referred to as "25 year" or "30 year" shingles, but those numbers are just associated with warranty produced by the manufacturers. They hardly ever require that long. Realistically speaking, "25 year" shingles won't last more than fifteen to twenty years. In an area that is prone to storms, shingles or even the entire roof should be replaced every ten years. With a Tacoma Roofer, the cost will be lower than what you believe.

If there you lose any shingles, or there's some damage to them, a Tacoma Roofing company can assist you to. Damaged shingles can lead to indoor leaks, as the substrate from the roof becomes exposed to the sun and rain. Shingles which are loose or broken can slip off and pose a possible hazard to people standing below. Missing shingles produce a gap which allows rain, wind, ice, and debris to develop underneath the adjoining shingles, which creates a "domino effect" that affects other shingles and they become loose or broken. A comprehensive investigation is going to be produced by the local Tacoma Roofer, should you call them track of your suspicions of loose or missing shingles.

Your Tacoma Roofing company come in a situation to tell you what the best option is for your roof. In case your roof isn't in a good shape, it is advised you have it replaced completely. The Tacoma Roofing company can take you through the various roofing options available for you which will fit your requirements and your budget.

Tacoma Roofing contractor: Enhancing your Home's Efficiency

Your homes roof shelters you from storms, sleet, and hail. By giving adequate ventilation, your homes roof protects your house from overheating, and by holding in the heat, it keeps your house warm. That's why you need to ready your roof from indoors as well as outdoors for any sort of weather emergency. A professional Tacoma Roofing company can offer assist in this case.

To begin with, inspect your homes roof thoroughly for any and all sorts of kind of damage, prior to the beginning of a new season. The gutters should be clear, debris should not be piled on or trapped under shingles, tthere shouldn't be homes of squirrels or birds in the eaves or attic, and also the roof ought to be structurally sound. For that last part, you will need the assistance of the local Tacoma Roofer. It can be quite dangerous to climb to the roof of your house. This is where the contractor from Tacoma Roofer is available in. He will read the strength and security of your roof and shingles, and do a general inspection from the entire roof structure, to make certain that it's in proper working order. They will be in a position to point towards issues that you need to keep an eye on and problems you might not have spotted.

You will need all of the help you could possibly get in the Tacoma Roofer. You are able to help your roof by installing a gutter guard or leaf cover to help prevent debris from forming in your gutters. The extra weight of debris prevents the gutters from draining and may even tear them down. Check the fasteners on your gutters and when they're loose, tighten them. Do something to change worn screws and brackets. If you have a chimney in your home, inspect the bricks and mortar signs of wear. A trusted mason could be recommended because of your Tacoma Roofer, if there are any repairs to be done.

Tacoma Roofing contractor: Someone You Can Count On
In the event that you know or suspect that there is a problem, your Tacoma Roofing company should be contacted. They are able to use their knowledge and expertise to get your home in ace condition by simply focusing on the roof. Your roof deserves attention. So call them today, to enable them to conclude caring for your roof.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

What is Difference Between Commercial Roofing Companies From Residential Roofing Companies

If you are considering hiring a roofing company to re roof your home or building then you can be wondering what the differences are between residential roofing companies and commercial roofing companies. To begin with, the one huge difference is that often times an industrial roofing company may have signed a contract with and be obligated to a roofing union in able to focus on union commercial jobs.

If this is the situation then their labor costs will prohibit them from focusing on non union residential jobs. Beyond that, if a commercial roofing company hasn't signed a contract with a union they may be outfitted simply for commercial jobs which of course means their workers and equipment may not be consistent with smaller residential jobs.

Residential roofing contractors in general often run smaller companies and hence, are more in a position to bid competitively on residential jobs, which are usually small compared to comercial jobs. Actually, quite often residential roofing contractors will run one man operations, where the contractor that you simply speak with could be the one that actually does the work on the building.

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Also, liability insurance for commercial roofing is more epensive along with a larger bond is required for a commercial roofing work which can make it not cost effective for any commercial roofer to do residential roofing jobs.

Still one more factor is the fact that commercial jobs can operate on a tighter time frame for just about any quantity of reasons, requiring an industrial contractor to train on a larger crew or crews which again makes smaller jobs not as profitable for them.


Distinction between Commercial Roofing and Residential Roofing

Are you aware that the rooftop of a house or building includes a huge impact on the entire structure itself? Damage caused to roofs due to natural or another disasters leads to a considerable lack of property everywhere. The kind of materials accustomed to construct the roof that ought to be sturdy and long-lasting, the way where the roof has been installed and even its timely maintenance are extremely crucial. There's two kinds of roofs which are used on all the buildings that people see around us: commercial and residential. Even though it may seem that commercial roofing is done just for businesses or offices and residential roofing is done for apartments and houses, in reality the differences tend to be more complex than that.

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Residential roofing is generally completed just by one hired contractor but commercial roofing usually takes a whole team to accomplish the job. This is because an industrial roof tends to be larger when it comes to sq ft than the usual residential roof.
Commercial roofs need to be made carefully keeping the nature and purpose of your building in your mind. For instance, if there is a cafe or restaurant within the building then external components like ventilation systems, smoke stacks and pipes will be required. Residential roofs usually do not have such components apart from a chimney or two at most.
Commercial roofs is commonly flat in design to support further changes in a later period, whereas most residential roofs have peaks and other architectural features like roof gardens.
Commercial roofing is a lot more expensive than residential roofing because of the special tools, materials and safety equipment which are needed onsite. Usually the patching or maintenance work is done in segments unlike for any residential roof where the repair or replacement work could be carried out a short time. This is one more reason why the gear employed for residential roofs is often smaller and less costly as well.
Commercial roof installations have a longer time to accomplish compared to residential roof installations and therefore are usually constructed in large sections. During this phase however, you should ensure that there are no leakages, cracks or other visible deterioration signs as it can certainly cause considerable harm to the whole building.
It is important to install the right roof for a building depending on its purpose. Make sure that you hire a construction company that utilizes first class materials and it has the best equipment to do the job or neglect the risk turning out to be a huge loss later.


Commercial Roofing Contractors: How to purchase a Qualified Commercial Roofing Company

If a clients are seeking to have work done on its roof, it is important to work with commercial roofing contractors that have an enthusiastic knowledge of any special needs that the business might have. For example, a roofing job can often be disruptive for the operation of economic as always. Because of this, it may be essential for the company to become temporarily shut down, or the roofing to occur after business hours have ended. A roofing contractor that understands these needs can work plus a business to make certain these types of issues are minimized.

Roofing And Roofing Contractor In ATLANTA, GA by roofinghub

The first thing that a company should do when it's trying to find commercial roofing contractors is to discover who other businesses in the region are working through. Obviously, this article not be helpful if it may come as an indicator from competitors, but you will find circumstances by which it is not too hard to find this information from suppliers or retailers. Since roofing is not an industry-specific service, this post is easily available.

It's a good idea for any business to obtain touching a minimum of three commercial roofing contractors to make bids on the price. In this manner, the company could obtain a better price. It's also vital that you make sure that each of the roofing contractors is licensed and bonded. These details can be found by permitting in touch with their state contractor's board. This makes it possible to determine if there has been any claims filed against the company in the past.

When examining bids, it is only as important to check out what services are being offered and which products will be used as it is to look at the overall cost. The costs can vary quite drastically, but as tempting as it can be to choose the lowest bid, this is not always the best option. Oftentimes, more costs now will mean fewer costs over time due to an undesirable roofing job. To help investigate the quality of the job, it's a good idea to check on using the Bbb in order to see if the company has been accredited, and when it's not, to at least see what its rating is.


Selecting a Commercial Roofing Contractor

corrugated roofing by jpignanello

When you are searching for a roofer for your commercial roofing project you need to look for a contractor who understands the special needs of a commercial roofing project. For example it can be harder to operate on the business during business hours so either the company needs to be turn off for the repair or replacement or the job has to be done after conventional business hours. May be the roofer you are thinking about for the job willing and able to operate around your schedule constrictions which might involve working weekends or evenings?

When you start your research for a roofer you don't only have to answer those questions however, you should also find someone which will perform a high quality job with no lot of time delays. Going about finding someone can feel as an obstacle by itself but there are some ways to make the search easier.

Ask friends and family for referrals and try to find a minimum of three contractors to give you written bids in your job. Prior to going any further you have to ensure that the contractors you are thinking about are fully licensed and bonded. An easy search with the state contractor's board will verify in case your roofer is licensed and when there are any past judgments or claims against their license.

Once you select three or four roofers to put bids, you need to get ready for the bids to be widely varied. Roofers will have brand preferences that will vary and could factor in more or less than the next guy for any labor estimate. The greater detailed a written bid may be the more helpful it will be to focus on in which the cost are going to be incurred. Don't, however, select a roofer based solely on the bid price. Any low ball bids might be tempting to take, but if they are low due to low quality workman ship it may not be worthwhile in the end.

As the saying goes, you generally get what you pay for, if you are able to afford a mid-priced bid it certainly is a good idea to increase in your price range instead of down. You also should select your roofer based on how professional these were and how comfortable you anticipate you will be dealing with them.

Finally your cost will be different based on what type of roofing material you select as well as the cost to haul your old roof to the landfill. Should you be looking for places to chop corners on your roof, rather than cutting labor set you back may want to inquire about metallic roof option. Metal roofs could be cost effective and efficient making them overall money savers for the long term, and on commercial buildings they may be very low maintenance. Plus since they can be placed along with an existing roof, you don't need to have the old one removed and hauled away, that make a big impact on your cost.

Selecting a comerical roofing company nearer your home, does not have to become a struggle. For more information, visit


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Seattle Roofing Contractors - How To Find The very best

In the home of rain and sleet, commercial coffee and grunge, and the famous space needle, you'll find a house which will suit you. Seattle, Washington can be a good place to construct a house, however, you need Seattle roofing contractors to assist you. Your homes roof is, after all, the crowning glory of your house, and your strongest line of defense from the elements. You must have something which is not only created to last, but created to attract and make your home more beautiful

Harsh Weather

Why are roofing contractors essential within this part of the country? Because Seattle is usually bombarded by rain and other harsh weather conditions, you'll need a roof that may withstand all of the forces of nature. With this in mind, you'll need people who be aware of Seattle weather best, and who understand what materials can best get into your homes roof for it to last far longer in the region. In addition to all this, you need to blend with the rest of the houses inside your living area, which means you cannot simply get whatever roof you please.

In all these aspects, a Seattle roofers will be able to help you out. All you need to do is search for Seattle roofing contractors online so that you can get the best value for your money without wondering if the contractor will suddenly try to escape with it and leave you roof-less.

Why the Contractor Model Works

If you want to put up your roof by yourself, you will have to buy a whole lot of materials, secure permits and licenses, and get materials that are suited to help you stay safe against harsh extremes of Seattle weather. Which means that if you are a DIY kind of guy or gal, you'll have to go through a large amount of legwork in order to get the job done.

On the other hand, a Seattle roofer can perform all the jobs for you personally and provide a package that can help you save money and time. Because contractors operate under licenses and buy materials in large quantities, they can get discounts on building materials that you'd not otherwise get if you were buying merely for your own personel home.

Roofing Associations

Roof tiles by peachesarerottening

Most roofing contractors also fit in with roofing organizations which are bound by strict guidelines and standards. When they prosper on their roofing job, they can showcase their roofing contractors association; if they do poorly, they can ruin the reputation of their roofing contractors association and keep other contractors within the association from receiving targeted roofing jobs. There is lots of pressure to do well, to help you be confident that prefer a roofing job done in Seattle, you can get a contractor from the roofing association to help you out.

For example, Seattle Roof Brokers operates with over five hundred roofing contractors within the Puget Sound. This group has over fifty years of roofing experience and experience dealing with Seattle roofing contractors, therefore it knows what kind of roofing you want. The Roof Brokers group can put you in contact using the contractor that you'll require so you do not have to look for contractors individually.

What In the event you Demand from Your Contractor?

Whenever you finally obtain a contractor in the Seattle area, you must do a lot of research about the roofing contractors themselves. Ask for a list of previous companies or persons the contractor caused in order to get a definite look at the roofing contractor's work ethics and roof quality. Your roofer should also possess the appropriate working licenses and city licenses required by the Seattle city government.

Select a Seattle roofers that insures its employees, which has courteous workers who'll respect your opinions and make sure that your needs are met. Make sure that you obtain the best value for your money: if you are not satisfied using the job, you have to be guaranteed either money-back, or a free, new roof. Moreover, you also require the workers to find the job done on time, so be strict together with your deadlines - and discover a contractor that's as strict when you are.

You need guarantees and warranties on your roof, so locate a contractor that may meet your financial allowance and roofing needs. If you get in touch with good Seattle roofing contractors, you may be guaranteed a great roof along with a better house right in this fantastic city.

Selecting the Right Roofing Contractor Company for Replacing Your Roof

The shingles in your roof need replacing and you're simply minded to find a roofer to change the them. Maybe you have already known as a few and are evaluating which contractor to use for your upcoming roof repair. How can you choose the best contractor for caring for your roof? Here are a number of things you should consider when searching for the best roofer.

Where's the roofer located? It is important to hire a roofing contractor that's local. Chances are you will receive the next step of service if the roofing company is located near your home or comes with an office near your residence.
References. To look for the reliability of the contractor, references ought to be provided of their previous customers who're prepared to vouch that excellent service was received. This should not be the only real element in choosing your future roofing contractor as some may claim they value the privacy of the clients and don't wish to bother them. If this is the situation, request business related references. The locations that supply the contractor with supplies can reveal the amount of materials and regularity of supplying the contractor to help determine their stability.
So how exactly does the roofer company handle complaints? There's a multitude of problems that can arise during the progress of the roofing replacement. Ask what their process is for handling complaints when they arise. It's also a great idea to get a past client reference who had a complaint which was resolved to the satisfaction of the client.
Terms of payment. Do you know the terms of payment to do the job? What is the down payment and amount due upon completion? Even though it is certainly reasonable that a substantial payment be made before a contractor begins focus on a project, it is highly recommended that full payment is not made until following the entire job is completed.
Written contract. All terms of the roofing replacement ought to be put in an itemized contract. No the main contracting job should depend on verbal assurances.
Bonding. There are stuff that will go wrong with roofing installations that end up costing quite a bit of money to fix. Should this happen in your roofing replacement, you'll feel a whole lot better understanding that your roofing contractor is bonded. This can supply the funds to fix whatever mistakes were made. Look for a roofing contractor that is bonded.
Manufacturer Warranty. Quality materials for roofing typically have a warranty. It is important to verify that there is actually a warranty on the materials being installed. Request a duplicate from the warranty.
Period of time in Business How long has got the company you are interviewing experienced business? A short amount of time in business may reflect instability. When the contractor has been in business less than three years, verify how long they've actually been in the market. A new contractor might have a long time experience focusing on roofs before they form their very own business. Seek a business that's been around for 3 or more years, or in which the contractor has had a lot more years performing roofing replacements. It can shouldn't be the only real factor, everyone has to start sometime. Balance this with referrals and the other points raised in the following paragraphs.
Appropriate Permits. A Seattle roofing contractor ought to know what permits are required for fixing your roof. They should be aware of how you can obtain these permits for you. Ask the contractor whether or not they will obtain the permits necessary to repair the rooftop.
Liability. If a worker becomes injured, who is accountable for the workers comp? If the contractor's equipment damages your home, who is responsible for the repairs? A great contractor will give you certificates of insurance for liability and workers comp before they begin repairing your roof.
Subcontractors. Verify if the contractor will be using subcontractors. If so, it is highly recommended that everything contained in this article for verifying if the contractor is credible also needs to be relevant to subcontractors. You need to get the names and license amounts of all subcontractors. You should verify whether each subcontractor can also be insured which means you are not held liable for their accidents.
Pending Legal Actions. You should verify whether there are any legal actions against the contractor. This is not merely essential for verifying whether the roofing company is legitimate (credible roofing companies should not have to defend themselves in the court), it's also important just because a lost lawsuit could cause the contractor to go bankrupt. For those who have made a substantial deposit for services immediately prior to the company goes bankrupt, you could lose thousands of dollars and not have your roofing completed.
Material Disposal. Who is accountable for disposing of the waste generated in the roof being replaced? Will your contractor handle all aspects of the? Can there be one more cost for disposing of this waste?
NRCA Membership. Membership in local or national roofing associations, such as the NRCA, shows commitment to staying up to date with the very best means of roof replacement and maintenance. Find a roofer having a high standard of education regarding their trade.
Replacing your roof is a significant investment. Celebrate sense to inquire about serious questions before working with a roofing contractor. Here are a few more tips that you should consider when selecting the best roofing contractor for your upcoming roofing replacement.

Payment. Do not make a full payment for services unless all jobs are finished.
Inspection. Don't create a full payment without having done a final inspection of services rendered.
Workers liens. Don't fully purchase the roofing replacement job until worker's lien releases happen to be obtained.
Oral Agreements. No agreement ought to be made verbally without backing it up in writing. Every point that are important to you should be produced in writing.


To your SEO needs, you should check out Vancouver web design and Vancouver Seo agency

There is no denying the internet is just about the biggest financial market nowadays. Practically it is all totally anchored on the net. Currently, there are other than 182 million sites in the internet whilst still being counting. If all these websites offers the possiblility to earn money, think of the limitless opportunities that can be based in the internet. More importantly, using the emergence of web sites, the requirement of internet hosting and Search| Engine Optimization is significantly defined.

Search Engine Optimization is basically the operation of increasing the visibility of the web site. As such, if you'd like your web site being visible to visitors, you ought to look for SEO Company. The optimization strategy considers how search spiders work and what people usually and what keywords they'll use. The primary objective of SEO is making sites visible searching sites with the natural or organic way.

SEO Website 2 | Web Optimization Services | Internet Marketing by Cave Web Works | SEO | SMO | Internet Marketing

Organic search optimization or natural search engine marketing can be a saying used in describing unpaid, algorithm-driven outcomes of any particular engine. In other words, organic SEO uses natural strategies in achieving search engine results ranking. While there are two camps that search optimization companies may fall to, which are the 'White Hat' and the 'Black Hat', organic SEO could not fall under the 'Black Hat' camp.

Organic search engine optimization can be a highly specialized and complex practice which could literally dictate the success or failure of your online business. Since search sites often modify their algorithms, organic SEO just isn't very easy whatsoever. When search bots modify their algorithms, factors that allow your internet site to seem facing potential clients are drastically changed also. Thus, in order to cope with these changes, SEO tactics and strategies has to be employed.

It is usually ethical to use search engines engine optimization since search sites nowadays have grown to be extremely advanced they can easily determine if an internet site is trying to control their search indexes. Thus it is empirical to use search engine optimization practices which are done in a way that appear natural.

The approaches used by organic search engine optimization and artificial SEO are really significantly different. Basically, organic SEO uses content when compared with artificial SEO's technical loopholes. Moreover, natural search engine marketing provides attracting links rather than linking schemes used by artificial SEO. Natural SEO also creates valuable resource contrary to artificial SEO's algorithm chasing. With all of these, it's possible to clearly realise why organic search engine optimization is better than artificial search engine optimization. Even though latter may be more challenging and complex, it makes favorable results which can be beneficial for any site. Fortunately, there are a lot of Vancouver SEO companies today that provide the organic method in affordable rates and packages.

Search engine marketing Appears on the Scene

online marketing 2nd conference by IOETI 2000

There was a time when search engine optimization was actually not necessary.

Even as late being a decade ago, should you created a Web site anywhere, Google indexed it and also you gained visibility in its search results. Your page has been with a free "estates" where anybody could put in a page and Google didn't mind. It could also have been a pure affiliate page without original content and Google still indexed it.

The situation is unrecognizably different now.

Affiliate pages with "cookie-cutter" content duplicated everywhere might never get to the Google index; exactly the same fate is likely for those pages you add in on a free-for-all website. As well as "proper" websites with your own website name didn't achieve visibility on the list of proliferating sites in millions.

These would not have mattered, except for a very important factor. It absolutely was Google that provided the bread and butter for that millions of smaller businesses which could not afford expensive marketing campaigns. In case your site was on the list of top few sites the appeared before a searcher's eyes when that individual looked for your product, you've got hundreds as well as thousands of visitors, a lot of whom even bought your product or service.

Search engine marketing (SEO) entered the scene. Search results specialists "reverse-engineered" to recognize the standards that Google consider for showing websites near the top of its search results pages. These factors were then consciously integrated into your Web pages in the hope that Google will show your internet site one of the primary ten results it showed on the first page.

As more of your competitors adopted seo practices, things became difficult again. Your role began to slip if your competitors did the SEO better. SEO battles became serious fights with every dirty trick working.

There were "black hat" SEO practitioners who showed one page to search engines and another to human visitors. As search engines like google were not bothered with readability, you could fill the "search engine" page with pure gibberish, but gibberish written in wherein the engine dutifully indexed high.

A war of wits followed between unscrupulous SEO practitioners and check engines. Google changed its ranking algorithms regularly to operate around practices that allowed low value content to seem near the top of its search results. After all, Google's success leaned on providing value to searchers, not merchants. And SEO practitioners developed new tricks.

We'll examine search engine optimization in the number of articles, starting having an overall look at on-line or Web marketing.


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