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Feb 8, 2012

Smartcompany News and Analysis: New ways to find an SEO edge, Lawyers mull Bankwest class action over SME loans, Five things Facebook could buy with its IPO bounty, FBT time looms

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It used to be that SMEs could get a huge advantage with good SEO strategies. But now everyone knows the basics and the playing field has been levelled.

Today on SmartCompany our tech expert Patrick Stafford looks at the latest developments in SEO and explains where smart businesses can find an edge. We also talk to the lawyer considering a class action against Bankwest, look at the collapse of a design firm and in Entrepreneur Watch, James Thomson examines the continued fall of Telstra's Sensis division.

Cashflow is a big focus for SMEs this year, but how good is your knowledge in the area? Our friends at StartupSmart have put together a terrific cashflow quiz that lets you test your expertise and provides you with plenty of great advice. It's free, quick and a great resource for you and your team.

Internet
Raising the bar with SEO
With most businesses now on board with the SEO requirements that forward-thinking SMEs were doing five or six years ago, how can innovative businesses get ahead of the pack? BY PATRICK STAFFORD.
Feature

Tax
It's almost FBT time again – will you be ready?
Not all SME employers have to fill out a fringe benefits tax return, but for those that do, some useful reminders are in order. BY TERRY HAYES.
Features

Aunty B
How can I attract more women to our blokey workplace?
You have to get it into these drongos' minds that a woman working four days a week can be as good as a man working five.
Aunty B

IT Systems
David Markus
If you are currently funding your IT requirements from cash reserves then chances are you have limited your capacity for future growth and success.
Ask the Experts

Online sales
Chris Thomas
A few years ago I blogged about QR codes, what they are and how they work. Now, they’re popping up everywhere, and some advertisers are being very smart about how they’re implemented.
Smart Blogs

Business Tech Talk
Paul Wallbank
Depending on free online services is a necessary business evil. We have to be prepared for problems.
Smart Blogs

IT Means Business
Dave Stevens
Tablet computing is coming to your business, if it's not already there.
Smart Blogs

Entrepreneur Watch
James Thomson
Today’s profit result from Telstra’s Sensis division suggests it’s struggling to keep up with the change in the way SMEs advertise.
Entrepreneur Watch

Stocks and Markets in the News | China Economy - Inflation:: China consumer prices rise 4.5%, above estimates

By V. Phani Kumar 
 
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) -- China's consumer prices rose at a faster-than-expected rate of 4.5% in January from the year-ago period in a likely setback to expectations that Beijing may loosen its monetary policy in the near term. The January consumer price index trounced expectations of a 4.1% increase estimated by economists and follows a decline in the rate in the recent past. China's CPI rose 4.1% in December, 4.2% in November and 5.5% in October. However, official data released Thursday also showed that China's producer-price index eased further, rising 0.7% during the month as compared to 1.7% in December. Economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires had expected a 0.6% increase in January PPI.

Stocks and Markets in the News | Japanese Market: Japanese stocks open down on Greek deal concerns

By Michael Kitchen 
 
LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) -- Japan's stock market got off to a lower start Thursday, as lack of a Greek debt deal helped weigh on shares. The Nikkei Stock Average JP:100000018 +1.10% was down 0.3% at 8,992.41 in early moves, while the Topix lost 0.2%. A number of major exporters lost ground as a key meeting of Greek political leaders failed to reach a deal late Wednesday and early Thursday on austerity measures needed in order to receive more international aid. Among decliners, Sony Corp. 
JP:6758 +1.92% SNE -0.09% fell 1%, Sharp Corp. JP:6753 +0.56% SHCAF -8.26% retreated 0.7%, Elpida Memory Inc. JP:6665 +9.38% ELPDF +4.44% dropped 2.1%, and Fujitsu Ltd. JP:6702 +2.89% FJTSY +2.06% traded down 1%. Gains in profit and sales for Nissan Motor Co. JP:7201 +2.38% NSANY +1.83% , reported late Wednesday, helped spur profit-taking in the shares, which fell 1.2%. Other auto makers lost ground, with Mitsubishi Motors Corp. JP:7211 +3.16% MMTOF +2.52% down 2%, and Mazda Motor Corp. JP:7261 +7.30% MZDAF +6.51% off 1.4%.

NYT Global Update: As Russia Pushes Diplomacy, Syrian Forces Are Said to Pound Homs

Global Update



TOP NEWS

As Russia Pushes Diplomacy, Syrian Forces Are Said to Pound Homs

By NEIL MacFARQUHAR and MICHAEL SCHWIRTZ
As reports of assaults by Syrian forces continued for a fifth day, Russia's leaders attempted to fend off criticism that they were doing nothing effective to stop the bloodshed.

Greece Nears Agreement on Bailout Package

By NIKI KITSANTONIS and LANDON THOMAS Jr.
Officials in Brussels said that the announcement of a meeting of euro zone finance ministers suggested that an agreement in principle was likely among Greek political parties.

Amid Political Turmoil, Violent Clashes Continue in Maldives

By JIM YARDLEY
Police and protestors faced off in the capital of Male, and the island nation's former president claimed he was forced to resign this week at gunpoint.
World

In Grip of Cold, Afghan Family Buries 8th Child

By ROD NORDLAND
Even by the standards of destitution in Afghan refugee camps, the story of Sayid Mohammad is a hard-luck one.
Opinion

Latitude

Zimbabwe's Long Winter

By EUSEBIUS MCKAISER
Looking around sub-Saharan Africa, Zimbabwe would seem ripe for revolution - except that it's not.
WORLD

New Settlements in Britain's Hacking Scandal

By RAVI SOMAIYA and ALAN COWELL
Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper subsidiary was reported to have reached a new batch of settlements on Wednesday in the hacking scandal.

Putin Warns of Growing 'Cult of Violence'

By MICHAEL SCHWIRTZ
Vladimir V. Putin said there was an increased willingness around the world to resort to force in political disputes, and expressed concern that upheavals in the Middle East could spark trouble in Russia.

Russian Scientists Bore Into Ancient Antarctic Lake

By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN and JAMES GORMAN
Scientists said Wednesday they had reached the waters of a lake that has been sealed off for millions of years.
WORLD

Britain Rules Out Talks With Argentina Over Falklands

By ALAN COWELL
Britain on Wednesday ruled out any negotiation with Argentina over the future of the disputed Falkland Islands after President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner said she would formally complain to the United Nations.

Russia Plans to Retry Dead Lawyer in Tax Case

By ANDREW E. KRAMER
The decision to once again prosecute Sergei L. Magnitsky, whose death in prison was considered a symbol of rights abuses in Russia, infuriated his family and former employer.

Female Neo-Nazis Not Just Hangers-On

By MELISSA EDDY
A film about a young neo-Nazi woman and the arrest of another woman linked to a far-right terror group have turned German attention to the role of women on the far-right, where many hold leadership roles.

E.U. Criticizes Pace of Reform in Bulgaria and Romania

By STEPHEN CASTLE
Reports from the European Commission on Wednesday gave fresh ammunition to those who want to stall the two nations from joining Europe's passport-free Schengen travel zone.

Japan and United States Hope to Strike New Okinawa Deal

By MARTIN FACKLER
An earlier 2006 plan aimed at removing 8,000 Marines from the island hinged on relocating an important Marine air base.

Speculation Grows Over Fate of Crime-Fighting Chinese Official

By IAN JOHNSON
Reports circulated widely on Wednesday that Wang Lijun, known for busting gangs in the western city of Chongqing, had tried to defect to the United States.

Israeli Union Starts a National General Strike

By ETHAN BRONNER
Israel's main labor union began the first general strike in five years on Wednesday in a dispute over treatment of nonunion contract workers.

Elections in Vast Indian State Are Window on Nation's Politics

By JIM YARDLEY
Analysts regard the election in Uttar Pradesh as a barometer of many key issues shaping Indian politics.
Laiza Journal

Myanmar's Guerrilla Golfers Take Time for a Few Rounds

By EDWARD WONG
The six-hole golf course in rebel territory in Kachin State may be among the world's unlikeliest, but it is open, even in wartime.

Myanmar Visit Is Possible for Petraeus

By THOMAS FULLER
David H. Petraeus, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, may visit Myanmar later this year, officials said Tuesday, signaling a further warming of relations.

Afghan Officials Question Reports of Children Dying in Camps

By ROD NORDLAND
Government officials said that some refugee camp residents had exaggerated their circumstances to attract aid and called news accounts about the deaths "one-sided."

As Growth Slows, India Awakens to Need for Foreign Investment

By VIKAS BAJAJ
India's central bank and economic analysts predict that growth will fall sharply to 7 percent this fiscal year and remain sluggish.

U.S. Planning to Slash Iraq Embassy Staff by as Much as Half

By TIM ARANGO
The swift realization that the diplomatic buildup may have been ill advised is a remarkable pivot for the State Department.

Iraq's Political Crisis Eases as Sunni Ministers Rejoin the Government

By TIM ARANGO
The incremental step sets the stage for a national conference to seek a durable solution to a sectarian conflict that erupted in December.

Ahmadinejad Must Testify in Iran's Parliament

By J. DAVID GOODMAN
Lawmakers summoned President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to answer questions about "irregularities" related to his handling of the country's struggling economy, the semiofficial Mehr news agency reported.

Rebels Free Chinese Workers in Sudan, Red Cross Says

By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN
The more than two dozen construction workers were abducted in late January during a road project near the Sudan-South Sudan border.

Inquiry Into Brothers' Outsourcing Firm Stirs High Political Circles in Mexico

By KARLA ZABLUDOVSKY
The Álvarez Puga consulting company, which has longstanding connections to top politicians, is accused of a scheme to pocket tax payments and engage in other fraudulent practices.

Influx of Haitians Into the Amazon Prompts Immigration Debate in Brazil

By SIMON ROMERO and ANDREA ZARATE
Brazil restricted Haitian visas in January after about 4,000 Haitians arrived in its Amazon frontier, setting off a discussion about what kind of immigrants the country should try to attract.

50 Years After Kennedy's Ban, Embargo on Cuba Remains

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
The world is much changed since 1962, but one thing has remained constant: The United States' economic embargo on Cuba, a near-total trade ban that turned 50 on Tuesday.

Radical U.S. Muslims Little Threat, Study Says

By SCOTT SHANE
The study found that arrests of Muslim Americans in plots or violent attacks have dropped sharply since 2009.

Drone Strike Said to Kill 10 Militants in Pakistan

By REUTERS
Missiles fired from a United States drone killed 10 suspected militants in Pakistan's North Waziristan region on Wednesday, residents and Pakistani security officials said.

Leader of Hungary Defends New Constitution

By PALKO KARASZ
In his state of the nation speech Tuesday, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said the Constitution was "the first in Europe to prescribe decreasing public debt and keeping the balance of the budget."

Putin to Cut List of Officials Who Can Flout Traffic Rules

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin pledged to reduce the number of Russian officials who are allowed to bypass traffic jams by ignoring basic rules of the road.

Vatican Urged to Give Priority to Abuse Victims

By ELISABETTA POVOLEDO
An advocate for the prevention of child abuse said at a conference that the church should listen to victims rather than focus their attention on priests accused of wrongdoing.

Italian Court Affirms Detention of Cruise Ship's Captain

By GAIA PIANIGIANI
A Florence appeals court rejected both the prosecutors' request to imprison the Francesco Schettino, who is under house arrest, and the request of his lawyer to have him released.

Greece Puts Off Decision on Austerity Moves Amid a Strike Protesting Them

By RACHEL DONADIO
Missing another deadline, the government failed to reach agreement with creditors Tuesday, and Greek workers walked off the job to protest austerity measures.

Britain: Officials Acknowledge Failures on Phone Hacking

By JOHN F. BURNS
Scotland Yard formally acknowledged on Tuesday that it had acted unlawfully in 2006 and 2007 in failing to notify hundreds of individuals targeted by The News of the World.

Britain: No Pardon in 1952 Case

By JOHN F. BURNS
Alan Turing, the British mathematician and cryptanalyst, has been denied a formal pardon by the government of Prime Minister David Cameron for his conviction in 1952 on charges of homosexuality.

Bulgaria: Floods Threaten Villages

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Swollen rivers in Bulgaria and Greece burst their banks on Tuesday, leaving dozens of homes underwater, as Bulgarian officials declared a day of mourning for eight people confirmed killed after a dam collapsed.

Argentina: British Ship Protested

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner said Tuesday that Argentina would formally complain to the United Nations after Britain sent one of its most modern warships to the disputed Falkland Islands.

Ecuador: Authors Fined $1 Million

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
An Ecuadorean court has ordered two journalists to pay $1 million each to President Rafael Correa after finding them guilty of defamation.

Stung by Criticism, Russia Sends Envoys to Syria to Defuse Crisis

By MICHAEL SCHWIRTZ and RICK GLADSTONE
With the city of Homs reported to be under renewed bombardment, a senior Russian envoy held talks with President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday.

John Christopher, Science Fiction Writer, Dies at 89

By PAUL VITELLO
Mr. Christopher was author of the "Tripods" trilogy among many other books under many other names.

Florence Green, Last World War I Veteran, Dies at 110

By MARGALIT FOX
Mrs. Green, a teenage officers' mess waitress, signed up in the last months of the war and recalled the officers' courtly behavior.
Op-Ed Contributor

The Dregs of Dictatorship

By MOHAMED NASHEED
After driving strongmen from office, nascent democracies still have to deal with the corrupt webs of influence left behind.

The Hard Way Out of Afghanistan

By LUKE MOGELSON
Winding down the war means pushing deeper into Taliban country every day.
BUSINESS

5 European Nations Agree to Help U.S. Crack Down on Tax Evasion

By DAVID JOLLY and BRIAN KNOWLTON
France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Britain will "intensify their cooperation" to identify U.S. tax cheats in return for help in finding U.S. accounts held by residents of those countries.

Germany and Kazakhstan Sign Rare Earths Agreement

By MELISSA EDDY
The accord, valued at around $4 billion, guarantees German companies access to critical minerals in exchange for technological and other investments.

In Piracy Debate, Deciding if the Sky Is Falling

By JENNA WORTHAM and AMY CHOZICK
Media and Internet giants at odds over dealing with purloined content on the Web may need to agree first on exactly how bad the problem is.
TECHNOLOGY

In Data Deluge, Multitaskers Go to Multiscreens

By MATT RICHTEL
In a new tactic for countering the data assault, offices are giving workers a second computer screen and sometimes a third.
DealBook

Yahoo Shakes Up Board

By MICHAEL J. DE LA MERCED and EVELYN M. RUSLI
Four long-serving directors will leave, and two new members have been named, following the resignation of the co-founder Jerry Yang.
SPORTS

A Japanese Pitcher Without the Mystery

By DAVID WALDSTEIN
The Yankees think they know what they are getting in Hiroki Kuroda, who established himself by going 41-46 with a 3.45 E.R.A. in four seasons with the Dodgers.

Capello Resigns as Manager of England's Soccer Team

By REUTERS
Fabio Capello had disagreed with the English Football Association's decision to remove the England captaincy from John Terry.

An American Caught in the Middle of Egypt's Chaos

By ROB HUGHES
Bob Bradley has said he will stay on as coach of Egypt's national team, even though a number of players are questioning whether to go on after the deadly violence at a match on Feb. 1.
U.S. NEWS

California Housing Market Braces for Facebook Millionaires

By MICHAEL COOPER
The Bay Area and Silicon Valley expect the windfall from a stock offering to make their in-demand region even hotter.

Boehner Vows to Fight Contraception Rule

By JENNIFER STEINHAUER
The speaker said House Republicans would push to change the administration's rule that religious institutions must offer insurance plans that cover birth control.

Washington State Set to Legalize Same-Sex Marriage

By WILLIAM YARDLEY
Washington was poised to become the seventh state to legalize same-sex marriage, with the State House expected to give final passage on Wednesday night.
OPINION
Patrick Chappatte

Reconciliation Between Fatah and Hamas

The deal between Mahmoud Abbas, leader of Fatah and president of the Palestinian Authority, and the Islamist movement Hamas put Israel further on edge.
Op-Ed Contributor

The Khmer Rouge's Perfect Villain

By THIERRY CRUVELLIER
How does a man like Duch come to be? And how does he live with his crimes?
Op-Ed Contributor

From Devolution to Independence

By JAMES MACINTYRE
Even staunch Unionists accept that the breakup of Britain feels inevitable, if not this time then in a few years.