While I opted out of the Hub Pro program, it would be irrelevant, anyway, since they are only focusing on already well-trafficked hubs.
I could, however, use some advice on what I need to fix on this one, which has fallen into the "unfeatured for lack of traffic" hole.
I thought it would be a topic people would search for...and contains information to answer questions. Apparently, I'm still missing something.
Thanks much in advance, for any advice, folks.
Just thinking out loud here...
Move it to topic: http://hubpages.com/topics/education-an … -bugs/4138 (Explore»Education and Science»Life Sciences» Entomology» Insects and Bugs)
Include words "fleas", "mosquitoes", "ticks" in the title.
Ah--okay, that might help--thanks paradigm!
I would change the title, google the words ticks, fleas, mosquitoes and bugs and see what other articles are focusing on. I think going the prevention or identification route might be more appropriate.. Make your title what you would look for if you were searching for information on the same subject. Just a thought.
Well...now...I've changed the group from health issues to outdoor recreation. So you think that will help?
I also linked my love of outdoors/camping bio to this article as I feel it is the most appropriate....since I removed the part about "invading our homes" from the title...
Remember that advice I gave you about titles? How does "Creepy Critters that Invade Your Space" meet that criteria? I can't imagine anyone ever typing that into Google Search so it should never have been part of your title - and now you've named the critters, it makes your title far too long.
"Bugs that bite" does get searched for, so that's a good start. However I wonder if the main problem is what you've done with the subject. Ask yourself, WHY would people search for bugs that bite?
Is it because they have an academic interest in bugs - or more likely, because they've been bitten and are trying to work out what bit them? I suspect the latter, and in that case they're going to glance at your Hub and click back to Google - they don't want background information on the habits of mosquitos, they want to know what the bite looks and feels like, what the insect looks like, and what to do about it, all clearly set out in quick-reference fashion.
Marisa has given you great advice, Liz. I agree with everything she says, including the title - it's way too long. Google typically displays the first 50-60 characters in a title; the rest are truncated. Put searchable words in those spaces in order to gain traffic. And, as Marisa says, be sure they are words the typical user will put in the search engines.
I typed "how to combat biting bugs" in Google's search engine and got a page full of useful articles. Also pay attention to related searches at the bottom of the page. This is a good way to test your titles or the topic to see what people are searching for.
Ugh! I'm still struggling to 'get it,' obviously.
At this point, I guess it's more than a title tweak, and more of a major re-write. Oh, dear...
I guess I'm an oddball. I write about what I'd like to know., if I were asking the question. I guess no one else wants to know the same things.
It seems to be the story of my life; I had similar issues when trying to sell things at a craft fair--very few of my items ever sold, and I had been very careful with quality, and yet other vendors were making money hand over fist, as they sold stuff that I thought was ugly or trashy or cheezy looking, and as if hastily put together without care.
It was frustrating in the extreme, and I gave up the craft fair scene, as I obviously do not have a grasp on current decor trends....(to me, "shabby chic" is just plain shabby, and nothing 'chic' about it; likewise the shows like 'trash to treasure.' IMO--guess what? It's still trash!)
I may never succeed, since I don't seem to fit in with the rest of the human race; I must be an alien!
I think we all feel like that sometimes.
You say "I write about what I'd like to know., if I were asking the question". So, what question did you ask which resulted in this article? Did you consciously formulate your question before starting to write?
No, I do not necessarily put it in the form of an actual question, but more along the lines of "Hmm...this would seem to be a universal problem..." (in the case of the article under discussion here)...so what might folks want to know about it? The rest of the thought process goes along these lines:
"Le'ts see--first, I'd want to know how these critters get in, so that would be useful info to include. Next, I'd want to know what kind of problems and/or danger, if any, they pose, so that's useful info; and finally, how do you protect yourself against them and get rid of them?"
So, really, it's a series of related questions that all fit together under the topic, rather than a single question. Maybe there are more simpletons out there than I am already aware of (and plenty of them occupy the halls of congress!!), but to my mind, the simple, straightforward question,
i.e., "What are the bug that bit us?" Is so simply answered in a single sentence that it is not article-worthy. "There are fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, chiggers and spiders." end of article, that 'directly answers' such a simplified question.
That's why I don't do it that way, because I cannot for the life of me think why anyone would want or need such an obvious answer, that everyone probably already knows, anyway. So I offer additional info on access, prevention, treatment, and yes, some history.
To my way of thinking, it's a useful collection of related facts and information all in one place, that one might otherwise have to search several sites to find the separate bits. Much more time consuming than reading one article that has it all. And that's how I like to find my information; not go hopping all over the Internet--that's a huge time-suck!
At the moment, I've unpublished this article, as I try to think how to best tweak it.
MsLizzy, I can see what you mean BUT that is the whole reason you are not succeeding.
I can't repeat it often enough:
Before you start writing a Hub, ask yourself "what would someone type into Google if they wanted to find this information?"
The bottom line is, if you can't formulate that question or statement, there's no point writing the Hub. People find Hubs on Google by typing a phrase or sentence. You need to match that phrase or sentence if you want your Hub to be found.
By all means, answer several questions rather than just one - but make sure each is clearly formulated AND each one needs to be a sub-title in your Hub.
In this case, your questions might be "Are insect bites dangerous?", "How do insects get in the house?", etc.
I didn't get a chance to look at your article before you unpublished it. But it sounds like great advice you're getting here.
Most readers enjoy general articles of interest that are magazine-style when they're in the mood to be entertained. Your average reader using a search engine is not in browsing mode, however; she's searching for the answer to a question. She wants to know something specific and she wants to land on a page quickly that will tell her what she wants to know. (Note the "quickly" - she is impatient; she will click on one of the first few search results, and if nothing looks good at first glance, she will often modify her search rather than scroll down or go to the next page.)
If the web page she visits answers her question and also tells her something intriguing or unexpectedly entertaining, she may then try to explore and find out more. She may do another search for the general search term (e.g., she searches for "widgets,") or something like "all about widgets." Most likely, she will click on one of the first links, which will be a Wikipedia link.
It's hard to compete with Wikipedia and other high-authority pages for encyclopedic pages. That's why the hubs that get the most search traffic are the ones that answer questions.
You've said you often see a disconnect with what you want and what your customer wants, so forget trying to imagine what your reader wants. Just ask YOURSELF these two questions:
1) If you were looking for something on pests because you were in something of a panic dealing with them and wanted a starting point, which of the following titles would YOU likely expect to help you:
Biting Insects in the Wild and the Home
When Bothersome Bugs Bug You
Creepy Critters That Invade Your Space
Basics of House Pests
I Think I Have Bed Bugs: What to Do?
What Bug Just Bit Me?
Pest Invasion? Here's What to Do
All About Insect Pests in the Home
Biting Bugs 101
Ten Things You Didn't Know About House Pests
2) If you had a few minutes to kill and came across one of those titles above while browsing through your favorite websites or shared by someone you know on Facebook, which ones would you pick to read?
For most people, the answers to these two questions are different.
Hope that helps!
Thanks again, Marisa...
I am trying my best, but this old dog is finding it difficult to learn new tricks. I keep thinking of the Yoda quote from Star Wars: "There is no try; only do or not do." It's not as easy as it sounds. It does take trial and error and practice.
But, also, as you point out my disconnect; I don't think that way about urgent situations, either. If I was in a hurry for info on a bug bite, I would not mess around on Google; I'd go straight to a site like WebMD, or call/message a nurse friend of mine...or even call the advice nurse at my health provider's office. If it swelled up rapidly and badly, you call 911, not mess around searching Google!
To my mind, the web is for browsing, for finding out information casually, and yes, learning things, (and that is how I use it; "gee--I'm curious about this thing...wonder what I can find out..."), but it is also a time suck, and not really that efficient, (if it were, there would be a single page or less of search results, and not hundreds, that get less and less relevant as you scroll through). It is not the place to be looking if you have an urgent situation.
Therefore, that article was written with that in mind: basic background information, to tuck away for when you do need it. I think an article framed the way you suggest (and I respect and appreciate what you say), would be an entirely separate article.
I am in the process of seeking out suitable images of bug bites, as has been suggested, but am having a lot of trouble finding any public domain. They all seem to be on places like WebMD. The PD sites seem to only show the actual bugs themselves. And I'm not too interested in subjecting myself to bites for the purposes of taking my own photos!
I'll keep plugging away at it, though...if it were not for the help I've already gotten from you, Marisa, and many others, my current gripe might be about making less than 2 cents a day, or no cents at all, instead of less than 50 cents.
Many thanks again for your time.
(And, you are correct with your examples of titles...I would choose different answers in each case.... )
MsLizzy, you say, "To my mind, the web is for browsing, for finding out information casually, and yes, learning things, (and that is how I use it; "gee--I'm curious about this thing...wonder what I can find out..."),"
Yes, but the point is that you can't just "browse the internet" - you have to use a search engine to access it. So the question is HOW DO YOU START YOUR BROWSING SESSION?
I assume you don't just hit "I'm feeling lucky" on Google and hope for the best. No, you type in a question or statement. So we're back to, what question would you type into Google to start your browsing?
Yes, Marisa; that is true, and I do need to think of a question; your point is well taken.
I guess the point I was making there, (relevant to the article in question), was that I would hope people would have more brains than to start trying a Google search if they have an urgent matter, and are 'in a panic.' ... That's when you refer to local resources and emergency medical numbers, etc. Someone could die of an allergic response by the time you found the information online. The Internet is many things, but fast, it is not; with the plethora of information on most topics, such a search quickly would add to the person's panic by raising yet more questions: "Oh, no--which article do I choose? These two tell me opposite things! Which one is correct?" Etc.
That is why I did not plan the article as an urgent reference, '"ohmigosh,I'vebeenbittenwhatdoIdonow?" answer to such a reaction. It was planned from the get-go as informational only.
I can add the other information, on appearance of bites and treatment, but I do think that is almost a stand-alone article.
I swear, I am not trying to be difficult; I do appreciate all the advice. I'm just trying to get it down right, and my brain seems to work very differently from the rest of the world. :-( I'm an old lady, so perhaps a slow learner at this point. ;-)
It's not a matter of brains. Different people have different resources. And not every, or even most, cases of "I've been bitten by a bug" indicates a call to 911. There's plenty of panic just from thinking you have bed bugs! And if your budget doesn't include an easy call to pest control, what do you do? You find out your options. How? Online.
I have seen a generational and cultural divide here. Some folks are used to going to their local authority (including personal connections) for not just their health advice, but their toothpaste, their fresh produce, etc. and discredit any other kind of authority as a "bad choice". Other groups are finding local resources not as quick, thorough, good quality, non-discriminating, or readily available as online resources.
The Internet has grown, not because it is surplus entertainment, but because it is becoming a more efficient way of living. At first, like any new technology, it seemed a luxury of a few. Now it is rapidly becoming infrastructure. Not realizing that can leave you unable to understand the majority of your readership, which can affect your earnings.
I agree with what you say, Fiction Teller. I consult the Internet for everything from looking up a restaurant's menu to review of contractors to whatever. In fact, I just consulted Google about a bump I have on my earlobe. There's no way I'm running to the hospital or a doctor when I can find answers to just about anything by letting my fingers do the walking first.
That's why it's important to think like a searcher when titling and writing our articles.
Yes, you can do things like look up menus or theater schedules. But that doesn't apply to me, since we have no budget for those things, anyway.
I guess my restricted zero-budget-for-anything prevents me from thinking that way, since I can't go to the places to review them...
As far as non-urgent medical advice, many health care providers now (ours, at least), gives us the ability to e-mail our doctor, and even attach a photo. So there's no need to run to the doctor or the ER for a non-urgent question. If the doctor assesses that it needs to be seen, that will be communicated in his/her reply e-mail.
In my experience in trying to look things up online..it takes for effing ever to nail down what I want to find...such as the example you gave. The Big G would show me 10K options, none of which would be just what I was looking for--assuming I had the time or inclination to sit and sift through pages and pages of 'hits' only to find each successive one to be not what I was asking. It's a huge time suck.
I'll keep trying, but I fear I'm doomed...I'm just not into "trends." To me, catering to 'trendy' things is the opposite of the 'evergreen' content HP seems to want.
You don't have to be into trends. Evergreen articles are still the best way to earn income online, but they do need to be written with the searcher in mind, which is what you've struggled with.
However, as I've said before - these days even if you master the art of writing for the searcher, you are only ever likely to earn pennies from writing sites like HubPages. Not one of the fantastic Hubbers I met when I joined is still writing here - even with all their skill at SEO, promotion, and writing, the return simply isn't there. Even if you "get" the concept of writing for the searcher, it's unlikely you'll get to their level, so I can't honestly see how it would ever work for you. As for me, I'm still here for fun, I don't expect it to make any meaningful contribution to my income.
If you really need income, you should not be wasting your precious time writing online. Do it for fun and stress release, but don't fool yourself it will earn money one day.
Sigh.. then I am fooling myself all the way around. I'm a writer with a talent only for writing, and none for marketing. I cannot "sell myself" to any one for any reason...
Even when my husband and I were doing the craft shows; he has the knack for salesmanship, and it seems to be something genetic. I don't have it. He can sell the proverbial ice cubes to Eskimos, while I'd be unable to sell tissues to someone with a nosebleed.
(And what's ironic, is that he hates selling!!)
He'd sell our hand-crafted clocks all day long; the minute he wasn't in the booth, and people came by, even though I used his words, they'd soon lose interest and walk away. I'd be wondering what happened? Gee--I brushed my teeth and applied deodorant...and I was pleasant..
So, I see that I can write until I'm blue in the face, but I don't have the skills or charisma to market myself to an agent or publisher for traditional publication. Even self-publishing an e-book requires promotion, and it's just not a skill set I've been able to master.
It's the curse of the online writer - you can't be just a writer any more. You have to be your own editor, graphic designer, agent and marketer.
One very successful blogger once said to me that making money online is 10% writing and 90% promotion/networking/admin, and he wasn't far wrong. That's why I'm not trying to make an online living myself any more - because I enjoy writing but find all the other stuff tedious. If I have to do tedious work, I might as well go out in the real world and earn a much higher hourly rate, or sell on eBay (which is also tedious but has much higher earning potential).
I may be wrong but I can't see you putting in the time to learn the skills, or wanting to devote the time to putting them into practice, even if it would mean earning more money from your writing. I think you would find the whole thing too bothersome, (as I do).
Liz, the Internet now allows - and prefers - you be very specific in your search. Now you can type in full sentence questions and get the answers you're looking for on page one. That's how the search engines work now.
Again, think like a searcher when posting if you want your articles to be read and gain traffic. If that's not a priority for you, don't worry about it. However, HP is concerned with our articles and its site ranking well. This comes about by offering information people are looking for.
If you write and post for pleasure or to get feedback from other writers (and no other reason), there are forum sites out there that serve that purpose. You don't have to worry about the host un-featuring your work due to inactivity or quality because that's not what they are there for.
I just Googled "writers forums online" (without the quotes) and found a full page of sites where writers can post their work, connect with other writers, get and offer feedback, etc. Look at the related searches at the bottom of the page for even more suggestions, a couple of which are " writingforums" and best writers forums.
I think the new long form SEO tactics actually help us older people, especially those who aren't familiar with keywords and what purpose they serve. Once upon a time ago you'd confuse the hell out of Google if you asked a full-blown question without adding quotes, plus signs, parens, etc. It's become much more user friendly. Talk to it and it'll talk back, so to speak.
Yes--I needed pictures--and I typed in, "Public domain images flea bites" (minus the quotes), and all I got were pictures of the fleas themselves, and a very few images for bites--all of which were on copyrighted sites, and NOT public domain, as I had specified.
That's the kind of trouble I am having with searching for what I need...
People may not have taken photos of flea bites long enough ago for them to now be in public domain. Look for Creative Commons sites then narrow your search. Some good sites for photos are flickr, photopin, shareimages, pixaby. Google Creative Commons Images for more options.
The best thing to do is take your own photos even if you don't have an article in mind. You never know when they'll come in handy. The next time you get a bug bite take a picture of it. I try to use my own photos as much as possible, which is why my Pictures Library has thousands of photos I've taken over the years.
Yes-I do take most of my own photos, (and I have hundreds--sometimes meaning I can't find one I know I have!) ... but there are quite a few I haven't had the opportunity to take.
But like I said; I'm not going to go out and try to get bitten on purpose just so I can fix this article! LOL
I tried Pixabay--they do NOT like 2-word searches. It always comes up with 'no matches found.'
Lizzy, try going to "foter.com" (without the quotation marks), type "flea bite" in the search box (again without quotation marks) and make sure that the commercial use tab is turned on. When I did this the first photo on the right looked good to me. It was a flickr image with a Creative Commons license that would be legal to use.
Thanks much, Alicia--I'll try that right now! ;-)
Update: I found 3 images that will work--thank you for that, AliciaC.
Now, that has raised a new issue. Even though they are CC images, commercial use allowed, they did require attribution, and that was provided in a box with a code to copy, and that looks like this:
href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/jennycu/9549669753/">jencu</a> / <a href="http://foter.com/">Foter</a> / <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">CC BY</a>
Trouble is, it still looks like that in the text box on HP, that I created specifically for photo credits. HP doesn't support those kinds of strings. So what? Is is acceptable to just pull out the basic info from within those strings.. ???
That's true; there is a generational divide. Us "old folks" tend to see the Internet in terms of vacuous entertainment. That is certainly backed up by the multitude of videos of people doing utterly stupid things, and getting badly hurt, or lucky to escape; and think it's funny.
Combine that with this new narcissistic craze for "selfies" of every moment of one's life, and the posting of such "who cares" trivial photos as 'what my lunch looks like,' and it becomes very difficult not to make an assessment that questions the brains of many people.
I don't own, and don't want a "smart phone." My emergency portable phone is a pay-as-you-go TracFone; it makes and receives calls. That is all. I get annoyed when I see people walking around the store yakking on the phone the whole time.
NOTHING is that important! Talk when you get home. Why does this make me mad? Because these people are so wrapped up in their phones that they don't watch where they're going! I've lost count of how many times I've been bumped into, (and a couple of times nearly knocked down), whether by the person or their cart, because they were too busy on the damned phone! If the call was an emergency, one would hope they'd be abandoning their grocery cart and high-tailing it out of the store.
You are correct; I cannot understand that mindset; it is not my target audience. So, I guess I am doomed to failure here.
I think you do yourself a disservice by claiming you're unable to understand the mindset because you're too old. I'm 62!
Of course there is a lot of vacuous rubbish on the internet but that is why the search engines are so dominant - they are how we manage to find the useful stuff amongst the dross.
And I saw your belly button on Bubblews.
I've got you beat by 5 years! LOL
However, other people, such as yourself, seem to have better luck with searches than I do. I try and try, and I can spend an hour or more, getting no relevant hits to my question. So for me, search engines seem to miss the mark more than they hit.
Sure it's easy to find information of celebrities, for example, but I don't care about that.
I'm more likely to search for things that might be political or current events in nature to verify or deny some politician's statement--or to find out if such-and-such a thing someone told me is true, because I didn't see it on the news...and never find a thing that isn't 4 or more years old.
I'm more likely to search for practical things. Often I'm checking prices to find out the cheapest place to buy something. I do often look up health questions, in fact - of course there are some weirdo "medical" sites out there but most of the top results are reputable sites like the Mayo Clinic or government websites. I would be quite likely to consult the internet to find out what a bite is, if it wasn't causing me pain!
I'm also finding the search engines algorithms rather frustrating right now. Here are some tips to get more useful results:
1) Put important search terms in quotes. This makes the search engine search for your exact terms, and not what it thinks are acceptable synonyms.
2) When you absolutely need detailed, authoritative health information, add one of the following modifiers to any searches to come up with more relevant stuff:
3) If you want to find a discussion or forum where people who share your issue are talking about it, think of the kinds of things they might say and add those phrases in quotes to your search terms. I often search for things like "I like" or "my daughter" or "how dangerous" or that kind of thing. I'm looking for the phrases they're likely to say in the context of a discussion.
MsLizzy, I don't recall suggesting anyone would be consulting the internet in a panic? I think both FictionTeller and I used the word "quick" - but not because the reader is in a hurry! It's just if someone has typed a question into Google, they want an answer - they don't want to have to dig through other information around the topic to get to the facts they need.
Once they have the answer they're looking for, they may well read on and discover all the other interesting facts or advice you have to share.
Marisa, 'twas me what done it - I used the word "panic." I think I failed to communicate what I meant by that. I panic when I find a strange-looking bug in my bed. I calmly call 911 and administer an Epi-Pen when someone is in anaphylaxis.
Okay--I guess you're correct--I did scan back over the replies, and didn't see that exact wording, but I suppose it was the intent of the person's actions in looking on the Internet to find out such information on a recent bite, that led me to jump to that conclusion, that they'd be 'in a panic.' My apologies for the sin of "assuming," for I do know what that spells....
I only just read this reply properly - what a great explanation!
Ooooppss...My bad, my very , very bad--Fiction Teller---I apologize, and I thank you for your detailed reply. Somehow my brain failed to register the proper person to whom to address my response.
I so agree with Marisa, you have been given some invaluable advice. You might also like to look at the new feature under stats on each hub and see what phrases are being used to find your hubs. I think you will then have your answer.
Yes, sallybea, you are quite correct. I wonder--does that feature still work when the hub is unpublished? I took it down to work on it, since it needed such a massive re-write.
Sorry, I have never unpublished anything so can't be sure about that. It is possible I expect that they might reappear after you republish it.
Just checked, and yes, they remain visible. ;-)
Good, I hope they provided you with some interesting info.
I don't know how to do a screenshot capture, or I'd show you. Because I'm not sure how to interpret what I was reading. The main point, though, I guess, is that the bulk of my traffic on that hub is coming from Google. So I suppose it's not all bad.
Can't see it. It says no longer featured. However, I suggest adding another text capsule with a little more content about the subject and maybe one more picture. It won't take much and then they'll re-feature it.
Right--I took it down to work on it, since from what others were saying, it probably needed a major re-write, rather than a few tweaks.
It had plenty of text capsules; being too short was not the issue.
Apparently I put in too much "background" information. It had several pictures. I need to find others, and those are giving me a hard time to find public domain ones.
You're not alone; we're all limited by our own perspective. But if you want to see another perspective, there's lots of stuff out there to show you that the Internet is not the vacuous cesspool of the world. If you ever look for it, you might find it a valuable resource...or if not, maybe you could at least see how some people of perfectly sound mind do...?
For example, it sounds like you have a doctor you trust who allows email communication. You are in the minority, at least in the States. If you ever start to wonder if your doctor is up on all the latest research about YOUR issues, or encounter any problems communicating with your doctor, you'll find that a few hours of online research could save you much pain.
I lack personal connections; most of my family is gone. On the Internet, I taught myself several different kinds of hobbies, discovered important health solutions my doctors did not share with me (when I had medical care at all), bought items I could not get locally, found an affordable place to live in a place I'd never even heard of before, earned a living, and met my spouse. And that's not the whole of what it's done for me. And I'm a microcosm of the world.
It's not a wasteland, honestly.
Okay--I've re-written parts of the article, added requested type of photos, and re-published it!
It hit back on the featured icon before I even hit the publish button, so I guess there's some behind-the-scenes tracking that goes on..
Here's the revision: http://dzymslizzy.hubpages.com/hub/BugsThatBitePeople
Bumping this thread with a curious bit of data after looking at my overall stats (as opposed to single hub stats) on traffic sources.
It would seem that only about 15% of my page views come from within HP itself; the rest are from various outside sources, most notably Google. Google (dot com) has the bulk of individual hits, but Google this, that and the other designations (au, ca, pk, etc) from other countries, presumably, make up the bulk of the other numbers, most over 1K.
The rest comes from places like Face Book, Pinterest, and minor search engines at under 800 each.
Curiously, I have a single hubber who has his own individual source listing as if he were a search engine, who seems to be responsible for 800+ page views. Interestingly, his profile shows him as being here for 5 years, but he has only a single hub. I'm not sure what's going on there.
But, my point being with all of this, is that I am getting Google traffic, which is what I thought was not happening, given the advice I've been given here.....vewwwy stwange...
Not strange at all, really. No one is saying you'll never get any Google traffic, just that it will be less than if you used the right titles etc.
Oh, right..okay. But I guess the component I'm missing is how much such traffic makes any difference? The Google.com views are up in the tens-of-thousands!..(when all Google sites are added together, it may be 100K)
Those seem like big numbers to me....I guess I'm too easily impressed. LOL
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by Hannah 18 months ago
I am new-ish to hubpages. I've written three articles so far, but i feel there is so much i need to learn. So i wanted to ask for advice from more experienced users! Thank you.
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