7 Things Godzilla Can Teach us About Search Advertising
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Posted by admin on 08/23/2014 | Short Link

Digital marketing can be overwhelming if youve never stepped onto that stage before. The same is true of Godzilla — so huge! So unpredictable! So impossible to understand! The good news is there are plenty of well-educated, experienced digital marketers to guide you to the answers you need. And one movie about a few enormous creatures that can do that as well.

1. Standing around looking dazed isnt helpful for anyone.
A staggering number of small and mid-sized businesses have yet to assert themselves online with paid search advertising. Businesses that shake the daze and embrace search marketing are not just leaps and bounds ahead of their competition, they could be the only ad showing up on certain keywords. These are the guys who will avoid being eaten.

2. Go in with all your forces. Or just one strong US Navy Lieutenant.
Spending too little is the same as spending nothing. At the same time, depending on your business and goals, you can spend relatively little and still have an impact with search advertising. This is one reason search marketing was made for small business – total control over the spend at every moment. Go big one minute, pull back and pinpoint your budget the next. Either way can work.

3. Killing three birds with one stone sounds like it wont work. And it wont.
Getting specific with your targeting is critical in search advertising and killing monsters. The nature of search allows you to target in dimensions that will blow your mind: By timing (day, time of day, day of the week, week in the month, seasonally according to your business needs), by geography, and by device type. Drilling into exactly the right parameters gives you the kill shot.

4. When the time is right, breathe fire.
Timing is one of the strongest levers you can pull in search advertising. Aside from serving ads that are sensibly timed seasonally, take a close look at real-life events that can influence consumers. Maybe your city is hosting the Olympic trials for track and field — youll know the dates for this event at least a year in advance, and can begin planning your campaigns to take advantage of this. Breathe fire into your budget at just the right time to tip your ads into the best position.

5. The fight for the top is fierce for a reason.
In search advertising, showing up at the top of the search results page is essential — thats where most clicks happen. Getting to that top spot comes from a combination of bidding and ad quality. Ad quality is determined largely by whether your ad is relevant to searches, which is evaluated by click-thrus to your landing page and landing page quality. Taking care of all of these elements of your search advertising will help you rise like Godzilla, where the power of your reach is matched by your ginormous tail.

6. Mayhem makes everything confusing and upsetting.
Very few business owners are comfortable with disorganization and guess-work when it comes to finances. Fittingly, we dont like mayhem in search marketing – we like order, predictability and reports with lots of neat rows of numbers. These reports are the tools that drive smarter decisions based on actual results. Thoughtful planning, tracking spend and ROI and optimizing to get the most out of every dollar conquers the mayhem and keeps everything ship shape.

7. Your competition might be underground, feeding on nuclear energy and waiting to scramble onto the scene when youre in the middle of a nap.
See above, Standing around looking dazed isnt helpful for anyone.

Lesson learned? Get into search advertising immediately, corner your specific market with smart budgeting, strong ads, sensible targeting and the occasional firestorm of bidding. Use your reports to make better decisions. Do this before your competitors get strong on nuclear energy and seize the day for themselves.

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Malversation, graft raps filed vs ex-Biliran town mayor over unliquidated cash …
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Posted by admin on 08/23/2014 | Short Link

Records show that Fumar was repeatedly asked by the COA to explain his expenditures and non-liquidation of cash advances amounting to P236,807.09 through demand letters sent on February 7, 2006, January 21, 2008 and March 18, 2008, but the amount remained unliquidated, it noted.

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40 years later, Fort Collins trails well-traveled
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Posted by admin on 08/22/2014 | Short Link

A 2013 City Citizen Survey Report revealed Fort Collins residents love one thing above all else in the Choice City: the citys trail system.

As Fort Collins celebrates 150 years this month, plans for growing the 36-mile paved trail system move forward. Someday, a person will be able to use the trail system from Fort Collins to ride their bikes to Loveland and across Interstate 25 to Greeley, said Marty Heffernan, executive director for the city of Fort Collins recreation department.

In a 2013 survey, 96 percent of respondents rated Fort Collins trail network as very good or good, the highest mark for any of the citys services.

Its easy to see why people love the trails, Heffernan said.

Im a huge fan of the trails, and for me, its an example of one of the best uses of public funding, Heffernan said. The trails are accessible to everyone, and they not only promote a lifestyle of health and wellness but also of social interaction. They really do connect people to the parks and the community.

Year-round, youre bound to find runners, walkers, bicyclists, commuters and many others using the trails in this fitness-focused community.

The 6.93-mile east-west Spring Creek Trail connecting Edora, Rolland Moore and Spring Canyon parks is the systems most popular, attracting more than 650,000 users in 2012, according to the citys trail counting study.

Next popular is the 10.1-mile Poudre Trail, which meanders along the Poudre River from Overland Trail at Lyons Park to the Environmental Learning Center on East Drake.

MORE: Map: Fort Collins existing and proposed trails

For years, plans have been in the works to extend the Poudre Trail to Windsor, Timnath and then to Greeley. Heffernan said plans are in motion to add 31 more miles of trails in the next few years, and bridging those gaps across I-25 could happen given the continued cooperation among entities such as Fort Collins, Larimer County, Windsor and Timnath and secured funding through state lottery money and Great Outdoors Colorado.

We still have a lot of trail left to build, said Heffernan, who referenced the citys 2013 Paved Recreational Trail Master Plan.

The citys recreational trail system was started with that 1974 Open Space Plan, with the vision of connecting city parks by multiuse paved trails through scenic areas. Thanks to a quarter-cent sales tax established in 1973, construction began by the early 1980s on the Spring Creek and Poudre trails.

Eight-foot-wide asphalt and concrete test sections were built in Lee Martinez, Edora and Rolland Moore parks, and the response from the public was positive. So the building continued.

The want for recreational trails from the public was so strong, by the early 1980s, the Conservaton Trust Fund was created, establishing a statewide funding source for such recreational facilities. Later, Great Outdoors Colorado was formed, and the citys trails were expanded, with bridges, underpasses and more land acquistions.

The 3.5-mile north-south Mason Trail became a major commuter path for bicyclists, and the 3.89-mile Power Trail sprouted as southeast Fort Collins began to boom.

Heffernan, who has worked for the city of Fort Collins for 24 years, said hes proud to have witnessed and been a part of the growth of the citys trail system and looks forward to the future of the network.

Fort Collins is known for its great trail system and its well-used by residents. The trails really are a gem to this city, he said.

Xplore reporter Stephen Meyers covers the outdoors and recreation for the Coloradoan. Follow him on Twitter @stemeyer or Facebook.com/meyersreports.

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Abil: ‘too little, too late’
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Posted by admin on 08/22/2014 | Short Link

The severity of the unsecured lending crisis experienced by African Bank (Abil) could have been mitigated by the introduction of amendments to the National Credit Act (NCA) several years ago, according to Intelligent Debt Management (IDM) Group CEO, Ian Wason.

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Health briefs: Gift of Life 5K, Meals On Wheels fundraiser
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Posted by admin on 08/22/2014 | Short Link

Gift of Life inaugural 5K in September

The Gift of Life will hold its inaugural Delaware Donor Dash 5K Run Sept. 17.

Christiana Care Health System, Nemours Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children and the Delaware Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Board are the presenting sponsors for the dash, which was created to benefit donation and transplantation initiatives in Delaware.

The 5K race will begin at 6:30 pm in Rockford Park, Wilmington. For more information and to register for the dash, go to www.dedonordash.org. To give money, go to donors1.org and click “register to be a donor.”

Safe Kids report emphasizes injuries

Safe Kids Delaware reported last week that nine out of 10 kids say that they have been injured while playing a sport; many are the types of injuries that require medical attention. However, more than half of athletes – 54 percent – say they have continued to play after being injured.

The national survey looked at more than 3,000 athletes, coaches and parents. Coaches, teachers and nurses can get free resource materials and posters on how to recognize and manage concussion symptoms at http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/HeadsUp/schools.html.

SKD is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury, which released a worldwide report looking at injuries in young athletes. Read the report at www.safekids.org.

4-H Food Smart Families to hold 5K

As part of the 4-H Food Smart Families program, the University of Delaware Extension 4-H and teen ambassadors will host a series of community events to help local youth and their families learn to live healthy on a budget.

4-H teens, from a statewide agricultural initiative, will conduct demonstrations on healthy eating and inform families of smart budgeting and shopping tips. Participants will receive groceries at some events and have a chance to be entered into a drawing for prizes. The final event will be the 4-H Quest for the Clover 5K Run/Walk amp; 4-H Fitness Fun Day at 11 am Sept. 27 at Dead Presidents Restaurant in Wilmington. Call (302) 831-8965 for more information.

Demonstrations leading up to the event include one Tuesday from 5 pm to 7:30 pm at the Appoquinimink Boys amp; Girls Club at 14 S. Broad St. in Middletown and a session Aug. 27 from 5 pm to 7:30 pm at the Smyrna Boys amp; Girls Club at 240 E. Commerce St., Smyrna.

Meals On Wheels will host fundraiser

Meals On Wheels Delaware will hold its annual end-of-summer party, Sip amp; Savor, Sept. 6.

This year, it will be at Wild Quail Golf amp; Country Club and include interactive tastings by Kent County restaurants as well as a Craft Beer Garden featuring brews by Dogfish Head, DuClaw Brewing, Evolution Brewing, Fordham Brewing Company, Sly Fox Brewing, Yards Brewing and more. Food will come from Abbott’s Grill, Doc Magrogan’s Oyster House, Georgia House and Where Pigs Fly.

Tickets are $75 per person at www.mealsonwheelsde.org/sip-savor or by calling (302) 656-3257.

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Corporate Tax Inversions and Our Ailing Tax Code
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Posted by admin on 08/22/2014 | Short Link

Photo by JeepersMedia on Flickr

Tax avoidance. Economic patriotism. Fairness. Over the last few weeks, these words have been part of the debate over so-called tax inversions, hinging on the question of what tax obligations American corporations like Walgreens should have when they benefit from American consumers, economic activity, and infrastructure.

Inversion refers to the practice of a company moving its business address overseas by purchasing or merging with a foreign company, while maintaining its operations and consumer base in the US This allows the company to avoid paying US taxes. Big names such as Walgreens and Pfizer are the most recent to express interest in joining a list of 76 corporations that have already moved their addresses overseas including well-known brands Fruit of the Loom, Tim Hortons, and Sara Lee.

But what do inversions mean for US taxpayers? Put simply, they mean less revenue from corporate taxes, which translates into less overall revenue available for the US Treasury to pay for the things our nation needs, like unemployment insurance, infrastructure improvements, Social Security, and food assistance.

According to Americans for Tax Fairness, the cost of just one corporate inversion, Walgreens, would mean a loss of $4.6 billion in potential tax revenue over five years. Siphoning off billions of corporate tax dollars could mean a higher tax burden for individual taxpayers in order to make up for that loss.

American corporations have long had a lower tax rate than individuals inverting is just another scheme corporations can exploit in order to lower or eliminate their tax responsibility. Corporate taxes as a percent of total federal revenue has declined significantly over the past fifty years, while the individual share of our nations budget has held relatively steady.

In fact, our recent analysis of tax breaks shows that in 2013 alone, the US lost about $176 billion in potential corporate tax revenue, thanks to a variety of deductions, credits, and exclusions. Thats a 134 percent increase in the size of corporate tax breaks over the last two decades (in 1993, the cost of corporate tax breaks totaled about $75 billion).

Lawmakers spend a lot of time bickering over how to spend federal dollars, but dont pay much attention to how those dollars come in. Tax inversions are just a symptom of a larger problem ailing our nation: our broken tax code. Smart budgeting is not only about reining in wasteful spending; its also about creating revenue streams to pay for the programs and investments that make our nation great.

Before more companies decide to renounce their corporate citizenship, Congress needs to find ways to encourage everyone to pay their fair share.

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Ex-DOTC execs charged for failure to liquidate cash advances
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Posted by admin on 08/22/2014 | Short Link

The Ombudsman said Navida and Suba failed to provide receipts for cash advances amounting to P241,478.68. They supposedly used the funds when they attended the Fourth International Aircraft Conversion and Maintenance Conference in Beijing, China in the 2000s.

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Are Village Officials in Summit misusing taxpayer dollars?
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Posted by admin on 08/21/2014 | Short Link

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News amp; Better Government Assoc.) -

If you find yourself needing a loan, youd probably go to a bank.

However, Village Officials in Southwest Suburban Summit found another way to get some fast cash — from taxpayers.

FOX 32 News and the Better Government Association found the top Village Administrator in Summit gave himself a cash advance on his salary, then abruptly resigned after we started asking questions about it.

FOX 32s Dane Placko asked Summit Mayor Joseph Strzelczyk, What did you know about these loans?

He responded, Talk to our attorney, and he makes a heck of a lot more money probably than you or I do.

Strzelczyk has been Mayor of Summit for nearly two decades. His brother was Mayor before him and his brothers son, Chet Strzelczyk, served as Summits Village Administrator making about $85,000 a year — until he suddenly resigned last week.

So, why did the Mayors nephew quit?

It started with a phone call from the Better Government Association asking whether Strzelczyk and others had received cash advances on their salary.

He denied that he had gotten anything, or that any staff members had gotten anything, said Bob Herguth of the BGA.

So, Herguth filed a Freedom of Information request with the village.

And lo and behold, the Village Administrator, Chet, had indeed received a loan, as it was termed, on village documents, Herguth said.

In 2013, Strzelczyk wrote up an informal loan document giving himself a cash advance of $2,800 on his salary — to be paid back at $200 a week through the remainder of the year.

Strzelczyk signed as the borrower and had his assistant sign as the lender.

Apparently it was interest free. Apparently the village board did not know about it. And apparently the village board should have known about it and approved it. You cant just unilaterally give yourself a loan with taxpayer money. And thats what it appears occurred here, Herguth added.

But Strzelczyk wasnt the only Village Official getting a payday loan at the taxpayers expense.

“I hope it was okay because it wasnt anything I thought I was doing wrong, said Summit Village Trustee Tyrone Modiest.

Modiest received two separate salary advances of $3,000 each. Again, Strzelczyk signed the loan forms, but this time as the lender.

Well I did this because I was trying to get a refinance and get a home modification for my house and stuff like that, said Modiest.

Placko responded, So you asked the Village Administrator?

I needed somebody to get out of debt, you know, Modiest added.

Last week, the Village Board held a special meeting and accepted Strzelczyks resignation, with his Uncle — the Mayor — reading the letter.

Well as I said, talk to the attorney, Strzelczyk reiterated.

Placko responded, Did you know? Did you approve it? Youre the mayor.

For the third time you asked me and the third time I told you talk to our attorney, Strzelczyk added.

Later, a spokesman for the Mayor released the following statement:

I have ordered an audit to accurately identify the extent of this practice under the former village manager… I dont believe the intent was to harm the publics interests but rather to help people… Clearly the practice is wrong.

Times are tough. We dont begrudge people that. I understand that. But taxpayers are not a bank. You work for the taxpayers. Their money is not your money,” Herguth said.

It appears both Strzelczyk and Modiest paid back their loans. FOX 32 also learned the Village of Summit gave another type of loan to Trustee Steve Memishi — allowing him to use the villages health insurance if he paid for it.

Memishi fell behind on the payments, and now owes summit taxpayers more than $17,000.

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Ottawa gives crop farmers more time to repay cash advances
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Posted by admin on 08/21/2014 | Short Link

Ottawa gives crop farmers more time to repay cash advances
Grain growers in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and BC given a six-month grace period

By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com

Farmers in Western Canada will get more time to repay their 2013 cash advances, according to Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.

Grain and oilseeds growers in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia who have been unable to market their crops due to rail transportation issues and flooding woes have been granted a six-month extension to repay debts. The leeway is also for farmers who received an advance through the Manitoba Corn Growers Association. The Canadian Canola Growers Association announced a repayment schedule extension for producers last month.

Our government took immediate action to get grain and other commodities moving to ensure Canadas economy continues to grow. All Western grains and oilseeds producers that were impacted by rail transportation delays have now been granted the extra time they need to move their 2013 crops to market in order to meet their financial obligations, Ritz said in a release.

The federal governments Advance Payments Program (APP) provides money to farmers based on the value of their agricultural products (crops) to aid with their cash flow throughout the year. Originally, the payment deadline of September 30 has been pushed back to March 31, 2015.

Farmers will now be able to repay their advances without a penalty. The federal government says it is also working on implementing some technical changes to make it easier for farmers to repay their advances by allowing them until the end of the production period to provide proof of sale of any crop commodity covered under APP.

Interestingly, last years harvest in Western Canada was about 76 million tonnes, 50 percent higher than average, which put a strain on grain handling, specifically transportation. Additionally, flooding in Saskatchewan and Manitoba hindered crop movement due to restricted access to roads and highways.

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PayPal Expands Its Working Capital Service To UK, Switches From Loans To …
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Posted by admin on 08/21/2014 | Short Link

As payments platforms look for more ways to grow their margins and usage among businesses, they continue to push into a wider and deeper range of financial services. In one of the latest moves, eBay’s PayPal is expanding its Working Capital service to the UK. This is its first market for PayPal’s lending platform outside of the US, where it first launched the service in September 2013 and has provided $140 million in capital to businesses to date.

James Barrese, the CTO of PayPal, says that the creation and expansion of Working Capital is part of how the company is trying to reinvent itself and return to its tech roots to grow its platform, essential as it matures in some markets and pushes into completely new ones (PayPal’s now live in 203 markets/regions, he says, and is looking to add more specifically in emerging countries. That in itself poses its own challenges and also points to why PayPal may be looking to expand beyond e-commerce payments and into services that would be used more by cash-only merchants.)

“All of our customer experiences are new or will soon be new,” he told me in an interview. “The checkout experience is modern and clean. We are also redoing wallet. And we have a new way to offer merchant reporting and analytics,” is how he described other projects on PayPal’s agenda.

(And, since David Marcus departed for Facebook from his role as PayPal president, I also asked what the latest was on that front:

“We’re not in a rush to find a new head,” he says. “[eBay CEO John Donahoe] has a process, and we’ve had a clear strategy and are in the middle of executing that. I loved working with David but we’re not missing a beat.”)

By moving into working capital lending, PayPal is going head to head with other online services that are targeting the same kind of business and the same kind of customer and the same pain point: expensive banks that move too slow in the lending process. For example, companies like Kabbage, which advances online merchants money and even uses merchants’ PayPal histories, among other things, as part of its credit profiling algorithm. In the US it also competes against the likes of Square, another payments platform that has moved into cash advances recently.

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