Search Engine Optimization Help

Generate the Full Indepth Article Code Easily with Featured Tool of the Week

Last month Google official launched what they had been testing for a couple of months – the new type of search results: In-Depth articles. Those 3 “in-depth” listings appear below top nine search results and each snippet consists of the following:

  • Title tag
  • Featured image
  • Short description
  • Publisher logo and name
  • Date when it was written

Indepth articles are what Google considers evergreen content. It’s beyond competition.

Indepth articles

Currently only the select number of core powerful publishers (like,,, etc) have been showing in “in-depth” block – but Google says there’s a way to be considered as “in-depth” (maybe in the future?). One of the requirements is to have some definitive types of markup on your page.

We can’t be sure yet if Google feels like expanding in-depth articles beyond the core publishers but it never hurts getting prepared for “the better”, right? Besides, Google likes very much, so why not take the best of it?

The Tool

With that in mind, we developed this easy, yet concise indepth article code generator. It does both:

  • Helps you generate the required markup and easily apply it to the page.
  • Educates: Walks you through markup showing how it works and what it takes to have it correctly set-up. The input fields are organized based on the schema type.


We are planning to turn it into a WordPress Plugin as well, so stay tuned!

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Create an Overview of All On-Page Links – Featured SEO Tool of the Week

Today’s featured tool is quick and easy but it’s also so valuable: Internal/External Link Analyzer Tool

The tool will crawl any web page and create a clear list of all external and internal links plus the anchor text for each link.

  • Create a quick on-page link report!
  • Quickly see which links are nofollow
  • See links that have no anchor text (those might be hidden or overlooked)
  • See total number of internal versus external links on the page
  • Identify badly optimized or over-optimized (as much as I hate that word) links
  • Quickly go to any link
  • Hover over any link to see the full path

Internal/External Link Analyzer Tool

Check out the previously reviewed tool: Compare on-Page SEO of Two or More Pages (Featured SEO Tool). It also returns the list of internal and external links for several pages you point it to!

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Compare on-Page SEO of Two or More Pages (Featured SEO Tool)

This week in our “Featured tool” column we are sharing a neat online on-page SEO comparison tool that lets you quickly get an idea of how each of them is optimized and how the on-page tactics differ. Use the tool:

  • To grab top Google results competing with you and compare their on-page tactics
  • To compare your own pages if one seems to be performing better (for an unknown reason)

On-page SEO in numbers

The tool will give you a quick overview of basic on-page stats:

  • Words on each page;
  • “Linked” words on each page;
  • “Unlinked” words on each page;
  • Total links on each page;
  • Page size
basic on-page stats

Basic but essential numbers

Plus you’ll get a bird’s view of most essential meta tags (title and meta description)

(Sub)heading structure

Heading structure of each page (H1-H6 subheadings and their contents)

(Sub)heading structure

The overview of H1-H6 subheadings for each page

On-page keywords (Gold!)

Keyword usage of non-linked words on-page: one-, two- and three-word phrases (This one is gold for identifying ranking differences for internal pages!)

On-page keywords

Most frequent three-word combinations retrieved from each page

On-page links

The tool will list all links it could find on a page and break them into internal and external groups.

Finally the tool will provide you with the full CSS- and HTML-free text for all pages as well as full HTML code for each. Everything on one page!

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Search and Social Edition: Content Curation Done Right

The overwhelming amount of information we have to deal with nowadays gave birth to a great concept: Content creation. The open nature of the web and how we communicate with this content is a unique force that has never been seen throughout history. But once the content has been created, what do you do with it? More importantly, how do we filter out the useless or irrelevant content while keeping the best?

This brings us to content curation, the next step in the evolution of information on the web. Whether it is a blog post, news article, infographic, video or anything else, it has to be monitored for quality. Once something with real share value has been found, it has to be cataloged, categorized and put somewhere that others can easily find it. It is the job of the content curator to do this.

There are some very nice people in the Internet Marketing industry who took the trouble of going through feeds and piles of information and news creating the one-stop weekly read for us. Here are the highest quality ones:

seo content curationSearch and Social Content Curation Sites

SEW Weekly

This is a weekly podcast show discussing the recently hot topics in SEO. The audio format lets you multi-task: Listen to what they talk while still being able to type :)

Kikolani’s Fetching Fridays

Kikolani Fetching Fridays is the official curation site of freelance writer Kristi Hines who has been around for quite some time and you get to admire the consistency of her Fetching Friday’s collection. I wish she could turn them into the weekly newsletter too!

PRSay’s Friday Five

Five news per addition, mainly social media, brand and PR related: Very focused and very well-done!

Fscinteractive’s What we are reading

This is a very original compilation of online marketing news created by these awesome women: One paragraph per person. That’s a very smart way to engage your whole team into content curating too!

More? Please tweet to @seosmarty and you’ll be included :)

What is your favorite example of an SEO curation site? Let me know!.

Image Credits: 1, 2.


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Does Your Website Have Video? If Not, You Could Be Missing Out

Many people wouldn’t think there is a link between SEO and videos on your website. In fact, the two are very much related. Especially with the popularity of YouTube, video is more important than ever in getting your message across. Search engine crawlers see multimedia elements on a webpage as more diverse, as opposed to just text, so this helps to boost your SEO efforts. Of course, the video description, tags, and title all need to keep your site’s SEO in mind, too. Another benefit of this is that your website and your video could show up in the results, giving you two spots instead of just one.

Reading a website can be cold and impersonal. Even with the most descriptive of text, it can be hard to convey emotion through words. Video allows you to speak your message on your site your way. It will be as if your clients already know you before they even officially become clients. While most people don’t like seeing themselves on video, no one knows your business like you do. Be your brand ambassador, don’t be afraid!

What if I Can’t Afford Video Production?

Videos don’t have to cost a lot of money to produce. Most computers today come with a built in camera and some sort of basic editing software. Or better yet, try and shoot your video in one take and no editing will be necessary. Smart phones and digital cameras also have the ability to shoot video, and small flip-cams are becoming more and more affordable.

Many lawyers have begun using videos on their website, since they are in a competitive industry. For example, when I searched for “south Florida personal injury attorney” I came across this video. It was done in one take, with very little post production.  I found his video which contained a link to his website.

Keep your video short, around 2 minutes or less. It is ok to reiterate information that is already found elsewhere on your site. The chances that every person who visits your site will read every page and watch your entire video is pretty slim. Don’t overestimate the attention span of the average internet surfer. Even if some of the information is repeated, then it just further engrains the message into the viewer’s head.

I Made My Video, Now What?

A lot of companies that specialize in SEO are already aware how to optimize videos. If you are using a web marketing company, they should be able to help you with embedding the video as well as optimizing your video. Most web companies have SEO experts and web design experts working side by side. A web designer will be able to advise on the best placement of the video, and adjusting the size of the video player if necessary. SEO experts will optimize the video’s title, description, tags, and permalink if applicable.

If you do not employ a web marketing company, search for YouTube videos in your industry. For example, if you are in shoe repair, type “shoe repair” into the search box. Several shoe repair companies have created videos. The Delmar Bootery in Albany, NY has this video on YouTube, which also appears in a Google search for “Albany shoe repair,”. When I visit their website, I see that they have the same video on their homepage.

More than Just YouTube

There are several websites available for hosting videos to embed on your website. Viddler, Vimeo, and Flickr are just a few sites that also provide video hosting. Facebook also hosts videos, and this could be used to drive traffic to your social media site. 

The Friday Traffic Report blog has compiled an impressive list of video hosting websites. Not only is this list exhaustive, it provides the page rank of each site. There are also additional links that can help you to further market your video, if you are so inclined.

With these tips, your website will be a more personal, multi-media experience for visitors. This will also increase your chances of showing up in search engine results. 

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Leslie Duncan is Orlando SEO Content Developer

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Are Reviews Getting Even More Important?

It is quite obvious that Google is beginning to put more importance on the use of reviews. It is all about trying to narrow that gap between the social web and ecommerce, where sales themselves are becoming more and more social in themselves. Just look at the regularity of community selling on sites like Amazon.

But will that be a factor when it comes to rankings? Will SEO have to adapt to be more ratings inclusive, a new addition after already changing to make way for both video and social results? Given the high priority given to review communities like Yelp and CitySearch when in results for both local and online businesses, and the way that Google is now encouraging G+ users to review local businesses by accessing search result data for suggestion customization, it has already begun.

What This Means For Ecommerce

Are Reviews Getting Even More Important

Local businesses are well used to seeking out reviews from customers. Along with social media and online shopping carts, they are the only way to establish a viable web presence. It is the typical ecommerce business that has to really focus on this change and the way it is certain to adapt over time.

External reviews are important, and many small companies encourage their customers to hop onto sites like Yelp or ResellerRatings for their opinion on the service/product. This is a good idea for small businesses, as customers are more likely to comment when they have positive experiences, unlike many large corporations that find themselves with reviews only when the customer is unhappy.

Sites like Amazon also offer a great service for those who are selling a tangible product. It is a selling community, and reviewing for many people who buy there is second nature. Especially when they are happy with what they have bought. Google seems to also favor these pages, showing the star rating right there in the results.

The Risks of Fake Reviews

Fake Reviews

Some people reading this are already tempted to begin what many companies do, which is purchase fake reviews. This is a mistake, as Google is working overtime to quell this phenomenon, as are the third party sites reviews are hosted on.

If you are suspected of review spamming, all ratings can be wiped off of the account. Sometimes sites will even ban the company entirely, though most the time this is for multiple offenses after getting a warning. Plus, most customers are now web-savvy enough (and jaded enough) to recognize fake reviews, and to be leery of even positive ones if they don’t appear to be genuine. There are plenty of signs that they can follow to come to this conclusion, so don’t underestimate them.

For those who are struggling to get customer reviews, you can always meet in the middle. Offer someone a free sample of your product or service in exchange for an honest, well written review. Many bloggers will do this on their sites, which are great to link to, and social users who are following your page will jump on the opportunity if you offer it. As long as you are not soliciting positive reviews, or running it as a contest, this is not against any TOS.

Reviews Through Surveys


There are websites that are choosing to use third-party surveys in order to find out about customer experience. Which can help when trying to improve for better public reviews that will come up in a Google search. Usually, they are done using a service like TrustPilot or Foresee.

But these are controversial, and many small business owners in particular see them as a risk to their brand loyalty, not a help. Customers don’t usually like seeing these popups at the end of a purchase or while browsing a site. They are an eyesore, annoying and completely unsolicited. So the customer opinion of a site can go down drastically for nothing more than the survey request.

When looking at a large company, this doesn’t make much of a difference; they aren’t likely to stop using it or shopping there. However, smaller businesses have to work harder to prove themselves against the competition. At the very least, a more creative and less invasive way should be found to find out the information from a survey. Even a single email a few days later, while not ideal, is better than a popup.


Reviews are a big deal on Google now, and user experience data is crucial for the average ecommerce site. But there is a right way and a wrong way to use this tool, and you should take care that you don’t make a misstep. Luckily, the ranking benefits far outweigh the risks.

Image Credit: 1.

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Ann Smarty

Community Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas

Ann Smarty is the pro blogger and guest blogger, social media enthusiast.

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Republishing Content: The Right Way to Do it

To totally misquote Barbie, “Writing original content is hard!” Well, if it was easy, anybody could rank, right? When you need to create something new on a daily basis for your blog, it’s tempting to find a great piece of work and just copy it. That’s illegal – but there is a legal way to do it.

Before I explain the right way to republish someone else’s work, let me give a tip of the hat to Mike Moran for explaining all the issues around it. I’m going to start with the biggest one: by law, you need to get permission from the copyright holder before you can republish something. That’s usually the author of the work. And yes, you need to get that permission even if you’re publishing it on the Internet – and even if you include the person’s name, copyright notice, and link back to them. I’m serious; contact them first and get that “yes.” If they say “no,” DON’T republish it. If they say “yes, but here are my conditions,” don’t republish without fulfilling those conditions.

If that sounds like a lot of effort, guess what? The copyright holder went through a lot of effort to create that article in the first place, and you’re going through a lot LESS effort to get it. You know you’re going through a lot less effort, because if you weren’t, you’d simply write something original yourself and put THAT up on your site, now wouldn’t you?

Besides, do you know what happens when you republish something? You’re competing in the search engines with the original item. Most web surfers find content online by searching for it. The search engines can tell the original from the republished item by checking a number of “hints;” judging by our SEO Chat forum comments over the years, they’re not perfect, but they’ve been getting better at it. Now these search engines assume that searchers want to see the original item, so they’ll rank that higher than republished items. So all that new traffic you may have been hoping to attract with an awesome piece of content you’re republishing? Yeah, that will end up at the site with the original item, not at yours with the republication.

So if you’re going to republish something, make sure it’ll be of benefit to your regular readers, who will certainly see it. This point brings up a side issue, though: your regular readers may be used to a certain “voice” from your blog. Part of the point of writing a blog in the first place is to establish not just your expertise, but yourself as a personality with which your audience wants to engage. It’s another form of branding, in a sense. And if you’re republishing someone else’s work, well, they don’t have your voice or your personality. So the content may be useful, but in at least in this one sense, republishing it is  counterproductive.

But let us assume at this point that you’re not completely dissuaded from capturing some of the advantages of republishing. You’re completely out of ideas (which need never happen with an editorial calendar, by the way); you asked the copyright holder for permission to republish and they laughed in your face (which is just as well, since their writing style clashes with yours); and you know your readers want more on this topic. So what can you do?

Fortunately, there’s another form of “republishing” that isn’t really republishing at all. It’s legal, you don’t need permission from the author of the original item, and nearly every blogger does it. I’m doing it right now, in fact. You take the original article and write a few paragraphs about it, building up your own opinion on the topic – adding your own spin in your own voice to the issue. Courtesy demands that you link to the original, and that you have something substantial today. Granted, in some sense it’s not totally original content, but at least you’re not starting the piece by staring at a blank page with an exhausted and equally blank brain.

Moran notes that if you only write two or three paragraphs from your own perspective on someone else’s original work, you provide fodder for the search engines while satisfying your regular readership. “And if you can write five or ten paragraphs with a well-thought-out opinion,” he continues, “agreeing or disagreeing with the original, or adding and expanding on points in the original, you have likely created a nice article both for your readers and for search engines, without the heavy lifting of having to think up an idea on your own.” On top of this, if the site containing the original content supports trackbacks, a link to your article will show up in its comment section. You could get traffic from the original item to yours, then – which you wouldn’t get if you simply republished the original item!

So, to recap: writing original content is hard work, but the benefits are worth it. If you’ve temporarily run out of ideas for writing something original, you can consider republishing someone else’s work, if you do it right – but there are disadvantages. The more original you can make your work – the more work, and the more of yourself, you put into it – the more benefits you’ll get. I’ll leave Moran with the last word here: “In blogging, there is no substitute for originality.”

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What an SEO Can Learn from History

Whether you call yourself an SEO, SEM, inbound marketer, online marketing specialist, or any one of a number of terms, your ultimate goal is the same: increasing sales or conversions for your clients. To do this, you need to bring a host of skill sets to bear. Sometimes, the skills of a historian come in handy.

This thought crossed my mind after reading Mike Fleming’s excellent post for Search Engine Guide on the various “professions” an inbound marketer must, er, employ. Like Fleming, I received a “liberal arts education,” but I majored in history. So when he talked about how he was recently “feeling a bit ‘stretched’ out of my comfort zone when I realized just how many hats inbound marketers are called to wear throughout the daily trappings of their careers,” I felt an immediate pang of familiarity.

Please understand that I don’t do inbound marketing myself, beyond reading and writing about it for about eight years now as a major part of my job. Still, when Fleming listed the “hats” of scientist, psychologist, investigator, consultant, accountant, researcher, writer, speaker, salesman, reporter, customer service representative and (stretching a point a little bit) doctor, I found myself nodding a bit, but waiting for the other shoe to drop. Where on this list is the humble historian?

Not everyone understands what historians do. We hunt for the data; we analyze it and look for trends; we form hypotheses and theories; we try to explain the causes of things at various levels. There’s a reason that history is said to be “the science of that which never happens twice.” In short, historians use many of the skills that Fleming lists – plus one very critical one that can be invaluable to any marketer working with a client.

To explain that skill, however, I need to back up to one of my college history courses. It was a historiography course, and only history majors took it. Historiography, loosely defined, is the history of history. In the case of my course, we examined the causes of the English Civil War – or more precisely, what historians said were the causes of the English Civil War at five different points in history, starting with immediately after the war itself and going through a diversity of eras (such as the Marxist interpretation and others).

I quickly learned that the cause of a situation may not be as simple as it first appears. I also learned that others looking at the same situation, and given the same apparent facts, can easily interpret it differently. But most importantly, I learned that the reason for these different interpretations has to do with the historian’s mental filter – that it’s almost impossible to remove yourself from your own time period and its influences, attitudes, or “prejudices,” if you will. This filter is enough to explain differences in interpretation without necessarily assuming the historian has a particular ax to grind (though that’s also possible, of course) or holds any particular malice toward anyone (though again, this is possible).

So how is this useful for SEOs to keep in mind? You come to your client, and approach his data, with a particular view based on what you know. Your client views his business in a particular way based on what he knows. Each of these are filters of a sort. If you want to get your message through to your client, you need to clear your own filter – as much as you can – and look at the data you have collected through HIS filter. If you want to convince him to try something, you need to convey it to him in a way that gets through his filter such that he’ll not only UNDERSTAND it, but AGREE with you about the right course of action.

It’s even more complicated than that, of course. There are other filters you need to keep in mind: the ones in front of the eyes of your client’s customers. And oh yes, there are Google’s filters as well. I could go on, but I’ve run out of space and time – rather embarrassing for a historian, I must admit. But perhaps you can see how this study of the past can help your clients prepare for a better future. Good luck!

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Don’t Try to Beat Search Algorithms

There was a time, quite a few years ago, when SEOs could reliably trick search engine algorithms into listing their websites at the top of the results. Those days are long gone. In fact, the whole idea of gaining top rankings doesn’t mean the same thing anymore.

The truth is that search engine algorithms have become so complex, accounting for so many different variables, that no one can keep track of them all. Stoney deGeyter discussed this in almost excruciating detail. So if you think you or your SEO can game the system, think again.

Let’s start with the fact that Google was already analyzing something like 200 different ranking signals back in 2009. That’s three or four years ago; today, they’re almost certainly analyzing more. And even if they aren’t, it’s a fair bet that they’re not analyzing the same 200 signals that they used then. Search engine developers at Google constantly look for ways they can make their algorithms work better. So while we can make a fair guess at some of the signals Google uses, nobody in the SEO community knows all of them.

Next, consider that not all of these signals carry the same weight. How important is it that your domain name features your target keyword? Your title tag? Anchor text? Only Google knows the answer, and they’re not talking. Worse, that answer keeps changing, because it’s only a matter of changing some code to change the importance the search engine grants to any particular signal.

Now you may have noticed my use of the term “algorithms,” plural, when talking about Google. That’s because the search giant doesn’t use a single algorithm. Do you suppose it uses the same algorithm for the medical industry that it uses for the construction industry? More than likely, it doesn’t. That’s because those 200-odd signals I mentioned earlier actually carry different weight and significance in different industries. How far does this granularity go? Well, deGeyter notes that Google might have anywhere between 50 to 200 different algorithms running at any one time. “These different algorithms might be in play for different industries, different types of searches or testing the effects of various algorithm changes before a full push,” he explained.

And it’s just gotten more complicated over time, as Google has added personalization, geo-location, and social signals as factors and filters involved in search. So any particular search can be affected by the searcher’s zip code,  search history, previously visited sites, and even the websites his or her friends on Google+ have visited and liked – oh, excuse me, +1ed.

Naturally, Panda and Penguin also make “gaming” Google’s algorithms more complicated. (You were wondering when I’d get to those, right?). These black-and-white critters are no ordinary updates; they’re filters through which the search giant runs its huge index from time to time. As deGeyter explains, “If your site got hit with these updates, fixing the problem that caused it won’t bring immediate results. You have to wait until the next time Google runs the filter.”

So what’s a site owner trying to get top rankings in Google supposed to do? Well, you may have to give up the idea of “top rankings” as such. If you look at your site in Google and you have the top ranking for your targeted keywords, turn off everything that tells Google who and where you are. If you’re still at the top, guess what? You may not be the top result for many other searchers, who have all of their customizations turned on. It’s a catch-22.

Fortunately, there is a way to resolve it. Keep an eye on algorithm changes, but don’t try to chase them. And remember what you’re really trying to do! I admit deGeyter says it better than I can: “It’s not about trying to get just the right amount of words on a page, your keywords in just the right spot or even about the perfect backlink graph. It’s about building a site that visitors love, focusing on the keywords they search and doing it better than your competitors.” Good luck!

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How Blogging Enhances Your Local SEO

Are you looking for a way to get your local business website more noticed in the search engines? Consider writing a blog, especially if your competition doesn’t have one. Though they can be a lot of work, they can also bring you a slew of benefits.

Chris Silver Smith covers this very well in a guest post for Search Engine Land. He makes the case that many local businesses aren’t blogging yet, which means that a well-written and well-maintained blog can take you over the top – even if you and your rivals have already done all the typical tasks involved in improving your local SEO.

How can you improve your local SEO efforts by blogging? Well, to start with, writing regular blog entries means you can jump right on any timely news items or events. Google’s spiders raise their antennas for any whiffs of fresh content, so you’ll attract their attention. You’ll also attract the attention of human visitors – and if they interact with you, you’ll set those Google antennas quivering even more. “User interaction signals can give your site a higher prominence score in Google local algorithms,” Smith notes.

Humans do more than interact on your site, though; they also tell their friends about you, linking back to your blog posts. These unsolicited links give your site a unique profile – the kind that can’t be bought, and that Google really appreciates.

With an active blog, you can interact with more than just the visitors to your website who choose to comment. You can also link to other bloggers and comment on their blogs. It’s a very popular way to continue the conversation. If you’re really good (or lucky), they may even visit and leave a comment, or link back to you.

Perhaps the biggest benefit to blogging for your local business website is that it provides you with a platform. You can use this platform as the “voice” of your company if it ever gets attacked online. You can jump into exciting news related to your industry from your blog. You can even link to blog posts from other social media sites to promote your business.

So how do you get started? Smith offers a number of simple recommendations. First, go ahead and use WordPress as your blog’s content management system. It’s already quite search engine friendly, and you can easily find add-ons to make it even more so. It’s a good idea to check with an SEO to help you decide which of these (if any) you should use, and to walk you through the basics.

You can usually choose from a variety of themes for your blog. Given the way Google has been treating links in the post-Penguin era, it makes sense to stay away from themes that don’t let you remove or nofollow links to the designer’s website.

Some site owners wonder if they should set up a separate website for their blog, and point it to their business website. Don’t do it! You want to attract links directly to your business website, not to some other website that then, in theory, boosts your business site. You can put your blog into a dedicated subdirectory or even a subdomain, but make it part of your business website.

Once you get your blog set up, post regularly. Not everyone can manage a post every day, and that’s okay. If you can only do a post once a week, that’s fine. But it’s important to be consistent; that trains Google and your human visitors to expect fresh content. Also, you don’t need to post a novel every time; to be honest, hardly anyone has that kind of attention span online. So if you can only manage three or four paragraphs, do that much – but make them count.

Finally, make your posts interesting and entertaining – and remember that this will probably mean taking your blinders off. Just because you’re an accounting professional, for example, doesn’t mean all of your blog posts need to cover close readings of the tax code, the 1040 and other forms, and various deductions. That’s enough to make ME yawn – and my dad was a CPA in both New York and Florida. You can write about interesting moments in tax history or weird tax facts, like why the folks in Massachusetts and Maine sometimes get an extra day to file their taxes. A little research can turn up some very cool stories. Tell them well and regularly, and you’ll attract all the traffic you can handle. Good luck!

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