Get to Know Our Leaders 0

Back (L to R): Qingqing Ouyang, Valerie Pearcy, Nicole Cornelson; Front (L to R): Jenn Bacon, Alicia Dixon, Andrea Maher

Learn how our leaders lead

Every leader has their own style that is a byproduct of everyone they’ve worked with and learned from.

Our leaders at Main Street Hub come from a variety of backgrounds — everyone brings something different, exciting, and educational to the table.

Get to know some of our leaders, how they lead, and what they consider their biggest professional accomplishment:

Want to hear more from some of our women leaders? Read our Women in Tech Roundtable!

Can you describe your leadership style and the qualities that help you engage others?

Valerie Pearcy, VP, Content: “I’m naturally curious, which leads me to ask a lot of questions. Asking questions hopefully teaches people around me that I’m interested in what they do and care about how it all fits together, which in turn tends to encourage people to share insights more proactively.

“While I tend to be pretty direct in both decision-making and communication, I believe providing context for the WHY is critical. I’m logical enough to understand that no single action can or will make everybody happy. I’m committed enough to make tough decisions, but I try very hard to also be empathetic enough to realize the potential impacts and address those proactively.

“While it’s not the most enjoyable part of a leadership role for me, I’ve come to believe that stepping into, rather than around, conflict is the easiest path forward. Conflict, handled constructively and with an assumption of positive intent, is healthy and gets things done! Talking about things before they fester takes less energy and accomplishes more positive results.

“Also, to me nothing else beats just being visible and genuinely available. I’ve never felt above the work done within any of the teams I’ve led, and you can’t fake that. I’m also pretty quick to laugh at myself, so I’d feel lost without humor on most days.”

Alicia Dixon, VP, People: “I tend to have a collaborative and servant leadership style — one that leads by example and takes the ideas and thinking of others and helps meld them into the best ideas for the situation and the business.”

Jenn Bacon: “I consider myself a growth leader — I enjoy finding ways to grow my team, the business, and the culture. Earning people’s trust is imperative. I do this by being honest — even when the truth can be hard to hear. I do my best to lead from a place of good-will, authenticity, and experience. I think it’s important to find out what each person’s personal and professional goals are and then, get on the same path and start marching with them on their journey until we achieve their goals.”

Andrea Maher, Director of Operations Excellence: “I would describe my leadership style as interested in the details, yet direct and constructive. I engage others by sharing recommendations and opinions based on data, a series of questions, or experience. Asking questions is important, but they must lead somewhere.”

Nicole Cornelson, Director of Software Engineering: “I work every day to embody servant leadership. Speaking to people, valuing their opinion, and working to improve how to communicate and interact one-on-one are all critical. Its very important to listen, ask a lot of questions about their lives in order to learn what motivates them, asking what skills they want to develop and discussing overall areas for improvement. If you work to first develop others as a priority of leadership, the results will be profound. ”

Qingqing Ouyang, SVP, Engineering: “Despite getting asked this question often, I am still working on how to best describe my leadership style. I’ve taken many quizzes, surveys, and personality tests to ‘decide’ what my style is, and I don’t completely agree with any of their conclusions. For example — I am not a complete pragmatist who is driven by results and hitting goals above all else. Nor am I a diplomat who always opts to avoid conflict and values harmony over putting people through challenges. I am neither and both. I am constantly evaluating what the best way to solve a problem may be. Depending on the environment, the people involved, and the situation at hand, I always choose to do what makes sense. I would like to see results and support my team to tackle the challenges head on.”

Back (L to R): Qingqing Ouyang, Valerie Pearcy, Nicole Cornelson; Front (L to R): Jenn Bacon, Alicia Dixon, Andrea Maher

What do you consider one of your greatest successes/accomplishments so far?

Valerie: “In a professional context, I am most proud of the people I have hired, mentored, or worked closely with who have gone on to bigger and better things (however each has defined that). If I’ve played even a small part in that A to B journey, that’s something I would consider an accomplishment.”

Alicia: “Inspiring others to achieve. By far the best feeling is watching someone you have hired, grow into a new role and/or reach their goals.”

Jenn: “I find the work I do is gratifying because it challenges me and because I get to help others grow themselves and their career. However, I am most proud of the fact that I am a smart, strong, sincere, funny, kind, and joyous person who lives life to the fullest every day. I am a great daughter, sister, friend, coworker, and leader. This is all that matters.”

Andrea: “Creating and guiding rock star teams who not only add tremendous value to the company they serve but are considered thought leaders across the company and truly enjoy their jobs by constantly rebalancing challenge and skillsets.”

Nicole: “Consistently working on the career development of new (fresh graduate) engineers as they come into this industry. I consider my success directly reflective of the success of others. Every winning company, project, or product is fueled by a team of people making it happen. Helping people grow and develop in order to see how their success maps back to the results of the company or product, brings it all together. Progress matters and taking the time to look at that progress instills confidence and shows areas for growth.”

Qingqing: “Hands down, the Engineering Team at Main Street Hub. I am very proud of what this team has achieved in the last three years. From bringing more modern and scalable architecture to the company and driving sophisticated data driven decisions to innovating on machine-assisted content creation, this team of intelligent and driven engineers has accomplished a lot of things that benefit our customers and our company. More amazingly, they continue to level up by bringing their excellence every day. I cannot express enough how grateful for and proud I am of this team.”

Learn more about our team — follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram!

Get to Know Our Leaders was originally published in Main Street Hub on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: Main Street Hub

Facebook Launches Food Delivery Option with Multiple Partners 0

Courtesy of Facebook

Online ordering is having a moment, in case you haven’t noticed. With apps like Texas-native Favor to Uber Eats, your favorite restaurants are now at the tips of your fingers at most times of day. If you’ve never used either of these platforms, you may want to get acquired to the use of online ordering.

One of the world’s leaders in the social media realm has rolled out online ordering from their messenger platform. No double take needed; Facebook has now enabled online ordering directly within their platform, turning a page in the world of mobile ordering.

This decision to roll out online food delivery or pick-up comes from users familiarity with the Facebook platform in terms of utilizing it in order to find the best restaurants in their area, and also to find reviews on various restaurants in their area. By implementing this system within their familiar platform, Facebook has lessened the learning curve for it’s users; allowing them to easily access the ordering platform directly from the platform itself.

In order to carry out these requests, Facebook is utilizing the likings of EatStreet,, DoorDash, ChowNow and Olo amongst other organizations to carry out and fulfill these order requests. There are also select restaurants such as Five Guys and Panera that will offer their services for ease of access to Facebook users and outside consumers alike.

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); = id; js.src = “//”; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));

Food Search

Posted by Facebook on Thursday, October 12, 2017

Courtesy of Facebook

To browse nearby restaurants, simply go to the Explore menu and click on the ‘Order food’ section. Here, you will be prompted to scroll through lists and pages of nearby and other local restaurants that you can order from. If the restaurant of your choice offers either delivery or pick up and you have an account with Doordash or, you will simply be asked to login to your account, without ever having to leave the Facebook platform.

This current update has been tested for over a year and is rolling out everywhere across the United States, with access being granted via iOS, Android and desktop. With the help of online ordering from Facebook, getting the food you want from the restaurant’s you love has never been simpler.

The post Facebook Launches Food Delivery Option with Multiple Partners appeared first on ReviewPush.

Source: Review Push

How Links in Headers, Footers, Content, and Navigation Can Impact SEO – Whiteboard Friday 0

Posted by randfish

Which link is more valuable: the one in your nav, or the one in the content of your page? Now, how about if one of those in-content links is an image, and one is text? Not all links are created equal, and getting familiar with the details will help you build a stronger linking structure.

How Links in Headers, Footers, Content, and Navigation Can Impact SEO

Click on the whiteboard image above to open a high-resolution version in a new tab!

Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re going to chat about links in headers and footers, in navigation versus content, and how that can affect both internal and external links and the link equity and link value that they pass to your website or to another website if you’re linking out to them.

So I’m going to use Candy Japan here. They recently crossed $1 million in sales. Very proud of Candy Japan. They sell these nice boxes of random assortments of Japanese candy that come to your house. Their website is actually remarkably simplistic. They have some footer links. They have some links in the content, but not a whole lot else. But I’m going to imagine them with a few more links in here just for our purposes.

It turns out that there are a number of interesting items when it comes to internal linking. So, for example, some on-page links matter more and carry more weight than other kinds. If you are smart and use these across your entire site, you can get some incremental or potentially some significant benefits depending on how you do it.

Do some on-page links matter more than others?

So, first off, good to know that…

I. Content links tend to matter more

…just broadly speaking, than navigation links. That shouldn’t be too surprising, right? If I have a link down here in the content of the page pointing to my Choco Puffs or my Gummies page, that might actually carry more weight in Google’s eyes than if I point to it in my navigation.

Now, this is not universally true, but observably, it seems to be the case. So when something is in the navigation, it’s almost always universally in that navigation. When something is in here, it’s often only specifically in here. So a little tough to tell cause and effect, but we can definitely see this when we get to external links. I’ll talk about that in a sec.

II. Links in footers often get devalued

So if there’s a link that you’ve got in your footer, but you don’t have it in your primary navigation, whether that’s on the side or the top, or in the content of the page, a link down here may not carry as much weight internally. In fact, sometimes it seems to carry almost no weight whatsoever other than just the indexing.

III. More used links may carry more weight

This is a theory for now. But we’ve seen some papers on this, and there has been some hypothesizing in the SEO community that essentially Google is watching as people browse the web, and they can get that data and sort of see that, hey, this is a well-trafficked page. It gets a lot of visits from this other page. This navigation actually seems to get used versus this other navigation, which doesn’t seem to be used.

There are a lot of ways that Google might interpret that data or might collect it. It could be from the size of it or the CSS qualities. It could be from how it appears on the page visually. But regardless, that also seems to be the case.

IV. Most visible links may get more weight

This does seem to be something that’s testable. So if you have very small fonts, very tiny links, they are not nearly as accessible or obvious to visitors. It seems to be the case that they also don’t carry as much weight in Google’s rankings.

V. On pages with multiple links to the same URL

For example, let’s say I’ve got this products link up here at the top, but I also link to my products down here under Other Candies, etc. It turns out that Google will see both links. They both point to the same page in this case, both pointing to the same page over here, but this page will only inherit the value of the anchor text from the first link on the page, not both of them.

So Other Candies, etc., that anchor text will essentially be treated as though it doesn’t exist. Google ignores multiple links to the same URL. This is actually true internal and external. For this reason, if you’re going ahead and trying to stuff in links in your internal content to other pages, thinking that you can get better anchor text value, well look, if they’re already in your navigation, you’re not getting any additional value. Same case if they’re up higher in the content. The second link to them is not carrying the anchor text value.

Can link location/type affect external link impact?

Other items to note on the external side of things and where they’re placed on pages.

I. In-content links are going to be more valuable than footers or nav links

In general, nav links are going to do better than footers. But in content, this primary content area right in here, that is where you’re going to get the most link value if you have the option of where you’re going to get an external link from on a page.

II. What if you have links that open in a new tab or in a new window versus links that open in the same tab, same window?

It doesn’t seem to matter at all. Google does not appear to carry any different weight from the experiments that we’ve seen and the ones we’ve conducted.

III. Text links do seem to perform better, get more weight than image links with alt attributes

They also seem to perform better than JavaScript links and other types of links, but critically important to know this, because many times what you will see is that a website will do something like this. They’ll have an image. This image will be a link that will point off to a page, and then below it they’ll have some sort of caption with keyword-rich anchors down here, and that will also point off. But Google will treat this first link as though it is the one, and it will be the alt attribute of this image that passes the anchor text, unless this is all one href tag, in which case you do get the benefit of the caption as the anchor. So best practice there.

IV. Multiple links from same page — only the first anchor counts

Well, just like with internal links, only the first anchor is going to count. So if I have two links from Candy Japan pointing to me, it’s only the top one that Google sees first in the HTML. So it’s not where it’s organized in the site as it renders visually, but where it comes up in the HTML of the page as Google is rendering that.

V. The same link and anchor on many or most or all pages on a website tends to get you into trouble.

Not always, not universally. Sometimes it can be okay. Is Amazon allowed to link to Whole Foods from their footer? Yes, they are. They’re part of the same company and group and that kind of thing. But if, for example, Amazon were to go crazy spamming and decided to make it “cheap avocados delivered to your home” and put that in the footer of all their pages and point that to the page, that would probably get penalized, or it may just be devalued. It might not rank at all, or it might not pass any link equity. So notable that in the cases where you have the option of, “Should I get a link on every page of a website? Well, gosh, that sounds like a good deal. I’d pass all this page rank and all this link equity.” No, bad deal.

Instead, far better would be to get a link from a page that’s already linked to by all of these pages, like, hey, if we can get a link from the About page or from the Products page or from the homepage, a link on the homepage, those are all great places to get links. I don’t want a link on every page in the footer or on every page in a sidebar. That tends to get me in trouble, especially if it is anchor text-rich and clearly keyword targeted and trying to manipulate SEO.

All right, everyone. I look forward to your questions. We’ll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

Video transcription by

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

Source: Moz

Discovering Community in College Towns 0

4 tips for your small business to connect with students

Owning a small business in a college town is like earning a 4.0 GPA — it can be a lot of work, but it’s very rewarding.

College students are a unique customer demographic that is made up of mostly millennials. In the fall 2017 semester alone, over 20 million students enrolled in college classes and were found to spend about $560 billion each year.

Encourage college students in your town to spend their money at your business by doing these 4 things:

Loyalty Programs

One thing most college students will agree on is that cheap is good, but free is even better. Creating a loyalty program that has a discount incentive at your business encourages your customers to keep coming back — 79% of millennials want their favorite businesses to have loyalty and discount programs

Try giving customers a punch card and offer them incentives based on how much they spend at your business! For example — after a customer buys 10 coffees at your coffee shop, give them their 11th for free, or after they shop at your boutique five times, they get 10% off their next purchase.

Events & Themes

Offering college students something to spice up their day-to-day is a great way to bring them into your business — especially if that something saves them a bit of cash.

Whether you have a recurring night, like trivia night, or offer a special event, like a pop-up shop, college students will take notice and come visit your business!

Focus on Game Day

At most colleges, sports are huge. In fact, 81% of college students go to at least one sporting event during their time in college. Associating your business with game day is a great way to build relationships with students in your town.

If you’re able to, show the games at your business. You can also offer discounts or specials when students show their ticket stub or the local college wins a game.

Head to Campus

Colleges often hold events at the start of each semester where they let campus and outside organizations have tables and talk to students walking around campus. Connect with the college in your town and see if your business can get a table or walk around campus to hand out flyers.

You can also explore creating a brand ambassador program at colleges near you. Students are more likely to check out a business if it’s recommended and endorsed by a fellow student.

By making your business present on college campuses near you and reaching out to students, you’ll build a sense of community and became a huge part of a student’s college experience.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn!

Discovering Community in College Towns was originally published in Main Street Hub on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: Main Street Hub

Introducing Our Engineers: Alysha Behn & Ellen Liu 0

Every day, our Engineering Team Challenges Themselves to do everything they can and more for our customers and our team.

Meet Alysha Behn, Software Engineer II, and Ellen Liu, Software Engineer I — two of the engineers behind our products! Learn more about how these two got into engineering and why they think more women should join them:

Check out Alysha and Ellen’s spotlight in Built in Austin!

How did you end up as a software engineer? Was it something you always wanted to do?

“I grew up thinking I’d get an English or journalism degree and be a writer. My mom is an engineer (she does Oracle EBS/BI/big data consulting), so I didn’t grow up lacking a role model in the industry, but my parents were really great about encouraging me to pursue whatever field I loved, so I didn’t even consider engineering until I took a computer science class my junior year of high school. I fell in love with it right away, so I decided pursue an engineering career instead.”

What do you love most about it?

“Besides the obvious — writing code — I really love participating in design discussions. I’m lucky to work in an engineering department that’s passionate about doing things the right way the first time and where there isn’t a lot of groupthink or personal investment in winning arguments. Those debates are always a great opportunity to learn.”

What are some side projects you’re working on?

“I don’t usually write code outside of work, so right now none of them are on Github! I’m working towards my goal of reading 75 books this year — I have 16 left — and our department has weekly tech talks (topics have ranged from an introduction to Postgres to a Bob Ross-style painting demo), so I’m working on a talk on hard AI. Once those goals are knocked out, I’m planning to write a knitting pattern generator that’s loosely inspired by Jeff Donaldson’s Stuxnet virus throw.”

What unique experience/qualities do you bring to your team?

“As a developer, I like to prioritize defensive coding, and I think an eye for detail and some embarrassing lessons in what can go wrong when you don’t think ahead have trained me to get pretty good at it. Also, given my background in literature (I did end up getting degrees in both computer science and English in college), it’s probably no surprise that I care a lot about readable code. It’s all about being nice to the future version of me that will have to fix a bug in six months.”

Why should more women get into software engineering?

“Diverse teams end up working smarter and making better products. Women’s use cases are ignored in technology design all the time, which is bad for consumers and bad for business. The more women we have working in the industry, the easier it becomes to make technology that has real widespread appeal. Additionally, now that there’s a large spotlight on gender disparities in tech, which is so necessary, I worry that the message women are getting is that a career in software engineering inevitably means signing up for a lot of extra stress, bullying, and harassment. That spotlight is provoking a lot of positive change right now, and there are many, many healthy engineering cultures out there. I’ve never been more optimistic about the sustainability of a career in engineering.”

How did you end up as a software engineer? Was it something you always wanted to do?

“I went into college as a pre-med biomedical engineering major. I started taking computer science classes for fun my sophomore year and eventually ended up double majoring. After interning at a healthcare company my junior year, I realized that I wanted to pursue a career in tech as a software engineer.”

How long have you been developing for?

“Main Street Hub is my first software development job, so about two months.”

What do you love most about it?

“I love coming to work everyday and tackling new challenges. What I love about Main Street Hub in particular is the people. I was nervous about starting my first development job, but everyone has been extremely supportive and helpful.”

What are some side projects you’re working on?

“My latest side project involved using the Spotify API to analyze my current listening habits and provide recommendations for new music.”

What unique experience/qualities do you bring to your team?

“I believe that my lack of professional industry experience is actually one of my best assets since I can provide a new/unique perspective on our current technology. I am constantly asking questions, mostly to learn, but also to initiate discussion on how our technology is currently implemented and what kinds of things we can work on to improve it.”

Why should more women get into software engineering?

“While organizations such as Girls Who Code have done a great job in exposing more girls to coding at younger ages, women are still significantly underrepresented in the workplace. Unfortunately, the way society typically portrays computer science and engineering discourages many women from entering the field. Encouraging more women into software engineering helps break stereotypes and provide role models to inspire future generations.”

Learn more about our Engineering Team and its leaders in this interview with StreetFight Mag!

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram!

Introducing Our Engineers: Alysha Behn & Ellen Liu was originally published in Main Street Hub on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: Main Street Hub