How to forecast the revenue opportunity for the coveted ‘position 0’

Everyone wants to command that coveted ‘position 0′ for regular and voice-based search, but that doesn’t mean you can, says contributor Karen Bone. Here’s how to figure out if it’s worth trying.

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How to create catchy, effective subject lines for link outreach

Are your outreach emails falling flat? Contributor Gisele Navarro shares specific tips you can use to write subject lines that will work to get your emails opened.

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In investing, as in poker, following rules works best

AT THE annual World Series of Poker, which begins this week in Las Vegas, the main event is the no-limit Texas hold ’em tournament. In the course of two weeks of gruelling knock-out play, several thousand players are whittled down to just two, playing “heads-up” for one of the WSOP’s coveted bracelets.

In last year’s final hand, both players had pushed all their chips in, with five shared cards yet to be dealt. Scott Blumstein, who held Ace-Deuce, was a big underdog against Daniel Ott, who held Ace-Eight. With one card to come, Mr Blumstein’s hand had not improved. His chances had narrowed to 7%. Of the remaining 44 cards, only one of the other three deuces could give him victory.

The cards—and thus the odds of winning or losing—were known to both players, because they had already committed all their chips. Poker is not usually like this. Winning depends not only on your cards but on the unseen cards held by other players, on your ability to deceive them by…Continue reading

The number of new banks in America has fallen off a cliff

THE single-storey main branch of the Texas Hill Country Bank, in Kerrville, sits at the back of a tired shopping centre, in the shade of a six-storey Wells Fargo building. When Roy Thompson, the chief executive, was hired (from Wells) in 2012, three years after it opened, he ran a radio ad campaign to alert locals to its existence. It asked listeners to help a mother (his) to find her child (Roy himself), who had gone missing after joining a community bank.

If Mr Thompson had shared the fate of many small-town bankers, he would have remained missing. Since 2012 more than 2,000 American banks have closed (see chart). Almost all were small, operating in the shadows of big banks with big budgets for marketing, technology and regulatory compliance. For the same reasons, almost no new banks have opened. Before the crisis the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) approved hundreds of bank charters each year. Since 2009 there have been only a dozen in total.

So sudden has been the stop that the FDIC is seeking to…Continue reading

American tech giants are making life tough for startups

IT IS a classic startup story, but with a twist. Three 20-somethings launched a firm out of a dorm room at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2016, with the goal of using algorithms to predict the reply to an e-mail. In May they were fundraising for their startup, EasyEmail, when Google held its annual conference for software developers and announced a tool similar to EasyEmail’s. Filip Twarowski, its boss, sees Google’s incursion as “incredible confirmation” they are working on something worthwhile. But he also admits that it came as “a little bit of a shock”. The giant has scared off at least one prospective backer of EasyEmail, because venture capitalists try to dodge spaces where the tech giants might step.

The behemoths’ annual conferences, held to announce new tools, features, and acquisitions, always “send shock waves of fear through entrepreneurs”, says Mike Driscoll, a partner at Data Collective, an investment firm. “Venture capitalists attend to see…Continue reading

Turkey’s central bank has streamlined its fight against inflation

THE baroque era in Turkish architecture lasted deep into the 19th century, leaving behind lavish buildings, such as the Lily Mosque in Istanbul and waterside pavilions that seem to float on the Bosphorus. The baroque period in Turkish monetary policy will last until June 1st, when the central bank will simplify its equally ornate monetary-policy framework. It will henceforth rely on a single interest rate (the one-week repo rate), which it will raise to 16.5%. This will supersede a jumble of interest rates (see chart) that has left the Turkish currency perilously close to submersion.

Turkish baroque mingled Western and Ottoman…Continue reading