How the Internet Changes Your Brain [Infographic]

The Internet is a huge part of everyday life. What started as a project to share data among West Coast universities has exponentially grown and taken a life of its own.

Still, the Internet is relatively new to the world. Computer scientists laid the foundation for the Internet in 1969, and in the past 45 years it’s become the fastest and most efficient avenue of information exchange in history. With text, photo, video, games, social networks, and more, it’s no wonder Millennials reportedly average three-and-a-half hours on the Internet every day — and they’re not even the generation that’s fully grown up with Internet access.

But does all of this time spent online have consequences?

That’s what I wanted to check out. I love the Internet — it’s a big reason why I work at WebFX — and when I first started researching this topic, I didn’t think I’d find anything conclusive on how the Internet affects people’s brains. I was really just curious.

But with help from researchers and psychology publications, I found some compelling evidence that stopped me in my tracks. And while I stubbornly didn’t want to believe it all at first, I can’t refute the research — the Internet really does change your brain.

An In-Depth Look At SEO Ranking Factors

Google’s search algorithm famously incorporates hundreds of on- and off-page factors to deliver results to users. This means that optimizing a site for search engines — or the practice of SEO — can be a complicated process.

Whether you’re looking to improve your current site or create an entirely new one, it pays to be aware of the possible SEO ranking factors that affect your chances of being found in search engines. In general, following these three rules of thumb will help improve your site:

  • Make your website easy for GoogleBot to crawl.
  • Provide a quality, user-friendly experience to your site visitors.
  • Avoid any sketchy, corner-cutting deals or strategies.

While these three rules will give you a solid starting point, we’ve gone the extra mile and compiled a complete list of Google SEO ranking factors in 2015. It’s important to note, however, that while Google may go into detail about how GoogleBot reads websites, the company very rarely provides details about the exact ranking factors they use.

As a result, these factors can’t be 100% guaranteed (though they do have data behind them), and they may change without warning. We’ll keep our list up to date to provide you with the most accurate collection of Google SEO ranking factors possible.

Verizon now owns TechCrunch, Engadget, Huffington Post and more

It’s official – Verizon completed their acquisition of AOL, to the tune of $4.4 billion. So what does this mean for the direction of these two giant companies?

In the official internal memo that AOL sent out, they state that the move is a step towards “becoming the largest media technology company in the world.” They also wrote that becoming a subsidiary of Verizon will help them “fully open up the mobile frontier” and be in a leading position in mobile and mobile video.

However, it’s also worth noting that with this deal, Verizon also acquires all of AOL’s media properties. The company owns a few major brands, including Huffington Post, TechCrunch, and Engadget. And considering that Huffington Post alone has 81 million monthly worldwide visitors (and has seen 12% YoY growth in unique visitors), that’s a pretty significant acquisition.

This infographic explains everything you need to know about what Verizon gained in terms of media:

5 Myths about Increasing Website Traffic

If you own or manage a website, you know that there a few key metrics that indicate success. And regardless of your industry or company goals, one metric is universal: traffic.

The number of daily or monthly visitors your site receives is easy to measure, monitor, and report. It provides a simple way to look at your site’s growth over time, and can give you an idea of whether or not your online marketing efforts are working – right? Not necessarily.

Website traffic is a simple metric on the surface, but unfortunately, there’s a little more to it than just counting visitors. Today, I’ll clear up a few common misconceptions about measuring and increasing website traffic.

What Should You Binge-Watch On Netflix? [Infographic]

According to Netflix, its users watch over 100 million hours of TV shows and movies per day. When divided up between its 62 million members, that averages out to about 96 minutes each.

If you’re like most users, that means you’ve probably already had a few binge-watching sessions of your favorite shows. So what should you watch next? Use the chart below to find out – complete with how much time each show takes to watch in its entirety.

7 Free Tools for Monitoring, Testing, and Improving Your Website

Maintaining an entire site can be a costly and time-consuming undertaking. So why do things manually if you can use a tool? And why pay for services when you can get them for free? The most likely answer: because you don’t know they exist!

As a business owner or marketer, you probably balance multiple projects in addition to managing your site. It can be a lot of work, but tools make it so much easier to solve problems and be proactive about avoiding them in the first place without sacrificing a lot of your time or budget. The tools I’m sharing with you today are ones that I frequently share with my clients based on their needs.

Here are the 7 questions I am asked most about monitoring, testing, and improving sites, and my 7 favorite tools I almost always recommend to clients to help fix their issues: