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Showing posts with label Blogging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blogging. Show all posts

Why Bloggers Forgetting About On-Page Optimization

Too many bloggers try to run before they can walk when it comes to search engine optimization: armed with a couple of tips from Moz.com, they try their hand at everything from guest posting to social media marketing in an attempt to raise their search rankings. While this is all well and good, many bloggers are skipping straight ahead to some of the more complicated aspects of search engine optimization without paying attention to the basics, including the most unloved and unexciting of all SEO techniques: on-page 


Since background keyword stuffing and metatags became useless in Google’s eyes, many bloggers have stopped caring about on-page optimization altogether—usually because they feel it isn’t worth the bother. However, they could not be more mistaken. Sure, on-page optimization in itself is not going to have you leapfrogging to the front page for competitive search terms, but it is the foundation upon which the entirety of your SEO strategy rests. Don’t build your house on a foundation of sand, and follow these tips to make sure your website is well optimized for search.

Clean code counts


Having a well-designed web site is important for both mechanics and aesthetics, but it also has an effect on optimization too. When Google crawls your website, clean coding acts like good signposting—showing them what your content is and what it is not. For this reason, you should be using tags like title tags correctly—not only does it clean up your page on the outside but it makes it easier for Google to understand on the inside.

Google’s algorithm does not have eyes and ears: you must tell it what you want it to see. This means not forgetting about small-ticket items like image alt text and other seemingly useless tags and attributes. It might not seem like it makes much of a difference, but it is just good website sense.

Internal linking: not just for dummies


Google likes internal linking, but more importantly, your visitors love it. Linking pages back to their categories and subcategories, plus linking to other relevant pages on your site, creates a useful web that allows your visitors to access related and useful information more quickly.

The look of your links is also important, so depend a little time ensuring that your URLs are static (not dynamic) and that they are descriptive. Use CMS to your advantage and ensure that your posts display as follows: yourwebsite.com/blog/blog-post-title-here. It not only looks clean, but ensures that the subject and potential keywords are in the title as well as the URL.

On-page optimization means content


We have all heard it before: content is king. But nowadays most people think of content as it relates to content marketing and guest posting. What about your own content? On-page optimization is all about making sure that your visitors (and of course, Google) can clearly see and process the content you are providing. This isn’t about keyword stuffing: it is about making each page subject-themed and ensuring that your focus and intent is clean and clear.

Usability matters


The good thing about on-page optimization is that it is virtually synonymous with good web design and good usability. Optimization demands fast load times, minimal browser requests and clear navigation. All of this isn’t just good for rankings, it is just plain good web sense in general.

Linking on-page optimization to other parts of your SEO strategy


While good on-page SEO is abstractly good for the rest of your off-page strategy, there are several whats by which the two are concretely linked. One important factor nowadays is Google’s use of the “rel=‘author’” and “rel=‘publisher’” markup to link pages to Google+ and establish authorship. While ‘Author Rank’ is so far theoretical, many inbound marketing blog are excited about the potential and are already recommending people prep for its appearance by making use of this markup.

Source:spiceupyourblog.com

Ways To Gather Customer Testimonials

You don’t have to be a salesperson to know the power of a good referral. Who hasn’t tried, bought, or done something because someone they trusted said it was a good idea? That’s why, when you’re a new blog or business, nothing is quite as powerful for bringing in new clients as gathering customer testimonials. But how do you get them?Testimonials


Here are five creative ideas that go beyond surveys or traditional requests.

1. LinkedIn Recommendations: For self-employed individuals, LinkedIn is a great place to gather business referrals. Recommendations are standard practice on the network, and every time you get one, you have a new testimonial to add to your portfolio or, with permission, marketing tools.

Linkedin Testimonials

2. Emails: If you’re like most bloggers, you have received an email from a reader who loves what you create. Save this note! If you get permission from the sender to use his or her thoughts as a testimonial, you’re all set—a genuine, unsolicited word of recommendation to boost your brand.

3. Blog Comments: Even more than emails, bloggers get positive comments. When someone leaves a comment saying how much he or she loves your blog, your writing, your photography, etc., ask if you may use that comment as a testimonial on another page. You might set up a “Testimonials” or “From Our Readers” page on your blog that showcases these types of responses, adding to your overall social proof.

Blog Comment Testimonials

4. Review Sites: For any type of service business, online review sites are goldmines of testimonials. Someone leaves a review of your yogurt stand on Yelp, and, there you go—, an authentic testimonial to use in your marketing materials. Pay attention to what people say about you on Yelp, in Amazon product reviews, and so on—nNot only can you respond to unhappy comments, but also, you may use the positive feedback to increase your testimonials.

Yelp Testimonials

5. Google Alerts: You don’t want to miss mentions of your brand online. When another blogger says something about you in a post, get automatically notified through a tool like Google Alerts. You may set up alerts at http://www.google.com/alerts: Simply put your brand name in the “Search query” box and take your pick of results types and schedules.

Google Alerts

Your Thoughts : Are you checking these five resources to gather feedback? Why not? With a little ingenuity, you might find gathering testimonials is easier to do than you ever could have imagined. 

Source:spiceupyourblog.com

Online Back Up Options For Bloggers

An example of this for Blogger users occurred when connecting their blogs to their new Google + accounts.When using your Google+ profile as your blogs main profile you also connected all images used on your blog to your Google+ profile.Many blogger users did not realise this and either to reduce clutter or accidentally they deleted the images on Google+ with the knock on affect that the images also disappeared on their blog.One example of this was a blog I worked on recently that lost images from over 200 posts and unfortunately she had no back ups.

So it makes sense to back up your files such as images, video, music, documents, scripts and other work but how does it work and what are the options ?

Online Cloud Back Up


When we back up data online it is stored in what is known as 'The Cloud' (I'm sure you have heard the term quiet a lot recently).Basically the data is stored on cloud servers and this has an advantage over old back ups as they were susceptible to hardware trouble and disasters like fire etc.Of course with your stuff stored in the cloud you can access it from anywhere or any device.

Many of the PC Security Antivirus providers like McAfee, AVG and Norton offer online back up so if your signed up with an Antivirus service you may have access to free cloud storage.The recently released Google Drive and Giant of the past DropBox are also options.

Looking around I have come up with five of the most popular back up services online, they are not in order of preference.

1. Carbonite


http://www.carbonite.com/


Carbonite is available on PC and Mac as well as mobile apps for IOS and Android.

2. MyPCBackup


http://www.mypcbackup.com/


MyPCBackup offers unlimited space and is available for Windows, Mac and Linux along with mobile apps.

3. Mozy


http://mozy.ie/


Mozy has a number of back up plans for personal and business use.

4. SOS Online Backup


http://www.sosonlinebackup.com/


SOS is an award winning online back up service offering back up options for your PC and mobile devices.

5. JustCloud


http://www.justcloud.com/


Just cloud offers unlimited storage with free mobile apps to access your data on the go.

Compare The Best Back Up Services


For more Back Up Services and to compare the options offered and prices you can try out a comparison service like BestBackups.Com which review and compare the top services for you.

Source:spiceupyourblog.com

Blog Threaded Comment Style For Blogger

The solution we came up with using some simple CSS adds some cool style to the comment and avatars as well as showing the author comment (That would be your comments on your blog) in a different color.We also overlap the commenter name with their avatar.All unique features for Blogger comments and originally for Spice Up Your Blog but so many have copied it without permission I though we might as well share it with all our readers.

The comments are almost the exact same as you see here on SUYB with some subtle differences so you can see exactly how it will look on your blog by checking out the demo below and scrolling to the comments.

 

Add Comment Style To Your Blog


Step 1. - In Your (New Design) Blogger Dashboard Click The Drop Down Menu For Your Blog > Choose Customize > Advanced > Add Css, as shown in the video below.
Step 2. Copy and Paste the following code into the Css Section then click Apply To Blog.


@font-face { font-family: 'Philosopher'; font-style: normal; font-weight: 400; src: local('Philosopher'), url(http://themes.googleusercontent.com/static/fonts/philosopher/v4/OttjxgcoEsufOGSINYBGLYbN6UDyHWBl620a-IRfuBk.woff) format('woff'); } .comment .avatar-image-container { border: 1px solid #B6B6B6; max-height: 70px !important; margin-top: -5px; width: 70px !important; position: relative; z-index: 50; } .comment .comment-block { margin-left: 75px !important; } .comment .comment-header { background: none repeat scroll 0 0 #A9F5D0; color: #333; font-size: 15px; font-weight: bold; margin-left: 60px; } .comment .comment-header a { color: white !important; text-decoration: none; } .comment .comment-content { background: none repeat scroll 0 0 #FEFFF9; border-bottom: 2px solid #E6E6E6; font-size: 14px; margin: 0 0 30px; padding: 5px 5px 10px 10px; } .comment .comment-actions a { background: none repeat scroll 0 0 #DDD; color: #333; display: inline-block; line-height: 1; margin: 0 3px; padding: 3px 6px !important; text-decoration: none; } .comment .comment-actions a { background: none repeat scroll 0 0 #DDD; color: #333; display: inline-block; line-height: 1; margin: 0 3px; padding: 3px 6px !important; text-decoration: none; } .comment-header cite { background: none repeat scroll 0 0 #DF7401; border: 1px solid white; color: white; padding: 2px 20px; position: relative; z-index: 99; margin-left: -20px; } cite.blog-author { background: none repeat scroll 0 0 #8181F7 !important; } .icon.blog-author { display: none !important; background: url("") no-repeat scroll 0 0; margin-left: 90px; width: 60px !important; height: 60px !important; position: absolute; right: 5px; bottom: 5px; top: 10px; } .comment .comment-header { color: #333; font-size: 15px; font-weight: bold; } .comment .avatar-image-container img { border: medium none !important; height: 70px !important; width: 70px !important; max-height: 70px !important; max-width: 70px !important; } .comment .comment-actions a { background: none repeat scroll 0 0 #DDD !important; color: #333 !important; display: inline-block !important; line-height: 1 !important; margin: 0 3px !important; padding: 3px 6px !important; text-decoration: none !important; font-size:16px; } .comment .comment-actions a:hover { background: #CCC !important; text-decoration: none !important; } .comments { font-family: 'Philosopher', arial, serif !important; font-size: 1em; color: black; } .comments .continue a { display: block !important; font-weight: bold !important; padding: .5em !important; color:#E34600; font-size:16px; } .comments .continue a:hover {color:#4D3123;text-decoration:none;} .item-control { display: none !important; } .comments .continue { border-top: 2px solid transparent !important; } .comments .comments-content .icon.blog-author{position:absolute;top:-1px;right:-12px;background-image:url(http://cdn2.iconfinder.com/data/icons/crystalproject/16x16/apps/keditbookmarks.png);width:36px;height:36px;margin:0}

That's it just adding that CSS will transform your blogger comments from bland to beautiful.

source:spiceupyourblog.com

Using Guest Bloggers To Make Blog Better

Using guest posters and article submissions has become fairly common practice in the blogging sphere. Let’s face it, in the cyber-world where new, fresh content is essential to a successful blog, blog owners simply can’t do it all on their own.


Guest bloggers can lend fresh voice and even spunk to a blog when they’re utilized correctly, but blog owners need to be aware; just as guests bloggers can be a saving grace, they can also be a blogs downfall.

Think before you post


To keep your blog healthy you need to follow fairly simple guidelines. They may seem so obvious you hardly take them into consideration, but they are often at least partially to blame when a blog loses its captive audience.

It’s no secret that fresh and updated content is vital to blogs wellbeing. There’s no faster way to alienate your audience than to allow your blog to become stagnant for weeks or even months. With that being said, however, new articles that aren’t relevant to your blog are the worst scourge to ever face the blogging sphere.

Guest posters are a mixed bunch. Some people are undoubtedly sitting on their couch in their pajamas contributing to a wide variety of blogs, and others are sitting in an office setting working for a link building company. Who the person is working doesn’t need to be your primary concern, the main concern with any guest writer is; how much do they know about the topic they’re writing about and what value are they offering your audience.

Bloggers bible


It can be easy to determine a guest posts value to your audience if you stick with the guidelines I mentioned above.

First- Is it relevant? What does this specific post tell visitors to your blog that hasn’t been said in a previous post? If you have categories on your site, which does it fit into? If you have to force the article to fit in your blog like a puzzle piece that kind of works, but you’re pretty sure it goes to a different part of the puzzle, it’s best to leave it out.

Second- Is it error free? Spelling and grammatical errors alienate readers, pure and simple, but did you know they also are detrimental to your blog site as well? If readers are leaving your site because of errors (and trust me, they will) this will hurt your ranking.

Third- Who are they linking to? Links in general are not a bad thing, but certain links can harmful. Especially if a guest poster is trying to direct traffic back to their own blog, social media or to a client if they’re working for a content creation service, links are essential. What you need to avoid is any linking back to websites with content related to porn, pills or gambling. These sites are akin to a dark alley in a bad neighborhood and will hurt your sites rank.

The links with the most value to your blog will be links to authoritative sites, for example sites ending in edu or information sites, these actually add credibility to your site.

Fourth-How can you get the most out of guest articles? If a guest article is truly relevant to your site, chances are it can very naturally link to other articles in your blog. This is a great way to get readers hooked on your content and keep them engaged on your site.

The titles of blog posts are important for getting eyes on your site as well. As a blog owner you have the right to re-tool a title if it isn’t working for you. Think about the way you use Google search. When you type something into Google, chances are it looks something like this, ‘how to make chocolate chip cookies’ and not like this, ‘how to make perfect gourmet cookies like Betty Crocker.’ Think like your audience and cater to them.

If guest post submissions fit these guidelines chances are you’ve found something worth posting to your blog, but always follow your instincts. Don’t post an article you don’t particularly like just because it’s well written. When you read it, are you engaged or do you want to stop reading halfway through? Often your readers will react the same way.
source:spiceupyourblog.com

Websites To Learn HTML,CSS For Bloggers

If you are thinking about starting you own blog, than it's extremely important for you to have, at the very least, a basic understanding and knowledge of how HTML and CSS can properly work to your advantage. Although learning these different coding languages may seem difficult and somewhat foreign at first, as you continue to familiarize yourself with the basics of HTML and CSS, the process will become more clear and easier for you to use. It's critical for you not to give up on learning the specific codes and maintain practicing how to create them in order for your blog to be fully successful. As you continue to learn the "ins and outs" of coding for HTML and CSS, there are many outlets that consist of different websites that will prove to be extremely beneficial in your quest to master these computer languages.Below we list the best sites you can visit to help you learn the basics and get you on the way to become an expert coder. 

w3schools.com

http://www.w3schools.com/


Possibly the most in-depth resource on the internet for you to learn HTML and CSS coding is w3schools.com. Although this coding outlet is more geared toward people that already have a basic concept of HTML and CSS, it can still help all types of novice bloggers launch their webpage. Making w3school.com a great option for blog site owners, this resource provides a wide range of PDF files that explain the HTML and CSS coding language in great detail. 

htmldog.com

http://www.htmldog.com/


Probably the best HTML outlet for extremely new coding developers is HTML Dog Website. Not only providing in-depth tutorials for beginner HTLM coders, this site also has specific tutorials for intermediate and advanced bloggers. One of the easiest sites to navigate with incredibly detailed walkthroughs; this might be your best option when trying to learn the language of HTML.

CSSeasy.com

http://www.csseasy.com/


Without question, CSSeasy.com is one of the best options on the internet for you to learn how to properly use CSS. By using this site, you will be able to go through a long list of sample codes that teach you a better understanding of how to incorporate and fully decipher the CSS language. In addition, there are a wide range of web development tools that are readily available for you to use and implement on your blog site. 

Alistapart.com

http://alistapart.com/topics


One of the best places online for you to learn CSS is Alistapart. Providing their website visitors with extremely beneficial tips and CSS pointers, this is a great resource for all novice people that are trying to learn CSS coding and its language. Another great aspect of using this site is that it provides you with a wide array of relatively articles that will prove to be essential while you learn CSS. 

Codecademy.com

http://www.codecademy.com/


Another great site for you to learn HTML coding is at Codeacademy. Providing beginner coders with a more hands on approach, this great resource will actually allow to you write your own HTML codes to see if they actually work. Giving their users a workbook style exercises, this outlet will help you work through all of your potential coding issues.

Source:spiceupyourblog.com

Securing WordPress:Adjustments For Safer Blog

Wordpress Security Pad Lock

All-in-all WordPress is a fairly secure platform, especially if it’s hosted with a reliable hosting provider like AHosting, but it’s also hugely popular, and that means it’s in the interest of hackers and data thieves to focus a lot of their energies on finding ways to hack it. There are a number of things a WordPress user can do to secure their installation which will significantly hamper anyone who attempts to break in. 

Practice Password Hygiene


This should come as second nature to anyone remotely familiar with security, but, unfortunately, many people who should know better fail to enforce good password practices. WordPress is pretty good with regard to passwords. They are hashed, so, should you suffer a database breach, it is theoretically impossible for hackers to retrieve the password. Unless you choose a password like ‘pa55word’ or ‘jim’. Simple dictionary-based passwords can be retrieved, even if they are hashed. In fact, because of the large numbers of password database thefts recently, hackers have a huge sample of the sort of passwords people choose. However fiendishly convoluted your password is, if you thought it up yourself, it’s probably too weak, so the best solution is to use a password manager likeLastpass to create a sufficiently long and random one for you. This is particularly important if you have multiple WordPress sites, because then you’ll need multiple long random passwords (because, of course, you aren’t using the same password on all your sites, are you?). 

Use HTTPS to Secure Your Logins


Once you have a secure password, it’s better not to send it over WiFi networks and the Internet without encrypting it. Setting up HTTPS on your logins means that all login sessions are going to be encrypted, so the shady looking guy sat on the next table over in Starbucks can’t steal it while you’re logging in. There are two ways to do this depending on whether you have an SSL certificate or not. 

With an SSL Certificate

This is the easiest option. You need to add a line in your wp-config.php file that reads:

define('FORCE_SSL_LOGIN', true);

You can also choose to force encryption on all admin sessions, check out this guide for more details.

Without an SSL Certificate

This is slightly more tricky,and it’s probably better if you buy an SSL certificate. But if you’re happy without, then you’ll need the Https SSL free plugin. WPMU.org have recently published a great guide to setting the plugin up and how it works, so head on over there for more details.

Get Your Plugins From the Official Repositories


Hackers love to get their malicious code into the pristine innards of other people’s applications. They love it particularly when site owners do it for them by installing plugins that they found at ‘Bob’s Legit Plugin Parlour’. If you have the expertise, read the code of all the plugins you install to find out what they will be doing. If you aren’t a programmer then make sure you get your plugins from verified sources like the WordPress.org repositories

Change File Permissions


This is one of those occasions where you have to balance security and convenience. Some of the ease of use of WordPress -- uploading files, for example -- depends on having various files and folders writable. But that can introduce some security vulnerabilities, especially if you are using shared hosting, where other users have access to the drives your files are on. Take a look at this guide to hardening WordPress to see one way you can organize file permissions more securely. That guide also contains many other useful pieces of advice.

Keep Your Software Stack Updated


All complex software has vulnerabilities; it’s just a matter of whether anyone knows about them yet. Hackers are very intelligent, and given sufficient time they will figure out those vulnerabilities and use them to gain access. Developers and security researchers are also extremely smart, and when they find vulnerabilities, they report them and the software is fixed. If you fail to keep the software on your server up-to-date, the hackers will have found the vulnerabilities but you won’t have installed the fixes. It’s crucial that you keep your software as up-to-date as possible. 

If you follow the above advice, your WordPress installation should remain secure. If you’ve any WordPress security tips you’d like to share, feel free to contribute to the comments. 

Source:spiceupyourblog.com

Change Text Select Highlight Color On WP And Blog

If you're a blogger you will know how to copy and paste and the process of highlighting text or code to copy.Regular readers that have followed our tutorials will have copied code from our posts many times.Now, when you highlight text or code you will note by default the background color changes to blue while the text color changes to white.This is of course to give you a visible idea of the text you are selecting.Internet Toolbox
I

So the default when you highlight text is for the background to turn blue and the text white, but did you know you can change those colors ? In fact I changed the style of text select on Spice Up Your Bloga few years ago and while I presume many of you may have noticed it, it was just last week someone Emailed me asking how I did it.In fact it just takes a small snippet of Css easily added to your blog to achieve the effect you can see an example of in the image below.
Example Of Default Blue Style And Style Changed To Red

I know it's a small change in the overall look of your blog but when set to match the color scheme of your site it is a neat feature.So if you too want to change the text select color of your blog to any color you choose we have tutorials for both Wordpress and Blogger Users.You can select text in this post to see how it is a different color (#990000) or check out the demo below with a rd style.
Change Text Select Style On Wordpress


1) In Your Wordpress Dashboard Click 'Apperance' > 'Widgets' > Add A text Widget to your sidebar and paste in the code as shown in the video below :
Code :


::selection {color: white;background-color: red;}::-moz-selection {color: white;
background-color: red;}<a href="http://www.spiceupyourblog.com/">Tips For Bloggers</a>

Step 2) Save the gadget and your done.

Notes - Change The Colors (In Bold) To Suit Your Blog.

Change Text Select Style On Blogger


Step 1) In The New Blogger Dashboard Click The Drop Down For Your Blog > Choose Layout > Click Add A Gadget > Choose HTML/Javascript > Paste In The Code as shown in the video below :

Code : 

::selection {color: white;background-color: red;}::-moz-selection {color: white;
background-color: red;}<a href="http://www.spiceupyourblog.com/">Tips For Bloggers</a>

Step 2) Save the gadget and your done.


Notes - Change The Colors (In Bold) To Suit Your Blog.

source:spiceupyourblog.com

Wordpress Plugins Improve Blog Content

Wouldn't it be nice if running a blog was easy? You could just hop on and feel inspired immediately, knocking out posts and having everything work out smoothly with limited stress and effort. We could all have blogs and fit it into our regular lives like a glove. Then enjoy all the benefits of having a successful site with tons of readers enjoying the content provided.

The sad truth of the matter is that this is never the case. It is a great deal of work to run a blog, and it takes a lot of time. Which is why so many people burn out before they really get started, unable to work it into their busy schedules despite the dream of owning a successful social hub.

If you want to know the trick to a good blog, it is weighing high quality content with productivity. You have to be able to remain consistent, without compromising the helpfulness of what you post. A balancing act that can be hard to maintain. Unless you have a few tools to assist you, that are designed to bring out the best in you.

There are many Wordpress Plugins out there, especially now that blogs have become so prevalent as sources for official news and content. But these three are definitely the best I have found.

MyBlogGuest Wordpress Plugin

(http://myblogguest.com/blog/guest-blogging-wordpress-plugin/)


This is the tool I use most often, as guest blogging is a big part of refreshing my reader pool. Having someone else write for your blog not only generates visibility by connecting your blog with another, but it gives you a break when you need it most. Or gives you a chance to bulk up your amount of content quickly and efficiently.

You can get an immediate boost to your productivity by using someone elses post. But this plugin goes a step beyond that by making it easy to find content without any stress. You just install it via your MBG account. Then from your dashboard, you can search their article gallery, contact the writer to make an offer, then publish the post all from the same feature. It even adds on the writer's byline, and allows you to alert them when it is up.

Very quick, simple and painless. Just the way I like it.

Zemanta Wordpress Plugin

(http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/zemanta/)


This is another great way to find blog posts, though for referencing and linking. Improve SEO without effort by connecting to higher blog authorities, increase your chances of having your posts linked and quoted, get related images that are there for sharing, and more.

I have only just recently started using this service, but I like it so far. The interface is intuitive and simple, the posts they have in their database are helpful, and I have been seeing a lot more linking and traffic since adding in my own.

One thing I will say is that it isn't an automatic service. You do have to spend some time for it to benefit you properly, but it is worth it. Plus, it definitely cuts down on the time and effort you would normally spend tracking down posts and communicating with the writer's to find out if you can quote their content.

Photodropper Wordpress Plugin

(http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/photo-dropper/)


I hate skimming through a billion stock and royalty free photos trying to find a good one for a post. Usually I give up after awhile and just select something vaguely related, which is always a disappointment when I know I could have possibly found something that fit it perfectly.

This plugin makes it easier to find the perfect picture and post it to your blog from your dashboard. It has hundreds of millions of available photos (literally), and all creative commons licensed for general use. Some are OK for commercial, others aren't. So be sure to check before you publish.

I have found some unbelievable images that normally I never would have come across with this program.

Conclusion

You might have to put work in to running a blog. But now you can be more productive about it, which is a real blessing for the average busy writer. Just check out the three plugins above, and you will be zooming through in no time.

Source:spiceupyourblog.com

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