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10/20/2019

Rainwater Harvesting: How it works? What to do?

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Catch water where & when it falls - Every raindrop matters now, when the whole world is staring helplessly at a never-before-kind-of water scarcity.
Collecting and storing of rainwater for reuse, rather than allowing it to run off, is possibly the only way out of persistent droughts. Why?
Whatever your Government can do, it CANNOT create water.
The idea behind the process is simple and ancient. Rainwater is collected when it falls on the earth, stored and made use at a later point. A few basic elements are commonly required to all RWH - RainWater Harvesting systems.
  • 1. Catchment area
  • 2. Conveyance system
  • 3. Filter system
  • 4. Storage area
  • 5. Recharge area

1. Catchment Area

This is where the rain falls. Clean catchments are necessary for maximising the harvest. Based on this criteria, the harvesting method differs.

Rooftop Harvesting

Roofs today have become the place for solar panels, wind generators, gardens. So harvesting rooftop water is a comparitively simpler process; All you need is a clean terrace, a pipe to connect the roof and storage, and a filter to screen the dust particles.

Construct an underground storage tank. If you plan to recharge the aquifers, setup an unlined pit containing layers of gravel and sand to filter out mud.
Note: This pit should be about atleast 1.5m deep, so that it never overflows. This allows water to percolate into the ground.

Setback Harvesting

Setback area typically includes the driveway, balcony, garden and front yard. Rainwater harvesting structures should not be constructed at any place, without paying heed to the nature of the soil.
  • In Rocky terrain, water can be stored in sumps as groundwater recharge is not possible.
  • In Clayey region, if it doesn’t turn sandy beyond 15 feet, a small hole can be dug up within a recharge well and a pipeline of 6 inches can be inserted to take the water to a deeper level.
  • in Sandy coastal areas, A well of 3 feet to 5 feet diameter would suffice in sandy regions. Leaving the open areas unpaved would itself result in percolation of surface runoff, thus recharging the groundwater.

 2. Conduit System 

Conveyance of rainwater is through the channels built around the edge of a slanting rooftops to direct water flow from the catchment area to the storage area. These gutters can be made using galvanized iron sheets, PVC material, bamboo or betel trunks.

 3. Filter Systems

Four types of filtration processes can be employed in an RWH system:

Screening: 

This first level process involves filtering out gross pollutants like leaves, droppings and other materials.

First flush: 

At the second level, a valve is fixed to ensure the bifurcation of the first few minutes of the rainwater, which collects dust & other contaminants.

Filtration: 

Next level filters remove dissolved organic and inorganic particles in the rainwater, before it is collected. Such filter screens all dust particles .

Settlement tanks: 

Settling tanks remove silt and other coarse materials.

Note:
2 options are available to make use of the harvested rainwater:
  • * Storing in receptacles
  • * Recharging into aquifer

 4. Storage Area

Rainwater from the roof is stored in sumps (underground water storage tanks). Households that have structures, connected to sumps report that good recharge takes place with only 1/3rd length of filters filled up. However, problems relating to cleaning of sumps and their limited durability are the chief concern.

5. Recharge Area

Surface run-off water is mainly used to recharge the soil. Such recharge happens by either percolation pits or recharge well methods.

Note: 
  • Identify the recharging zones
  • Ensure the quality of rainwater
  • Avoid groundwater pollution
Perforated slabs and paving alternate sections allow for increased percolation. However, usage of pebbles can get the percolation pits silted easily. Cleaning of which may not be easy, as it almost resembles a deep borewell.

A recharge well without a filter medium is the best option in most cases, as soil can facilitate natural filtration.

Advantages of harvesting Rainwater

Personal Gain

  • The rainwater that falls on your roof and property is essentially free. 
  • Water can be used for several non-drinking purposes in both residential and commercial properties.
  • Collecting & using rainwater to replace municipal water, reduces your water bill.
  • Rainwater can be used for irrigation, or as non-potable water used indoor, or even as potable water supply.

Global Gain

  • Ever-increasing demand for ground water can be reduced, especially in areas where water-table had gone down.
  • The large capacity storage tanks that collect rainwater can reduce floods in some low lying areas.
  • Reduced runoff can bring down the contamination of surface water with pesticides, sediment, metals, and fertilizers.
  • Rainwater, free from several pollutants, man-made contaminants and chlorination is ideally suited for plants and landscape irrigation.


9/24/2019

2019 Top ▲ - Bottom▼SEO Pointers

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3 SEO Pointers to Boost your Business

1. Analyze your Readers 2. Understand the Reader intent. 3. Capture Position 0
1. Analyze your Readers - Sure results can be seen through on-page optimization. Please note that even if your blog content is perfectly written and well optimized, if it’s done for a wrong audience set, it definitely won’t grow your business.

2. Understand the USER INTENT - No longer is a voluminous content that focuses heavily on the targeted keywords is the best fashion. Comprehend what someone is expecting to find when they query a word or phrase.

3. Never ignore Position 0 - If you're working on SEO and you're not optimizing for Featured Snippets then you're missing out on a ton of organic traffic from Google. You need to give the user an answer to his questions, in the SIMPLEST way possible.
  • Write ultimate guides for frequently asked questions related to the topic.
  • Use numbered and bulleted lists.
  • Include stats and data to verify claims and post the source of information for trustability.
PS: Implement voice search compatibility. This decides the future of blogs.

2019 - Top-Bottom SEO Pointers for a Blog post

• Title SEO - 2 kinds of title are used in every blog post

1. SEO Title - Be sure to place your main keyword at the start of the title tag. Google’s title tag display currently maxes out at 600px, so keep it under 60 characters. Use power words in your SEO Title to trigger a response from searchers.

2. Meta Title - Meta titles that are used in social media should be, having a medium tail keyword + use a call-to-action/ power-word to attract visitors to click and read.

• Description - Be sure to stick to a meta description of less than 160 characters to avoid truncating. Make sure to include your target keyword and write in a way which encourages clicks. Successful descriptions end with a call to action.

Pointers for Article SEO

• The best blog length for SEO in 2019 is 1,705 Words. Cut into appropriate paragraphs. Craft an engaging intro paragraph.

• Utilize the power of Header tags. H1 tag - Use the main long term keyword related to the contents. Similarly use other header tags to boost keywords related to the main keyword.

• Please do a research work on the keyword to be boosted by the post. Collect the "People also search for" questions in Google. Answer those questions definitively in your content.

Image SEO

• Image should be named appropriately and given properly Optimized alt tag.
• Image idea for a blog post should be worked out using the exact idea of what would attract the potential users.
• Making use of similar popular ideas in competitive sites is also a good option.

11/19/2018

Google’s fresh attempt against Facebook and Twitter - Get Updates directly on Google

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Google is not merely used for advertising and visibility these days but its usage extends much more beyond that.
The search engine’s ultimate goal is to provide the most relevant and accurate information to user’s queries in the shortest time. The algorithms deployed by the Search Giant today are so sophisticated that users will get not only exactly what they want but also completely related additional facts.

Over the past few years, one new feature that appears along with the search results has become a hotly discussed topic. Yes, we are talking about the Knowledge Graph. These are times where we find the mobile gaming industry improving by leaps and bounds. The search queries related to online games have increased by a large volume. This article can clearly explain how avid gamers can make use of Google's Knowledge Graph to get instant game updates.

What is a Knowledge Graph?

The Knowledge Graph is a system launched by Google to build “link graph” between different people, places and things, and report facts about these entities. Its Google’s unique way of presenting a result along with additional details related to the topic so that user gets to know more about the product. They also help Google determine which are the most popular and the best relevant entries for particular searches.

To be more specific Knowledge graph is a database that extracts facts from millions of entities about keywords people frequently search and also provides a series of interconnected entities that the user might find useful. Along with the traditional search results, this can be considered as an incentive for the user to discover more entities. Using these graphs, Google models how pages link to each other.

How does Google collect these facts?

2009 - Google Squared was launched to extract facts and establish a relationship between individual entities. Google Squared extracted data from the web and presented it in a spreadsheet format. As the results derived were complicated and not user-friendly, they had to phase out this project.
2010 - Google’s purchased Metaweb and acquired Freebase, a database of facts. So Google's Knowledge Graph was powered in part by Freebase with its vast collection of facts. Subsequently, Wikipedia, CIA, Facebook became other sources of information for the Knowledge Graph.

However, drawing data from public sources like Wikipedia presents accuracy issues as Wikipedia could be modified by anyone.

Video games & Knowledge Graph

As noted in the beginning, the mobile gaming industry has taken the world by a storm. Mobile gaming is now the staple of the gaming market. The revenues generated by mobile gaming industry is staggering and have easily surpassed the traditional gaming industry for years now. Because of the increase in the number of smartphones and cheap data packages, there are legions of gaming companies now in the market offering gamers a multitude of games.

Only recently Google has made it easy for gamers to know more about the game, by including additional information about the game & its host in its Knowledge Graph. Games available in Google Play Store and App Store come classified as video games.

How can Gamers benefit from this?

When a gamer searches for a specific game, the knowledge graph would assist him by giving details like release date, supported platform, reviews, developer names and more importantly updates regarding the game.

Google has enabled the access to suggest changes in the Knowledge Panel to people who can represent an entity. This representative of the entity can update the featured image, the social profiles and specific stats for various categories. It is easier to analyze with the Knowledge Panel of a popular rummy app - Deccan Rummy.

Partnered with an online gaming website, the Indian rummy gaming app is found in both Appstore as well as Playstore. On observing the screenshot of Deccanrummy, we find that the most prominent feature in this knowledge panel is the appearance of updates posted directly on Google. Earlier such posting was available only to local businesses (Google My Business Post). However, a separate domain is now dedicated to this feature - post.google.com.

Google Posts

Google Posts is a new feature that allows popular entities to create their content directly on Google. Now that Knowledge Graph is extended to video games, the verified representative of a video game can publish their posts directly on the first page of Google. This content will remain in a blog within the search engine itself eg: Deccan Rummy on Google.

The post can either be a story from images or an article or an event or a simple poll. These posts will remain visible for a week unless the representative manually removes it. If it’s an invitation for an event or a tournament, it will run till the end of the event. With the help of Google Post video games can now:
  1. Share the current promotions and offers
  2. Invite for & promote their events
  3. Posts updates about the games

How to follow updates?

There are 2 options to follow updates - Single search and No search.

Single Search Method -

1. Open the Google Search app
2. Search for their game of interest. Eg - Deccan Rummy.
3. Find the Knowledge panel (if the game has one).
Users can find the updates posted by the verified representative directly on Google.

No Search Method (Google Discover)-

1-3. Follow previous steps 1,2 and 3.
4. Press the Follow button in the Knowledge Panel.

Gamers can now find their favourite video game updates right in the Google Search app news feed(Rebranded as Google Discover) without a single search.

Relying on Facebook and Twitter feeds in order to know the updates is no longer is the only option. Gamers can now safely make use of Google’s Knowledge Graph and Google Post to provide them with accurate updates instantly.

This article was provided by Ganga Naresh, SEO Freelancer
11/15/2018

Online Shopping Tactics: Secure Your Payments and Find Better Deals with A VPN Today

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Shopping online is a beauty, no doubt. Without a VPN though, you could find yourself on the other side of this beauty in no time. If you don’t know yet, let us be the first to tell you: that side isn’t pretty!

It is where you get charged exorbitant prices for goods ordered. It is also where you face a high risk of falling prey to internet scammers looking to steal your credit card details, among other things.

We are not telling you all these to ruin the online shopping experience for you. It is, rather, to help you understand how to get the best out of it for yourself, especially with the help of a Virtual Private Network (VPN).

How does a VPN work?

A VPN usually has a single mode of operation, but that works for multiple purposes. We could combine the extensive operation of these pieces of software into three steps. They are as outlined below:
  • At the entry node (where you’re accessing the internet from), a VPN hides your identity by encapsulating your data.
  • The VPN transfers the data through a middle node made up of a system of secure servers to prevent interception and risks of snooping. 
  • At the exit node (target website which is, in this case, the online store), the data is unpacked without having been interfered with in transit. 

How does this help me?

That is yet another valid question. The principle of operation provided above ensures you get:

1) Secure payments 

Your internet data could be monitored via different approaches. Network hacking, connecting to unsecured networks and browser fingerprinting are just some of the ways this could happen. When using online shopping platforms, these hackers could listen around and hijack your payment details, using that to their own advantage. Your data would be more secure with a VPN. Transfers would be made on secure servers which the hackers won’t be able to access, giving you a hitch-free shopping experience

2) Finding better deals 

Location is a big factor in pricing. For those that have shopped online for long, and with different vendors, you must have noticed this trend too. Online retailers will set the price of some items and commodities higher to those accessing their pages for certain regions while keeping the price low for others. You can get around this by using a VPN to connect to different server locations from all around the world. From there, you can browse to get which location has the best pricing for you. This comes in handy when buying from local retailers, booking flights/ hotels online and so much more.

Everything we have been saying all along boils down to one thing. If you’d like to get the best shopping experience, it is time to use a VPN to find deals and secure your payments. In no time, this will become second nature, and you’ll actually love shopping online the more.
8/12/2017

Sarahah Messages: Be very Honest {but totally anonymous}

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Pushing behind Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, etc., one new communication app is taking the internet by storm. Sarahah is currently the No. 1 free iPhone app on iTunes in over 30 countries. According to a BBC report, it has over 300 million users already. So what is the purpose of this app - Simple! You can leave anonymous messages on anyones’ profile using Sarahah.

Sarahah - What is it?

Created by the Saudi developer, ZainAlabdin Tawfiq, you can use Sarahah to send anonymous messages to people. Interestingly, "Sarahah" is the Arabic word for candor or openness, though this openness is delivered by being anonymous. iTunes description of this app says it will help users discover their “strengths and areas for improvement by receiving honest feedback from [their] employees and [their] friends in a private manner.” You can share your own profile link to invite “honest” feedback from others. Guess what? Employees, who never spoke up for fear of getting fired, can now post anonymous feedback on their employers' profile. EASY!?

Sarahah - How does it work?

Once a user registers for an account, they can invite feedback by sharing their profile link/username with friends on Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Telegram, and Snapchat, and anyone with this link can share messages to their profile. When you receive a message you can favourite it using the heart button or block the sender or even report it. Though what happens after you report a message is unclear. Don’t mistake the reply button for actually replying to the person, who sent you the message. Reply, for some weird reason, lets you forward a message to friends via social media.

Features of Sarahah

The primary Message window shows four icons below each message – a red flag to report message, block icon, reply, and a heart icon to mark message as favourite. All received, sent and messages marked favourite appear in this window. Apart from the primary Message window, Sarahah has 3 different tabs at the top - Search, Explore, and Profile. The Explore is marked as a new feature that’s under development. One can search for a friend, select the profile and tap on it to open a new message box that asks you to leave a “constructive message.” Users have the option to receive messages only from other registered users. They can further disable the option to ‘Appear in search’.

Limitations of Sarahah

You can only send text messages; no option to share photos. Sarahah doesn’t allow users to respond to messages, nor can they see who a message is from, unless the sender includes their name in the message. While there’s an option to Logout of the app, we couldn’t find one to delete account on the app itself. To delete the account, you have to log into the website version of the messaging service and go to settings to remove accounts.

Sararah - CyberBully

Do you remember fellow anonymous messaging apps like Yik Yak, Secret, and After School? Yik Yak and Secret quickly fizzled out, while another, called Whisper, just laid off 20% of its staff. All of these, faced flak due to cyber bullying possibilities. Apparently Sarahah seems also to be a victim of this phenomenon. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter aren’t new to trolls and bullies, and adding an extra layer of complete anonymity can take one steps further. Anonymous environments can give free rein to cyberbullying. Since launch this app has garnered a huge following among the youngsters in a short span of time. After all, explosive popularity with teens isn't a guarantee of long-term viability.

Final Verdict: 

When we take a look at the user reviews on Play Store and App Store, the users are divided. While some have praised the app for its new concept and fun, others have blamed it for propagating online hate and warned parents and users not to download the app because of bullying.

Sarahah Download

Apple - App Store Link
Android - Play Store Link 
7/19/2017

Do Google Answer Box Optimization - Win "Position Zer0"

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Google’s Rich Answer Boxes are now considered to be “position zero” on Page One of Google’s organic search results. Position 0 = Mystifying position. It’s a great place to have your content featured and drive more traffic to your site. 0th Position can help greatly in increasing brand awareness, and building your audience base. But how to get it?

What is a featured snippet?

A featured snippet is a direct answer to a user's query, which is displayed on top of Google's organic search results. It usually includes the page's Title and URL. Depending on the query, there are three types of snippets - Paragraph, List or Tables.

What is Google Answer Box / Quick Answers?

"Answer box" is a coveted SERP feature. It is a highly-visible rich snippet - Answer and Link placed at the top of organic search results. Answer is a text snippet that directly answers the user's search query. The link is the destination address from where the answer text is pulled.

Rich search results snippets improves the search experience for the users. For search users, it’s a blessing because it can provide direct answers to their questions without additional clicks through to a website. For the websites, getting a featured snippet for key pages is a good thing because it can provide a huge boost in organic traffic.

Pages that Google selects for Quick Answers on our site are most likely high authority pages with quality, well-structure content that is theme-relevant, optimized for a great user experience and answer specific questions closely matching the query.

How to optimize for Google's Answer Box?

Follow these 5 easy steps to get your article featured on Google Rich Answers.
  • 1. Find the most searched query.
  • 2. Compose a real direct answer.
  • 3. Add extra relevant information.
  • 4. Implement some essential SEO.
  • 5. Ensure easy access to the content.
Let us see in detail,
  • * Most Searched Query? The first part of this plan is to know and understand which keywords are triggering an Answer Box. 50% of Search Queries are 4+ Words. So start with long tail keyword research. Identify all the basic questions your target audience might type on Google, especially for “how to” queries. Find out three/four keyword phrases that are very, very specific to the topic.
  • * Simple & Direct Answer - The concept of providing a simple, clear, direct answer is one that adds a lot of value to users. So create a piece of clear content that directly answers the common question. Remember Google prefers logical and well-structured answers (lists, step by step instructions, or the like) over your site's relevance and authority.
  • * Value Added Info - Beyond the direct optimized answer, provide value added information on the matter. The more information a search result snippet can provide, the easier it is for users to decide whether that page is relevant to their search. Hence this step is really essential in enticing your page more clicks. The more information a search result snippet can provide, the easier it is for users to decide whether that page is relevant to their search.
  • * Essential SEO? Carry out required SEO practices to achieve higher rank. The commonly searched question should show up as a heading (H1, H2, H3, H4) on your page. The answer to the search query should be placed in a <p> tag (i.e. <p>Precise Direct Answer</p>) and be located directly under the heading. If possible, introduce a related long-tail keyword in the title tag. An answer length of 40 to 58 words is ideal for rich snippets.
  • * Easy Access? Make your content easily available to People and Google. Do share it on the social media like Facebook, Twitter and others. Do not forget to submit it to the Google search console.

How to optimize Images for Rich Snippets?

In some instances, Google also adds an image from the page, in the top right corner of the rich snippet. So it is essential to have an optimized image that helps the reach of your content.
  • Give your Images detailed Filenames

    A filename can give Google clues about the subject matter of the image. Try to make your filename a good description of the subject matter of the image. The more descriptive your filename is the more useful the image is. For example, whatsapp-font-style.jpg is more informative than IMG00922.JPG.
  • Make your Image ALT text informative

      An alt attribute is generally used to describe the contents of an image file. It is important to provide alt text for several reasons.
    • 1. Google gets useful information to determine the best image to return for a user's query.
    • 2. Descriptive alt text helps Google provide useful information to visually impaired users.
    • For example, <img src="whatsapp-font-style.jpg" alt="Different Whatsapp text formats"> is an apt example of alt attribute.
  • Place Images nearer to relevant text

    The page the image is on provides search engines with a rough idea about the image content. The content around the image provide search engines with important information about the subject matter of your image. Providing good, descriptive titles and captions for images is hugely recommended.
2/27/2017

Google rebrands Messenger - SMS Out ☞ RCS In

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Google has recently signed with 27 more carriers and device manufacturers on to its list of  partners worldwide, to launch RCS, an enhanced native messaging service for Android users.



RCS - > Rich Communications Services

Google plans to stay in the Messaging Market in the future. Ever since Google acquired Jibe Mobile, deploying RCS for Android was right around the corner. Now Google wants RCS to replace SMS as the conventional messaging app (formerly known as Messenger) on Android devices.

RCS Enhanced Features 

Added dynamic features like Group chats, High-Resolution photo sharing, Read Receipts and Typing Indicators should definitely make it better than the native SMS chat app.

Partners in the Game

Carrier Networks

Earlier this month, Google announced that it partnered with Sprint, Rogers, Telenor. Now it has partnered with Vodafone, Orange, Deutsche Telekom and Globe.

Message across Networks 

These carriers will now support RCS messaging powered by the Jibe RCS cloud from Google and will be interconnected through the Jibe RCS hub in order to ensure that RCS messages get delivered to subscribers across carrier networks.


Device manufacturers 

LG, Motorola, Sony, HTC, ZTE, Micromax, Nokia, Archos, BQ, Cherry Mobile, Condor, Fly, General Mobile, Lanix, LeEco, Lava, Kyocera, MyPhone, QMobile, Symphony and Wiko, in addition to Google’s own Pixel and Android One handsets will be preloading Android Messages on new devices to replace the current, standard Messages app.

Other & Older Android devices

For those handsets already in the market on those carrier networks, users would need to download the new app in an update. Google says it is working with more mobile handset makers to make Android Messages the default messaging app for Android devices.


With the above mentioned partnership in place,
the total number of subscribers potentially covered by Android Messages is about 1 billion globally.

2/22/2017

WhatsApp Updates Status Feature - Cool Personalized 24-Hour Timeline

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WhatsApp now lets you keep your friends updated about you in a fun and simple way. No longer is WhatsApp - a harmless message typing-sending-receiving​ app. It is totally becoming more like a brand new social network.

Best Updates - Just Introduced

  • Don't hold on - Play your videos right away & Download it in the background. 
  • You just got the long awaited Gif support. Send and receive animated GIFs for the first time.
  • WhatsApp video calling has been improved and is totally better now. 

Latest Update - Status Feature 

  • Set up multiple status updates in a day. 
  • Statuses will play one after the other. 
  • Restrict display only to selected friends. 
  • Visibility of these updates is 24 hours. 
  • Pooh! Then they just Disappear. 
Your contacts can now get a full view of your entire day. Instagram amassed 150 million users after this cool feature was added to it. Snapchat’s hugely successful Stories feature, lets users share similar transient timelines.

How to Use New WhatsApp Status? 

  • The new Status feature can be accessed on the WhatsApp home page. Status gets a tab of its own, in between Chats and Calls.
  • This new tab comes with options to:
  • Try straight image/video update using WhatsApp camera.
  • See updates from other friends and family.
  • Reply to the new “status” of friends by tapping on ‘Reply’ button.

Features in WhatsApp Status Tab

Within the Status tab find various groups:

My Status - 

Find your most recent WhatsApp status and swipe to know who has seen your Status.

Recent Updates - 

This group shows new Status messages that your friends have created in the last 24 hours.

Viewed Updates - 

The name itself is self explanatory.

Muted Updates - 

Updates from users you've muted are listed in this group.

WhatsApp Status Privacy 

  • Updates created by you are visible to all your contacts by default. 
  • You can limit the visibility like this (My contacts except) or (Only share with).
  • This real behavioural change for WhatsApp users is fully encrypted end-to-end.

When will we get WhatsApp Status Feature?

WhatsApp Status feature has started rolling out to WhatsAppers in Europe to begin with. Other regions are in line to get this awesomatic feature. It will soon be available to all users on major platforms(Android, iPhone, and Windows).