“The Secret Garden” musical performance is based on the 1911 book of “The Secret Garden” authored by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The music is by Lucy Simon and lyrics by Marsha Norman. Set in 20th century early years, the story beings by Mary Lennox, young girl of English origin who was born and raised in India, is orphaned by an outbreak of cholera at the age of eleven years. She is sent away from British Raj, India to England in Yorkshire to live with her strange relatives she has never met. In England, she meets her Uncle Archibald Craven and sickly cousin Collin. Her personality develops and blossoms as they bring new life to a garden neglected. Their estate has many wonders which include a magic garden beckoning children with Dreamer’s spirits and its haunting melodies from the past of Mary, which guides Mary through her new found life.
This report is based on personal experience during a performance of “The secret Garden”. The report will include and not be limited to: commentary on the composers and works heard, critique of the performers performing techniques and instrumentation used. Moreover, aspects of music interpretation and music form and stylistic authenticity will be addressed. In this report, I want to confess that I am attached passionately to the successful stage musical of “The secret Garden” by Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon. The duo translated the classic children’s novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett into an opera context. Despite the fact that the opera itself still needs some little tinkering to be appealing to the younger audiences, I was quite taken overall with the impressive and stunning production.
The story telling is condensed and complemented beautifully by the fluid score, which I believe still needs some work in the melodic invention in the arena. The fluid score finally burst forth in the final scenes with a banquet of harmonies in the garden that is blooming. The colorful characters are introduced in a three-dimensional life by adaptation.
Martha– the spunky domestic whose down-to-earth cheerful approach is what Mary needs during her transition to the life in the mansion. Lily-aunt to Mary and wife to Archibald Craven, who died in a tragic accident in her garden. She haunts Misselthwaite Manor’s walls metaphorically. Mary Lennox-I think she is quite an explorer from the way she often found herself in trouble. She is also stubborn and fights for what she believes in. Dr. Neville Craven-despite the fact that he is a brother to Archibald, he still love his brother’s wife even though she never loved him. Moreover, being responsible for taking care of Collin, he is unwilling to leave Misselthwaite. Mrs. Medlock– I think she is cold as Misselthwaite Manor Archibald Craven– the uncle to Mary and owner of Misselthwaite Manor. He is afraid of the future and is haunted by the past. I think he likes locking himself away mentally and physically. Collin craven-he is a son of Archibald and has spent most of his life in bed because of heart condition. He throws temper tantrums and very stubborn whenever he want to get something Ben Weatherstaff– he is the head gardener who is entrusted secretly to take care of the garden after the death of Lily Dickon– he is the younger brother of Martha, and he looks after sick animals and plants within Misselthwaitte. I can describe him as a young man between the child imagination world and adult reasoning
Everything in the orchestra revolves around the performer acting as Mary. She effortlessly shifts from a pampered petulant child in India to a girl in England filled with curiosity that is insatiable about the enigmatic garden, and her deep compassion for the sickly son of Archibald, Colin. At only his younger age, the performer astonishes the audience with his powerful performance and ringing tenor. Ultimately, Mary has a spirit that is irrepressible that embodies the garden’s life.
From the musical performance of “The secret Garden”, it is clear that the composers were well organized, well prepared and creative. From the performance, it is evident that the composers showed their maturity and intelligence in analyzing and understanding different characters.
Directed by Ashley Butler, the story began on a spacious stage that is below a towering soaring set of the actors. This was an effective device to underscore how Mary must have felt when she found herself transported tragically into a dark old mansion that was filled with a lot of mysteries. However, Mary is up to the challenge, and she is meeting it on a set which in itself is a piece of living art. A backdrop of the garden scene alternates with the austere walls. The open space has doorways acting as portals to the other worlds, and it showed in a very simple, theatrical, evocative way travel, growth and journey. The director did not want much at the garden and the doorway, so he kept the props and set at a minimum. The garden scene is at first weedy and neglected and then, under the compassionate touch of Mary, taking on the hues of green and finally bursting into a bloom. In the process, it is also parallel to the effect of Mary on the household. The showcases of the set displays the considerable creative talent of Lizz Dorsey, who overlaid paint and canvas to make a beautifully shaded, ever-shifting, detailed, shimmering landscape, assisted and aided by Joel Coady’s lighting design. One visual touch that is delightful was that of a Robin that was animated and was a key to the story. That effect reinforces and underlines what I think of as an inarguable and touching message of the play. That is the life pulses also in the darkest circumstances, and it just wait for the awareness touch to bring it forth into healthfully. Butler wanted the story to be transformative and therefore expressed it through the characters, music, lighting, and set. For the lighting, it was important for Joel Coady that the Moor and India have a lot of mist and haze that resembles the aura of cholera in India and death and then traveling through English countryside barrenness. As the play progresses, the lighting got more colorful and vibrant
The performance used different performing techniques and instrumentations such as costumes. Despite the fact that the opening sequence of the performance begins in India at the home of Mary Lenox, the major parts of “The secret Garden” take place in Yorkshire, England in the early 1900’s. Yorkshire country in England is the largest and is cold often from rain and fog that is prevalent in the region in most months of a year. The costumes used in the play reflect the time period. The dresses of the women are paired with blouses and are nearly floor length. During that time, it was common for women shirts that are styled as for men with fitted vests and covered with jackets. Moreover, a hat and overcoat was also used when traveling. By examining the costumes of Mrs. Medlock, the housekeeper, I noticed that they were placed on top of other house servants. Therefore, it was important that amongst all the other house servants, she was to be the most presentable, classier but should not be too fancy to be mistaken to be the lady of the house.
Faithfully dogged to the mysticism and sentiment of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel, this musical by Lucy Simon and Marsha Norman exploits every emotional opportunity. The most noted is the upbeat anthem in the dead Lily Craven, “Come to My Garden.” Director Ashley Butler coaxed fairly restrained, well-crafted performances from his cast and then makes ingenious, versatile set, most of his own. Given the set pieces of the gardens, it is blooming that is sudden is quite feat. The play began with the Indian music which influenced different world tone, and then introduced 1900 England’s periodic music. This helped in influencing the direction and movement of the play
“The Secret Garden” beautifully fits into the style and format of opera, and I enjoyed seeing it as such greatly. Despite the fact that the production proved that it was beautifully fit for the lovers of opera, I wondered whether the younger viewers of, the younger audience, dressed beautifully for an afternoon at the opera with their grandparents and parents, for this story of the children were given the best vehicle. The score which was conducted confidently by Susan McEwen Ray is not yet as magical as the full-bodied vocals and the trappings of some of the principals, posed some challenges in aura. Certainly supertitles helped, but I am worried about the children who may be not have been proficient at flickering visually from supertitles to stage. Fortunately, the young viewers left with smiles simply because they were in the company of adults who were eager to explain to them what was going on
Digital marketing is the system through which companies promote their own products via electronic media. In the past, traditional methods of marketing have only been able to measure and monitor outgoing data only. Through digital marketing however, it is possible for the companies to analyze the impact that the strategies they have elected, the methodologies of communication and the campaigns have on the target market. Digital marketing gives the consumer the control in terms of information access. While traditionally consumers needed to look for the advertiser or marketer in order to get information; today, consumers can access the information wherever they are. It is not surprising therefore that majority of the companies are modeling and fashioning their digital market in line with campaigns that have been highly successful.
Amazon is the leading company when it comes to digital marketing. The company’s strategy allows for access to information and products when and where the company needs them. The system also allows for a consolidation of customer preferences and expectations so that the customer needs can be attended to quickly, easily and more conveniently. The ever growing company has expanded into areas of entertainment and even social interaction, a platform that has seen extended growth of the digital forum. In the past decade many other companies have attempted the same services as amazing. In addition to providing similar services and products, such companies have also attempted to employ the same digital marketing strategy. However, (Ryan and Jones 2009) argue that the uniqueness of this forum is yet to be understood holistically. The unique aspects employed by Amazon are hard and difficult to duplicate without a clear understanding of the same.
Evaluating Amazon’s communication process
The success of any communication process is measured through the transmission of the message. Unlike popular belief the success of the process should be measured at each step. This allows for easy identification of barriers which may hinder the communication process before such barriers begin to multiply. While the message may leave the company successfully, it may fail to reach the intended target or even become misunderstood and distorted along the way. The Amazon culture has fostered the error identification and correction of the same norm, which then enables constructive feedback from the intended customer and in return improvement of communication channels.
In today’s digital marketing, the most vital stand comes in transparency of the message as received by the consumer. (Bird 2007) indicates that the majority of consumers today are more interested with companies showing transparency that is guiding the consumer or seeming to guide in honesty. For Amazon this has been achieved through proper critique of items under sale, rather than just touting the strengths of the product, the company has tried as much as possible to include true analysis of all aspects of the products. On the side of the company, the concern is directed towards efficiency that is the ease of passing the information from the company to the consumer. Managers are more concerned not with the content but the actual channel used, and the benefits that accrue from the same in terms of audience and cost saving. Therefore, the communication process is two sided that is the effectiveness to the consumer and the efficiency to the company.
Evaluating the transmission process
The first step in evaluating the communication process is understanding the transmission process. Amazon employs various transmission channels to make sure that the message reaches the intended target. From television messages all the way to newspaper ads, these are some of the popular offline campaign transmission of messages. This coupled with the digital transmissions have had a great impact on reaching a wider and greater target. However, it is important to note that each of the channels employed by the company has its own challenges. Amazon for example has relied more on computer based resources for transmission of their own messages. These messages often require accompanying resources such as software and hardware and some degree or level of understanding with regard to the information technology. The advantage and strength of this transmission is that it is quick and rapid; however, there are many more messages that do not reach the targets. For example when it comes to emails, it is possible that the targeted consumer will not read or access the email. Further, majority of the emails with advertisements are automatically classified as junk, yet the company has no method or means of measuring those emails which indeed were read by the target.
Evaluating the message
(Mathieson 2010) states that the digital message presented by Amazon is easy to understand and often reaches the intended customer as it was expected from the company. This is made possible by continued surveys where consumers are able to relay difficulty or challenges that they are having with understanding the promotions. From these surveys, changes are made and the messages in turn become clearer attracting even more consumers. Amazon has understood that even though much research goes into creating and establishing the initial campaign messages, it is possible that the intended target may not understand and receive the message as it was intended. For this reason, the input of the consumer even during the campaign and promotion is vital towards generating and ideal and proper message for the targeted customers. Failure to take in the input of the consumer may lead to confusion and ambiguous messages which in turn disillusion the intended target.
Perhaps the biggest strength of the communication process by Amazon is that the company focuses and has understood that the message is not intended for the benefit of the company but rather the benefit of the consumer. Therefore, with every communication it is important to measure the level of customer satisfaction so that necessary changes can be made to the same towards achieving higher customer satisfaction, (Wind and Mahajan 2001). Consumers can give vital information such as whether the message was timely or not, whether the channel used for communication was satisfactory among others in addition to giving suggestions for implementation in the future. Amazon often carried out customer surveys to measure the level of satisfaction, and also to compare new campaign with previous promotions and campaigns. The results are used and employed towards improving the future communication channels and messages for the company. Customer groups that could be affected by any changes in the communication are considered first in any implementation to ensure that such changes do not translate to loss of the any customer or a portion of the market. Even though the message is properly transmitted and received, this does not automatically translate to increased customer satisfaction.
While promotions and other marketing strategies are vital towards reaching the consumer, without a proper communication strategy the efforts will bear little if any fruit. Businesses and companies use marketing communication to make their brand well known among the target market. Amazon has created and often employs several strategies which in turn have created excellent brand awareness for the business. (Hanlon and Akins 2009) indicate that majority of the companies often focus more on creating a campaign or promotion and in turn ignore the communication process. The result is an excellent campaign and marketing program which fails to reach the consumer as intended. The company spends much with little if any returns from the same. The communication strategy employed by Amazon takes into consideration the five steps in the process of communication that is:
The sender: the strategy understands the basics of the company, taking into consideration exactly what the company intends to communicate to the consumer. By understanding the advantages and strengths of Amazon, the company is able to select an ideal target market.
Encoding transmission: this second step covers the transformation of the creative advertisements and promotional messages into messages that immediately capture the attention of the consumers.
Transmission: this step includes the selection of the communication channel or media, that is the channel through which the consumers will get the message intended for them.
Decoding and receiver: often these stages of communication go hand in hand. They occur when the consumer receives the messages from the company, decodes and then uses the same information to make decisions on purchases, services and other matters as intended by the promotion. Digital marketing allows the company to measure the process of decoding as it is happening.
COMMUNICATION PLATFORMS EMPLOYED BY AMAZON
The main aspect of Amazon’s successful communications strategy is that it does not rely on a single or singular communication platform. Rather, the promotions and campaigns often rely on more than one single communication platform. A combination of the platforms allows for the company to strengthen those which are weak while at the same time doubling on the strength of others. For example, where emails are often recorded as spam, and therefore not read by the targeted consumer, the social media platform allows for messages to be viewed, read and the interest of the consumers to be captured. In digital marketing, barriers often distort or prevent the message from reaching the consumer. Each channel of communication has specific barriers which must be taken into consideration seriously. By employing two or more channels of communication, the company is able to effectively maneuver around major obstacles and barriers.
Perhaps, the fastest and most effective means of communication today is the social media. With millions of users daily, this platform allows the company to reach more people than ever. Majority of the traffic directed to Amazon has in the recent past been due to the social media communication platform. Here consumers not only have the chance to communicate with the company but also among themselves. Through this platform Amazon‘s efforts are centered towards creating content, and not just content but content that is appealing and gets the attention of the targeted consumers. Individual users are also encouraged to share the messages by the company on their own social platforms. This has proved to be quite effective, because the message spreads from one user to another and soon gains momentum. According to (Hermann and Burbary 2013) this platform has the ability to reach millions within the shortest duration possible.
Before there was social media, there were emails. Amazon has not completely negated the email platform for communication with possible consumers. This channel often works with loyal customers however. Once customers have made a purchase, it is easy to keep them updated on the various other products that are available within a specific duration. However, as Amazon has learnt the hard way, this channel can easily lead to disgruntlement among the targeted consumers especially if the promotional messages are too many. The idea rests in regulating the number of emails sent to the consumer.
In product communication
This channel has gained popularity with Amazon from the beginning. Through this channel consumers receive advertisements and suggestions for other products that they would like while they are visiting the site. This channel calls for in-depth understanding of consumer needs, hence the need for continued surveys in order to keep in touch with the current market.
A most recent addition to the Amazon communication channel is branding that is, instead of focusing on the products available within the site, the messages are more and more focusing on the company name. This way, consumer’s think of Amazon before considering any other company and only when the company fails to provide what they need do they move on to another company. Branding begins from the early stages of the marketing communication, and moves on to the end of the consumer experience. With branding, the advertisements and even personal selling have only one aim; to make the company a recognizable name.
COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE THROUGH TECHNOLOGY
Amazon’s greatest competitive advantage comes in the form of e-commerce. While majority of the competitors have often considered e-commerce as one of the options under their wing, Amazon has used the same platform to scale up the business world. Today, Amazon is renowned as the trusted and most recognized brand name when it comes to e-commerce. There are few companies that have reached this platform. As cited by (Rowan 2002) large companies such as apple have the advantage of not just size but also the technology advancement and resources to grow their own businesses. However, Amazon continues to maintain the lead when it comes to e-commerce with such large companies trailing far behind, and as he points out being far from catching up despite their own resources. By leveraging itself of information technology and further advancements in e-commerce, the company has created a niche which is difficult to duplicate even for the larger multi-national companies with their many resources.
Recent focus of the company on creating better logistics and distribution systems has allowed the growth of the same company to become unequaled. With e-commerce the main advantage lies in ensuring high customer satisfaction. Goods ordered need to be received by the customer as orders, in good time and with as little inconvenience as possible. Unfortunately majority of the companies in the industry often fail when it comes to proper delivery. The result is that they lose a large chunk of the market to competitors. Amazon has understood that consumers are even willing to pay slightly more, if it will mean more convenience in terms of delivery.
Technology and supper systems have further allowed the company to enjoy the advantage of reaching areas which were previously locked out of e-commerce companies. There are markets that have been traditionally difficult to venture in when it comes to e-commerce. In such markets, the convenience of e-commerce often devalues the service that the customer expects. Amazon has however, found ways through technology to breach the barriers and begin making an impact in such markets. With a trustworthy brand name, the entry has not been as challenging as it previously was for other companies in the same field.
AMAZON’S CULTURE OF METRICS
Amazon’s culture of metrics focuses completely on ensuring that the customer is completely satisfied and has no reason or desire to move from the company. The culture of metrics in Amazon is based on five hundred goals and targets. These targets have been set through serious research into what the consumers expect from the company. The goals often change as per the new trends and culture in the market. It is important to note that while majority of the other companies focus their goals on the company systems, Amazon’s 80% of the metric goals focus on the customer and their satisfaction with the company services.
Like with any other site on the internet, there are chances that new developments which may have seemed like a good idea to the company will become a complete turn off to the consumers. Based on this, Amazon has metrics that measure the turn offs for customers so that they can be moved out. It is important to note that such metrics are often watched in every minute unlike other companies which watch the metrics periodically. In doing so, Amazon is able to identify and rectify the situations as they occur rather than after the fact which could easily lead to loss of customers.
Majority of the metrics in companies today are set on stone. Employees are set on the metrics that must be watched, often ignoring others in favor of others. While this means that the companies can receive highly comparable data, it also means that the companies have a one dimensional look. Much of the data that could be vital towards satisfaction of the customer and growth of the company is ignored and not considered. Amazon’s culture of change and innovation has also influenced the culture of metrics. Employees are often on high alert debating, and exchanging ideas on which metrics to watch with which promotion and campaigns. The result is that the company has enjoyed a wider dimension outlook on what the customer needs and trends are. Based on this, the company is able to increase the level of satisfaction for the current and expected consumers. Further, Amazon is able to know and become aware of the trends that will attract newer customers and markets that are upcoming before competition. The growth of the company in the past decade has been founded on allowing freedom in the culture of metrics.
When one speaks of metrics, it is often misconstrued as a system which measures and avoids risky areas for the business. For some companies, it is exactly that. Using the metrics data, the companies can predict risky products, channels and even markets and therefore avoid them, (Frick 2010). On the other hand, Amazon has taken the risk factor compete opposite. While the metrics measure the risk facing the company, such risk is not just avoided but rather is used to create innovativeness and opportunities for growth. With high risks come even greatest returns. Employees often use the metrics to measure the chances of returns on particular risks, and then translate the same to application. Using this system, Amazon has been able to venture into high return markets which competitors were previously afraid of. In addition, the company has also ventured into new unexplored markets where profits continue to be high.
In summary, the customer communications in the digital marketing platform applied by Amazon can be summarized in the acronym RACE. Race stands for the following:
Reach: that is, the target of the digital marketing is to reach more and more consumers. With each of the marketing strategies being measured, SEO and Ad words are employed to ensure that more and more traffic is directed to the site.
Act: the company is directed at making simple experiences for the customer. The actions of the entire company are geared towards convenience and ideal shopping for the customer. This may mean changing the distribution channels or even logistics.
Convert: the company is ready to learn and change their own actions to suit the customer. Often Amazon has been quoted as “customer obsessed”. This means that everyone in the company is ready and willing to learn in order to ensure high customer satisfaction.
Engage: with the focus being the customer, then constant communication needs to be maintained. Through constant communication, the company is able to anticipate and meet the needs of the consumer and therefore consistently remain at the top in the industry.
Bird, D., & Bird, D. (2007). Commonsense direct & digital marketing. London: Kogan Page.
Frick, T. (2010). Return on engagement: Content, strategy and design techniques for digital marketing. Oxford: Focal.
Hanlon, A., & Akins, J. (2009). Quick win digital marketing: Answers to your top 100 digital marketing questions. Cork: Oak Tree Press
Hemann, C., & Burbary, K. (2013). Digital marketing analytics: Making sense of consumer data in a digital world. Indianapolis, Ind: Que.
Mathieson, R. (2010). The on-demand brand: 10 rules for digital marketing success in an anytime, everywhere world. New York: AMACOM.
Rowan, W. (2002). Digital marketing: Using new technologies to get closer to your customers. London: Kogan Page.
Ryan, D., & Jones, C. (2009). Understanding digital marketing: Marketing strategies for engaging the digital generation. London: Kogan Page.
Wind, Y., & Mahajan, V. (2001). Digital marketing: Global strategies from the world’s leading experts. New York: J. Wiley.
No self-respecting website owner would ever put plagiarised content on their website. Yet, duplicate content is a common SEO challenge that many webmasters struggle to understand and overcome.
Improving the amount of organic traffic coming to your website involves a lot of things.
However, even if you have taken steps to speed up WordPress website, perfected the on-page experience, and are actively building links to your most important pages, duplicate content can seriously negatively influence the quality of the results of your SEO efforts.
Doing professional SEO sometimes involves copying the strategies of your competitors. For instance, you may use a backlink checker to find out more about the backlink-building strategy of your competitors to guide your own strategy. However, you cannot do the same with content.
But you probably already knew that. However, even when you have not copied content from another website, your website can face duplicate content issues.
Let’s look at the definition of duplicate content in a little more detail to sort this confusion out.
“Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely matches other content or are appreciably similar.”
The first thing that becomes clear is that instances of duplicate content are not just those that happen across different domains. In other words, even if two pages on your own website have “appreciably similar” content, Google and other search engines will treat it as an instance of content duplicity.
With that said, the same website can have multiple pages with similar or even the same content simply because it makes sense. For instance, if an eCommerce store selling t-shirts have created separate pages for different sizes of the same t-shirt, it really doesn’t make sense for them to write different, unique product descriptions for each page.
In the above example, the owner of the eCommerce website had no malicious intent while “duplicating” their own content but the search engine algorithms don’t understand that. Fortunately, search engine companies that own these algorithms understand that all instances of content duplicity are not backed by deceptive or malicious intent.
Since there’s no malicious intent, duplicate content should not be a problem from an SEO perspective. However, that is not the case. While the presence of duplicate content on a website may not result in a Google penalty, it can still negatively influence the search engine performance of a website.
Duplicate Content: Why It Is A Problem
To put it simply, duplicate content affects SEO performance because it is problematic from the point of view of a search engine algorithm. For search engines, duplicate content can cause three major issues:
When a search engine algorithm comes across two pages with similar or the same content, it has a hard time deciding which version of the page should be included in its indices.
Similarly, the search engine algorithm also has a hard time deciding which page’s link metrics (page authority, trust score, link equity, etc) should be taken into account while deciding where to rank the page.
It also makes it difficult for the search engine algorithm to decide which of the two versions should be ranked in the search engine result pages (SERPs) for the relevant keywords.
When search engines face problems and get confused, website owners that depend on organic traffic are the first ones that suffer. This suffering usually comes in the form of loss of organic traffic and a drop in rankings. These problems usually occur because of the following two issues:
Since search engines do not show multiple versions of the same content in their search results, they often choose the one version that they think is the best match for a particular search query. As a result, the visibility of each of the pages that contain duplicate content is negatively affected.
The second issue occurs when other websites want to link to your website. Different website owners may come across different versions of the same content present on different URLs and link to them. As a result, the “link juice” is diluted between the different versions. Inbound links are an important ranking factor and the dilution of link juice can directly affect rankings.
Now that we know why duplicate content is a problem for both search engines and website owners, let’s look at why they happen.
Duplicate Content Issues: Causes
As mentioned earlier, most website owners don’t intentionally publish duplicate content on their websites. Yet, there’s a lot of duplicate content present on the web. A study conducted in 2015 revealed that 29% of the web is filled with duplicate content!
In this section, we will explore the causes that lead website owners to unintentionally publish duplicate content on their websites. Let’s begin:
To put it simply, pagination is the term used to refer to instances where the same content spans multiple pages. For instance, if you have a directory of all the real estate developers in California, fitting all the listings will not make sense from a user experience point of view. You will have to break the list down into different pages. However, most of the pages will be dedicated to the same “topic” and thus, the search engine may consider these pages to be duplicates of each other.
If you are using different URL parameters on your websites, such as click tracking and analytics codes, these URLs may be perceived as unique pages by the search engine. Different URLs containing different parameters may be pointing to the same page but the search engine will treat each URL as a separate page. This is even true in cases where two URLs have the same parameters but they appear in a different order in both of them.
Similarly, if your website is set up to assign a different session ID to every user, you may be unintentionally creating duplicate pages. For instance, for the URL www.yourwebsite.com/colourcategory, both www.yourwebsite.com/colourcategory-product?colour and www.yourwebsite.com/colourcategory?SESSID=33 are duplicate pages.
The same issue can be seen in websites that have separate printer-friendly versions of their web pages.
Copied Content On Product Variations
As mentioned earlier, eCommerce websites are the most common victims of content duplicity. This is because different versions of the same products are often shown on unique pages but the product description of the different versions is either “appreciably similar” or exactly the same.
This may happen on websites that feature products in different sizes or colors or both.
This may also happen on websites that sell products manufactured by a different company and use the description that is used or given by the manufacturer. Such cases of duplication are especially dangerous from an SEO point of view because a number of different websites may be using the same description shared by the manufacturer. This means, the duplicity, in this case, is across different domains.
Different Versions Of The Same Website
If your website has a version without the “www” prefix and one with the “www” prefix, the search engine will consider both versions as different websites. This means the search engine will assume that one of the versions has content that is copied from the other.
The same may happen if your website has different versions with “HTTP” and “HTTPS”.
Those were the three most common reasons behind duplicate content issues found in websites. Now, let’s look at how you can overcome duplicate content issues on your website.
Duplicate Content Issues: Solutions
Since duplicate content is a common issue, there are a number of ways that you can fix them. In most cases, the primary action you are taking is telling the search engine which one of the two (or more) versions of the page is the correct one to index and rank.
To be able to fix duplicate content issues, you must first be aware of the number of instances of duplicate content on your website. This is where we will start:
Finding Duplicate Content Pages On Your Website
One of the easiest and most dependable ways to check whether or not your website is a victim of unintentional duplicate content is to check how many of its pages are indexed. If the number is higher than the number of pages that you have manually created, you have a content duplicity problem.
You can do this in Google’s Search Console. If you don’t have an account in Google Search Console (I strongly recommend making one), you can also use the search engine itself.
Simply go to www.Google.com, enter “site:yourwebsitename.com” into the search bar, and hit enter.
The resulting SERP will have all of the pages of your website that have been indexed by the search engine. Once again, if this number is higher than the number of pages that you know you have created, treat it as a clear sign that there is a duplicate content problem on your website and move on to the next step.
Apply 301 Redirects
As the name suggests, a 301 redirect sends users (and search engine crawlers) to a different page. So, if you have multiple versions of the same page indexed with a search engine, simply choose the “correct” version and implement 301 redirects to that version from all the other versions.
This way, every time a user or search engine crawler tries to access one of the duplicate versions, they will be automatically redirected to the correct version of the web page. Moreover, this will also allow for all the link metrics of all the duplicate pages to be passed to the correct version.
As a result, the correct page that you have specified here will be able to attain better visibility. In some cases, this practice may even result in an improved SEO performance by the “correct” page.
Implement A Rel=”canonical” Attribute
In simple words, implementing a rel=”canonical” attribute is a way of telling the search engine that the page is a copy of a specified URL (the “correct” version of that page). When a search engine crawler comes across a page with the rel=”canonical” tag, it automatically credits all of the link juice, the content, and other attributes that are important for search engines to the correct page.
The rel=”canonical” attribute is an HTML attribute that is added to the HTML head of duplicate pages, along with the URL of the correct canonical page.
When you look at it from the perspective of the amount of link juice passed, the rel=”canonical” attribute works just as well as the 301 redirect. The only difference is that this attribute can be applied at the page level and thus requires less time to implement.
However, that may not be the case where you have thousands of duplicate pages, something that is commonly seen on eCommerce websites.
Implement The Meta Noindex, Follow Meta Tag
Meta no index, follow tag tells search engines that they should crawl a page but not index it. As the name suggests the tag is an HTML tag that is added to the head of the pages that contain duplicate content.
This solution is particularly great for duplicity issues that are a result of instances of pagination.
So, why let Google crawl these pages when you are asking it to not index them? You have to do it because well, Google has asked webmasters to do this. In its guidelines page dedicated to duplicate content, Google has explicitly asked webmasters to not restrict crawl access to any of the pages on their websites.
Use Google Search Console To Highlight Your Preferred Domain
Google Search Console is a great tool. Among the countless amazing things webmasters can do with the search console, also lies a solution to duplicate content issues.
Using the Google Search Console, website owners have the option to set the preferred domain of their website. This is especially useful when you have different versions of your website (with or without the “www” prefix).
Similarly, you can also specify if Google’s website crawlers should or should not crawl specific URL parameters with parameter handling.
While using Google Search Console may prove to be easier and more convenient in many cases, it is not always the best way to go about fixing duplicity issues. This is because the changes you make in your Google Search Console will only take effect on Google’s search engine. Your website will still be facing the same issues on other search engines like Bing.
So, if you don’t depend on traffic from other search engines, using Google Search Console is a great idea.
Duplicate content issues can compromise the kind of results you can get from SEO. Since SEO involves a lot of hard work, a mistake that you unintentionally make should not get in the way of enjoying the fruits of your labor.
I hope that this article will help you gain a basic understanding of these issues and how you can go about solving them. If you have questions or doubts, feel free to drop them in the comment section below. I promise to be prompt and helpful with my replies.
Management with an emphasis on human resources requires very specific strategies regarding Retaining Top Talent to achieve the objectives set by the organization. Several of these strategies include the following: recruiting the correct people from the first instance with strict considerations of the qualifications needed to have the right persons. Secondly, empowering the person with talent and enabling them to manage their profession. This ensures space to improve and add value to the work undertaken. Thirdly, allowing the person with the talent to grow and rise within the organization’s ranks in terms of promotions and appraisals when work is done has added worthiness to the company. Proactive measures are necessary to deal with the talent that drives it forward and enable maximum output from the person.
Fourthly, whoever manages the person with talent must be given the ability within the management line to handle the talent and monitor the progress. Dynamism within the market opts to be checked to ensure talent matches the changes in the environment.
Continuous and internal feedback on the person’s progress towards achieving the goals is a vital strategy that motivates the quality of the talent as a fifth strategy. Goldsmith & Carter (2010) observed that feedback acts as a yardstick to another step, moving to a new horizon and improving on previous output. Many more strategies are used depending on the nature and size of the organization on the concept. The highlighted above serves as the core of the strategies and the mainstream used across the management in most organizations.
The three mechanisms are vital in any management practice, but one stands out. The re-recruit mechanism seems to override others since the best candidates determine how fast things run within the organization. An elite group is less expensive to re-engage and re-energize. Gostick & Elton (2007) suggested that setting the goals and vision from the beginning requires the correct expertise to jump-start a business project. On this basis, re-recruit is more important than the other mechanisms.
The majority of these strategies have been used in the workforce, from recruiting the correct persons, empowering them, managing them properly, and enabling them to rise to the organization’s ranks. Additionally, providing constant feedback on the progress of the work value is another strategy used in the workforce.
Graham (2011) pointed out that within the management practice, an organization chooses a model that can work for them and is result oriented. To me, the most effective model encompasses the four highlighted strategies. The structure is such that it revolves around a vicious cycle from one point to the endpoint.
This is how my model would look when managing and retaining top talent in an organization, emphasizing the output resulting from a nurtured and empowered person. It is a simple model from the onset due to its structures and procedure in executing the model.
It starts from the single entry point of recruiting the elite person with pre-requisite qualifications and an individual with expertise in the relevant field. Such a person then proceeds to the next level of empowerment, where further skills and tools are impacted to boost the existing knowledge. On the same trend, the person is properly managed with constant review of the goals. The manager monitors every move to ensure the intended purpose of the original plan is still on course. Substantial investment in talent is required to anticipate better results. When such an occurrence emerges, the person is awarded for work well done to motivate and re-energize their morale. Promotions within the organization are part of the awards that can be extended to the top talent in the company’s workforce. Other scenarios may occur such that the anticipated output is not met, and then dismissal with recruiting again happens, which drives us to the entry point of the model.
Whether the model works well depends on the different inputs. Each model adds the top talent to get optimal and maximum results. My model has a few more inputs but almost looks similar to the original one. The aspects of managing the talent properly and rewarding them are another perspective to help retain the top talent. The latter model tends to nurture talent for optimal results, unlike the former, which emphasizes more on the work output, as was pointed out by (Sheridan, 2012).
The effectiveness of my model is enormous, given the investments in a single individual and resulting in a higher output per unit. When comparing and evaluating the two models, one will notice similarities and differences.
Goldsmith, M., & Carter, L. (2010). Best practices in talent management: How the world’s leading corporations manage, develop, and retain top talent. San Francisco: Pfeiffer.
Gostick, A. R., & Elton, C. (2007). The carrot principle: How the best managers use recognition to engage their people, retain talent, and accelerate performance. New York: Free Press
Graham, L. K. (2011). The perfect hire: A tactical guide to hiring, developing, and retaining top sales talent. New York? Entrepreneur Press.
Sheridan, K. (2012). Building a magnetic culture: How to attract and retain top talent to create an engaged, productive workforce. New York: McGraw-Hill
1. We have the advantage of living in a time many years after Walter Benjamin wrote the article “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.” Do you think Benjamin’s ideas about film’s role in creating a “critical mass” have come to fruition? Why or why not?
Merriam-Webster (n.d) defined a “critic” as an individual who expresses an opinion on something unfavorable. The person judges the merits of musical, artistic, and literary works by communicating their opinions and assessments of different forms of creative work. “Mass” pertains to, involves, or affects many people. Similarly relates to what is performed by or participated in by many people (Merriam-Webster, n.d). Therefore, this essay will define “critical mass” as the critical judgments that may be negative, positive, or even balanced after weighing different factors for and against many people.
The essay believes that the ideas of Benjamin, in his article “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” about the role of film in creating the critical mass, have come to fruition. The argument of Benjamin primarily focuses on the revolutionary film potential as a mode of mechanical production, although he discusses photography briefly. Unlike the stage performers, the film actor does not respond or face an audience. The audience’s views are also synonymous with the perspective accorded to the imperious camera. The net effect of the mechanical production of these innovations is placing the viewer in the position of a critic. This was something that would never have been allowed before the cultic experiences (Larsen, 2010). The prevalence of mechanical productions and films also creates a culture of minor experts who are ready to judge art and films instead of losing them in the participatory ritual. Also, in his article, Benjamin notes that films majorly rely on spliced and cut images that must be combined to form an aesthetic film. The film’s swift movements and juxtapositions strike the viewer violently, disrupting easy consumption and contemplation of the image and creating a critical mass (Larsen, 2010).
2. In his article Andre Bazin “Photography affects us like a phenomenon in nature, like a flower or a snowflake whose vegetable or earthy origins are an inseparable part of their beauty,” makes a distinction between directors who put their faith in the image and directors who put their faith in reality. Choose a film that you think fits into the category of directors who put their faith in reality and explain why you chose this film concerning Bazin
In his thesis, Bazin directly aims at people’s experience in the cinema, which he termed psychological realism. He starts by analyzing the psychological realism of photography, which he differentiated from painting. Between the originating object, for the first time, and its reproduction, there is the intervention of the non-living instrumentality agent. The world image is automatically formed without man’s creative intervention for the first time. Bazin stated that all arts are grounded on man’s presence, and only photography has an advantage where man is absent (Bazin, 1999).
Bazin, a film critic, has a powerful feeling on the subject of realism and montage. In his article, he distinguishes between the directors who always put their faith in reality and those who put their faith in the image. The essay chose a film by “Umberto D” directed by Vittorio De Sica, which it thought fitted into the category of directors who put their faith in reality (Bazin, 1967). Vittorio De Sica’s filmmaking philosophy closely examines the world, continues doing so, and in the end, lays bare all the horror and cruelty for the audience. For instance, the scene where the maid wakes up in the morning. The episode is broken up into smaller and continuously shot units, turning the life itself into visible poetry and spectacle. Moreover, the film does an admirable job of not over-sentimentalizing the Umberto figure himself. A small, cuddly, scruffy dog is sitting on the pavement begging for money with a hat in his teeth (Bazin, 1967).
In many passages of his article, Bazin claims that realism in cinema is grounded not on the notion of reality by the physicist but the notion of the psychologist. Audiences view cinema as they view reality, not how it looks, because it was mechanically recorded and may look unreal. According to Bazin (1999), the inhuman world portrait intrigues the audience and makes photography and cinema of man but nature’s media.
Realism in the psychological sense does not have to do with the reproduction accuracy but with the spectator’s belief about the reproduction’s origin. In painting arts, the origin involves the mind and skill of the artist confronting an object. However, photography involves another physical process confronting a physical object (Bazin, 1999).
3. Michael Moore often “inserts” himself into his films. Is Moore, perhaps, trying to “authenticate” his documentary as a “true happening” in Perez’s sense, or is it what Perez calls a “visual lie”? Explain
Filmmaker and liberal commentator Michael Moore emerged into the scene with his debut documentary featuring Roger and Me. The documentary was a heartfelt and personal account of his hometown’s economic downfall. In his film, he was the main character, and it was more about him with his many attempts of trying to interview Roger Smith, the CEO of General Motors. He refers to himself as “Me” in the film title (Moore et al., 2003).
“Roger and Me” was a commercial and critical success and was the first of the successful documentaries released by Moore. However, despite their success, he received many criticisms for exaggerating his real-life events and how he portrayed the events non-chronologically to reinforce his message better. Michael Moore’s films are what Perez described as a “visual lie” (Moore et al., 2003).
Typically documentaries are subjective because they are normally created to reinforce the beliefs of the filmmaker or even to enlighten or entertain. The film of Moore suffers because it tries to pass itself as unbiased and truthful journalism works. Moreover, Moore is even proud because his film borrows from large and different sources and is well researched. This makes his film borderline propaganda and deceiving (Bernstein, 2010).
4. Do you agree with jean Baudrillard that we are in some way living in a “giant simulacrum,” or are you more inclined to agree with the critics who call his claims “hyperbolic”?
This essay agrees with jean Baudrillard that we are in some way living in a “giant simulacrum.” I tend to believe that the contemporary world in which we live creates a lot of simulations, symbols, and representations, which stand on their own without referring to the things they represented originally, just as jean Baudrillard observed in his essay, “Simulacra and Simulation” ( Lane, 2000).
Baudrillard argued that the initial relationship between an object of reference in the material world and its sign representation in the form of the diagram, image, and language had been altered. Baudrillard further asserted that the sign has preceded the real and that new reality dimensions have become where signs are used and further re-used without referring to the material world (Gane, 2000).
To illustrate this theory, take an example of a map based on another map which is then altered with the received information from another map. This is an endless cycle where the cycle is made and used without even referring to the represented actual territory. However, this does not mean that the map, which is a representation, has no reality relations, but the entire system becomes weightless and a giant simulacrum (Lane, 2000).
“Simulacra and Simulation” “Simulacra and Simulation” “Simulacra and Simulation”
Bazin, A. (1967). Umberto D: A Great Work, in What is Cinema? Trans. Hugh Gray,
Bazin, A. (1999). The Evolution of the Language of Cinema, in Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen ed., Film Theory, and Criticism.
Bernstein, M. (2010). Michael Moore: Filmmaker, newsmaker, cultural icon. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Gane, M. (2000). Jean Baudrillard. London: SAGE.
Lane, R. J. (2000). Jean Baudrillard. London: Routledge.
Online falsehood intentionally spreads false information to attack an individual or a public institution (Klein & Wueller, 2017). Online falsehoods aim to plant disharmony amongst different faction groups, which include ethnic, religious and racial groups. Yuen-C (2018) defines online falsehood as an intentional publication of false content online. It is in the public domain that parody and satire are protected by law. Therefore, the fundamental legal analysis applied to arrive after falsehood information is often compelling and precise to the fact and is often analysed on a case by case form (Ong, 2018).
The incentive that drives the extent of online falsehood is neither complete nor contemporary. Still, online falsehood is majorly used by the actors of foreign states that seek to sway crooked individuals in an attempt to make a quick buck. Domestic politics had all contributed intentionally to fake news way before the internet was discovered (Ong, 2018). The only noticeable changes are the intermediary at which the fake news spread in the current world internet has been an effective medium as it provides the path which is efficient and that all the social media engine connects to. According to Hermesauto (2018), the capability of an online platform, with its universal nature, has enhanced the spread of falsehood news, which can now reach a virtually unrestricted audience within a short period and even in real time.
Levinson (2018) thought that enacting more laws to curb online falsehood does not offer a solution. Still, it complicates the process as it causes a collision with the current laws. When more laws are enacted to control online falsehood, there is a risk that it would compromise the freedom of speech and expression, which is fundamental in the bill of Rights. Enacting a new law would restrict free speech and choke legitimate dissenting opinions (CNA/KK, 2018). The bill of rights takes precedence, and in this matter, the new law would collide with the freedom of expression and speech, allowing citizens to air their views and opinions without fear of being prosecuted. Socially it’s healthy for society to accommodate various views as it enhances maturity and respect for humanity for who they are together with their opinion. In addition, the existing laws already inflict too much pressure on the freedom of expression, and it’s adequate to tackle deliberate online falsehood (Baker, 2018).
Furthermore, the existing Singapore laws have comprehensively defined and elaborated on the demarcation of freedom of speech and expression in a way that can cater for the online fake news menace. According to CNA/KK (2018), the existing law addresses defamation, hate speech, and spreading false information. All these laws are in Singapore laws under the Telecommunication act, Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act, Penal code and Protection from Harassment Act. Baker (2018) stated that it’s cumbersome to find a solution which in this case should be technical, to legislate the online platform; instead of enacting new laws, there is a need to adopt an innovative and iterative way of approaching this issue.
Prescribing new laws will also mean that the internet service providers will be turned into judges as they would be liable to assess every speech to determine which one is acceptable under the new law, a function that the courts should tackle with the use of the existing comprehensive legislation (Hermesauto, 2018).
On the other hand, enacting new laws to some extent is the only viable solution that needs to be considered to tackle online falsehood. The virality nature of online falsehood and the gross impact it can create makes the current legislation ineffective. It can only be combatted by enacting new laws specific to it (Sen & Yi, 2018). The current legislative tools are limited and rigid in that they cannot tackle the speed and adaptability nature of online falsehood in its current state. For instance, Cambridge analytical has been accused of interfering with different elections based on fabricated lies and disseminating them to the mass, a good example is an American election. The damage done was so dire that, according to the experts, it influenced or subverted the majority will of the people through lies. According to Sen and Yi (2018), the current judicial process takes time, and it isn’t easy to catch up with the speed and impact at which false news spreads via the internet. The impact is often irreversible, hence a new law that would act more accurately to control the damage.
Social media companies or platforms are best placed to control the dissemination of information on their platform; depending on the platform, they have control of their users and can get the information (Levinson, 2018). Based on this fact, online laws that would compel online platforms like Twitter and Facebook to assess information online and eliminate any falsehood information should be enacted to tackle falsehood. The new laws should be well calibrated to the extent that they would comprehensively cover a range of intentional online falsehoods. According to Sen and Yi (2018), the law should not be too broad but specific so that it does not overlap with the freedom of speech in the bill of Rights. In other words, the new law’s focus should be on the dimension of issues caused by the technology rather than the new modules of illegal speech.
In conclusion, having considered both arguments, I think that the current laws are enough, and self-regulation is the best way to deal with false news. Social media platforms should be encouraged to come up with an algorithm that is capable of identifying and eliminating the news which is considered to be fake. In addition, the false statement has not just started recently. It’s been there for ages the best way to tackle it is the rationality of the human mind. The major component in the fight against fake news is to feed our rationality with adequate information, which among them include the truth which will enlighten the citizen, and this would mean fighting any effort by the government to ensure the information does not reach the citizens. In addition, when the government allows a citizen to access multiple sources of information, they will develop a critical mindset that will help them assess the truth from false and, to a greater extent, whether the source of information is independent or official.
Baker, J. A. (2018, March 28). Refresh current legislation rather than introduce new laws to deal with fake news, says a legal expert. Retrieved from www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/eugene-tan-refresh-legislation-rather-than-new-laws-fake-news-10083758
CNA/KK. (2018, March 22). Deliberate online falsehoods: Are Singapore’s laws sufficient to deal with the threat? Retrieved from www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/deliberate-online-falsehoods-are-Singapore-s-laws-sufficient-to-10043024
Hermesauto, H. (2018, March 27). No need for new laws to counter online falsehoods, activists tell Select Committee. Retrieved from www.straitstimes.com/politics/no-need-for-new-laws-to-counter-online-falsehoods-activists-tell-select-committee
Klein, D., & Wueller, J. (2017, May 01). Fake News: A Legal Perspective. Retrieved from www.kleinmoynihan.com/fake-news-a-legal-perspective/
Levinson, P. (2018, September 19). Government regulation of social media would be a ‘cure’ far worse than the disease. Retrieved from theconversation.com/government-regulation-of-social-media-would-be-a-cure-far-worse-than-the-disease-86911
Ong, J. (2018, March 27). Non-mainstream media journalists call for the Freedom of Information Act to fight fake news. Retrieved from www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/independent-alternative-media-toc-fake-news-committee-10080122
Sen, N. J., & Yi, S. B. (2018, March 31). New law key to fighting viral online falsehoods. Retrieved from www.straitstimes.com/politics/new-law-key-to-fighting-viral-online-falsehoods
Yuen-C, T. (2018, March 31). Defining online falsehoods. Retrieved from www.straitstimes.com/politics/defining-online-falsehoods
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