Today In History – April 30, 2012

  1812 – There aren’t many states that can boast an abundance of pelicans, but Louisiana, the 18th state to enter the United States of America, has plenty. That’s why it calls itself the Pelican State and the state bird is the eastern brown pelican. Named in honor of Louis XIV of France, Louisiana has several other nicknames: Sportsman’s Paradise, Sugar State, and Creole State. The capital of Louisiana is Baton Rouge and the beautiful magnolia is its adopted flower while the state tree is the bald cypress. All together now, let’s sing You are My Sunshine, Louisiana’s state song. Give Me Louisiana is also considered a state song, and the state motto is: Union, justice and confidence. We’re not too confident in choosing which song to sing, though.

1889 – The first national holiday in the United States was celebrated. The citizens of the U.S. observed the centennial of George Washington’s inauguration. Although this is no longer a national holiday, you’ll be happy to know that there are now at least half a dozen holidays — most on Mondays — that give folks in the U.S. a day off from work and a reason to have a parade, picnic, or go shopping at the mall to take advantage of the holiday sales. These national holidays include: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King’s Birthday, President’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving Day.

1900 – Train engineer Casey Jones was killed when trying to save the Cannonball Express as it highballed its way through Vaughn, MS. The famous song about Jones is loosely relatable to the train accident which cost the railroad engineer his life.

1903 – Victor Records made its first Red Seal recording this day. The premiere disk featured Ada Crossley, an opera contralto.

1922 – Charlie Robertson of the Chicago White Sox pitched the major league’s fifth perfect game. The Chisox defeated the Detroit Tigers, 2-0.

1939 – The first railroad car equipped with fluorescent lights was put into service. The train car was known as the General Pershing Zephyr.

1939- Baseball’s ‘Iron Horse’, Lou Gehrig, played his last game with the New York Yankees on this day.

1939 – Public Television began. President Franklin D. Roosevelt became the first chief executive to appear on TV. Roosevelt spoke at the opening ceremonies of the New York World’s Fair in Flushing, NY on WNBT in New York.

1940 – Jimmy Dorsey and his band recorded the bandleader’s signature song, Contrasts, for Decca Records. The song went on to become one of the most familiar big band themes of the era.

1940 – Belle Martell was licensed in California by state boxing officials to be the first American woman prize-fight referee!

1944 – The New York Giants (of baseball) whipped the Brooklyn Dodgers 26-8. They also set a major-league record for runs driven in by a team in a single game.

1945 – “How would you like to be queen for a day!” That opening line, delivered by host, Jack Bailey, was first heard on Mutual radio on this day. The first Queen for a Day was Mrs. Evelyn Lane. Years later Bailey would take the show to TV for a long, popular run.

1945 – Arthur Godfrey began his CBS radio morning show. His theme was Seems Like Old Times. Arthur Godfrey Time ran until this very same day in 1972. Godfrey’s show was different in that he used live talent and not records. His popularity with listeners was the major reason that several sponsors gave Godfrey the freedom to ad-lib their commercials and, from time to time, joke about the products as well.

1947 – Maps had to be changed as Boulder Dam was changed back to its original name, Hoover Dam. Some people, mostly those who live in the community of Boulder, Nevada, still refer to the dam as Boulder Dam. Many of them think that changing the dam’s name was a damn shame.

1953 – Frank Sinatra and Nelson Riddle became a team this day at Capitol Records in Hollywood. Sinatra’s new musical style, under Riddle’s direction, brought the crooner to the top of the record world for the second time in his illustrious career.

1964 – TV sets would be drastically different after a ruling by the FCC stating that all TV receivers should be equipped to receive both VHF (channels 2-13) and the new UHF (channels 14-83). As a result, TV dealers scrambled to unload their VHF-only models as fast as possible. Antenna manufacturers were kept busy, as the new UHF receivers required new antennas too.

1975 – Saigon — and all of Vietnam — fell into communist hands this day, the unofficial end of the Vietnam War. As the U.S. withdrew completely from Saigon, the old noncommunist capital fell to North Vietnamese tanks. Americans commemorate the fall of Saigon with memorial services for the 58,153 Americans who died in Southeast Asia during the war.

1985 – The National Basketball Association set an all-time season attendance record as 19,506,355 fans attended games in arenas around the league. Seven NBA cities — Boston, Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles and Philadelphia — drew over a million fans each in the 1984-85 basketball season.

1987 – Three more compact discs of music by The Beatles went on sale for the first time. The discs were Help!, Rubber Soul and Revolver. All became hits again for the Fab Four.

Birthdays
April 30
1899 – Ellis Wilson
artist: Guggenheim Fellowship winner [1944]; The Open Market of Charleston, Haitian Funeral Procession; died Jan 1, 1977

1908 – Eve Arden (Eunice Quedens)
Emmy Award-winning actress: Our Miss Brooks [1953], Anatomy of a Murder, Grease, Stage Door, Tea for Two; died Nov 12, 1990

1914 – Vermont Royster
Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, editor: The Wall Street Journal; columnist: Thinking Things Over; author: Journey through the Soviet Union, A Pride of Prejudices, My Own, My Country’s Time: A Journalist’s Journey; died July 22, 1996

1916 – Robert Shaw
conductor: Robert Shaw Chorale; music director of Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus; died Jan 25, 1999

1923 – Percy Heath
jazz musician: bass: founder of Modern Jazz Quartet; group: The Heath Brothers; died Apr 27, 2005

1923 – Al Lewis (Albert Meister)
actor: The Munsters, Car 54 Where are You?, My Grandpa is a Vampire, Married to the Mob; died Feb 3, 2006

1926 – Cloris Leachman
Academy Award-winning actress: The Last Picture Show [1971]; Emmy Award-winner: A Brand New Life [1972-73], The Mary Tyler Moore Show [1973-74], Cher [1974-75], Screen Actor’s Guild 50th Anniversary Celebration [1983-84]; Phyllis, Backstairs at the White House, The Facts of Life

1933 – Willie Nelson
singer: see Willie Nelson Day [above]

1938 – Gary Collins
actor: Born Free, The Iron Horse, Roots, The Sixth Sense, The Wackiest Ship in the Army

1940 – Burt Young
actor: Excessive Force, A Family Matter, Rocky series, Once Upon a Time in America, Convoy, Chinatown, Cinderella Liberty, Roomies

1941 – Johnny Farina
musician: rhythm guitar: group: Santo & Johnny: Sleepwalk, Tear Drop

1943 – Bobby Vee (Robert Velline)
singer: Devil or Angel, Rubber Ball, Take Good Care of My Baby, Run to Him, The Night Has a Thousand Eyes, Come Back when You Grow Up

1944 – Jill Clayburgh
actress: An Unmarried Woman, Luna, Portnoy’s Complaint, Semi-Tough, The Silver Streak, Terminal Man, Firestorm: 72 Hours in Oakland, Honor Thy Father and Mother; died Nov 5, 2010

1944 – Richard Shoff
singer: group: The Sandpipers: Guantanamera, Come Saturday Morning

1946 – Don Schollander
Olympic Hall of Famer: 1st swimmer to win 4 gold medals in one Olympics [1964], also won two gold in 1968; International Swimming Hall of Famer: set 8 world records in the 400-meter freestyle and 9 in the 200-meter in his career; Sullivan Award (U.S. outstanding athlete [1964]

1948 – Perry King
actor: A Cry in the Night, Kaleidoscope, The Lord’s of Flatbush, Mandingo, Search and Destroy, Switch

1953 – Merrill Osmond
singer: [w/Jessica Boucher]: You’re Here to Remember, I’m Here to Forget; group: The Osmonds: Anytime; brother of Alan, Donny, Jay, Marie, Wayne, Jimmy

1967 – Turbo B (Durron Butler)
rap singer: group: Snap

Click to Order Those Were the Days Deluxe

Chart Toppers
April 30
1944
I Love You – Bing Crosby
It’s Love, Love, Love – The Guy Lombardo Orchestra (vocal: Skip Nelson)
San Fernando Valley – Bing Crosby
Too Late to Worry, Too Blue to Cry – Al Dexter

1952
Wheel of Fortune – Kay Starr
Anytime – Eddie Fisher
Blacksmith Blues – Ella Mae Morse
(When You Feel like You’re in Love) Don’t Just Stand There – Carl Smith

1960
Stuck on You – Elvis Presley
Sink the Bismarck – Johnny Horton
Sixteen Reasons – Connie Stevens
He’ll Have to Go – Jim Reeves

1968
Honey – Bobby Goldsboro
Cry like a Baby – The Box Tops
Young Girl – The Union Gap
The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde – Merle Haggard

1976
Disco Lady – Johnnie Taylor
Let Your Love Flow – Bellamy Brothers
Right Back Where We Started From – Maxine Nightingale
Together Again – Emmylou Harris

1984
Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now) – Phil Collins
Hello – Lionel Richie
Hold Me Now – The Thompson Twins
Right or Wrong – George Strait

(SEO) Search Engine Optimization – “About The Title Tags”

One of my main strengths in starting the 24-7PressRelease.com press release distribution web site was not only the business side, however the promotional side of things.

You can create a website, but if no one ever sees it, what good is it.  You have to be seen in Google.  If you currently search for “Press Release Service“, 24-7PressRelease.com continually shows up in the top couple of results.  This is not by fluke. This has been through A LOT of hard work, and following what Google looks for and always using clean, white hat methods.  NEVER stray to the dark side. It is not worth it.

Part of my knowledge has been through following Jill at High Rankings.  I like to keep an eye on her site, and see what is new and what is going on in the SEO / Search Engine Optimization industry.

I would like to share one of her articles that is information on the Title Tag:

Rechecked for Accuracy Jan. 2012
By

What Is a Title Tag?

The title tag has been – and probably will always be – one of the most important factors in achieving high search engine rankings.

In fact, fixing just the title tags of your pages can often generate quick and appreciable differences to your rankings. And because the words in the title tag are what appear in the clickable link on the search engine results page (SERP), changing them may result in more clickthroughs.

Search Engines and Title Tags

Title tags are definitely one of the “big three” as far as the algorithmic weight given to them by search engines; they are equally as important as your visible text copy and the links pointing to your pages – perhaps even more so. Yet, even though this has been common knowledge among SEO professionals for at least 10 years, it is often overlooked by webmasters and others attempting to optimize their websites for targeted search engine traffic.

Do Company Names Belong in the Title Tag?

The answer is a resounding YES! I’ve found that it’s fine to place your company name in the title, and (gasp!) even to place it at the beginning of the tag! In fact, if your company is already a well-known brand, I’d say it’s essential. Even if you’re not a well-known brand yet, chances are you’d like to be, right? The title tag gives you a great opportunity to further this cause.

This doesn’t mean that you should put *just* your company name in the title tag. Even the best-known brands will benefit from a few good descriptive phrases added, because they will enhance your brand as well as your search engine traffic. The people who already know your company and seek it out by name will be able to find you in the engines, and so will those who have never heard of you but seek the products or services you sell.

Title Tags Should Contain Specific Keyword Phrases

For example, if your company is “Johnson and Smith Inc.,” a tax accounting firm in Texas, you would want your company’s site to appear in the search engine results for searches on phrases such as “Texas tax accountants” and “CPAs in Texas.” (Be sure to do your keyword research to find the best phrases!) If you prefer to work with people only in the Dallas area, you’d need to be even more specific by adding geographical modifiers to your title tags, such as “Dallas tax accountants.”

Using our Dallas accountant example, you might create a title tag like this one:

Johnson and Smith Tax Accountants in Dallas

or you might try:

Johnson and Smith – Dallas CPAs

However, there’s more than enough space in the title tag to include both of these important keyword phrases. I find that using 10 to 12 words in my title tags works great.

One way to include two keyphrases would be like this:

Johnson and Smith – Dallas Tax Accountants – CPAs in Dallas, TX

I’ve always liked the method of separating phrases with a hyphen; however, in today’s competitive marketplace, how your listing appears in the SERPs is a crucial aspect of your SEO campaign. After all, if you have high search engine rankings but your targeted buyers aren’t clicking through, it won’t do you much good.

The idea is to write compelling titles as opposed to simply factual ones, when you can. But it also depends on the page, the type of business, the targeted keyword phrases, and many other factors. There’s nothing wrong with the title tag in my above example. If you were looking for a tax accountant in Dallas and saw that listing at Google, you’d probably click it. (Note: Don’t worry if some of your visible title tag info gets cut off when the search engines display your page’s info; they are still indexing all the words contained within it.)

Still, you could make it a readable sentence like this:

Johnson and Smith are Tax Accountants and CPAs in Dallas, TX

I’m not as thrilled with that one. I had to remove the exact phrase “Dallas Tax Accountants” because it wouldn’t read as well if it said:

Johnson and Smith are Dallas Tax Accountants and CPAs in Dallas, TX

It sounds redundant that way, as if it were written only for the search engines.

In the end, it’s really a personal preference.

Don’t make yourself crazy trying to create the perfect title tag, because there’s just no such thing. Most likely, either of my examples would work fine. The best thing to do is to test different ones and see which bring the most traffic to your website. You might very well find that the second version doesn’t rank as well, but gets clicked on more, effectively making up the difference.

Use Your Visible Text Copy as Your Guide

I prefer to create my title tags *after* the copy on the page has been written and optimized. I need to see how the copywriter integrated the keyword phrases into the content to know where to begin. If you’ve done a good job with your writing (or better yet, hired a professional SEO copywriter), you should find all the information you need right there on your page. Simply choose the most relevant keyword phrases that the copy was based on, and write a compelling title tag accordingly. If you can’t seem to get a handle on the most important phrases for any given page, you probably need to rewrite the page content.

I recommend that you *don’t* use an exact sentence pulled from your copy as your title tag. And don’t use the exact wording that’s in your top headline. It’s much better to have a unique sentence or a compelling string of words in your title tag.

You’ll want to watch out for certain website content management systems (CMS) and blog software that automatically generate the title tag from information you provided elsewhere. Some, in fact, default to the same exact title tag on every page, which is the best way to kill your search engine leads! The good news is that most of today’s CMS’s and blog software have workarounds so that you can customize your title tags fairly easily. If yours doesn’t, or your developer claims they can’t do this, then you’ll want to find a new developer or CMS as soon as possible!

Jill Whalen is the CEO of High Rankings, a Boston SEO Consulting Agency.

————————-

Again, I have followed Jill for a long time, and if you have an opportunity to sign up for her weekly newsletter, I highly recommend it.  Everything she says “makes sense”.  You do not have to be a rocket scientist to understand what she says, and that is why I have always enjoyed reading her weekly newsletter.

Her full article may be found at: http://www.highrankings.com/allabouttitles

Since 2004, 24-7PressRelease.com has become a leader in the press release distribution industry for medium sized businesses. Working closely with marketing, pr & SEO agencies, our preferred clients, to provide ultimate success and rankings with their clients.  Become a preferred press release client with 24-7PressRelease.com and starting seeing results now.