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GOOGLE CHICAGO AdobeStock 110605758Alphabet Inc. announces their intent on “Bringing Google to Chicago’s Thompson Center.”  The company announcement posted on July 27, 2022 under Google’s Company News section, conveyed the company’s plan to purchase the Thompson Center and “support (their) engineering work in Chicago,” in effort to “advance the growth of Google’s partners and customers across the Midwest and nationally”.

While Google, and their parent company “Alphabet Inc.” (both mostly known for their Search Engine Console) are both headquartered in the same Mountain View, California corporate complex, known as the “Googleplex.” The Googleplex has been reported to possesses roughly 2 million square feet of office space, the Thompson Center is not far behind with approximately 1.5 million square feet, spread across 17 floors of office and retail space.

Learn how to Create and Duplicate Search Optimized Pages in WordPressThis video tutorial demonstrates how to create and duplicate search engine optimized content using WordPress.

WordPress is a robust website blogging software which provides endless expandability by using plugins, widgets and more. There are plenty of SEO plugins for WordPress Plugins that can help you navigate search engine optimization. However, the most important thing about SEO is having a strategy.  The strategy that I found to be successful is expanding my website to include intelligently titled articles which targets search engine users that enter in specific keywords and phrases.

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EMBED Instagram Shopify pexels pixabay 461064This video tutorial demonstrates how to embed your Instagram Feed onto your Shopify Template without the need to license any additional apps. Visit www.advergroup.com for more info.

Shopify is a robust eCommerce website software which provides endless expandability by using applications or apps found in the Shopify App Store. These Shopify apps can provide some awesome expanded function ability.  However, licensing of these apps can rack up some costly monthly expenses.  

As a local "Shopify Expert" and web design company based in the Chicago area, we have become familiar with many "work arounds" to achieve expanded functions for our clients without having to them subject to ongoing Shopify fees.

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SEO Strategy by Search Engine Optimization CoachAll business owners and entrepreneurs have the same goal:  That is to be found on page #1 of Google Search Engine.  That single objective requires most conventional businesses to travel along the same path. As a Creative Director based in the Chicago area, I have worked with countless clients over the years, these clients span countless industries. We work for old companies and start-ups, many of these clients even within the same industry, many of who are often even competitors. 

In any case, to become relevant in any industry or niche, the path these business owners must travel today, is not like the days of old.  They are not buying advertisements in the yellow pages or in newspapers (do either of those even still exist).  Client's seeking success in today's modern world of business are all looking to conquer search engines. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

COVID ecommerce Surge woman having a video call 4031818Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic, the World is seeing a shift in the way business is done. With much of the World’s work-force sidelined, and with retail stores closing across the United States, our economy is evolving and consumers are looking for virtual spaces to wander. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, for those of us who are fortunate enough to remain healthy, some of us have taken advantage of the World being paused, by getting our Spring cleaning accomplished at home.  Clearing closets and clutter have been accomplished. However, if you are a business owner and/or website owner, knowing where the World's economy is headed (online), have you reviewed your business plan and website to make sure they are both adequate vehicles that are capable of carrying your business into the future? 

Do Not Steal Images This article provides some insight into copyright infringement and/or copyright claims, as it relates to the use of images on websites, while also offering ways to avoid copyright claims. This includes providing proactive actions and links to resources for free royalty-free stock images and paid royalty-free stock images.

If you own a website, or are a web designer who has used images without securing licensing then you probably know this can be a real costly endeavor. Copyright infringement is a real and occurs more often than you think.  This occurs both on purpose, and inadvertently.  In any case, the attorneys who will be contacting you do not care if it was a mistake or not. This is why it is important to use images from a trusted source (not Google Image Search), and/or license your images from a trusted stock image resource.

Before we get into providing solutions to avoiding copyright claims, let us first understand the nuts and bolts of the issue which can be realized by reviewing some frequently asked questions and answers relative to copyright infringement as it relates to "image usage on the internet".

GooglePlus Shuts Down FACEBOOK winsIn October of 2018 Google announced they would be "Protecting your data, improving our third-party APIs, and sunsetting consumer Google+".  Later in December another update would come as Google announced "Expediting changes to Google+". Most recently in December of 2018, deletion dates were provided when Google emphasized that it will shut down Google+, "due to low usage and challenges involved in maintaining a successful product that meets consumers’ expectations." as provided in Google's official statement.

While the number of mobile device users is growing, the number of social media networks is also constantly growing. However, with the recent news of Google sunsetting Google+, the "social media battle field" just got thinner. 

 

Twitter President Donald Trump

Mobile devices and social media have surely become a part of most peoples daily life. Today, these pocket sized computers have proven useful for users of all age groups. While smart phone owners use their devices for a variety of tasks including: entertainment, information and/or business; mobile devices coupled with the growth of social networks maybe changing the world beyond providing convenience as relates to access to email on the go. The use of mobile devices and the growth of social media may very well be responsible for shaping history, as it is widely believed that social media may have played a major part in the 2016 Presidential election. 

Though politics are discussed in this article, the focus of this article is technology based.

How to Fix Google Usability Issues Using Mobile Friendly & Responsive Web DesignIn 2015 Google notified all website owners of issues on their site relative to mobility issues. If your website was deficient and/or you have received an email that provided a warning stating that “Google systems has tested your site finding a percentage of your website’s pages to have critical mobile usability errors", then this is something you really should resolve.

Is it a valid concern if a website is not optimized for mobile devices? That question depends on the answer to another question. How many mobile device users are their versus desktop users. In May 2015, in the “Google Inside Adwords Blog”, within the article titled "Building for the next moment", Google stated that “Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan”. Furthermore,  www.statista.com authored an article titled "Statistics and Facts on Mobile Internet Usage" which reports that "mobile phone internet user penetration was 52.7 percent in 2015" and suggests the figure will climb to 63.4 percent by 2017.

As a local Chicago area WordPress Web Designer, we develop and maintain WordPress Websites for various clients. Furthermore, we produce WordPress web design video tutorials for our clients in efforts to assist them in embracing the content management tools provided in their WordPress Website.

        

WooCommerce is one of the most popular WordPress eCommerce plugins. WooCommerce is a free plugin that is packed full of features, perfectly integrated into your WordPress website.

This video tutorial focuses specifically on demonstrating how to add a custom text area to your WooCommerce Products.

This plugin allows your customers to customize your products by adding new options such as input boxes, dropdowns or checkboxes. With the Product Add-ons extension, gift messages, donations, laser engraving and any other product which may require user input in some way is now an option for your customers!

WooCommerce Add-ons can be added globally or per-product from the edit product page – they can also be named described, re-ordered and optionally given prices which will automatically be added to the product price if chosen by the customer. This extension can also work with the WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin to add additional pricing with your options to the recurring subscription.

If you are seeking a local eCommerce or WordPress web designer in the Chicago area, then contact AdverGroup Web Design today!

Wordpress-vs-Joomla-320px-VOTE

Developing a new website triggers many questions for those seeking to develop a successful website. Perhaps the first and most important question is: which website software or platform should be used? This article compares the two leading content management systems: Wordpress and Joomla. While also offering criteria to adequately determine which web design software is right for you. 

Before proceeding into a side by side comparison, you must first understand all of your website's needs which may reveal which option best suits your needs.

Whether, you are a web design professional or a person with zero web development experience, or an experienced web developer, the information shared in this article and criteria to consider are pertinent to both perspectives.

Therefore, this article will explore the following criteria: 

A. Understanding all your options when selecting a web development platform for a web development project:

1.   Web builders provided by hosting companies

2.  Open Source Solutions (Wordpress and Joomla)

3.  Custom Developed Proprietary Software

B.  Criteria for basing your selection

1.  Function ability required by project objective

2.  Ease of use

3.  The future of your website and the website software you are leaning towards.

C. Comparing Wordpress versus Joomla

1.  Popularity

2.  Origins

3.  Core Features


Google Matt Cutts Most Interesting Man in World SEOIf you don’t know who Matt Cutts is, then you probably have not been paying much attention to the world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). If you own or manage a website and have an interest in growing your web presence, then its time you learn more about Matt Cutts.

When viewing Google’s Management Team Page, provided on their company website. You will not see a photo or even a description of Matt Cutts. I find this funny considering, that when Matt Cutts speaks, his words have a more significant impact on the world of SEO than any other Google staff member.

Perhaps you are more familiar with the "stay thirsty" ad campaign put on by Dos Equis Beer. Whereas their spokesman is a older distinguished gentlemen who is lauded as "the most interesting man in the world". I could not help but to rewrite many of the popular sayings so that they are relevant to the world of SEO and Matt Cutts.

"Search engines base their results upon his guidelines"

"His words are considered golden"

"He is fluent in all search engine algorithms, even those that have not been developed yet"

License Free Images of MoneyThink of it as free money, or free "images of money". As this collection of money (hundred dollar bill) photographs are yours to use on your website or printed literature with out any further licensing. All that we ask is that you provide photo credits to www.advergroup.com (feel free to remove the watermark as long as photography credit is provided).

About these free photos of $100 Bills: This entire session was planned with the intention to capture and provide free images of money ($100 dollar bills) to the world-wide-web. We treated this project just like every other product photography photo shoot. We organized product in positions, we shot hundreds of angles. and we used various backgrounds and lighting techniques. Upon completion of our photography session, (just like every other product photography session) we also processed these images using Adobe Photoshop cleaning up any imperfections.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ALL IMAGES AND TO DOWNLOAD THE IMAGES OF MONEY IN HIGH RESOLUTION

     
   

This video tutorial demonstrates how to implement lightbox galleries within Joomla Articles, as well as with in the k2 Article component.  

As with any function ability, there are various 3rd party components that will provide any given function ability. 

This article documents the step-by-step process and provides links to the plugin and module utilized in this video tutorial. 

Continue reading to view all the steps required to achieve image gallerie lightbox gallery within your Joomla articles.

HEALTH CARE gov most expensive website copyHealthcare.gov may be the most talked about website since the days of Facebook going public! Healthcare.gov is a healthcare exchange website created by and operated under the United States Federal Government as per the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) which was signed into law March 23, 2010.  The PPACA was designed to serve the residents of the thirty-six U.S. states that opted not to create their own state exchanges.   In order to achieve the goals of the PPACA, as with many other businesses, industries and endeavors, a service based website was required.

Healthcare.gov is the government website which was developed to provide a way for Americans to “comparison shop” between different possible health insurance options for an individual within his or her state, with a visual format somewhat similar to websites such as Amazon.com and Etsy.

While the Healthcare.gov website has been criticized and dragged through the mud, is it really a broken website or is all the noise created by those who oppose the politics behind the National Health Care initiative?

video-tutorials--Virtuemart

This article provides a brief video tutorial which demonstrates how to create and/or clone items using the Virtuemart eCommerce Solution in your Joomla Website. 

AdverGroup Web Design specializes in installing and configuring Virtuemart for clients seeking an out of the box Shopping Cart solution for eCommerce Websites. We often recommend the use of Virtuemart as it provides an easy-to-use eCommerce Solution for the Joomla CMS.

VirtueMart is an Open Source E-Commerce solution (a Component or Plug-in) for the Joomla! Content Management System. It can be run as a Shopping Cart, or in Catalog mode. In order to utilize Virtuemart you need to install Joomla! first (as the "Framework"), and then install & configure VirtueMart. This component provides a total shopping cart and invoicing eCommerce extension to the Joomla CMS.

Here at AdverGroup Web Design in Arlington Heights, IL we teach our clients how to be good content managers. So we have produced a series of basic training video demonstrating Joomla and many Joomla 3rd Party Components.

In this tutorial you will learn how to create and/or clone products using the Virtuemart eCommerce component for the Joomla Content Management System.

VIRTUEMARTAre you having an issue with your Virtuemart Shopping Cart not working? As an ecommerce Website Developer, we have developed a multitude of Virtuemart websites. Having developed numerous ecommerce websites in Joomla 1.5 and Joomla 2.5, utilizing Virtuemart 1.0 and Virtuemart 2.0, AdverGroup Web Design has become very effective at troubleshooting Virtuemart.

In using Virtuemart 2.0 we have incurred a common issue whereas the AJAX shopping cart would randomly stop working. After months of effective use, this issue seemed to come out of no where on many Virtuemart 2.0 websites. Upon searching for a solution using Google, we discovered this to be a common issue. This article provides details on how to remedy this issue.

video-tutorials--JOOMLAWelcome to the basic training video tutorial for Joomla 2.5

Joomla is an award-winning content management system (CMS), which enables users to build Web sites and powerful online applications. Many aspects, including its ease-of-use and extensibility, have made Joomla the most popular Web site software available. Best of all, Joomla is an open source solution that is freely available to everyone.

Joomla is the most expandable and easy to use open source content management system available today! One of the most important facets of Search Engine Optimization is maintaining a fresh updated website. The easy-to-use content management tools provided by Joomla make this easy for any business owner/website owner that is not a professional web designer.Therefore, AdverGroup recommends Joomla as our number one choice in open source Content Management Systems.

Here at AdverGroup teach our clients how to be good content managers. So we have produced a series of basic training video demonstrating Joomla and many Joomla 3rd Party Components.

In this tutorial you will learn how to update your websites articles and menu items.

Is your Business located on Google Maps and Google Places for Business? 

GOOGLE MAPS Icon

If not, it should be! Despite the simple fact that search engines such as Google and Yahoo have replaced the stone aged telephone books, both of these search engine titans also possess business listing services. Google has Google+ Places and Zagat, while Yahoo has Yelp. All which utilize map based business listings. These map based business listings assist consumers in finding business near their physical locations. This is even more relevant in today’s age of mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablets.

For instance, as a consumer is driving on the Kennedy Expressway in Chicago. A person in this vehicle is seeking a coffee shop nearby. They grab their iphone, open their web search and enter coffee shops. Their mobile device will provide map results, prior to providing web page results because the search engine has detected that they are mobile. Will your business show up if a smart phone or tablet user searches for your business type? If your business is not listed on Google Places for Business or Google+ Local then the answer is no!

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META TAG ANALYZING TOOLDespite any modifications Google Search may implement in their search algorithms, depth of valuable content will always reign supreme. That being said, making sure your content is meta-tagged properly may be the single most important part of optimizing your website for search engines.

I always tell my clients that search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing are not going to put words in your mouth! In other words, if you are a "Plumber", then search engines will not assume that you provide "Hot Water Heater Repair Services" or "Sump Pump Repairs" unless there are "titled articles" along with text content, meta description and keywords which exist on your site communicating this.

This article demonstrates the basic fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), specifically coding metadata such as meta descriptions and meta keywords into your websites content and articles. Additionally, this article provides a real working tool "the Meta Tag Analyzer", which will assist you in ensuring that your content and meta elements are accurate and in harmony with one another.

The words and phrases that you utilize in this "meta data" is not a guessing game. You can also use the "Meta Tag Analyzing Tool" to assist you in knowing exactly which phrases and keywords to use (specific to each article's content). 

Before using the metadata analyzer provided at the bottom of this article, you would be best served by reading this entire article.

KUNENA FORUM LATEST ACTIVITY -JOOMLAMany of our blog items provide in depth information for the average web design client. However, as a premier Joomla Web Developer located in the Chicago area, we often resolve common issues with Joomla website configurations, templates, components, modules, etc....

As a web developer with extensive experience with Joomla and Joomla 3rd party components, we sink our teeth into issues like this and often remedy issues that few Joomla developers can. Recently we resolved a very common issue with the Kunena Latest Activity Module. 

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How to update S5 Image Slider- SAMPLE-small-NINOS

There are a variety of Joomla modules that can achieve a sliding or rotating image effect on your website. This module can be useful in displaying a number of photos or images along with text within your Joomla website. The S5 Image Fader is a great way to display banner ads and rotate through the images on your website with a nice fade effect plus many other options.

This article provides a tutorial on how to update the S5 Image Fader using the Joomla Content Management System. *The steps provided below are assuming that this module has been installed and has been created to exist in your module manager. 

Back in the day, consumers relied on newspapers and/or the yellow pages to gain information and/or to select a contractor or business. With the birth of the Internet, it is clear that most people now rely on their favorite search engine to assist them in researching and selecting their contractors or company to do business with. Many of us have become so accustomed to using search engines, that it is really hard to believe that search engines did not even exist until about 1990.

SEO Secrets | Search Engine Optimization Web DesignBefore getting into the nuts and bolts of what SEO is all about, it is important to understand the basic mechanics behind search engines.  What is a search engine? A web search engine is designed to search for information on the World Wide Web, in which results are generally presented in a line of results often referred to as "search engine results pages (SERP's)". Unlike web directories, which are maintained only by human editors, search engines also maintain real-time information by running an algorithm on a web crawler. One of the first "all text" crawler-based search engines was Web Crawler, which came out in 1994. Unlike its predecessors, it let users search for any word in any web-page, which has become the standard for all major search engines since.

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LIGHTBOXI was recently developing a Joomla Website for a client who provided screenshots demonstrating their services. Embedding these images worked well for the article at a glance. However, what happened when a front end user clicked on the image? Using the typical  linking function provided in the Joomla Article editor, you could link to a larger version. However this larger version was simply a link to the actual JPG. This resulted in taking the user outside of your Joomla Websites Structure and into your Internet browser to view the actual JPG File. This was not appealing to the eye, nor for the sites overall content navigation.

As a result of the detailed images (screenshots) that the client provided, this project required the ability to zoom in on these large images. This article provides directions on how to achieve light-box image function ability for images embedded into Joomla Articles.

FACEBOOK To MONETIZEEven as Facebook currently enjoys recent gains in the stock market, questions continue to whirl in the media about how Facebook plans to satisfy investors in moving forward with a plan to monetize?

What does the monetization of Facebook really mean to its users? Is it possible that Facebook will require paid memberships, or will Facebook be able to satisfy its shareholders without asking it's members to foot the bill? This article reviews Facebook's stock performance history and explores the real mechanisms that Facebook is already implementing to monetize its successful social network.

As reported on the Joomla Website, Lenoardo Di Caprio uses Joomla on his new site LeonardoDiCaprio.com.

leonardo-SMALLLeonardo Di Caprio is one of the most famous actors in the world. Leonardo has shown the ability to choose great roles, starring in movies from Inception and Gangs of New York to Titanic and Catch Me if You Can. It seems he can also choose great software. His new site LeonardoDiCaprio.com runs Joomla. This is a particularly interesting site in its design and its navigation.

Who else uses Joomla? Leo joins the ranks of numerous other big names that use Joomla. Other big names that use the Joomla platform include Major Television Networks, Retailers, Car Manufacturers and even Government Agencies. Names such as McDonalds, JaguarPizza Hut, MTV, Sony Pictures, Mexico City and even the United Kingdoms Ministry of Defense.

Bad for SEO--FREE WEBSITE BUILDERS godaddy jimbdo wixAs many business owners have come to realize, having a quality web site for your business is no longer an option, it is a requirement. Where many business owners have gone wrong, is in thinking that just a having a simple info page satisfies the “web site requirement”. The key word is quality, not just in regards to design but in regards to SEO!

I will get straight to the bottom line in saying: Using a FREE WEB SITE BUILDER such as Wix, GoDaddy’s Website Builder, Jimdo and Zenfolio provide only one true benefit to businesses on a budget, it is FREE.   That single benefit of providing a “free website builder” is actually costing you more in lost revenues due to its weakness in Search Engine Optimization. Additionally, sites like Wix and Zenfolio cost much more on annual term to host. So your FREE WEB BUILDER is not exactly free. Compare Wix hosting with website at over $200 annually, to GoDaddy which will cost roughly $80 per year using Joomla or Wordpress.


video-tutorials--JOOMLA-K2-blogThis article includes a brief video tutorial that demonstrates the function ability provided by the K2 blog component for Joomla.

Blogging is an important factor in regards to Search Engine Optimization.  As Google and other search engines seek content rich websites that are frequantly updated and visited by unique visitors. Therefore, utilizing ablog on your website is important.

When it comes to blogging on your Joomla website, AdverGroup Web Design in Chicago recomends using the K2 Blog Component developed by JoomlaWorks. Using K2, you can transform your Joomla! website to a news/magazine site with author blogs, product catalogs, work portfolio, knowledge base, download/document manager, directory listing, event listing & more, all this bundled under one package!

Continue reading to view the video tutorial:

JOOMLA ERROR SOLVED: Joomla Admin Section Menu Manager Issue.

After performing Akeeba Back ups and jump starting the back up on to a godaddy hosting package I was unable to update or access and menu items in the Joomla Menu Manager of the administration section. This issue also surfaced after performing upgrades form past versions of Joomla to 2.5.  Being that my clients website was hosted with Godaddy, I was required to communicate with Godaddy Technical support who conveyed that this is a common issue to which no solution has been achieved. After hours of troubleshooting with no help from GoDaddy Support (whose only advise was to rebuild the site from scratch), I was able to solve this issue!

This video tutorial demonstrates how to create a PDF that can turn pages. In order to achieve this function we have employed the use a component that was developed by http://www.joomplace.com. The Flash Magazine Deluxe Joomla Component provides an attractive page peeling effect for PDF viewing.

This Joomla! Flash Magazine component helps you to set off your online flash book, magazine or sales catalogue with special flipping pages effect. Users can manually list online magazine pages with the mouse cursor and navigate the content using user-friendly controls. There is a possibility to flip the book's pages in automated mode too.

Continue reading to view the video tutorial:

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Yes, it is true that Google Places is no more! However the replacement of Google Places with Google Plus Local is a logical move for Google.  As Google aims to topple Facebook and Twitter as the web’s leading online communities, “Google Plus” is their vehicle to do so.  This article provides an in-depth look into Google and Google’s products that relate to Google Plus and Google Plus Local. If you can afford a moment to read this article, you will understand how significant the birth of Google Plus Local is, as it relates to Google’s big picture.

Why does it make sense for Google to enter the Social Networking arena? With the creation of “Google Plus” and now Google Plus Local, Google plans to merge all of their technology under one roof!  Google has been strategically building their tools to dominate the online industry. After search engines, Google has been leading the innovative mapping industry with Google Maps. With Google owning the map market, you can assume that they have all the pieces in place to bring a “local” appeal to any social community they may be involved in developing.

With the advent of Web Content Management Systems, began an era where a regular person could easily update, edit, publish and modify a web sites content using a web based control panel. This means a person without web design training or expensive software programs could update their website as easy as posting status, text and images on social networking sites such as FaceBook or LinkedIN. A much added bonus is that, those who have developed their sites in a CMS no longer suffer from paying expensive hourly maintenance fees as they manage to keep their site up to date.

Features and function abilities of the various Content Management Systems differ from system to system; many simpler systems showcase only a handful of features, while others are much more complex and powerful. The industry offers “Open Source” (Free & Community Driven) and “Proprietary” (PAID and Custom Developed) systems. Both Open Source and Proprietary Options offer pros and cons. Whereas Open Source options, such as Wordpress and Joomla have proven to be a more cost effective solution for many small business owners. While Proprietary Systems are custom developed resources that are built to achieve special function ability, security features and compatibility to offline systems. However in current times, it is a safe assumption that Proprietary software's role as the primary innovator in the global market is most certainly over. As I often say myself, “Why try to rebuild the wheel, this has been done before”. Being that Open Source solutions are community drivin, the envelope is constantly being pushed!

Before proceeding it is important to understand what "Copywrite" is and means: Copywriting is the act of writing copy (text) for the purpose of advertising or marketing a product, business, person, opinion or idea. The addressee (reader, listener, etc.) of the copy is meant to be persuaded to buy the product or service that is advertised, or subscribe to the viewpoint the text communicates.

Good web copy is developed in way that provides an easy and informative read for your website visitors, while frequently hitting on all the key words and phrases a search engine may seek when querying the internet.  Sounds easy enough, right? ....well not exactly! Obviously humans digest web content differently than robot algorithms set to scan your site's content.  The challenge in developing web copy that suits both search engines and site users.

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