That Spring in Your Step Is Semi-Automatic

first_imgCross-country runners know the challenge of running on uneven terrain.  What they may not know is that they are executing one of the most difficult operations for robot designers: how to make an upright, walking machine make rapid decisions on irregular surfaces without falling.    Monica Daley of the Royal Veterinary College wrote about this last week in Current Biology.1We know quite a lot about how humans and animals run over completely level, uniform surfaces – conditions that can be easily studied on a track or treadmill.  Yet, the real world is much more complex, requiring frequent stride-to-stride adjustments to deal with bumps, holes and obstacles in the road.  What strategies do runners use to keep moving forward when the going gets rough?  Only recently has biomechanics research begun to turn to this challenging question.  New research by Grimmer and colleagues reveals that the answer may be a lot simpler than you might think.She must have said “simpler” with tongue in cheek, because her next sentence said, “Running involves a cascade of systems working together, including the brain, spinal cord, sensory organs, muscles and bone.”  Earlier she had noted, “We often take our own impressive stability for granted, but if you watch a toddler learn to walk and run, you can see that it can be a challenging task.”    Scientists try to model running with images of a bouncing ball, where tension on landing is released like a spring on the way up.  “Similarly, by using springs in their legs, animals can passively cycle energy through spring recoil, reducing the need for muscle work,” she explained.  Seems simple so far.  But tendons, muscles and joints differ in their springiness.  Did you know that humans have exceptional spring in their step, comparable to horses and kangaroos?    The situation gets harder to model when the cross-country runner gets off the treadmill and onto the trail.  Rocks, ditches, bumps and other obstacles require constant monitoring and adjustment.  The speed of signals in the nerves, though, is finite from toe to brain.  How can the brain keep up with a flood of constantly changing data from the extremities in time to adjust?    Here’s where Grimmer’s theory comes into play: the brain may be ordering a basic bouncing pattern with slight modifications.  This way, decisions are not required for every motion – just minor adjustments as needed.  “This allows the body to keep moving in its simple bouncing pattern without a stumble or fall.”    If true, this means that most of the running motion occurs passively without active brain signaling.  An analogy from business might help:That is not to say that neural control is not required for running.  To change speed, direction, or switch from a run to a walk, active control and path planning is certainly involved.  However, tuning your leg to behave like a simple mass-spring system may allow the brain and spinal cord to worry only about this higher level control, leaving within stride adjustments to the mechanical system.  Think of it as the difference between a ‘micro-managing’ supervisor and one who delegates responsibility and checks in now and then.  Overall, the latter strategy is considered more effective, because it frees the manager to pay attention to the big picture.  However, for this approach to succeed, things must not fall apart when the supervisor is not looking.Notice that this strategy would not work without prior systems being in place.  Legs, muscles, tendons, bones and all the other components have to be able to run the strategy with minimal supervision.    Daley asked a question midway through her article that tempted one to ask a big-picture question: “So, is the spring-like behaviour of human and animal legs an accident of nature, or a strategy to simplify the job of the central nervous system?”  The remaining paragraphs, in which she described the benefits of the delegating-manager strategy, suggested the latter.  She did not, however, use the word evolution anywhere in the article.  If it is not an accident of nature, one can draw one’s own conclusions about where strategies come from.1.  Monica A. Daley, “Biomechanics: Running Over Uneven Terrain Is a No-Brainer,” Current Biology, Volume 18, Issue 22, 25 November 2008, pp. R1064-R1066, doi:10.1016/j.cub.2008.09.050.Have you ever done rock-hopping in a river?  It’s fun and challenging, but the slightest mistake and you could be in for a dunk or broken leg.  Slippery rock, distracting currents, and uneven surfaces galore – did you think about how much calculus your brain has to do on the sensory inputs to do this?  Even a child can manage the task fairly well.  Dr. Daley did not extend her simplified analysis to this and other complex tasks humans perform (think balance beam).    The wonders of the human body should inspire awe and respect.  How could you mistreat your machine?  If you owned a Ferrari, would you not give it special care?  How much more should we care about the tremendous gift the Creator has given us in the body we inhabit.  For more on the unique human capabilities involved in running, read the memorable entry from 11/14/2004, “The Evolution of Marathon Man.”(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Minister Michael Masutha on the matter of International Criminal Court and Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir

first_imgPresident Jacob Zuma and President Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan discuss strengthening relations between South Africa and Sudan, 2 September 2015. (Photo: GCIS)We have called this press conference to announce the decision taken by Cabinet on Wednesday, 19 October 2016 in relation to the country’s membership to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and the pending appeal regarding Sudanese President Al Bashir.The Republic of South Africa is a founder member of the African Union and plays an important role in resolving conflicts on the African continent and in encouraging the peaceful resolution of conflicts wherever they occur anywhere else in the world.In exercising its international relations with foreign countries, particularly with countries in which serious conflicts occur or have occurred, South Africa is hindered by the Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Act, 2 (Act No 27 of 2002). This Act and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court compel South Africa to arrest persons who may enjoy diplomatic immunity under customary international law but who are wanted by the International Criminal Court for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes and to surrender such persons to the International Criminal Court. South Africa has to do so, even under circumstances where we are actively involved in promoting peace, stability and dialogue in those countries.We wish to give effect to the rule of customary international law which recognises the diplomatic immunity of heads of state and others in order to effectively promote dialogue and the peaceful resolution of conflicts wherever they may occur, particularly on the African continent. South Africa enacted the Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges Act,  (Act No. 37 of 2001), which provides for the immunities and privileges of diplomatic missions and consular posts and their members, of heads of states, special envoys and certain representatives of the United Nations and its specialised agencies, other international organisations and certain other persons.However, the Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Act, 2002, is in conflict and inconsistent with the provisions of the Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges Act, 2001. In order to ensure South Africa’s continued ability to conduct active diplomatic relations, a bill proposing the repeal of the Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Act, 2002 will soon be tabled in parliament. We have already in writing informed the Speaker of the National Assembly and the Chairperson of the NCOP of this Executive decision.In the matter of the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development v The Southern African Litigation Centre (867/15) [2016] ZASCA 17 (15 March 2016), the Supreme Court of Appeal confirmed that in terms of customary international law, heads of state enjoy immunity against arrest. However, the Supreme Court of Appeal found that in enacting the Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Act, 2002, South Africa had expressly waived the immunity of such heads of state and that South Africa was obliged to arrest persons wanted for crimes committed against humanity.In essence, the Supreme Court of Appeal identified the problem which needs to be addressed. The effect of withdrawal from the Rome Statute as well as the repeal of the Implementation Act thus completes the removal of all legal impediments inhibiting South Africa’s ability to honour its obligations relating to the granting of diplomatic immunity under international law as provided for under our domestic legislation. This therefore removes the necessity at least in so far as this aspect is concerned of continuing with the appeal.Written notice to withdraw from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court has been submitted to the Secretary-General of the United Nations in accordance with Article 127(1) of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The withdrawal will take effect one year after the Secretary-General has received the notification. South African will remain obligated under the Rome Statute for the duration of the 12 months’ notice period.An application for leave to appeal the decision of the Supreme Court of Appeal set down for hearing at the Constitutional Court on 22 November 2016, will now be withdrawn. This is so, especially as the Supreme Court of Appeal has removed the uncertainty around customary international law in relation to diplomatic immunity in so far as it affects heads of states and others who may be wanted for serious violations of human rights and other serious crimes but who enjoy diplomatic immunity under international customary law.South Africa remains committed to the fight against impunity and to hold those who have committed crimes against humanity and other serious crimes accountable. Our unwavering commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights throughout Africa and elsewhere in the world is further demonstrated by our continued participation in various international and continental human rights instruments.For this reason, South Africa will work closely with the African Union and with other countries in Africa to strengthen continental bodies, such as the African Court on Human and People’s Rights, created to deal with such crimes and to prosecute the perpetrators, whilst at the same time continuing to participate and honour its commitments under international human rights instruments. South Africa will continue to actively promote dialogue and the peaceful resolution of conflicts on the African continent and elsewhere.Enquiries:Mthunzi MhagaSpokesperson for the Ministry of Justice and Correctional servicesCell: 083 641 8141E-mail: Mediaenquiries@justice.gov.zaIssued by:Department of Justice and Constitutional Developmentlast_img read more

Play Your Part heads to Mpumalanga to encourage youth entrepreneurship

first_imgJohannesburg, Wednesday 31 July 2019 – Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part programme, in partnership with the Youth Economic Alliance, will host Grade 11 and 12 High School learners, as well as young entrepreneurs in Mpumalanga, to engage in a community outreach activity, themed “turn your ideas into currencies”.The Youth Economic Alliance Non-profit Company (YEA), is an entity established to drive the development and advancement of youth entrepreneurship. It champions youth entrepreneurship through targeted programmes that collectively address the unemployment problem among youth (particularly in previously disadvantaged backgrounds) by providing them with opportunities to develop their businesses, as well as providing access to resources and linkages needed to realize their potential, as young social and economic entrepreneurs.The Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Ms Thembi Siweya will give the keynote address. Deputy Minister Siweya is a youth activist and a philanthropist who is very passionate about promoting a culture of reading and writing.The outreach activity will emphasize the importance of active citizenship with a focus on how young people can support their communities.The conversation on Play Your Part will seek to identify innovative solutions and opportunities big or small for the community. This is to encourage and guide them on how to leverage opportunities in entrepreneurship towards a progressive frame of thinking and action.Media is invited to attend. Details are as follows:Date: Saturday, 3rd August 2019Time: 12h00 -15h00Venue: Bongisimbi Comprehensive SchoolThomas Mahlangu4052 Thys Jonker StreetAckervilleeMalahleniFor more information please contact Ms Ntombi Ntanzintombin@brandsouthafrica.com or 064 890 6819Follow the conversation on @PlayYourPartSA #PlayYourPart #GetInvolved.last_img read more

New and Improved Cotton Insulation Still Doesn’t Work

first_imgWhat do you do when a green product doesn’t live up to expectations? I want to see green building products succeed in the marketplace, and make it easy for professionals to find the best of the best in our GreenSpec guide.So I’ll say it up front: when I see a product being marketed as green that’s substandard, I think it’s important to point it out. This doesn’t mean the product has problems because it’s green. It means that I hold it to a higher standard: to win the mainstream over to sustainability, we have to deliver on promises of reduced environmental burdens along with superior performance.A little while back, I took Bonded Logic to task for flaws its Ultratouch cotton batt design and installation process. The real installation culprit: fiberglassTo be clear, I like cotton insulation for several reasons, including Bonded Logic’s recent move to post-consumer recycled jeans (previously it was pre-consumer denim), and the fact that it’s much less unpleasant than fiberglass to work with — although unlike the folks in their videos I would still wear a mask to protect from dust that comes off the product, particularly during cutting. Also, by focusing my ire on cotton I don’t intend to give a pass to what I see as the real culprit in batt insulation: fiberglass.Fiberglass batts have been poorly installed by so many people in so many buildings for so many years — to the extent that GBA’s own Green Curmudgeon called for it to be banned. It can even be argued that fiberglass is less tolerant of the kinds of questionable installation choices seen in its manufacturers’ videos (I’m referring to the questionable approach to ductwork and piping) because it is relatively air-permeable, so air has an easier time forming currents through gaps created during poor installation. See this guide on GBA for signs of a good batt install.All the more reason, though, that we need to do better in the green products community.What do you think? Please leave your comments below. Bonded Logic still doesn’t get itHowever, Bonded Logic still doesn’t seem to get it when it comes to installation quality. Whether you’re using fiberglass or cotton batts, exact fitting to cavity sizes is key. That means cutting insulation around electrical boxes, wiring, and also cutting it for the occasional cavity of a different dimension. What I’ve seen of this installation video is pretty good, but there’s a flub in the Bonded Logic video publicizing its new perforated batts. As the screen capture shows, the installer is placing a batt in a cavity with complete disregard for the unusual shape of the cavity. The installation will result in a classic poor batt installation — lack of complete contact with all six sides of the cavity. What kind of attention are they putting into other irregular cavities?I brought up this issue with the same Bonded Logic spokesperson in two successive emails, and did not receive a response. That was a couple months ago. The video is still up, so I’m taking Bonded Logic to task again.center_img The problems with UltratouchThe worst flaw I found was that the product is too thin. After being compressed in bags for shipping from Ultratouch’s Arizona plant, the post-consumer-denim cotton batts never regain their “loft.” That means that insulation is going into wall and ceiling cavities with air spaces around it. Air that is completely stagnant insulates very well — at R-5, even better than Ultratouch’s R-3.7. But air in wall cavities moves around with convection, contributing to heat loss and crippling the nominal R-value of the insulation. (Read more here on How Insulation Works.)I also found that the batts were too wide for 16-inch-on-center KD 2x4s (standard lumberyard kiln-dried sticks), leading again to air spaces due to poorly fitting batts.Thirdly, I complained that the batts were really hard to cut. This was especially frustrating because the ill-fitting batts required a lot more cutting than a standard fiberglass batt.The good news is that Bonded Logic is now perforating its batts at standard widths so that they are easier to cut for proper fitting. They haven’t announced what those widths, are, however, and it seems like a tough problem. How standard are the sizes of the off-size stud cavities found in our buildings? Perhaps in new homes with designs optimized for manufactured material use they are standard, but in the retrofits and custom jobs that a lot of builders are doing today, I am not sure how useful these perforations will be.Another piece of good news, according to a spokesperson I heard from, is that Ultratouch will also soon be available in different widths according to whether you’re using wood or steel studs.last_img read more

FIFA 19: How to get the game half price

first_imgeSports FIFA 19: How to get the brand new Xbox One or PS4 game for just £35 or $47 Goal Last updated 1 year ago 00:00 6/13/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) FIFA 19 Neymar and Ronaldo eSports Premier League Goal provides a full and detailed step-by-step guide on how you can purchase the video game for just over half the price Fresh off the new announcement of FIFA 19, the latest installment of the popular video game franchise, fans are already eager to get their hands of the latest edition of the game which features Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar as cover stars.This iteration marks the return of the Champions League with the game set to be released on September 28 – and Goal gives you an exclusive look on how you can get the game for significantly cheaper than the store price as a pre-order, outlining the steps you will need to take.How can I purchase FIFA 19 for cheaper? Neymar FIFA 19 Article continues below Editors’ Picks Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Arsenal would be selling their soul with Mourinho move It will seem like a meticulous process, but with the added benefits of buying the new game at a significantly cheaper price at nearly £60 ($80). You can do so by following the instructions below, first discovered here.Through purchasing it via the Argentina store price as well as including the EA access discount, along with another 10 per cent off for buying it in-game in FIFA 18, users can buy FIFA 19 for just under £35 ($47).To do, so, first use the Fly VPN through Thailand, as well as Connectify to share the VPN wirelessly. This must be done via console, with the site taking you to the UK store.The following will be needed: A Windows laptop or PC with wireless connection, a free subscription to Fly VPN, and a free download of Connectify for Windows.Step 1: Under the console settings, change region to Argentina (but keep the language as English). Attempt to make a random purchase (doesn’t matter what as it won’t actually be processed) just to set up an Argentine billing address. Once the address and card details are added, return to the dashboard without completing the purchase. This will only have to be done once per region.Step 2: Disconnect your ethernet cable (if you are using one).Step 3: Download both programs (Fly VPN and Connectify) if you haven’t already done so.Step 4: Open up the Fly VPN and, once installed and you’ve logged in, connect your PC to Thailand.Step 5: Open connectify and set up a hot-spot with the Tapv9 adaptor. If set up correctly, you should see a green check mark at the top which will signal an active and successful Internet connection.Step 6: Connect your network to the hotspot that the connectify has created.Step 7: Open up FIFA, click the link from the main menu to get the extra discount and purchase it as normal. It should cost 1160 Argentine pesos. You may be charged a foreign purchase fee, though it may be minimal.When is FIFA 19 released? Like past editions of the game, FIFA 19 will be released at the end of September and will be available on all the big platforms: Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC and Nintendo Switch.The Ultimate and Champions editions of the game, however, will only be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.Similar to FIFA 18, there will be three different editions: the standard edition, Champions edition and Ultimate edition. The latter two editions replace the ‘Ronaldo’ and ‘Icons’ editions of FIFA 18.  Gamers have the option of getting the game three days early – on September 25 – by pre-ordering, which also carries some quirks depending on what edition you purchase.How much does FIFA 19 cost originally?The new release will have prices starting from around £49.99 ($69.99) for the standard edition across all platforms.The special editions are expected to cost up to £80-90 ($110-125). Last year the ‘Icon Edition’ allowed gamers who splashed out £89.99 to play the title three days earlier than everyone else.Gamers who spend extra on special editions usually get extra FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT) player packs to bolster their new team on the popular game mode. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Educator to Receive CD October 15, 2018

first_imgEducator, 92-year-old Dr. Joyce Louise Glasgow, will be recognised for her contribution to science education in Jamaica and internationally, during the 2018 National Honours and Awards ceremony at King’s House on Monday, October 15.  She will receive the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Commander (CD) for her outstanding contribution to Education and Human Resource Development locally and internationally.This distinguished Jamaican tells JIS News that she is humbled by this recognition, but is pleased that she is being recognised for her contribution to the sciences and environmental education.A trained teacher, Dr. Glasgow earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Zoology and Botany from the London University College of the West Indies (now the University of the West Indies, Mona) in 1964 and a Diploma in Education in 1967.  Dr. Glasgow also has a Master of Arts (MA) and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Science Education from the UWI and Post-doctoral Fellowship in Science Education from the London University Chelsea College of Science and Mathematics.She taught biology, chemistry and general science at York Castle High in St. Ann; Westwood High in Trelawny and her alma mater, St. Andrew High School.  However, her focus was on environmental education in the schools she taught.  Dr. Glasgow says her interest in environmental education was influenced by the then principal of St. Andrew High School, and her mother, who taught her the art of conservation when she used water that washed the dishes to water plants.   “At St. Andrew High, I remembered our principal taking us on walks along the Palisadoes Road, and we would go into the swamps and take measurements and interact with the environment, so my interest was piqued then,” she says.She has held the positions of Senior Lecturer in Science Education and Deputy Dean of the School of Education Faculty at the University of the West Indies (UWI).   As a lecturer, she was responsible for the organisation and supervision of science and science education in teachers’ colleges, with regard to teaching methodology, staff development, examination setting and marking techniques, and curriculum development for assessment of student teachers being prepared for primary and secondary schools in Jamaica, Belize and The Bahamas. She also supervised undergraduate and postgraduate students in the field of science education.         Dr. Glasgow has worked extensively in the development of environmental education (EE) in Jamaica, Belize, The Bahamas and the region. She has contributed significantly to the Caribbean Conservation Association, serving as the resource person for regional workshops; to the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), as environmental education specialist; and the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NCRA), Jamaica, as organiser and presenter for EE workshops and seminars.Her expertise was also extended to UNESCO/NRCA. This involved spearheading a pilot project for the introduction of four EE curricula into Jamaican primary schools.  A published author, Dr. Glasgow discloses that she has worked extensively with the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) and has co-authored CXC Biology texts. She was also instrumental in developing the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC)/CXC Biology syllabus when it was offered as a separate examination subject in science. The biology text she co-authored is one of the most highly regarded by teachers and students preparing for CXC/CSEC Biology and is used not only in the Caribbean but in several African countries.She also served the CXC as the resource person for item writing, school-based assessment and syllabus review in biology as requested, and was appointed the first Chief Examiner in that subject.Through the Government of Jamaica/World Bank Project on the Reform of Secondary Education, she trained writers for distance education materials, and was an advisor/reviewer of science industrial materials for lower secondary school. She also spearheaded the revision of the primary curriculum in Anguilla to include EE and prepare teachers to implement it.Dr. Glasgow, who retired in 1994, now lives in Runaway Bay, St. Ann. She was a member of the St. Ann Environmental Protection Association (Northern Jamaica Conservation Association) and served on its Board for many years, volunteering her expertise for projects the Association undertakes.       Being the top specialist on environmental education in Jamaica, she continues to generously give expert advice.          Dr. Glasgow, who is the mother of four children, worships at the St. Mark’s Anglican Church in Rio Bueno, Trelawny, where she is the organist.last_img read more

Sarri We could have won better

first_imgMaurizio Sarri feels Chelsea could have won better but lost a bit of focus that allowed Brighton back into the match on Sunday.Sarri’s men ran away 2-1 winners over Brighton thanks to goals from Pedro and Eden Hazard but Italian manager Sarri wasn’t too satisfied with the manner of the victory.“I think that we could have won better,” Sarri said as cited by team talk.Jose Mourinho is sold on Lampard succeeding at Chelsea Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho wanted to give his two cents on Frank Lampard’s odds as the new Chelsea FC manager, he thinks he will succeed.There really…“We played very well for 60 minutes. We conceded a goal when we were in full control. In my mind it was clear in that moment that we had to suffer in the box, we are not a physical team. I tried with the substitutions to have more of a physical presence.“When we have the feeling to be in control of the match it is dangerous for ourselves. The first situation in our box in 30 minutes, I think we were a bit unlucky. When we are sure to be in control of the match.“Complacency? I don’t know.”last_img read more

Finding the Keywords Your Competitors Use

first_img 5 min read Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. In his book Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website, SEO and online marketing expert Jon Rognerud shows you how to build a high-performance website and get top ranking on all search engines. In this edited excerpt, the author explains how to find out what keywords your competitors are using and how you can use that data to improve your search engine rankings.It’s important when analyzing keywords that you know which keywords your competitors use and if you’re in the proper league to either continue to use them or try for keywords that are still popular yet not used as often.Some paid keyword analyzers can tell you which competitors use which keywords, but this is often limited to what’s used for Google AdSense campaigns. A good way to determine what keywords your competitors are using is to use keyword research tools to extract keywords from their pages, and then copy and paste your selected keyword into a search engine such as Yahoo! or Google to see where they show up.An easy way to find target keywords for your competitors is to see what Google thinks they are by using the new interface to Google Keyword External tool (updated to look and act like the version supplied within Google AdWords.) The new keyword tool allows you to select languages, local search targets and more.Use these steps to discover keywords from competitor domains:Access the keyword tool and log in.Input your competitor’s web address.Review the listings, and scroll down to view all and see the collection of keywords including ad group ideas.You would pick the keywords that have (exact) search counts and that closely match your site as a starting formula. A combination of head and long-tail keywords should be included in an Excel tracking sheet. As you enter some of these keywords into Google, you’ll see varying results for paid results. These will help you understand how “commerce viable” a keyword is. The more ads, the more you can consider it to be a moneymaker. You can further input top keywords into Spyfu.com and Keywordspy.com to discover more detail, including potential paid campaigns and their resulting landing pages. This will give you a broad view of your competitor’s use of keywords, pages and overall strategy.For each of the top five sites, select keywords that seem reasonable, match your market and have search volume, and then take a look at the results that come up. Don’t worry as much about the sponsored listings, as these spots are out of your league if you have limited funds. Expand the research, and focus on the first ten direct listings of the search engine results. Ask yourself: Do these listings relate to the keyword at hand?Having the exact keyword phrase in your title helps you rank better with search engines. Additionally, you can check on the number of inbound links of these sites. Use LinkVendor to do this. If you have a Google webmaster account (you should!), your incoming links will be revealed there. Rather than simply hunting down links, however, search for quality links back to you, which are of higher priority. The search engine will return how many inbound links the website has. Make sure to select the “Except from this domain”–we want to show only external links, not links within the site.Now, what do you do with all this information, particularly if the number is high? Even if the number of inbound links is in the thousands, you don’t necessarily have to discount a keyword. In order for inbound links to be useful for search engines, they must relate to the keywords used throughout your website. For example, if you’re looking to rank well for refinancing loans yet your inbound links are for subprime mortgage loans, you’ll get a good search engine ranking for subprime mortgage loans rather than what you originally wanted, which was refinancing loans. A solid information architecture with keyword research to build out your pages will help avoid this problem. You’ll make sure that you target pages across your site, not just your homepage.You’ll get some legitimate traffic, since some subprime loans are also refinancing loans, but the traffic wouldn’t be as relevant as if you had inbound links that related directly to refinancing loans. If this is what’s happening with your competitor’s keywords, you can take advantage of it by creating a site with the appropriate inbound links.How can you determine if a competitor’s inbound links relate to the keywords used on its site? OpensiteExplorer.org will show your competitors’ anchor text and a lot more around domain authority, diversity of linking domains, which is important, and total links.A powerful tool that you can try on a 30-day free trial is Market Samurai. It provides a complete, integrated system for all online marketing efforts, and it’s a killer tool. The link analysis can show you all incoming links sorted by page rank or by anchor text use, and can easily be exported. Find out who they are, and submit for a link. You may be surprised to find out that top, or first page, listings of Google have low page rank values but extremely targeted page and anchor text matches. This is a big secret to success.You can effectively compete even if a site has a smaller number of legitimate inbound links. The key is to ensure that your links directly relate to the keywords used on your site; if your competitors don’t, you may be rewarded with top placement. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. March 18, 2014 Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more