GOOGLE SEO: What are the SEO trends in 2017?

London, UNITED KINGDOM
MEHFUZ HUSSAIN (writer) with VIJAY SHAH (editor)

 

This article was written by Mehfuz Hussain, a digital marketing specialist based in London with expertise in online marketing concepts and Google Analytics.

Search Engine Optimisation has seen many changes in 2016 thanks to Google. From the launch of its ambitious AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) Project in February 2016, Google has shaken up the way traditional SEO worked. Understandably, Google knows well that the best way to dominate the industry is to be aware of how search engines are changing, and strategising SEO and content techniques accordingly. The world of SEO continues to evolve at high speed. While some SEO techniques have been a staple for several years, there will be many new ones that you will have to pay attention to. Here are some of the game-changing trends to help you stay ahead this year.

 

Photo credit: BigOakInc.com

 

1. Mobile-first Approach by Businesses

With ongoing improvements in the mobile computing field, browsing on mobiles has become equivalent to desktop browsing if not more In many countries, mobile browsing is more popular and dominant than via traditional desktops and laptops. In the last few years, the plethora of new smartphones with internet capabilities has changed the way search engine look at them. Remember Mobilegeddon?

A few months ago, Google said, “To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.” This influenced their latest search algorithm which prioritised ‘responsive’ websites at the cost of older, mobile-unfriendly sites.

So, in 2017, your top priority is to separate your desktop and mobile measurement plans to account for the fundamental differences between mobile and desktop behaviour.

 

2. Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Google Rank Brain

There is no doubt, Google’s main focus in 2017 is on Artificial Intelligence. If you followed the Google I/O event 2016, most announcements were related to AI. Google also said that the speech recognition errors have reduced from 25 to 8 percent. It’s been officially named Google’s third-most important ranking factor. Voice search will grow even more in 2017, with better voice recognition and understanding.

 

3. Infographics

Infographics make complex information eye-catching, shareable and easily digestible. An image coupled with information tends to stay in the minds of readers. Such content generates more social shares and also generates leads. Of course, your content should also be suitable enough to add Infographics to it, and they can really make it pop.

 

4. AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) takes centre stage

A great way to ensure better user experience is switching over to Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). More brands are using this option as Google also has begun to favour the use of AMP. It contains three sections – AMP HTML, AMP JS, and Google AMP Cache. Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP) allows websites to make pages equipped for loading right away onto mobile screens. Interestingly, sites that have switched over to AMP are given more visibility with a special icon in Google searches.

 

 

5. Branding gets personal

There is no denying the power of personal branding. If used strategically, it can be a powerful tool in ensuring the success of SEO campaigns. Even social media platforms like Facebook refine their algorithms to favour individual posts over branded posts. Also, once you have a personal brand in place, it gets much easier to boost user trust and engagement. This, in turn, will up the traffic to your site.

 

6. HTTPS Everywhere

Google has inducted https as a ranking factor in its algorithm. Since then many companies hurriedly made the transition from HTTP to HTTPS in order to protect their own and their users’ privacy. It helps even more if there is money transactions happening on the website (e-commerce) and gives consumers extra confidence about their privacy. Let’s expect more websites switching to HTTPS than ever before in the history of the Web.

 

7. Focus on Content Curation

Though many people do not realise it, content marketing and SEO needs to work together for better results and visibility. Include all types of content in the mix: press releases and newsletters as well as articles and blog posts. A good content mix will help you increase backlinks on authority websites and establish you as an expert in your field. This strategy will help you boost your business to the top of Google’s SERPs.

 

2017 will see a massive hike in Internet usage. People are more concerned about the content they read. Now is the right time to prepare a well-developed strategy to survive in the market and beat the competition. As an SEO marketer, you have to be prepared for changes. Keep an close eye on SEO trends in 2017. All the best everyone!

 

IMAGE CREDITS:
“Google SEO Magnifying Glass” – BigOakFlickr, Flickr (1 July 2016) https://www.flickr.com/photos/31682982@N03/27940989741
“Free illustration: Seo, Web Page, Responsive – Free Image on Pixabay – 2016484” – Templune, pixabay https://pixabay.com/en/seo-web-page-responsive-web-design-2016484/

QUOTE MOMENT: Don’t let words control you

 

Don’t let the nasty utterances of other people bring you down and cause you to lash out in anger. Let their comments and attitudes flow over you like water over a stone. Remember the old adage – “Sticks and stones may break  my bones, but words can never hurt me”. Be impervious to people who talk rubbish, don’t give them the reaction they want, and you will come out looking the stronger and better person.

SOURCE/IMAGE CREDITS:
Forgive me Allah, Facebook, Facebook Inc. https://www.facebook.com/LordForgiveMe/
Alia Hellz Bachell.

BAFTA: Guru LIVE sessions this bank holiday weekend

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London, UNITED KINGDOM
VIJAY SHAH via BAFTA

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is organising a special series of sessions to offer the latest tips and advice for people working in the industries of film, television and game design this month. The academy, well-known for its yearly televised BAFTA Awards honouring the best in British television, has unveiled ‘Guru LIVE’. This is three days of talks and discussion panels with leading lights in the media industry.

The event, which takes place in London over the May Bank Holiday weekend from April 30th to May 2nd, will see attendees receive advice and insights in their chosen industry from BAFTA Award winners, nominees and the Academy’s industrial partners.

BAFTA have also released a YouTube trailer to encourage people starting out in the creative industries to come and bring their ideas and how to get a foot in the door.

Tickets cost only £6 per session, making Guru LIVE ideal for students on a tight budget.

BAFTA is a independent charity that support and nurtures film and TV talent and production in the U.K.,  by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public. It offers training and networking opportunities via workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes, connecting with audiences of all ages and backgrounds across the U.K. and abroad in Los Angeles and New York, U.S.A.

SOURCES:
HEM Businesses, The Half-Eaten Mind, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/hem-businesses
Film London, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/Film_London
BAFTA Guru, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/BAFTAGuru
“Guru LIVE” – Guru, British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) http://guru.bafta.org/live
“About” – British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) http://www.bafta.org/about
VIDEO CREDIT:
“Kick-start your career in film, TV or games with Guru Live!” – BAFTA Guru, YouTube GB (1 March 2016) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FooLCR4nxSw

CANADA SAVING TIME: Clocks go forward this weekend

Montreal, CANADA
VIJAY SHAH via Montreal Gazette and ReportCA.net

Residents in most parts of Canada are being notified that they will need to change their clocks an hour forward as much of the country switches from standard time to daylight saving time this weekend, meaning they will technically lose an hour of sleep, the Montreal Gazette reports via ReportCA.net.

The time change kicked in on yesterday night towards this morning and those who have not yet made the change are being encouraged to reset their watches and clocks to avoid arriving an hour late for work tomorrow, the Gazette advises.

 

While most Canadian provinces such as Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia, which operate on different timezones anyway, will observe daylight savings time, this does not apply to every part of Canada. The province of Sasketchewan remains on Central Standard Time year-round. Other regions that will not be changing their clocks are a part of north-east British Columbia, as well as that province’s East Kootenay region; three villages in the Central Time Zone covering north-west Ontario, the eastern tip of Quebec and Southampton Island in the northern Arctic province of Nunavut.

Everyone outside those areas will be observing DST until it finishes on November 6, 2016, in which case they will return their clocks an hour back to winter time.

The Montreal Gazette is also warning drivers to take extra care on roads over fears that the lost hour of sleep will impair their motoring ability on Canada’s highways. The newspaper cited a 1996 study in the New England Journal of Medicine that showed car accidents shot up by 8 per cent on the first Monday after the clocks change.

SOURCES:
HEM News Agency, The Half-Eaten Mind, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/hem-news-agency
Report 24 Canada, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/Report24CA
“Don”t forget to set clocks ahead an hour tonight and drive carefully Monday” – Montreal Gazette via ReportCA.net – Canada (13 March 2016) http://reportca.net/2016/03/dont-forget-to-set-clocks-ahead-an-hour-tonight-and-drive-carefully-monday/
IMAGE CREDIT:
Getty Images via Zemanta.

WORKPLACE PENSIONS: Advice and information from the DWP

Since October 2012, all British workplaces have been required to offer a ‘workplace pension’ to all their permanent employees. The rule was first applied to large companies, but now all employers, even those run by one person with one staff member, must have pension provisions in place by law. Until then, employers varied wildly in their pensions packages or whether they even offered them.

The UK’s Department for Work and Pensions, in collaboration with the Pensions Regulator have a useful website which aims to demystify the regulations surrounding compulsory pension schemes, a scheme known officially as ‘Automatic Enrollment’. As millions of people now have workplace pensions that both they and their employer pay into, the website explains to businesses how this will affect them, their businesses and their clients’ businesses.

Even if a company has only a single employee, that employee still needs to have a pension to help secure their staff’s income post-retirement. This includes cleaners, nannies, PAs and other personal care assistants. Employers are defined by the DWP as those who pay wages and deduct tax and National Insurance contributions from their salaries. If a company employs agency staff however, then responsibility for automatic enrolment lies with the agency, not the company using the workers. So far, around 79,000 employers have already signed up.

So far, 5.4 million employees have already been automatically enrolled, where they will see their pensions topped up by the employer and get these contributions paid into their pension pot tax free. The employee also benefits as this means they can start saving for retirement early. The earlier someone starts putting money aside for their later years, the better financial circumstances they will have when that time comes. Until AE was phased in, many employees had no pension plan put in place, which would have meant them relying on the basic State Pension. Many companies simply did not offer pensions, and many workers had not given any thought to what would happen once they no longer need to work. Employees who have retirement plans already in place or who do not plan to retire in the UK, for example, can opt out of the pension scheme if they wish. Under the scheme, employees can only be enrolled if they are not now with a pension, are aged between 22 and the ‘state pension age’ (65 for men and women currently) and work in Britain on a salary of £10,000 or more a year.

Using the catchy hashtag #DontIgnoreIt, the DWP and the Pensions Regulator are promoting the site with the help of a brightly coloured and furry mascot named Workie, a ‘larger-than-life’ character created to help remind employers of their pension responsibilities. The site also features a video starring millionaire businessman and panel member of the Dragon’s Den show Theo Paphitis, explaining the benefits of workplace pensions for employees.

The website is available at: www.workplacepensions.gov.uk

SOURCES:
“HEM Businesses” – The Half-Eaten Mind, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/hem-businesses
DWP, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/DWP
“Workplace Pensions” – Department for Work and Pensions and Pensions Regulator http://www.workplacepensions.gov.uk/?utm_source=Social%20media&utm_medium=Twitter&utm_campaign=TPRAEE102015
“Employers” – Department for Work and Pensions and Pensions Regulator http://www.workplacepensions.gov.uk/employer/
“Employees” – Department for Work and Pensions and Pensions Regulator http://www.workplacepensions.gov.uk/employee/
IMAGE CREDIT:
Getty Images via Zemanta.

PHOTO MOMENT: Kindness should not be the exception

“Kindness should become the natural way of life, not the exception.”

Kindness is one of the most beautiful aspects of humanity. Doing good things for each other, helping others and being there as a shoulder to cry or rest on. However there are a lot of dark things happening in this world, and at times, it well seems kindness is in short supply.

Let’s move from hatred, discrimination, warmongering and violence and learn to treat each other more with kindness and understanding. Let’s make it our natural way of life, not just something to be unwrapped only for special occasions.

Check out my new blog GIFVILLE here.

IMAGE CREDITS:
Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984
faisal ◕‿◕ alfaisal‏, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/bdonesem
Spirit Science https://www.facebook.com/thespiritscience/

BLACK FRIDAY: Don’t let it become ‘black eye’ day

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London, UNITED KINGDOM
VIJAY SHAH via SWNS digitalhub

The American commercial tradition of Black Friday has made its presence felt on our shores and high streets these past couple of year. One of the most important days for sales and footfall in the retail calendar, Black Friday is when shops slash the prices of items like white goods, clothes and electricals by as much as 50-70%. While Black Friday is a blessing for bargain hunters, it has also become notorious for scenes of absolute mayhem, with videos surfacing of shoppers tussling with and climbing over each other to hook that last widescreen smart TV. In some cases, stores participating in Black Friday sales had been forced to call police in to quell fights and near riots.

Despite the bad publicity around some incidents on Black Friday, a recent survey of 2,000 adults produced by the Nationwide building society found that one in ten Britons is still prepared to brave the crowds and stand toe-to-toe with fellow shoppers to bag those once-a-year heavily reduced must-haves. The study also found that many shoppers are prepared to tough it for the best bargains, with many survey respondents expecting to awaken their aggressive streaks as they hit the high streets for this year’s Black Friday events on November 27.

(c) SWNS digital/72Point

 

The Nationwide survey figures also show that in 2014, one in three adults made a trip to the shopping centre on Black Friday. This year, the average shopper is expected to spend £176. Altogether, customers are predicted to spend £120 million on debit cards alone, more than on December 19th, the last Friday before Christmas, when shopkeepers and retailers expect to recieve the most takings as people scour the shops for last-minute festive gifts.

Phil Smith, head of current accounts at Nationwide, which commissioned the study, said: “For many, Black Friday coincides with the last payday before Christmas, so they use it to kick-start and supplement their Christmas shopping.

“And with only a limited number of the best deals available, tensions can spill over, resulting in arguments over goods usually associated with panic buying.

‘’This means that in the cold light of day, what seemed to be a good bargain could end up being a waste of money.

“Customers should consider doing a little bit of research and planning beforehand, as many stores will advertise offers ahead of time.

‘’In doing so, we can ensure we’re buying the goods we actually want at a discounted price rather than being tempted by the lure of a bargain on something we don’t particularly need.”

The Nationwide survey also predicted the most popular Black Friday items shoppers will want on their lists include home appliances such as microwaves, coffee machines, and blenders, laptops, computer and video games and televisions.

However reduced items often quickly run out of stock, leading to customers duking it out in the aisles and jackets and hair being pulled. The Nationwide’s shopping poll discovered that men are nearly twice as likely to clash over stuff on the shelf as women. One in eight (13%) were prepared to get into an argument with another shopper, compared with 7% of surveyed female respondents. Ironically for the arguments over the last television or CD player that will be occurring in stores up and down the British Isles, the poll also discovered that one in eight adults (13%) will end up returning goods for refunds.

In fact, Black Friday could result in thousands of returned items, as more than half confessed to surrendering to impulse purchases on the day.

Nationwide’s Phil Smith added: “This Black Friday, people should consider putting money aside for something they actually want rather than simply buying something because it is listed as a bargain.

‘’The benefits of impulse saving can have a positive impact on our finances. And for those who make big home appliance purchases, consider extending your warranty to cover all eventualities.’’

Several leading high street names including Curry’s, Argos, GAME and John Lewis are already gearing up with in-store Black Friday linked promotions and figures for online shopping too are expected to reach stellar proportions. Last year, £810 million was spend online alone by UK shoppers.

SOURCE/IMAGE CREDIT:
“Don’t Let Black Friday Turn Into Black Eye Day” – SWNS digital/72Point (25 November 2015) http://www.swnsdigital.com/2015/11/dont-let-black-friday-turn-into-black-eye-day/

GOSSIP: A Turkish proverb

 

“Who gossips to you will gossip of you”

An old Turkish proverb relating the importance of not gossiping and backbiting about other people or indulging yourself in other people’s gossip. It may be riveting and appeal to the darker side of our curiosity, but the proverbial dung can fly in all directions. You may revel in hearing about what the gossiped-about person allegedly got up to, but how do you know the gossip is not spreading your muck around too?

The negative form of gossiping, as opposed to just sharing information around, is in my opinion one of the lowest forms of human communication. Gossips very much trade in bringing other people down and inflating their own smug sense of self-worth. They may be confiding another person’s secrets to you, without that other person’s permission of course, but then what is stopping them from doing the same to you, if say, they fell out with you or if they like stirring crap for crap’s sake. Gossiping encourages bullying and low self-esteem and exacerbates conflicts. It is a poisonous thing to do or get involved with.

Don’t feed the trolls.

SOURCES:
Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984
Quote Delight, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/QuoteDelight
Quote Mirror, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/Quote_Mirror
IMAGE CREDIT:
Quote Mirror, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/Quote_Mirror

SULLEE J: Innovative Mind

Article by Sullee J (musician/contributor)

Foreword by Vijay Shah (blogger/editor)

Baltimore-based rap musician Sullee J has consistently wowwed hip-hop fans across the Atlantic and across the seven seas with his amazing musical style, eminent collaborations with the cream of national and local hip-hop talent, and of course, his powerful vocabulary and lyrical expression.

As befitting a blog with the name of ‘The Half-Eaten Mind’, Sullee J has penned a special article that will question your every move and mental conception. In this exclusive piece, Sullee J challenges us to look within ourselves. Do you ever wonder why we do the things we do? What reasons or intentions do we have behind them? Have you ever regretted anything? What is the source behind our justified facts we store in our minds?

This thought-provoking article is a valuable chance for our readers as in one way, it challenges who we are, our viewpoint of the world and also importantly, it is a life altering wake-up call to the mind, body and soul of everyone who imbibes the words of ‘Innovative Mind’. Written in Sullee J’s unmistakable brand of eloquent and catchy language, this is what is needed for us to take a long hard look at ourselves and how we regard and work with others around us.

(c) Sullee J Management

 

 *** “Innovative Mind” by Sullee J ***

 

How in tune is your mind with your soul? How much in doom is your heart from the times you’ve lost self-control? How much has the logic of your mind disregarded the truth from your heart, and afflicted you whole? If you were to rewind the times and paid attention to your blindness, how much would you need to prescribe to unwind the roles? Knots you have made, internal blocks, this whole time you were behind the mind that sewed. Am I wrong? Were you not addicted to your decisions? Do you question all that you dose daily; are you attentive to your prescriptions? Do you dwell on the consequence of your actions? Do you dare make a move in this universe and doubt the formation of a reaction. Have you become so obsessed with your habits, that you have justified your own silly truth? That’s a bit doltish! A fact does not need elaboration, the truth attacks with no emotion at high voltage. Once hit by the tip of its sphere, surely you can’t go back to old notions. Question yourself! Don’t think you’re moving right, just because what you know has kept you in motion.

 

Oh wise one, how wise can one be, for even when his wise peaks, he’s still unaware of what’s beyond his eyes, the unseen. Oh wise one, how wise can one be, when the wisest he has been, has still not allowed him to understand, why one dreams? What degree of truth do you provide, when the conviction you supply comes with an emotional rise? Why do you deny what you deny, and what makes you agree to the clever linguistics of only one side? What is so attracting about the exterior, when putrescent inside? Do you question your connection to all that you connect with? These are questions, and I suggest we keep on reflecting! Do you follow a crowd because of familiarity? Do you know what you know to be the truth, or bond with it just because of similarities? Pfft! Such hypnotherapy! Somnolence is the wrong fuel for clarity! Learn! Knowledge is the best form of charity! I would lead you astray not. I am only dilating the vessels which you have allowed to narrow over time, in order for you to conclude in temerity.

 

Oh sincere ones, from which artery have you pulled your intent out of? What has derived you to commit to such a selfless act? Have you bargained your time and expense for the account of a good deed or a shade of light? From which angle have you approached such presentation? In every journey which you find yourself, do you question your motive? Has it benefited you in any form? And if so, will you deny that all roses come with thorns? Or that all prizes come with surprises. Are you prepared to stay in solidarity with your deed, or is it a mere payment toward a fee from a previous greed? These are indeed questions for the inner self, from the very parts which have been sworn. What is your reason behind the very act you have sprung toward? Is it foolish to be aware of why we do things? What is so attractive about one who has to show less? What is so appealing about promoting the hopeless? What is so exciting about the negativity? Surely, this gossip is the way of the grotesque! Don’t just know what you know, it’s time for an internal protest!

 

Truth is clear, so why do we base it on color? For what reason do we create hate, when the emotion is not an innate trait, it’s a practiced sight. How many of our leaders claim to be magnanimous in character, but they’re the fractured type. This generation worships illusions and attractions, and then wonders why they’re mad at life. What good is your innovation, if it has no clear indication? Why slander another with imputation to justify your own equivocation? How is the tactics of instigating war over seas supposed to be mitigating? This is systematic slavery, this isn’t liberation! What good is your vision, when it contains not precision? What good is your ambition, if it remains with not persistence? How many times do we justify decisions and complain of our condition? Once we are capable of answering our own questions, we will then know the difference. This is the definition of our definite existence!

 

Not only do we seem to neglect the blessings we’ve been granted, we deny the fact that they even exist. Have you bewildered yourself? Have you forgotten the meaning of indigenous? Why has it become a trend to beautify artificial ligaments? Why do we have women running around with fake body parts, degrading their images? Men falling for superficial innocence. This is the face of wickedness. How do you claim to be a righteous king or queen? You don’t even respect your organs! What do I mean? Do you smoke? You’re killing your lungs slow. Do you drink? Your killing your liver, the alcohol allows it to harden and shrink. Do you eat excessively? You’re killing your heart’s entity. Do you engage in negative conversation? You’re killing your mind, beware of your congregations! Do you disregard prayer? You’re killing your soul, are you not aware?! Pick your poison wisely, oh wise ones. You know as much as you know, and you believe it is just enough to know, to make self-adjustable to what one loves, how dysfunctional! This is layman’s for the brains, which find it hard to devour truth and so they claim it strange, how deranged! Oh wise ones, search deep inside before you conclude your horizons. All I ask is to, consult with your results, reason with your reasons, look outside of your outlooks, so you have conviction when you’re speaking! 

 

http://www.officialsulleej.com/

CRITICISM: A quote by Elbert Hubbard

To escape criticism – do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.

~ Elbert Hubbard

Being criticised is not the nicest feeling in the world. It does feel a bit of a downer when you pour your heart and soul into something, a poem, a photograph, a graphic, or a short story, and then someone comes along and criticises. While it may make you want to burst a vessel and bang them over the head with the nearest moveable object, stop and think. While there are plenty of trolls and ‘people-with-nothing-better-to-do’ who criticise your work just to cause trouble or for criticism’s sake – if it is constructive criticism, then don’t take it to heart. By listening to such criticism, as much as it may burn you up a bit inside, you can learn something new and improve upon what you’ve done. So in fact that critic may well turn out to be your angel in disguise.

No-one is above criticism, but being criticised in a kind, intelligent and constructive manner can help you improve your talents and abilities, whether that is writing a novel, or cooking a decent spaghetti bolognese. Chances are they are only trying to help.

Critics can help improve things. Indeed a lot of our inventions, policies and the products we use only succeeded because people had a critical and evaluative input into the processes that brought them about. If people weren’t saying “This is good, but I think this could be better”; we’d probably still be living in the Stone Age, clubbing each over the head and grunting. And I’m sure even the Neanderthals must have critiqued each other’s cavern paintings.

The above quote was originally thought up by Elbert Hubbard  (June 19, 1856 – May 7, 1915), who was an American writer, publisher, artist, and philosopher. It was today shared on Twitter by Australian author Ben Brown and retweeted by my follower ‘Hinduism Glance’, a religious blogger.

SOURCES:
Vijay Shah { विजय }, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/VShah1984
HinduismGlance, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/hinduismglance
Ben Brown, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/beninoz
IMAGE CREDIT:
Getty Images via Zemanta.