Debating an empty chair: Three of the major contenders in the Louisiana governor’s race are readying for another televised debate tonight, this one without Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter. With just two weeks to go before the Oct. 24 primary election, Republican Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, Republican Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and Democratic state Rep. John Bel Edwards will face each other again on television. The hour-long debate, hosted by WVLA-TV, is set for 7 p.m. before an audience at a Baton Rouge school. It will air on TV and radio stations around Louisiana. Read the full story by The Associated Press, and see a listing of TV and radio stations airing the debate.

Taking off the gloves: Louisiana’s attorney general race may not carry the cachet of the governor’s race, but Gannett Louisiana reports it can match the top of the ticket for nastiness. Republican and tea party darling Jeff Landry, a former congressman, has accused Republican two-term incumbent Attorney General Buddy Caldwell of nepotism, cronyism and corruption—all in a single quote. Democrat Ike Jackson said Caldwell “is as dumb as the bottom of my shoe.” In response to the attacks, Caldwell said all four of his challengers—Democrat Gerald “Geri” Broussard-Baloney and Republican Marty Maley are the others—are little more than ne’er-do-wells who can’t make it as private-sector lawyers or prosecutors. Read the full story.

Death by the pen: The Obama administration today threatened to veto legislation that would allow energy companies to sell U.S. crude freely around the world, reports. The measure, teed up for House floor debate and votes later this week, is a top priority for oil companies fighting to dismantle a 40-year-old prohibition on exporting most U.S. crude. But in a formal “statement of administration policy,” the White House’s Office of Management says “legislation to remove crude export restrictions is not needed at this time.” If President Barack Obama were presented with the legislation, “his senior advisers would recommend that he veto the bill,” the OMB says. Read the full story.

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This morning’s announcement that Saturday’s football game between LSU and the University of South Carolina is being moved to Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge sent some local event planners scrambling to come up with alternate locations.

The Alzheimer’s Services Walk/Run to Remember is being relocated from the LSU Golf Course to the State Fair Grounds at 16072 Airline Highway. No other changes are being made to the event, which kicks off at 8 a.m. Saturday.

Also upended by the football game is the LSU College of Agriculture’s “Your Friend’s Closet Sale” fundraiser, which has been moved from Saturday to Sunday on campus. The sale will still take place in the LSU AgCenter 4-H Mini Farm near Parker Coliseum on campus, with doors opening at 7 a.m.

And the “Modernism in Louisiana” symposium slated to take place on Saturday on campus from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. is being moved to the LSU Hilltop Arboretum at 11855 Highland Road.

Saturday is also the inaugural Cap City Beer Fest, which is being held downtown to benefit the Companion Animal Alliance. Event Coordinator Renee Dugas says the event, scheduled for 1 to 5 p.m. at the North Boulevard Town Square, is going on as planned.

“As soon as the game time is announced then we’ll know [the extent of the game’s impact] for sure, but we’re going full speed ahead,” she says, adding the football game will be aired on the large screen at Town Square unless it ends up being a night game. “It will either be tailgate at the beer fest or watch the game at the beer fest.”

Meanwhile, the Capital Area Transit System says it will unfortunately not be able to run its Touchdown Express gameday shuttle service on Saturday due to the short notice.

“Because of the resources required to operate both the regular routes and Touchdown Express, the short notice does not allow CATS the time to properly plan and execute both services. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause Touchdown Express customers,” says CATS CEO Bob Mirabito in a prepared statement.

Details on tickets for Saturday’s game are slowly trickling out, but the kickoff time has yet to be announced. LSU officials have scheduled a 5:30 p.m. press conference to announce logistical details of the game. Kickoff, ticket and parking details are expected to be announced.  WAFB-TV will carry this news conference live on WBXH-TV and will stream it live on its website.

—Steve Sanoski

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How To Score A Second Date With Your Customers? Banish Boring!

Sometimes I think that marketing is like dating. Seriously! Think about it. A company is trying to court a customer, trying to woo a targeted audience to their site, have them fall in love with their product, etc. They primp and prep and put their best face on to attract the customer to them, and hope that what they’re putting out there is interesting enough to get a second date, ie: a quality lead.

And what’s one of the biggest turn-offs to a prospective date? Boring. People want excitement, entertainment, pizazz.

Which, in the marketing world, has traditionally put the B2B space at a serious disadvantage.

See, there’s a real bias that online marketing has towards B2B. For the past several years, the slant has been that it’s easier to utilize online marketing for the B2C sphere, since the tactics that typically do well online relate to more lifestyle based companies and content. Think about the popularity and perceived importance of visually driven posts, social media chatter, lifestyle blogs, the rise of Pinterest and Instagram…it’s easy for shiny and sparkly items to rise to the top. The quest to go viral is fed by the fact that you only see popular posts in news feed, which makes us think  that this is how to successfully do social media and online marketing, regardless of the industry.

Fortunately, this is shifting. The B2B world is finally positioned in a place where online tactics, specifically those rooted in the inbound approach, are perfectly suited for their marketing objectives. Content marketing, offers and campaigns, webinars, email marketing, are all incredibly  successful elements of B2B marketing. Which means that we need to take our ideas about online marketing, and the best way to make a splash on the web, and wipe them clean.

In fact, we prefer the opposite of shiny. Why? Because there is actual substance there. It is within those so-called ‘boring’ industries that you can determine real metrics to aim for, not just those vanity numbers prevalent in splashy marketing campaigns, which take the focus off of what really matters. Vanity metrics are, for example, Facebook likes, or the number of people who stop by your booth at a trade show. When that number is high, it sounds good, but there’s not enough meaning in that alone. After all, how many of those Facebook likes are now visiting your site? How many booth visitors actually met with your team and became a lead? So stay away from caring about vanity metrics, or from running a strategy around them. They are not a goal to aim for, so don’t get distracted by them, as much splashy marketing does.

But when dealing with B2B, you can’t ignore the substance because, let’s face it, there’s not much shiny to hold on to.There aren’t many cat videos pushing industrial tools for manufacturing industry, and for good reason—but that’s good news to us. Shiny and sparkly doesn’t always determine boring or not. There are always creative ways to create interesting, eye-catching content, especially since content is about the eye that you’re looking to catch. You can’t create great marketing in a vacuum of marketing ideals and intellectualism; marketing only exists within the context of who you’re marketing to.

Take Tiffany’s vs. Tinder. Content marketing is a strategy that can work for both. But what’s effective for one will be bad for the other, because their audience is essentially made of complete opposites. Speak to the specific audience, and not the rest of the world. Always remember the CONTEXT.

But those are two ‘shiny’ examples. How does this relate to more industrial industries that feel like they have a dry brand? What do you do if your product doesn’t have a lot of excitement, is one that you might self-identify as boring?

Well, first of all, take a step back and define boring. When I was in high school, my most boring subjects were those that I felt had no relevance to my life or interests.

And I think that’s just as applicable today. Boring is a lack of relevance, a lack of connection to the topic or subject. Quite simply, it’s someone talking about something that’s of no interest to you, and has no value to your life.

Fortunately, that doesn‘t have to apply to a company whose product is technical in nature, or scientific, or super niche. That doesn’t necessarily determine boring. There are industries that hold more excitement for someone than another. An industrial engineer has different likes and interest than I do, and the companies we’re looking at are going to reflect that. Boring is in the eye of the beholder.

That’s why if a company targets their audience in the right way, and serves them with content relevant to them in the right context, they will never be considered boring. In fact, quite the contrary, customers will be hooked by this information that is served in a way that is eye-catching to them.  So the challenge for marketers in the B2B space is identifying the right customers, and getting to know them well enough to understand the right way to get them excited, and reach them in a way that is shiny and sparkly to them.

Don’t miss out on a second date, or ideally a long term relationship with your prospects just because you’ve traditionally been labeled as ‘boring.’ We live in an age where boring is better. Fight that label by keeping these 4 ideas top of mind: Context. Relevance. Helpfulness. Value. Commit to banishing boring from online marketing by focusing on your target audience, caring about what they care about, and creating solutions to their challenges. We’ll take that over shiny and sparkly any day.

Has your sales team resisted adopting analytics?

If so, you are not alone. Many sales reps hate inputting data into CRM, sales operations struggles to enable reps to effectively use data, and sales leaders resist making decisions guided by data.

Embracing analytics means the entire sales organization has to be on board and truly change how they do business. However, once you shift your sales team to a data-driven approach, you’ll see huge benefits and giant leaps in revenue growth.

But why take my word for it? We reached out to a number of sales leaders to find out how data analytics has helped their teams grow and thrive. Here are 5 companies that have seen massive returns since adopting and fully embracing analytics across the sales team.

1. Improving Data Quality for Wolf and Co.

One of the first challenges for sales teams is one of the toughest: data quality. Many sales leaders believe that adopting analytics is all but impossible if the data in the CRM is a mess. However, analytics are like the chicken and the egg: sales leaders can’t use analytics if the data is too dirty, but the data will remain a mess unless they adopt analytics.

Amanda Matczynski, Operations Specialist at Wolf and Co., said analytics actually enabled her to push her sales team to improve data quality.

“Analytics gave me a vehicle to show the sales team what needed to change, and forced them to finally see why it is so important to have clean data,” she explained. “With cleaner data, sales folks are able to concentrate on the opportunities that are real, as opposed to having to weed through the garbage.”

By showing reps how analytics would benefit them personally, Matczynski’s team jumped on board and started improving their CRM usage, quickly improving the company’s overall data quality.

2. Prioritizing Opportunities with EventMobi

Another huge challenge for sales teams is how reps manage their time engaging new sales opportunities. Sales reps often waste hours selling to prospects that aren’t going to buy, while ignoring prospects that are more promising leads.

Monika Covelli, Account Manager at EventMobi, explained that sales analytics show her which deals are on track to close, and which are at risk. By analyzing engagement levels, pipeline velocity, and deal size, she can better prioritize her time.

“I really like the open opportunity analytics, due to the fact that we manage multiple clients,” she said. “It’s great to pull those accounts and know who I need to focus on today.”

Sales analytics has helped her entire team stay on track to hit goals by managing activity levels, pipeline generated, and deals closed.

3. True Transparency for UDig

Analytics can also greatly improve communication and transparency at your organization. If you start running your sales team by the numbers, you should also share that data openly across your team. This way, everyone can see the same data and understand what’s happening — from the CEO down to individual sales reps.

Jennifer Poma, Sales and Marketing Analyst at UDig, said that since her team embraced analytics, the transparency has improved accountability and performance for sales.

“We are more aware of what everyone in our company is doing to achieve their goals,” Poma explained.

Because everyone sees the same data, sales and marketing alignment also improved, with marketing better understanding the sales results created by their activities. Rather than each sales rep wondering what other team members are doing, everyone at UDig understands what they’ve done and how they’ve contributed to the team.

4. Better Understanding DataCore’s Pipeline

Sales leaders are always struggling to gain insight into the current sales pipeline, to gauge tomorrow’s sales forecast. With analytics, there are fewer surprises, according to Ramon Del Salto, Sr. Manager of Business Intelligence at DataCore.

“Using sales analytics gives us fast insight into our sales pipeline,” he explained.

With more visibility into the pipeline, sales reps are less likely to sandbag deals, or push them to the next month. Sales managers and the VP are better in tune with what’s happening today on the sales team, and are therefore more prepared for what will happen tomorrow.

5. Revenue Growth for Conversocial

Obviously, the biggest question for sales leaders is whether adopting analytics helps your bottom line. If it doesn’t, none of the other business benefits are even worth talking about. Fortunately, for most sales teams, the answer is yes.

Mike Schneider, Director of Growth and Operations at Conversocial, explained that his sales team has seen seriously impressive results since adopting sales analytics.

“Our new business revenue has grown over 300% YOY in North America, with decreased sales cycles and rapidly rising average order values,” he said.

In fact, having consistent insights into the sales process has saved sales leaders time, as well as money — which is also incredibly valuable.

“A clear system for production, distribution and exhibition of data has replaced much of the time we’d spent grokking at spreadsheets with time spent leveraging the numbers to make decisions and drive value,” Schneider explained.

With such powerful benefits, it’s no wonder that today’s sales teams are rushing to adopt analytics and improve their business operations. Learn more about how your own sales team can start leveraging data in this exclusive eBook:

A new craft beer bar and sports restaurant could soon nestle into a vacant space on South Sherwood Forest Boulevard that previously housed Capital City Grill.

Phillip LeDoux and some business partners are in the early stages of planning the Tap House, which they hope to open sometime next year. He declined to name his partners, but says they have been involved in the Baton Rouge business scene for at least 20 years.

LeDoux has filed a rezoning request with the Planning Commission to have the site at 3535 S. Sherwood Forest Blvd. changed from a restaurant commercial alcoholic beverage permit C-AB-1 to a bar/lounge commercial alcoholic beverage permit C-AB-2.

“A previous request for C-AB-2 was approved for another unit on this same site,” LeDoux writes in his application. He adds in the application that infrastructure and public services would not be impacted because the space had housed a restaurant in the past.

The Capital City Grill location on Sherwood and Newcastle Avenue closed in June 2014. The downtown location remains open.

LeDoux declines to go into specifics about the restaurant, saying it is still early in the planning process and things could change, but says he and his partners are closely watching the ordinance proposed by Metro Councilman Ryan Heck that would allow brewpubs and microdistilleries to operate in the city-parish.

The Planning Commission will take up the Tap House request at its Nov. 16 meeting.

—Ryan Broussard

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Magpie Café will open a second location next spring in the downtown Commerce Building, making it the first commercial tenant announced for the former office building that’s being redeveloped for residential, retail and commercial use.

“That area is really coming together,” says James Jacobs, who owns Magpie Café with his wife, Lina Jacobs, of the Commerce Building and downtown Baton Rouge. “It’s just really a very emerging area in Baton Rouge, and it just fits us and what we’re about (with) the coffee culture, the local foods.”

The couple opened Magpie Café at 3205 Perkins Road in the former Perkins Road Parlour space near the overpass more than three years ago. The menu centers on local and seasonal ingredients filling soups, salads, sandwiches and breakfast offerings coupled with high-quality coffee and espresso. James Jacobs says the Commerce Building location will feature a similar menu to the original location, but will have some new additions that will be announced as the calendar inches closer to the opening date.

“We are very excited that Magpie Café has chosen the Commerce Building as their second location and feel that they are a perfect fit for the building and will be a great amenity for our future tenants in addition to the general downtown area,” says Michael Lang, director of real estate development for Key Real Estate Company, in a prepared statement.

The road to today’s announcement began several months ago when real estate agents with Beau Box Commercial Real Estate approached the couple to gauge their interest in opening a second location in the downtown development.

“We’ve had our eye on expanding while, and this one really came together for us,” James Jacobs says.

Developer TJ Iarocci, CEO of Key Real Estate Company, says renovations are about 65% percent complete in the building located at the corner of Laurel and North Third streets and they are shooting for a February or March completion date.

The 2,900-square-foot location for Magpie Café in the Commerce Building is one of three commercial spaces on the first floor to go along with the 93 residential units throughout the rest of the property. The other two commercial spaces, at 2,276 and 700 square feet, are still available, as is the 4,000-square-foot rooftop location that will hold a restaurant.

“We don’t have a restaurant concept yet, but we’re starting to market the rooftop and it’ll be similar to Tsunami in terms of river view and seating,” Iarocci says.

Lang says they are negotiating a lease with someone for the smaller of the two open commercial spaces, but nothing is official.

In addition to announcing the second location, James Jacobs says they are going to open the Perkins Road location a for a few hours each Sunday after repeated customer requests. The restaurant will offer quiches, baked goods and some breakfast items, but the kitchen will not be open, he says.

—Ryan Broussard

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When clients call your agency, chances are, they’re hurting:

  • LifelineMaybe they’ve been running things themselves, but have realized that running marketing campaigns today, including the use of automated platforms and sophisticated multi-channel strategies, is just plain out of their league and they’ve turned to you for help
  • Or maybe they lack the resources to implement and execute marketing automation
  • Or maybe they have a strong marketing team, but the architecture, cadence, messaging strategies, and/or segmentation of contacts are new territory
  • Or maybe they’re already clients, and your agency has helped them gain visibility in the digital space and viability in today’s high-tech, competitive marketplace – you’ve done right by them, and now they want more

Here’s what they all have in common – each could benefit from a gap analysis.


Many organizations lack a comprehensive understanding of the gaps in their marketing performance. A gap analysis can help them diagnose and understand what’s working, what’s not working, and what it’ll take to get where they want to be.

By analyzing the right data effectively and acting on the findings, you can add real value and develop best-in-class marketing strategies and plans for each of your clients.

What It Is

By using analytics, benchmarking, and other measurements, you can uncover areas that aren’t being covered, or that aren’t performing as well as they could.

Why It Matters

When a client opts in for a gap analysis, the return on their investment will start to manifest itself pretty quickly. Gap AnalysisOnce the major holes in their marketing plans become apparent, you’ll be able to remedy those and start attracting, capturing, and nurturing more leads, and passing along better-qualified leads to sales.

The gap analysis will help you cover all possible bases so you can use a full spectrum of techniques and tools to run a variety of well-balanced, robust, successful marketing campaigns that raise the bottom line. And, when your clients are happy with the results, they might just stick around for more – with customer retention being yet another benefit to you.

What Causes Gaps

Generally speaking, a gap can exist when there’s an emphasis on some portion of the traditional marketing mix (people, physical evidence, place, price, process, product, and promotion = the “7 Ps”) while other elements are being neglected. Additionally, gaps can be present when:

  • Potential customers aren’t being targeted
  • Competitors’ claims aren’t being addressed
  • Multiple platforms aren’t being leveraged
  • A whole host of other reasons

To sum it up simply: if something can and should be happening – and it isn’t – there’s a gap.

How to Perform a Gap Analysis

To close gaps, use a tactical approach. Start by talking to your clients, figure out where the gaps are and create specific tactics to tackle each issue.

Ask Questions and Take Lots of Notes

Your clients will tell you everything you need to know – it’s just a matter of steering the conversation and paying close attention to their answers (i.e. pain points) to learn what’s broken and what can be fixed.

The first questions to ask will concern their audience and the typical buy-cycles:

  1. How many contacts do you have?
  2. Out of those contacts, how many are current customers?
  3. How often do your existing customers repeat purchase?

Find Out If They’re Content with Their Content

Once you’ve gained more information about their audience, move the topic to content – the one thing pretty much every customer needs:

  1. How much content do you currently produce?
  2. What kind of content is it?
  3. How do you produce it?
  4. Does the content appeal to your desired audience?

There are often huge gaps in people’s content marketing programs. Identifying what’s missing in terms of messaging for the right audience, at all stages, generating quality content, having strategies to communicate those messages and enabling full programs to drive new leads – as well as nurture for retention – are all part of filling those gaps.

Making the mistake of skipping content marketing altogether, or not having a content/messaging strategy in place before campaigns are launched, are often the cause of those gaps. Since content can be used to get results throughout the entire customer lifecycle, it’s an essential component in today’s marketing environment.

Wait, Tactics Should Be Guided by Strategies?

Take stock of the tactics the client is using now, then pull back and take a look at the overarching strategy behind those tactics. If there is no strategy, that may very well be a good place to start.

Analyze This!

Some of the ways you can use the analytics tools in your automated lead-to-revenue platform to identify the gaps in your sales include:

  • SWOT AnalysisSet up a comparative analysis of products/services your client is selling (and not selling).
  • Perform a SWOT analysis to compare how your client’s company is performing against their competitors
  • Research current and upcoming offerings of competitors to see how your clients can and will perform against them
  • Discuss and examine whatever you or your clients want to measure, compare, or fix

Remember, your assessment of the current status versus the potential of your clients’ marketing performance can be both qualitative and quantitative.

Let the Numbers Do the Talking

At first, your clients may not understand or appreciate the value of the various tactics you’re recommending to close the gaps in their marketing, nor the importance of having a strategy and goals to drive every activity. No problem. Use business intelligence such as analytics, benchmarking and reports to show them what is and isn’t working, to help explain where they can improve, and how you can help in each area.

For example, by reviewing content from previous campaigns and those campaign results, you can build a better strategy around offers and messaging based on what you know has worked. A/B testing subject lines (or buttons, or calls to action, or …) is a small but mighty tool that can affect the outcome of your clients’ automated campaigns to a surprising degree.

LightbulbHelp Them Experience a “Lightbulb” Moment

That “aha!” moment… it’s priceless. It’s also a powerful and persuasive way to encourage your clients to realize for themselves that their departments can/should/must be performing better. Help them see the light by asking questions like those above. It’s a great way to nudge the sales process along by disrupting their contentment with the status quo.

 Are They Buyin’?

Now it’s time to get their buy-in that your agency is the solution they need to close the gaps. Once you’ve mutually agreed that there’s a gap between where they are and where they’d like to be, explain that performing a gap analysis will empower their team and yours with insight into:

  • How things are running now,
  • Where the holes are in their marketing strategies and programs (there can be gaps in each); and
  • How you can fix things so they can achieve their goals


No advice column would be complete without a few “Watch out for this!” tips:

  • After performing the gap analysis, it’s time to take action, but your clients may not understand or appreciate the importance of having a strategy and goals to drive every activity to close the gaps. Educate them about how and why you want to take specific actions, and help them see the value of each tactic your agency will be employing on their behalf.
  • There’s no point in setting anyone up for failure. Before creating and adopting plans to fill the gaps you’ve identified, make sure your clients have realistic, achievable goals.
  • Manage expectations up front. Experienced marketers know that seeing ROI from campaigns takes some time. Implementing on one tactic, driven by a well-conceived strategy, will produce different results than launching multiple tactics simultaneously. Make sure they know that and discuss their options with them before diving in.

Now What?

You’ve analyzed the gaps, so now it’s time to grab your virtual shovel and repair the holes. To get the job done, you’ll primarily be modifying the 7 Ps of the marketing mix – implementing and experimenting with tactics to close the gaps.

For example, you might notice that sales of a particular product fall way below those for the rest. Creating a properly targeted promotional campaign through a variety of channels can quickly have a positive impact and increase sales. The solutions will vary depending on the nature of the business and the goals of the organization. (While this example is very simple, this approach can be quite extensive and complex, depending on how deep you want your analysis to go.)

Just like any strategic plan, once you’ve acted on a solution, you’ll want to measure the results to see how it’s working. Start by deciding how you’ll judge the gap over time – by sales, profit, engagement levels, retention, etc. Then measure and record the results so you can make adjustments and report your amazing accomplishments to your clients.

Close the Gap on Missed Opportunities

Today’s smart marketers are offering gap analysis to their clients to help them see missed opportunities and identify areas for potential growth. Closing the gaps – with both tactical and strategic components – can increase traffic and the number of qualified leads going to the sales department. Helping clients achieve a tighter alignment between marketing and sales is yet another bonus to help them boost their bottom line and fall even more in love with your agency.


Google has created algorithms that look for spam in websites that have been hacked.

In its announcement on the Google Webmaster Tools blog, the company said, “A huge amount of legitimate sites are hacked by spammers and used to engage in abusive behavior, such as malware download, promotion of traffic to low quality sites, porn, and marketing of counterfeit goods or illegal pharmaceutical drugs, etc.

“Website owners that don’t implement standard best practices for security can leave their websites vulnerable to being easily hacked. This can include government sites, universities, small business, company websites, restaurants, hobby organizations, conferences, etc.”

The problem for website owners is that hackers can gain access in a number of ways and the hacks can be hard to find. In some cases, your pages may show blocks of illegitimate text and links on some occasions and not others.

The more sites the spammers can hit, the more traffic they can generate for themselves. Google’s attempt to identify this type of spam is good, because it will then be able to automatically de-rank the sites that the spammers are promoting.

Google added, “We are aggressively targeting hacked spam in order to protect users and webmasters.

“The algorithmic changes will eventually impact roughly 5% of queries, depending on the language. As we roll out the new algorithms, users might notice that for certain queries, only the most relevant results are shown, reducing the number of results shown.”

Hacked spam removal from SERPs

As the graphic above shows, there will be fewer results as Google weeds out the offending websites and ignores pages of sites containing irrelevant spam.

For example, if your web pages are displaying paragraphs of text about cialis and leather handbags, and you didn’t put it there, Google could easily display that page for a search on those topics.

After Google’s algorithm is able to identify the text as spam, it would be able to remove your pages from the results.

How to tell if your website has been hacked

Here are a couple of tools you can use.

Posted in SEO.

The LSU Faculty Senate voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to censure three top administrators at the university over their controversial dismissal of a tenured professor accused of creating a hostile environment in the classroom with obscene language and sexually explicit jokes, The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

The Faculty Senate voted 39-5 in favor of censuring LSU President F. King Alexander, Provost Stuart Bell and Damon Andrew, dean of the College of Human Sciences and Education, for the June dismissal of Teresa Buchanan, a tenured associate professor of curriculum and instruction.

The LSU Faculty Senate’s resolution notes that a faculty committee chosen to hear Buchanan’s case had unanimously recommended that she be censured, not fired. Instead of pursuing censure, Alexander called for Buchanan’s termination, which the LSU Board of Supervisors supported at its June 19 meeting.

The censure resolution accuses the administrators of violating academic principles related to tenure, faculty governance and due process for firing Buchanan for misconduct after a faculty panel concluded that her removal was unwarranted and her case had been mishandled.

The university’s administration responded to Tuesday’s vote by issuing a statement that says the Faculty Senate members “simply don’t have all the facts in this case.”

“Unfortunately, due to potential litigation, we are not at liberty to share all of the facts,” the statement reads. The statement goes on to say that the university stands by the decision made by its top officials “and what it represents—that our students have the right to learn in an environment free of sexual harassment, bullying and verbal abuse.”

The Daily Reveille reports the LSU Student Senate released a resolution Monday in support of Alexander and thanking him for “passionate leadership of the university, always striving to do what is best in the interest of the student body.”

Last month LSU released what it said will be its final public statement on the firing of Buchanan, defending the controversial move. See the complete LSU Faculty Senate resolution, and read the complete statement from LSU.

The Faculty Senate had originally taken up the censure on Sept. 2, but deferred the matter at that time. Its resolution urges the administrators to rescind Buchanan’s dismissal.

Read the full story by The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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4g for india africa

Emerging markets such as India and Africa are focused on the potential of high-speed mobile connectivity to boost their economies like never before. As a result, faster 4G connections are rapidly gaining momentum in these markets.

For small businesses — including those in the U.S. — this could open a window of exciting opportunities too.

New Markets, New Opportunities

Rising consumer demand and a growing disposable income make emerging economies lucrative for businesses. For small businesses, these countries could potentially become new markets for their products and services, especially digital ones.

One huge opportunity is in the area of eCommerce. Emerging economies are currently experiencing an eCommerce boom. Not only are entrepreneurs in these emerging economies launching eCommerce businesses of their own, but consumers are increasingly buying online. For small businesses offering software tools to eCommerce companies or for small eCommerce businesses specifically targeting consumers in these emerging markets, the opportunities for growth are clear.

Another opportunity exists in forming partnerships with Indian and African small businesses. These businesses have local knowledge and expertise, which could prove beneficial in tapping into new markets.

Government Focus

Governments in India and Africa know that their markets are attractive destinations for businesses. Not surprisingly, therefore, there is a growing emphasis on faster 4G mobile service to accelerate the pace of growth.

In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched his ambitious Digital India initiative this year to prioritize improved net connectivity and boost e-governance. A vast segment of the Indian population already uses mobile phones to make voice calls and send messages. The government initiative aims to make high speed Internet connection available to these mobile users too.

During his recent visit to the U.S., Prime Minister Modi addressed a gathering of heads of tech giants and said that he wants to digitally connect his 1.25 billion citizens. He also added that everyone can “be a part of the India story.”

Large U.S.  industries have already mobilizing to seize the new opportunities. And with the availability of inexpensive digital technology, U.S. small businesses should not be far behind.

Support for Small Businesses

The success of digital proliferation in driving business depends on how the governments approach it. In Rwanda, for example, the government owns the 4G network, which is sold to telecom companies. This model of public-private partnership makes it easier for everyone to access the service.

Meanwhile India is taking things a step further, providing not only the technology but also additional investment to build partnerships between local businesses and companies in more developed nations like the U.S. Prime Minister Modi recently launched the Bharat Fund at a recent India-U.S. StartUp Konnect event. Apart from providing seed funding to Indian entrepreneurs, the initiative will “boost startup creation between India and the U.S.”

Although emerging countries offer a host of great business opportunities, there are several challenges such as procedural delays and cultural differences that need to be taken into account. Make sure you fully understand both the opportunities and challenges before exploring this option.

4G Graphic via Shutterstock

This article, "More 4G for India and Africa? Here’s How Your Business Benefits" was first published on Small Business Trends