What is SEO, and How to Master it in 2022? Beginner’s Guide

SEO is the method for your website to receive visits when it appears in the first results of search engines such as Google. Unfortunately, it is also the most mythical and unknown discipline for those who start.

If you do not have SEO notions, your visit counter will remain low for many hours you invest in your website. The competition on Google is fierce, and the difference between your website appearing on the first page or being lost in the vastness of the Internet is abysmal.

And it is that the benefits of SEO are incalculable. Unlike payment systems such as SEM or Facebook Ads, by itself, it is capable of providing you with tons of free traffic and completely transforming your digital project.

But mastering the keys to SEO positioning is not complex. It is much simpler than it seems.

For years I have been scaling all kinds of online businesses, creating projects that attract hundreds of thousands of visits per month, and I must confess one thing: although many people try to make it more complicated, SEO is only common sense.

So in this guide, I will reveal EVERYTHING you need to know to master its keys without having to become an expert.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, or search engine optimization. It consists of creating and optimizing content to be more visible in Internet search engines such as Google.

The History of SEO

Until the first search engines appeared in the early 90s, the only way to find information on the Internet was by typing the page’s address in the browser or searching in directories.

These directories were maintained by people dedicated to classifying the web pages they found, and they did not allow us to search for content by words or phrases as we do today.

When the Altavista search engine appeared in the mid-90s, it was a real revolution. Using a tracker program (also called a robot ), it constantly searched for content on the Internet and stored it in its index.

Altavista search engine

PS: Altavista search engine is acquired by Yahoo

Then, users could find that content by searching the Altavista website.

We stayed that way for a few years until Google came along and destroyed all its competition one day.

The unstoppable rise of Google

The problem with search engines like Altavista is that they could be easily fooled. Their criteria for deciding which web pages to display were as simple as the number of times a particular word was repeated in the text.

Thus, the owner of a website who wanted to appear in Altavista every time a user typed “black cat,” for example, only had to repeat that word several times in the text of his page.

Google considered that this was not an excellent way to offer the best results to users, so it looked for another way to classify web pages according to their quality:

The links.

The idea was simple: that a word appeared many times did not mean that the content was better, but if other websites linked to that page, it was because they were recommending it. And that was synonymous with higher quality.

This is how Pagerank appeared, and measured how popular a web page was according to the number of times others linked it.

Although the system was not perfect and soon it appeared who tried to take advantage of it, the quality of the results that Google offered was infinitely superior to its competition.

Google Today

Over time, Google engineers have created a series of mathematical algorithms whose objective is to determine the quality and relevance of each web page in the most objective way possible and thus show the best in the first results.

The fun is that these algorithms are secret. Google does not reveal what factors it considers to value content precisely so that people do not know how to take advantage of it.

Some are obvious, and I’ll show you below, but the reality is that no one except Google knows them for sure.

Do not stress. Whether there are 20, 200, or 500 parameters, Google’s ultimate goal is to provide users with the most relevant result for their search.

And that gives us enough clues to understand how we can optimize a website to improve its positioning.

Why is SEO important?

Because it largely determines the success of any digital project.

There has never been so much competition. Every day more than 3 million articles are published in blogs, and you only have to see the number of results that appear when I search for “personal development” :

If you manage to appear in the first positions of the organic results, you will be more visible than your competition, and you will achieve constant and free traffic to your website.

Otherwise, you will be buried in the depths of Google, and perhaps it happens to you like so many thousands of blogs and online businesses that close each year or spend a fortune on paid traffic.

Because visits, in the end, translate into money.

According to several studies, the first organic result receives 28.5% clicks. So if you managed to appear in the first organic position for that search, 28.5% of users would visit your page.

(Also, notice how the first-page results take up to 75% of the total clicks; being on the second page is like not existing).

The more visits your website has, the more popular it will become. Then you will see how new opportunities begin to arise that, until then, you would not have even dreamed of.

Is SEO free?

NO, you have to spend a lot of time and money to gain a position on the first page, and even after spending money and time, there is no guarantee.

So should you consider Google adword? YES & NO. It depends on your business nature and audience. If you are running a local restaurant/flower shop, then Google my Business aks GMB is enough for you. You can update everything over there.

SEO is for the long-term game; you never get a quick result, so if you want an immediate result, I suggest you go with Google Adword/Bing Adword or Facebook ads.

4 key factors to improve the SEO of any project

You know what SEO is and why it is essential in any digital marketing strategy. Below you will find the only 4 factors you need to improve your positioning and multiply your traffic.

Yes. 4 factors, not 200. And they can be grouped into content factors and links :

  • Content: your content must satisfy an existing demand in the best possible way and make it easy for search engines to interpret it. It is divided into the marketsearch intent, and on-page SEO.
  • Links: give your content authority. If there is a lot of competition and your content is not radically better, you will need external links to rank.

Let’s see what you can do to optimize each of them and thus multiply the traffic to your website.

Demand: write for the user.

The main mistake that most digital entrepreneurs make is to write about what they want, forgetting what their target audience wants.

So they don’t even get a visit.

They often use the blog to write content about themselves, such as “the day everything went well for me,” “my goals for this year,” or “how to grow wild mushrooms.”

Perhaps they are exciting content to send my newsletter to subscribers, they may even go viral on social networks, but they will not bring any new readers through Google.

Because nobody looks for that.

If you want to receive organic traffic, you must first make sure that you create something that people search on Google.

  1. Find out what users are looking for

You don’t have to be a fortune-teller to know what people are looking for. There are many tools, but the most common is the Google Keyword Planner.

It is a service for businesses that advertise on Google. Google informs them about the number of people who perform a specific search to adjust the budget of their ad campaigns.

This is the first step to validating that what you will write about is in demand.

Go to https://trends.google.com/, and you can search any term.

Google trend

Search any term

Select country, duration ( 12 months, 5 years,s, etc) category, etc..

You will get a trending graph, related topics,s and queries, and specific regions.

2. Speak the language of your users

The second most common mistake is treating an exciting topic for users but giving it such an original name that search engines cannot identify what it refers to.

This is precisely what was happening to a friend of mine who was hardly getting visits on his blog no matter how much he published.

In this way, he made it very difficult for Google, which did not understand that it had to position its content.

The solution to balance what Google needs with what my friend wants? Use titles that the search engine can interpret as detergent powder formula in hindi

So before writing any content, make sure people are looking for information about what you will write. Otherwise, you will not get organic traffic.

Initially, he wrote an article on “how to make detergent powder.” Still, he was not getting enough traffic, so I suggested changing the title, adding the detergent powder formula word in the title and content, and asking him to reindex your URL; after 1 week, his keyword started climbing like spiderman.

PS: NO tool in the market will give you the exact search volume. All the tool scrapping data from google search console API. So do not relay on any specific tool

Search Intent

Once you have verified that there is demand on the subject you will write, the next step (and where many people continue to make mistakes, even SEO professionals) is to create content designed to satisfy the user’s intention.

Don’t underestimate this phase. I assure you that it will have the most impact on your positioning in the medium and long term.

But what does it mean to satisfy user intent in SEO?

It means that your content solves the users’ doubts who arrive through the search engine and provides them with the necessary information to make the next decision, such as buying.

If your content doesn’t meet that intention, the user will go back to the search engine to click on another result (known as pogo-sticking ) and won’t stay on your page for too long (a metric called dwell time ).

When that happens, Google concludes that content is not relevant to that search.

Then it will stop showing that article in the first positions of the search engine. And if at any point it does (Google is constantly testing), it will quickly make it disappear from there again.

How to identify search intent?

According to studies, there are 3 main types of search intent:

  • Informational: the user is looking for more information on a specific topic. Example what is SEO.”
  • Transactional: the user seeks to carry out a specific action, whether buying or registering on a platform. Example “SEO course.”
  • Navigational: where the user is looking for a particular web page. 

Positioning content that is not at the same level of user intention, such as a sales page of a course (transactional) for users looking for “What is SEO” (informative), is practically impossible.

Remember the golden rule of SEO: Google wants to give its users the result that best meets their needs.

But within the same type of intention, what content manages to satisfy it better?

The answer is it 

depends. It depends on what the user wants to find when they search.

For example, someone searching for “What is bitcoin price today does not expect to find a 2,000-word article. But relatively bitcoin price only.

For this reason, the belief that the most extended content is the best positioned is false.

How to discover the user’s intention?

To find out what the user is expecting to find, you have two methods:

The first is to take a moment to empathize with him. Put yourself in the shoes of someone who did that search. What doubts could you have? What do you think they would like to find?

The second is to consult the only source of information that can reveal exactly what the user wants.

Do you know which one is? You should, because you constantly check it out.

I mean Google.

Yes. Google wants to give users the most satisfactory result, so, logically, it positions that type of content higher.

You have to perform the search for which you want to position yourself, see what is in the first positions, draw your conclusions and create better content.

For example, if we wanted to position an article for the word “SEO,” we would first search for that in Google. 

Do you see the pattern? Whoever looks for “SEO” in general does not want complex information but a straightforward definition or concepts. You’ve probably heard of it and want to know what it is and how to take advantage of it.

So in your article, you would do well to include a definition of SEO and avoid advanced positioning techniques. It is not what most people want.

What format should your content have?

There are many types of content (in-depth articles, video tutorials, lists with tips, infographics, etc.), and not all meet the exact user needs equally.

What kind of format should you use in each case?

The answer, again, is Google.

An eCommerce company selling laptops so they can write an article on

best laptop for blogger
best laptop for gaming
best laptop under 500$

Here they can show laptop information, configuration, etc., and link to the product page. But if they write an article on how to repair an article or mention any laptop problem, there is a high chance of the visible youtube video, and this kind of keyword will not help them.

SEO on page

Onpage SEO includes all the positioning factors that depend directly on your content and website.

They are the ones you have the most control over, such as the text you write, the titles you use, the images you include, or the server’s response speed.

Below you will find 5 essential aspects to optimize the on-page SEO of your articles. You will realize that they have no secrets!

  1. Contents

Your content’s value to the user is essential to position yourself.

Remember: Google’s sole objective is to offer content that meets the user’s intention in the best possible way.

Unfortunately, it is common to believe that our content is better when it does not contribute anything other than what already exists.

Before writing, do some research. Don’t do it blindly. And strive for your content to offer differential added value.

Perhaps you can include a helpful infographic, provide case studies, create eye-catching images, offer an alternative view on that topic, or share your personal experiences.

Don’t confuse this with writing longer articles. Although studies correlate a more significant number of words with better positions, you cannot use it as a general rule.

The content does not necessarily have to be longer to rank; it must be better. It’s something that even John Mueller.

Be wary of anyone who tells you that you should write articles of at least X words. It’s about writing whatever is necessary to satisfy the user.

There is also a belief that posting content frequently is good for getting more traffic. This is why many bloggers become obsessed with posting one article a week (or even a day!).

Another false myth. How can you create better content than your competition by publishing one every day?

Quantity does not change position; it ranks quality. So dedicate the necessary time to each of your content.

I publish an article every two months on my development website, and, far from going down, my traffic has not stopped going up.

Good Practices

Make sure that your content solves all the reader’s doubts on that topic.
Make it as readable as possible (use captions, lists, images, and other resources to make it easier to read).
Make it easy to understand without using overly technical or overly simple language.
Use synonyms and semantic variants to enrich your content and give it more relevance.
Also, make sure it is mobile-friendly and looks good on these devices!

False Myths

Shirk those old practices of repeating or branding in bold a zillion times the keyword to rank. Do what is most natural.
The comments or interactions in social networks do not help position directly (can be falsified very quickly).
Do not avoid putting links to other websites, and do not always use the Nofollow attribute not to cross PageRank. 

Title

After the article’s content, the title is probably the next most important factor.

The title tells users what the article is about, so it is not uncommon for it to be the first search engine like Google evaluates.

That is why it is good that you include the keyword in the position. But don’t be afraid to use synonyms or similar expressions to make it look natural: Google is pretty good at interpreting them.

A Good title is also eye-catching.

Some studies have shown that the CTR (click-through rate ) in the search results can improve positioning. If the content is good and you write a title that attracts a lot of clicks, you will probably climb the ranks.

Good Practices

Get creative, but don’t overdo it: include your keywords (or synonyms) in the title, or you’ll be making it difficult for Google to interpret it.
Add verbs or adjectives that make it eye-catching to get more clicks when displayed.
Try not to exceed 65 characters, or Google will cut it off in its results.
Don’t post more than one page with the same title.

Practical example

The title of your article on “How to Make Agarbatti” should contain those exact keywords, using synonyms or variants that give it naturalness and be attractive enough to attract clicks.
A good example could be ” How to Make Agarbatti at home and Earn Handsome Money. 

Subtitles

The primary function of subtitles (also called H1, H2, H3, etc.) is organizing the content and making it more readable.

Since they are parts of the content with greater visibility, it is good that they include the keywords or variations to be positioned. That will give the article more relevance.

Good practice says that subtitles should be used hierarchically. The H1 would be the main heading, its different sections would be H2, and the subsections would be H3.

Heading in HTML

<h1>your main keyword</h1>
<h2>your other keyword</h2>
<h3>your other keyword</h3>

My advice is to use common sense captions to make it easier to read and include some related keywords in them if possible.

Meta Description

The meta description is the piece of text that accompanies the search results.

By default, Google shows a piece of your text that includes the keyword, but you can use plugins like Yoast SEO and Rankmath plugin if you want to customize it.

The meta description does not help to rank directly. But indirectly, it can be helpful since seductive text can attract more clicks in search engines (which means more traffic).

Good Practices

Create meta descriptions that attract attention and promise a benefit to the reader to get more clicks.
Make sure to include your keyword to make it more relevant to the user.
The character limit for meta descriptions is variable: sometimes Google uses 160 and sometimes 320. Write 160 characters with the most important, and then additional information up to 320 just in case.

Internal linking

Internal linking links you include in your content to other articles on the same website.

It often receives little attention, but it can be an important ranking factor for several reasons:

They allow you to send traffic to other parts of your website. This increases the user’s total stay time.
They allow you to control the text with which you link your content (the so-called anchor text ), giving them more relevance in the search engines for that keyword.

PS: Some consider that the internal linking of a page redistributes the authority of its external links.

For this reason, some people break their heads thinking about how to structure their content and internal links to distribute the most excellent possible authority among their website pages.

But the reality is that many SEOs like to complicate themselves by postulating complex theories that hardly provide tangible benefits.

If, with 20% effort, you can achieve 80% of the results, why would you want to complicate it more?

Common sense says that it is good to link to other content on your website if relevant and valuable. Nothing more. In other words: include the links that your readers may be interested in clicking. Don’t include those you know will never visit.

 

Make sure that you use internal links to distribute their traffic to other relevant content in your articles with the most visits.

Practical example

Putting a link in your article on How to Make Agarbatti to an article on How to grow Agarbatti business,” although both are about Agarbatti, it may not make much sense if the user has a dog. Users landed on any of the pages; they may click on another link. But if you link to another business, then there is less chance to get a click on it.

URL

Until recently, it was considered that URLs (the address that identifies the pages of a web, such as xyz.com/abc were one of the central positioning factors. This is why many made sure to include their keywords within the same URL.

But Google has already said that it hardly brings any benefit on occasion. And in my experiments, I have not found a direct correlation with better positions in the search engine.

I only recommend making the URLs as representative and straightforward as possible. That usually means including the keyword, not so much because it helps position, but because it makes it easier for other people to remember, share or link to your web pages.

For example, what URL do you think is easier to link or share and more representative of the article?

garachh.com/?p=8774
garachh.com/2018/06/category/what-is-seo
garachh.com/what-is-seo

The third, right?

Good Practices

Create short URLs that define the general concept of your content.
Try to keep the keywords in the URL, but don’t force them if they are too long.
Unless necessary, avoid showing dates. Otherwise, you risk that time passes and they seem outdated content.

HTTPS and SSL

Google announced some time ago that the security of a web page is a positioning signal.

Although it still does not seem to bring any plus, users may indeed be scared that a “not safe” notice appears in the browser bar.

You can use the free or paid version. For free SSL, go to cloudflare.com, a straightforward process.

Loading Speed

Finally, the speed with which a web page loads can also be a ranking factor.

But, despite what many WordPress template vendors and hosting companies would have us believe, Google has also said that the speed with which a website loads is not a determining factor unless it is so slow that it causes a bad user experience.

Just make sure your server has decent speed and your page doesn’t take too long to load (don’t add a bun

heavy images, for example).

SEO off page: links /Link Building

SEO off-page refers to those positioning factors that do not depend directly on your content.

Usually, these are the links to your content, both internal (from your web page) and external (from other web pages).

Since we’ve covered internal links above (make sure you’re sending relevant traffic from other related articles), I’m going to focus on the very reason why Google exists and which is often the most challenging: external links.

Importance of external links /backlinks

Some believe that external links are losing importance.

I think they are right. There will probably come a time when Google will stop using them to evaluate the quality of content since they are readily marketable and manipulable.

But today, links are still a compelling ranking factor. Without them, it will be impossible to be visible when you face a lot of competition.

It is often said that inbound links are “votes” for Google. If a piece of content receives a lot of links, Google will think: “Wow! Maybe this content is very good. I am going to show it to the users to see how it works”.

Then it will position it at the top for users to find it.

But beware! The story does not end there. Links are not a panacea because Google knows they can be tricked. So then two things can happen:

  • That users are satisfied when they read it. Then Google will understand that it is indeed good content.
  • On the contrary, if readers flee, they will realize that it is not as good as it seemed and will bury it again in the depths of the seeker. No matter how many links you have.

Think of it as a store window. If your content receives links, Google will expose them. But if people see them and don’t buy them, they will put them back in the warehouse after a while.

Links help you get initial visibility. Unfortunately, it is common to find websites or blogs with good content but without visibility in the search engine due to not having external links.

Actions to proactively get links are called link building. But before seeing the best strategies for link building, you must know two parameters of links: its quality and anchor text.

LINK QUALITY

It is better to have few quality links than many with few guarantees to position a website or page.

But what makes a quality link?

There are all kinds of theories about it. The most widespread consider that the ideal link is:

  • Relevant: it appears on a website with a theme similar to yours. If you have a travel blog, being linked by a tourism agency is relevant. If the website of a mechanical workshop does it, no.
  • Contextual: it is surrounded by text that helps Google interpret the link. For this reason, isolated links in the footer or sidebar are not considered very useful.
  • Popular: it is published on an authority website with traffic, such as a favorite blog or a newspaper with a large national circulation.
  • No, follow attribute: Some time ago, Google created a new category of links, nofollow, to discourage spam in comments and forums. A no-follow link tells the search engine bot to ignore it, so it doesn’t help position (theoretically).

All this is fine. But in my experience, there is one last factor capable of multiplying the quality of a link.

You can have a link in the largest newspaper in your country, relevant and contextual, and no one clicks on it.

But if the article has visits and users click on the link, and when they reach your website, they have a good user experience, its effectiveness will multiply.

ANCHOR TEXT

The anchor text or anchor text is the text of the link. For example, the anchor text is “this link” in this link.

This is important because the text they link you under will help you rank for that exact keyword.

In other words, if someone links your article to the text how to take care of a dog, Google will understand that your article may be relevant for that keyword.

To prevent people from taking advantage of manipulating the anchor text of links, Google created Penguin, an algorithm capable of penalizing the positioning of a web page if it detects unnatural patterns.

Yes. Buying, exchanging, or manipulating links is against Google’s guidelines. If they detect it (it has algorithms and reviewers to do it), they can make your website disappear from the search engine.

How to get external links?

There are several ways to get external links to improve the positioning of your page. Logically, the most difficult ones bring more significant benefits.

Best of all, as you get them, a snowball effect will be created: when your website starts to rank, other links will come naturally.

Why? Because the usual thing is that people link the first search results, even though other content is better.

GUEST ARTICLES

One of the safest and most effective ways to get a quality link is to publish an article as a guest author.

Ideally, do it on a blog that references a theme similar to yours. You get a link and visibility among your community, and the blogger receives a free article.

The link to your website is usually at the beginning or end of the article, within the guest author’s biography. They may even allow you to link to other pieces of yours within the text.

Some blogs have a section where they specify how they accept guest posts, while in others, you will have to contact the author directly to propose it.

Good Practice

Save some of your best content for guest posts (remember, the best link is the one that brings traffic).
Do not target any of the keywords on your website, or you will create competition yourself.
Enter your links naturally. Otherwise, you can annoy the blog owner.

SEND PRESS RELEASES

Another great way to get links is by writing a press release and sending it to a newspaper reporter for publication.

It is not easy to get it, especially in the best newspapers. Journalists receive many stories every day, and most don’t even open them. But its benefits are well worth the effort.

Good Practices

Identify the journalist who deals with your topics, or they will immediately dismiss you as a spammer.
Write a news article (forget about the commercial, they automatically delete them)
Do not force the links (you can link within the article as a source or expert on the subject).

PRODUCE LINKABLE CONTENT

A reactive strategy for getting links is to produce content that is more likely to be linked naturally.

I’m talking about posting guides, in-depth articles, resource listings, or your studies and analyzes, especially if they are original and cannot be found anywhere else.

OFFER YOUR CONTENT PROACTIVELY

But if you want to be more proactive (in my case), the good idea is to see what content exists on a topic, create something much better and then present it to the authors of the websites that link that content.

Let’s look at an example. Let’s say you have a travel blog and you want to create a guide on Japan:

  1. First, you would see what kind of guides about Japan exist on the Internet.
  2. Then you would create a much better one than all of them, perhaps covering all regions of the country with original places that cannot be found in any other article.
  3. To identify the websites that link the other more straightforward guides, you need tools such as Seokicks (free) or Ahrefs (paid but much more complete).
  4. Then you should contact the authors of those websites presenting your guide and why they should include it instead of the one they are linking to.

INTERVIEW INFLUENCERS

You can also interview bloggers or influencers who have a website to get your first links.

Although it is a strategy that has been abused lately, if the content is of quality, those bloggers will probably link your interview or web page from their blog.

CREATE RELATIONSHIPS

It is also essential that you start building relationships with other bloggers either by following them on Twitter, commenting on their posts, or even linking to them from an article of yours (and letting them know).

In this way, you will increase the chances of linking your website to one of their articles.

Note: Lately, it has become fashionable to write a list with the 60, 80, or 100 best blogs/articles on a specific topic (which they often don’t even know about), and then contact each of the authors to inform them. When someone lists 100 resources, they are not pretending to offer value to their readers. It is too much information! He does this to take advantage of the ego of those mentioned in the list, increasing the chances that they will share or link.

But it is a strategy that usually gives little results. The listings that add value are short, digestible, and carefully analyzed.

Also, when someone has contacted me to tell me that I am among the top 100 of a song, it has always made me less excited (and I have shared it less) than if I am among the top 10.

Another effective way to get links through relationships is to ask your suppliers or customers directly. Maybe they can include you on the testimonials page or include a link in the customer section. Easy and simple.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SOCIAL NETWORKS

Profiles on social networks such as Facebook or Twitter allow you to add links in their descriptions, and by sharing your articles, you will also be generating links.

Although both are nofollow, your website will get more traffic if those links receive clicks.

And if your content satisfies users, search engines will end up rewarding you with better positions. 

POST IN FORUMS

Traditionally, it has been a very clumsy technique, so most forums’ links are nofollow.

However, any link that brings you traffic is valuable, whether it is nofollow or not.

To increase the chances that administrators will not delete it and readers will click on it, try to add value to your post and link your website or article as a source for further information.

WRITE COMMENTS

Like forums, links in blog comments are nofollowed.

But they will be just as helpful if your comment adds value and readers click on it. So avoid commenting to thank the article and leave a link, or it will be erased faster than the print on a Zara shirt.

BUY LINKS

You can buy from an online marketplace like Fiverr etc.

They are not cheap, and in any case, I advise you to be very careful.

Buying links violates Google guidelines, so if you abuse or do it wrong, you can end up with a penalty that makes your website disappear from search results. For many people, that can spell the end of their business.

Indeed, these types of links are still quite effective, but I only recommend them if you have experience in the field and assume that you are taking a risk.

Conclusions

Congratulations on getting here! I hope this will be helpful to you to discover the incredible (and profitable) world of web positioning.

But before I finish, I would like to repeat it:

SEO is just common sense.

It is unnecessary to study for any master’s degree to position a website and get traffic. Otherwise, a granny who wants to create a blog to sell homemade cookies could never do it.

And creating an expert-only environment is not Google’s goal.

Do not look for magic tricks or fall into the trap of someone who tries to sell you the “secrets” of SEO. That does not exist. You have more than enough with the general concepts that you have learned in this article.

Now you have to put them into practice.
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If you have any questions, you can leave them in the comments section, and I will answer you as soon as possible. And if you found the article helpful, I will be very grateful if you click on any social networks below. Thanks!

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