Domain Names for Sale

November 1st, 2015 No comments
Categories: Domains Tags:

Google Confirms: “No Direct SEO Benefit to SSL on Domain”

July 27th, 2014 No comments

8-7-2014: [FORBES] Complete Reversal: Google To Reward Sites With HTTPS Security In Search Rankings

A Google+ Hangout on Air with Google Webmaster Central John Mueller revealed that there is no direct benefit to having an SSL active on your domain although this might be looked at in the future.

Another question related to invalid certificates, further suggested that even if there is an invalid certificate this should still not effect a sites ranking in any way.

Webmasters have long wondered if an SSL certificate would increase search rankings based on the fact that the site has gone though additional screening from an authoritative source. This question asked at the July 21, 2014 Google+ Hangout answered that question.

  • NO, there is no direct benefit to having an SSL active on your domain although this might be looked at in the future.

There was also no valid reason to ensure the extended validation certificate (the green one) is used over the regular one; as long as the connection is encrypted and secured appropriately (2048 bits at-least), that is fine from Google’s perceptive.

John Mueller said “What you definitely don’t need is the extended validation certificate, the EV one with the little green bar on top. That’s something that may make sense for your users, but it’s not really what we’re looking for at the moment.”

JOHN MUELLER: At the moment, we’re not using that as a ranking signal, so it’s not the case that if you have everything on HTTPS, then we’d automatically promote your website in search. But that’s something we might look at in the future, if we think that this is a good thing to do, if the metrics that come out of our analysis there say that this is the right thing to do. But for purely for SEO reasons, I don’t think there is any real difference between HTTP and HTTPS. I imagine there are a lot of second order factors that are involved, such as user trust, and depending on the type of data that you have, whether or not they recommend your website, if they want to stay on your website, if they had do more things on your website than just the basic things. But that’s something that doesn’t really have a direct SEO aspect to it.

7:50 in this video discusses the issue.

JOHN MUELLER: I don’t know. I imagine the pricing depends a lot on where you get those certificates. So it’s not that I’d say the $30 is this specific certificate type, but rather it’s just this product that this one supplier is essentially offering. So I don’t know exactly what’s behind those different numbers there. What we do say it is to make sure that your certificate uses 2048 bits at least. And we’ve seen, I think most of the suppliers offer those kind of certificates. What you definitely don’t need is the extended validation certificate, the EV one with the little green bar on top. That’s something that may make sense for your users, but it’s not really what we’re looking for at the moment. So at the moment, if you make sure that the connection between users and your website is just secured appropriately, then that’s something that we think makes a lot of sense in general and something that we would like to recommend that webmasters do.

11:00 in this video discusses the issue.

Categories: Domains, Google Search Tags: ,

Q3 Report: Internet Advertising Revenues Climb to Nearly $10.7 Billion

December 24th, 2013 No comments

(New York, NY) According to a press release by IAB, the Interactive Advertising Bureau, Internet advertising revenues have continued their climb hitting $10.69 billion for the third quarter of 2013. This number reflects an increase of 15% over the previous year and a 4.2% increase over the previous quarter.

That’s $10,690,000,000.00. This record breaking growth shows that more and more businesses are moving their ad dollars towards the Internet and those companies seeking to reach consumers must adapt to a changing digital platform or eventually fail. Search engine optimization companies will become more and more important as online visibility becomes absolutely critical to success for 2014, which is just around the corner, and well beyond.

“These figures reflect marketers’ trust in interactive to deliver,” said Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO, IAB. “It is indicative of the digital age in which we live, and within which advertisers need to effectively reach targeted audiences wherever they are consuming information or entertainment — often on several screens at once.”

“Continuous growth has been a hallmark of the digital advertising space for several years now, and these numbers support the fact that interactive has become crucial to the marketing mix,” said Sherrill Mane, Senior Vice President, Research, Analytics & Measurement, IAB.

pwc2013

While advertising and specifically, ‘net revenues’ continue their climb, local state and federal agencies look to find more and more ways to claim their ‘fair share’ of the action. Two such changes greatly affecting the online advertising industry are working their way through legal channels now including 1) a change to the way  ‘advertising taxes’ are handled and deducted from businesses returns, best explained by Association of National Advertisers’ Daniel Jaffe; and 2) an Internet sales tax, or the Marketplace Fairness Act, an act related to the long disputed decision against Amazon.com, and its smaller competitor, Overstock.com, as well as all companies shipping products to states which require sales tax, to collect them.

The two companies challenged a 2008 state law that required the online companies to collect sales taxes on purchases made by New York residents due to online affiliates who were promoting products qualifying as physical presences for the online retailers. In 2008, Overstock dumped NY affiliates over the sales tax issue. In 2011, Amazon dropped California residents. “We oppose this bill because it is unconstitutional and counterproductive,” Amazon wrote in its letter to associates. “Similar legislation in other states has led to job and income losses, and little, if any, new tax revenue.”

The Marketplace Fairness Act has many of the nation’s largest big box retailer’s as supporters, and its list of opponents is just as broad. Only time will tell what will come of it. During the previous, Congress, the bill (S. 1832) was considered but expired without enactment.  It is now being considered as H.R. 684.

“The world has changed dramatically in the last two decades,” Chief Judge Lippman wrote, “and it may be that the physical presence test is outdated. An entity may now have a profound impact upon a foreign jurisdiction solely through its virtual projection via the Internet. That question, however, would be for the United States Supreme Court to consider.”

Tax issues are not the only dispute driven through online ads either. Data brokering and data collection are being implicated as “worse than the NSA when it comes to privacy violations” because targeted advertising sells more products.

For years, privacy advocates have raised concerns about the use of commercial tracking tools to identify consumers and target them with ads. Commercial tracking tools use “cookies” for identification of web surfers. A cookie is a small piece of data (text files) sent from a website that is stored in a user’s browser. Online stores and advertising services employ browser cookies to better target ads by storing and collecting information about users.

Google, Facebook and other major online sites are tracking users more than ever, tracking them even when the leave the websites’ services. Facebook in particular has recently been noted as tracking user’s curser movements and shockingly, even what users begin to type and then have second thoughts about and remove. Facebook has the ability and has used the ability, to monitor what a user had written, and then erased before pushing submit, provided that the text had sat in the input box for at least 5 seconds. Talk about getting into someone’s mind.

Information about shoppers is big business which is why there has been such a tremendous increase in consumer loyalty programs in the last few years. The data about whom you are, what you like, and more importantly, what you’re likely to spend your hard earned money on is critical in targeting you. What kind of a buyer are you? What are you willing to pay? How much are you worth? It’s not about saving you money or attracting you back in. It’s about the information. It’s about the information collected from your past purchases to better predict your future.

The Google Conspiracy Theory: More Updates = More Revenue?

November 10th, 2013 No comments

Back in June, the distinguished engineer Matt Cutts came out swinging to debunk the fact that many webmasters, particularly those considered to be in the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) space, suggest that Google loves flux in its search results because it increases pay-per-click revenues for Google.

Cutts actually labeled this rumor a “Conspiracy Theory” noting that Google lost revenue when it first released Google Panda in February 2011.

So how would Google loose revenue after Panda and why would they shoot themselves in the foot?

Well, for a while there no one knew what they heck was going on. Google Panda was designed to take out content farms as well as MFA’s (Made for AdSense Sites), which it did, successfully; all those websites that were splattered with Google AdSense ads while having thin content (Demand Media for example) got tanked in search results.

This did cost Google money from reduced clicks on thousands of publisher sites, but this necessary evil turned into much larger rewards later on. And it’s not rocket-science. If the best nightclub in the entire world began requiring a cover-charge at the door; most patrons are going to pay to get in.

Google (GOOG) has been enjoying steady growth over the last couple of years since this continual algorithm updating stuff has become much more frequent. Google says it tweaks its search algorithm hundreds of times per year but releases few major algorithmic changes.

Google launched Penguin on April 24, 2012, and this is when the market really shook up. This time Google took out sites that were focusing too much on links and slapped on the Google Penguin penalty and starting sending “Death Messages” to site owners registered in Webmaster Tools. Penguin took things in a totally new direction making some sites impossible to appear for some if not all of the keywords they had purchased links for.

google_stock_price

Google (GOOG) has been enjoying steady growth of the last couple of years since this continual algorithm updating stuff has become much more frequent.

So with all of this confusion and calamity in algorithmic search, unpredictable results push businesses needing top rankings to spend more and more on “predictable clicks” [pay-per-click advertising], at least till things settle down. But settle down they won’t. Google has begun updating search results so frequently it’s getting hard to keep up – all while making it easier and easier to buy ads. Heck, Google even has customer service now for account holders looking to buy words – Adwords of course. So don’t expect it to slow down anytime soon, because revenues are on the upswing, climbing quicker than ever and the saying goes, if it aint broke don’t fix it.

BUT, I just want to add that I do feel these updates are necessary and that Google does need to keep people guessing in order for Google to remain the dominant player in search; but you have to admit that the changes, although good for search overall, because it leads, in most cases, to higher quality results, it does coincidentally increase revenue, which I guess, for Google, makes it a win-win.

Report: Social Media Deemed Least Effective by Online Marketers

November 2nd, 2013 No comments

How satisfied are you with the business value your company has achieved by using each of the following marketing channels?

This was the question asked by Forrester Research, where social media advertising had measured up to be the least effective advertising medium when it comes to the opinion of ROI (return on investment) for online marketers when judging “business value” achieved among all online mediums used.

The report, titled “Q3 2013 North American and U.K. Digital Maturity Online”, was based on an online survey of nearly 400 online marketers and was revealed in a blog post titled “An Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg.” by Nate Elliott, Forrester’s VP and Principal Analyst.

The post, which can be read in it’s entirety here, was based mostly on the ROI of Facebook, specifically, although the reports data details opinions on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Google+, respectively.  Elliott wrote, “While lots of marketers spend lots of money on Facebook today, relatively few find success.”

Now this does not mean you should stop your social media marketing efforts in their tracks. No… Social media is still an important part of marketing online, as well as an important part of what search engines likely use to measure Social Interactions (engagement and buzz on a particular product or brand) in their algorithms.

forrester_research

The report, titled “Q3 2013 North American and U.K. Digital Maturity Online”, was based on an online survey of nearly 400 online marketers and was revealed in a blog post titled “An Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg.” by Nate Elliott, Forrester’s VP and Principal Analyst.

This research only suggests that marketers deem the least direct return from it in regards to value. There are many hidden benefits from social media marketing be it links, shares, traffic and real world discussion. But it’s interesting non-the-less.

Alternatively, a Q3 Adobe Social Intelligence report, released on October 28th, says its seeing Social ad ROI skyrocket. “Advertisers are getting more ROI than ever before,” Adobe digital analyst Tamara Gaffney said. “Consumers are starting to integrate social into their purchasing behavior.”

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Will Fundamentally Change the News Business

August 7th, 2013 No comments

“The Key to success is a willingness to forgo short-term profits while building a business into a powerful position within a market.” Such was said by Donald Graham, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of The Washington Post Company, as he discussed his buyer and the sale of the newspaper for $250 million to digital innovator, Jeff Bezos, Founder and Chief Executive of Amazon.com.

It is no secret that the news publishing business has changed greatly over the years. Editorial accuracy and investigative thoroughness is often pushed aside for what some call a “rush to publish” mentality in the news room as well as a desire to have a story first, not just for the reader, but due to shifting changes from the Internet and search engine traffic benefits.

Huge losses in revenues for print publications mixed with most ownerships reluctance to see the writing on the wall only make matters worse as budgets continue to shrink, competition continues to grow and companies are forced to get more strategic and analytical with their advertising dollars.  The net, is surly where it’s at, if only there was a map, charting the path ahead. The Internet takes innovation; it sometimes takes risk, but it surely isn’t luck.

In a letter from Graham, he said: Our revenues had declined seven years in a row. We had innovated, and to my critical eye our innovations had been quite successful in audience and in quality, but they hadn’t made up for the revenue decline. Our answer had to be cost cuts, and we knew there was a limit to that. We were certain the paper would survive under our ownership, but we wanted it to do more than that. We wanted it to succeed.

“I understand the critical role the Post plays in Washington DC and our nation, and the Post’s values will not change,” said Jeff Bezos.

What will certainly change is the way in which the media empire uses its online presence to dominate news and generate income. The Pay-Wall or metered subscription model to read the paper will likely fade away. Currently, you can read up to 20 pieces of content per month before being presented with a paid subscription to continue reading the post online. Icons like Bezos undoubtedly know how best to properly profit from Internet traffic rather than limit a user’s ability to visit, plummeting page views and pushing readership elsewhere for their daily scoop.

Writer Lloyd Grove from Newsweek’s Daily Beast calls it a sad day, surely putting it well within his article title that the sale of The Post to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has “stunned the paper’s old guard”, raising the point that the family behind this 135 year old media giant “Survived Nixon but not the Internet”. In 1972, The Post’s uncovering of the Watergate scandal brought newsrooms under heavy political scrutiny from then President of the United States, Richard Nixon and his Administration which called the Post and others who ran with the story as “Hostile Media” agencies. The back and forth dispute over any factual basis for the story caused public trust of media agencies to an all-time low and the scandal eventually led to the resignation of Nixon, on August 9, 1974.

The news media has a responsibility to report the news.

If America is to have any hope of one day becoming a true democracy, its populace must be better informed. And if this is to happen, the media must do their part by providing citizens with a more balanced, carefully considered view of the issues.” said Noam Chomsky in an opinion piece for The Onion.

The un-orthodox yet innovative traits of tech icon Jeff Bezos will find a way to do just that; the only difference is he going do it while turning a hefty profit. And with his net worth near 25 billion there may not be a better man for the job.

Categories: Internet & Tech Tags:

IAB: $9.6B In Internet Advertising Revenues for 1st Quarter of 2013

June 12th, 2013 No comments

Consumers worldwide are in a constant process of being bombarded left and right by advertising; be it print, television, or signage, people are rarely able to escape the grasp of both corporate giants and local businesses as they go about their daily routine. In fact, it’s getting to the point that many people simply tune out the bombardment of passive advertising  confronted with each day, ignoring billboards driven past in cars and quickly thumbing through full-page ads attempting to divert them from the latest celebrity gossip at the newsstand.

However, one area where advertising is not only surviving but growing and thriving is online; clearly Internet advertising, by its inherently adaptable and interactive nature, is finding itself far more compelling to a much wider array of the populace; a populace that is finding itself turning more and more to the ease and convenience of the internet with web-enabled devices such as smartphones and tablets. Herein lies the future of advertising; and the future, reports show, is now.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PwC U.S. have released the results of an extensive survey revealing that that United States digital advertising revenues achieved a record number in the first quarter of 2013 with an astounding $9.6 billion. To put that number into perspective, the amount of digital advertising revenues generated in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2012 was $8.3 billion; that’s a 15.6 percent jump in the span of just one year. Clearly, businesses are sitting up and taking notice that the internet is a critical component of any effective, modern advertising strategy.

In his Ad Age.com article entitled Advertising Will Change Forever, Josh Bernoff speaks about the fact that digital marketing, despite the restraints of a deep national recession, has moved beyond its experimental beginnings and firmly taken roots in the collective consciousness of modern Americans and usurped traditional print channels formerly used by businesses to get the word out about their products and services.

“Now it looks more like advertising is inefficient, relative to digital,” he said. “More than half of the marketers we surveyed said that effectiveness of direct mail, TV, magazines, outdoor, newspapers, and radio would stay the same or decrease within the next three years. In contrast, well over 70% expected the effectiveness of channels like social media, online video, and mobile marketing to increase. The result is that digital, which was about 12% of overall advertising spend in 2009, is likely to grow to 21% or more within five years. Along the way overall advertising budgets won’t grow much. This is huge.”

Google has become one of the biggest corporate entities in the world. Its finger is on the pulse of each and every aspect of business and, as stated in an interview with their chief business officer Nikesh Arora, the company expects that 50 percent of all ad expenditures will divert online within the next five years, with print suffering the most from the inevitable switch to the more cutting-edge, interactive medium provided by digital delivery methods.

“Advertising is very simple in a lot of ways,” she said. “Advertisers go where the users go, and users are choosing to spend a lot more time online. Look at the adoption of tablets. Tablets have beautiful screens and can be interactive, so I think a lot of traditional print is being moved to being read on tablets. So the users are moving really, really fast, and the advertisers need to catch up and move to where the users are.”

Even former internet provider giant-turned media content generator AOL has experienced a jump in advertising revenue recently. Despite losing a great deal of money in many of its other business ventures, including their Patch series of hyper-local news sites, advertising earnings for AOL increased nine percent to $359.2 million; that includes a six percent gain in domestic display advertising.

According to an eMarketer forecast, even massive online retailer Amazon’s worldwide ad revenue is expected to reach $835 million in 2013, up 37 percent from $610 million in 2012; $450 million of those 2012 ad dollars were earned in the United States, and the monies from that vital market are expected to increase to approximately $1.1 billion by 2015.

When looking at the overall online and digital advertising market, however, the numbers continue to not only encourage but astound; Marketingcharts.com reports that, in 2013, online ad spend growth is expected by industry analysts to meet or exceed 11.5 percent, and is further expected to grow even more in 2014 by yet another 12 percent.

The numbers don’t lie- it’s more than obvious millions and millions of potential customers for your business are embracing the digital frontier in favor of print or television, and that more and more money can be expected to be earned via interactive online advertising. The market has grown significantly and continues to do so…good business is where you find it, and going forward, that business is online.

Verizon Wireless Phishing Email: Scams & How to Avoid Them (Part 2)

April 20th, 2013 No comments

Back in May 17th 2012 I wrote a very detailed post about a fake Verizon Wireless phishing email I received. I decided to write the post because I know there are a lot of people who receive these types of emails and I wanted to help educate people about this sort of thing.

I’m sometimes taken back by how ramped this problem is and how many people are likely taken advantage of by just not knowing what to look for to keep them and their privacy safe. I also wrote it because it was a more sophisticated scam than I usually see and even I nearly fell for it at first so I thought it certainly warranted the time it would take for me to write it up, screen shots and all. If it helps just a few people it’s worth doing.I will add the same note I added on the first one:

PLEASE NOTE: THE PHOTO EMAIL BELOW IS NOT SENT FROM VERIZON®. IF YOU RECEIVE IT, IT’S A FAKE. IT IS BEING USED BELOW AS AN EXAMPLE OF AN ACTUAL “PHISHING” EMAIL I RECEIVED. THIS IS HERE TO HELP OTHERS AVOID IT AND EMAILS LIKE IT AS WELL AS TO ILLUSTRATE HOW THE SCAM WORKS IN DETAIL.

On April 15th 2013 I received another phishing email I feel warrants the time to write up which was based on the same unfortunate company being taken advantage of, Verizon Wireless; indicating that the scammers must be having a lot of success with its targets when using this company as a lure. I wanted to detail again exactly how this scam seems to be working and how the scammers are tricking people as it is very important to be aware of these types of tricks.

On April 15th, 2013 I received an email titled “Οnlіnе Alert. Action Required” which somehow avoided my bulk mail folder.

The email says:

Dear Valued Member,

It hаѕ сοmе tο οuг аttеntіοn thаt уοuг νегіzοnwігеlеѕѕ Віllіng Infοгmаtіοn гесοгdѕ аге οut οf dаtе. Τhаt геquігеѕ уοu tο νегіfу thе Віllіng Infοгmаtіοn. Fаіluге tο νегіfу уοuг гесοгdѕ wіll геѕult іn ассοunt ѕuѕρеnѕіοn. сlісκ the lіnκ Ьеlοw аnd еntег уοuг lοgіn іnfοгmаtіοn οn the fοllοwіng ρаgе tο сοnfігm уοuг Віllіng Infοгmаtіοn гесοгdѕ.

Сlісκ hеге http://www.verizonwireless.com/support/updates After a few clicks,

јuѕt νегіfу the information уоu еntегеd іѕ соггесt

Ѕіnсегеlу,

VегіzοnWігеlеѕѕΜеmЬег Ѕегνісеѕ Теаm

Ρ.Ѕ. Тhе lіnκ іn thіѕ mеѕѕаgе wіll Ье ехріге wіthіn 48 Ηοuгѕ . Υοu hаνе tο uрdаtе уοuг рауmеnt іnfοгmаtіοn

©2013 Vегіzοn LLС. Аll Rіghtѕ Rеѕегνеd.

On the surface the email appears to come from OfficialTeam@verizonwireless.com but Google has been showing the actual mail server that sends the mail so I can see that it was actually mailed by eigbox.net. If I had to take a guess, I would say that this person’s mail server has been hacked and they do not even know their server or hosting account is sending this email. This is another way that the scammer will hide; they are behind a compromised server.

eigbox

Fake Verizon Wireless Email Body

The second dead giveaway that something strange is going on is the introduction “Dear Valued Member”. This is another characteristic to look out for; most companies are addressing their customers by name now, so if you see something like “Dear Customer”, “Deer Account Holder”, or something generic like that, the email should be immorality suspect and require closer inspection.

introduction

The second dead giveaway that something strange is going on is the introduction “Dear Valued Member”.

Next is the third indication something is weird, Google has returned an option to translate the email which appears to be in English so why would translation be suggested as an option? Upon close inspection you will notice there looks to be a Russian character hidden within the email. I am not sure why the scammer would do this but I am sure there is a reason which is possibly related to avoid the spam bulk folder.

translation

Upon close inspection you will notice there looks to be a Russian character hidden within the email.

Yet again, we have an additional indicator of a phishing attempt hidden within the link of the email, the URL. By hovering over the URL you can see that web site address this link will bring you to is being shortened with a URL shortener I’ve never seen before which is possibly just a domain being forwarded: (http://j.gs/24As).

hover-over

By hovering over the URL you can see that web site address this link will bring you to is being shortened

Last but certainly not least is the actual language used. “The link in this message will be expire within 48 hours” [which it wasn’t anyway, I clicked it 5 days later to write this post and it still worked, but that is besides the point], virizonwireless (one word), just (not capitalized), etc.. etc.. This email is filled with incorrect English if you take the time to actually read it.

spelling

This email is filled with incorrect English if you take the time to actually read it.

Now that all of the ‘on the surface’ indicators are out of the way, I want to show how sinister this email is and what it is trying to accomplish which many people do not understand why these scammers even do this to people. Now we will go into the intent behind this scam.

So what happens when we click on this link and fall for the scam?

This is the fake Verizon Wireless website a user is brought to when they click the link within the email. The actual website URL in the top of the browser is:

http://www.r57.bz/wwww1 .login.verizonwireless.com.amserver. UI.Login.onlineaccounts/ nlineaccountsonlineaccounts. upgrade. online. billing. account.update. secureupgrade .activate. onlineaccounts.upgrade.online.b/ 597e3cf163f0bc48340ce568a1f2df0b/

fake-website

Fake Verizon Wireless website a user is brought to when they click the link within the email

This is what you will see below if you visit the main homepage of this domain www.r57.bz

bzdomain1

domain www.r57.bz

The hosting account for this domain is being used to host this fake web site. The owner may or may not even know about it. The address you see is actually just a subfolder like /images/ but with a much longer name designed to appear like a website address with lots of dots (.) in it. (wwww1.login.verizonwireless.com.amserver.UI.Login.onlineaccounts)

This website is still up 5 days after I received the email and I am sure Verizon Wirelesss knows about this by now so the hosting company is likely unresponsive in removing the hosted content.

None of the tabs actually work on this fake website. The only thing that works in the log-in box which you can enter in anything and it will bring you to the next screen. Entering anything into that user-name and password box likely sends the information to someone’s email or stores it in a database for later retrieval. Below is what happens if you enter in any phone number combination and a password:

update_contact

None of the tabs actually work on this fake website. The only thing that works in the login box which you can enter in anything and it will bring you to the next screen.

Again, none of the top navigation buttons work or click to any other pages. The entire scam is based on people who will not even think to click anywhere else. The scammers are looking for people to enter in their information including their date of birth, mothers maiden name and social security number (as seen above) in these boxes so they can steal the info.

anything

Entering in any information and then submitting it will bring you to the next even more sinister screen.

This is where I am very surprised people would even enter in all of this info. Not only do they ask for the CVV code, but they even request the persons PIN number to further do a number on their victim

pin_number

Not only do they ask for the CVV code, but they even request the persons PIN number to further do a number on their victim.

Entering in all of this information, then brings you to this screen:

thankyou

User (victim) is brought to a thank you page still hosted on this fake website.

And then within 5 seconds it redirects to the real Verizon Wireless website below.

done

Real Verizon Wireless website

So that’s what it’s all about. First, they hack a server to put up a fake website. Then, they hack a different server to send out phishing emails to trick people to click the link in the email and visit the compromised server where they have installed the fake website. They bring victims of this scam to a website that looks identical to an official website. They trick people to enter in all of their information, or as much information as possible, further stealing the information while returning them to a screen that the person will not know what happened to them, while the crooks have all they need to either go on a spending spree or sell the information to someone who will take advantage of the unsuspecting victim of the scam.

This sort of thing happens every day and is likely one of the major reasons why websites and servers are broken into in the first place. Hackers need access to computers where they can take advantage of both the server host and the people they send there, all while being extremely difficult to track and identify. So for these examples here, it is very important to inspect all emails that appear to have any of the ‘give away’ ‘red flag’ traits I have pointed out here, because if you do not catch it, this can and will happen to you eventually.

If you like this post, please share it with those you would like to inform about this.

Categories: Privacy Issues, Security Issues Tags:

88 Advertising Slogan Examples: Ideas for Building Your Brand

April 1st, 2013 No comments

Advertising slogans are short, often memorable phrases used in advertising campaigns. They are claimed to be the most effective means of drawing attention to one or more aspects of a product. They also greatly help build your brand.

According to “Creative Advertising” by Charles Whittier: “A slogan should be a statement of such merit about a product or service that is worthy of continuous repetitive advertising; is worthwhile for the public to remember; and is phrased in such a way that the public is likely to remember it.

List of Company Slogans:

  1. 3M: “Innovation”
  2. Agere Systems: “How Communication Happens”
  3. Agilent: “Dreams Made Real”
  4. Airbus: “Setting the Standards”
  5. Amazon.com: “…and You’re Done”
  6. AMX: “It’s Your World. Take Control”
  7. Anritsu: “Discover What’s Possible
  8. AT&T: “Your World. Delivered”
  9. ATG Design Services: “Circuit Design for the RF Impaired”
  10. ATI Technologies: “Get In the Game”
  11. BAE Systems: “Innovating for a Safer World”
  12. Ball Corporation: “The Leader in Small Space and Rocket Systems”
  13. BellSouth: “Listening, Answering”
  14. Blackhawk: “Powering DSP Development”
  15. Boeing: “Forever New Frontiers”
  16. Bose Corporation: “Better Sound Through Research”
  17. Bowers & Wilkins (Speaker Mfg.): “Listen and You Will See”
  18. BP Microsystems: “Setting the Standard in Device Programming”
  19. Cadence: “How Big Can You Dream?”
  20. Canon: “Know How”
  21. Cingular Wireless: “Raising the Bar”
  22. Cisco Systems: “This is the Power of the Network. Now.”
  23. Cirrus Logic: “Leading the Digital Entertainment Revolution”
  24. Compaq (HP): “Inspiration Technology”
  25. Cypress Semiconductor: “Driving the Communication Revolution”
  26. Datel (C&D Tech): “Innovation and Excellence”
  27. Dell Computer: “Get More out of Now”
  28. DuPont: “The Miracles of Science”
  29. EM Research: “The ultimate source for miniature frequency synthesizers”
  30. Ericsson: “Taking You Forward”
  31. Fiber-Span, LLC: “RF On Fiber”
  32. Ford: “Built for the Road Ahead”
  33. Fujitsu: “The Possibilities are Infinite”
  34. General Dynamics: “Strength On Your Side”
  35. General Electric: “Imagination at Work”
  36. GigaLane: “Innovation and Excellence in RF & Microwave”
  37. Griff Specialty Paper and Film: “Materials that Create Solutions”
  38. Hitachi: “Inspire the Next”
  39. Hewlett-Packard: “Invent”
  40. Honeywell: “We are Honeywell”
  41. IBM: “We Make IT Happen”
  42. IDT: “Powering What’s Next”
  43. IFI: “The Power of Choice”
  44. I.F. Engineering Corp: “Your challenge is our progress”
  45. Infineon: “Keep on Thinking”
  46. Intel: “Intel Inside”
  47. Intersil: “Technology at the Speed of Life”
  48. ITT: “Engineered for Life”
  49. JRC: “You Don’t Need Wires to Communicate”
  50. Keithley: “A Greater Measure of Confidence”
  51. Kodak: “A Virtual World of Live Pictures”
  52. Linksys: “At Linksys – We are making connectivity easier”
  53. Linx Technologies: “Wireless Made Simple”
  54. Lockheed Martin: “We Never Forget Who We’re Working For”
  55. MegaPhase: “Our Customers Connect With Us™”
  56. Micrel: “The Infinite Bandwidth Company”
  57. Micron: “The Future of Memory”
  58. Mitsubishi Semiconductor: “Changes for the Better”
  59. Motorola: “Digital DNA”  “Hello. Moto”
  60. muRata: “Innovator in Electronics”
  61. mWAVE Industries, LLC: “Your Partner In Antenna Technology”
  62. National Semiconductor: “The Sight & Sound of Information”
  63. NEC Corporation: “Empowered by Innovation”
  64. Nokia: “Connecting People”
  65. Nortel Networks: “Business Without Boundaries”
  66. Orbital Sciences Corporation: “The Leader in Small Space and Rocket Systems”
  67. Panasonic: “Ideas for Life”
  68. Philips: “Sense and Simplicity”
  69. PMC-Sierra: “Accelerating The Broadband Revolution”
  70. Pragma: “Operate at Your Optimum”
  71. Progressive: “Now that’s Progressive”
  72. RCAT Systems: “You push the limits. We measure it.”
  73. RF Bites: “Helping RF Designers one Bite at a time”
  74. RF Cafe: A Disruptive Web Presence” “Your Onramp to the Information Superhighway”
  75. Rohde & Schwarz: “Pushing Limits”
  76. Thor Labs: “Photonics in the Fast Lane”
  77. Samsung Electronics: “Imagine”
  78. Searchen Networks: “Serious About Search”
  79. ST Microelectronics: “More Intelligence Solutions”
  80. Sun Microsystems: “The Network Is The Computer”
  81. Texas Instruments: “The World Leader in DSP and Analog” “Technology for Innovators”
  82. Unisys: “We Make It Happen”
  83. United Technologies Corporation: “This Is Momentum”
  84. Verizon Wireless: “Can You Hear Me Now? Good.”
  85. vidaRF: “Simple Solutions for Complex Connections”
  86. Vodafone: “How Are You?”
  87. Xilinx: “The Programmable Logic Company”
  88. XMA Corporation: “When Performance Matters”

 

Categories: Internet & Tech Tags:

Internet Marketing Related Events for 2013

January 29th, 2013 No comments

I wanted to add a post which I can update from time to time with some of the most interesting and beneficial events which will take place this year in 2013.

These events are all happening in the United States and will offer an opportunity to learn, network and grow your online business.

I will try to add to this list over time or as I find out about additional events or any date changes.

Categories: Internet & Tech Tags:

Doing SEO to Your Site? Inquiring Minds at Google Want to Know

August 22nd, 2012 No comments

Out of all the posts and discussions on “SEO Profiling” through the years and with all sorts of opinions as well as speculation on what Google possibly wants or doesn’t want to know about someone’s SEO efforts, I believe there are finally some answers available for the taking as GOOG’s latest patent is sure to clear the air on some or all of these theories and misconceptions from both sides of the fence.

A new Patent Application dated August 14, 2012 called “Ranking documents” Number 8,244,722 filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office has popped up on the radar of Google Enthusiasts like myself. Keeping in mind that in my opinion, I feel it is possible that performing positive changes to a web site through normal search optimization practices could be categorized incorrectly as a Spammer. As a case in point, in the event Google isn’t sure about the genuine purpose of changes, a document is categorized not as spam, but as “suspicious”. “These changes may be the result of legitimate modifications or rank-modifying spamming.”

Below are a few amazing but quick take away items from the latest patent application

1)      The idea that Google tries to decipher whether or not someone is actively performing Search Engine Optimization to a page is now accurate and documented. Google calls this “Rank-modifying spamming techniques”. “The systems and methods may also observe spammers’ reactions to rank changes caused by the rank transition function to identify documents that are actively being manipulated. Unexpected results are bound to elicit a response from a spammer, particularly if their client is upset with the results. In response to negative results, the spammer may remove the changes and, thereby render the long-term impact on the document’s rank zero. This assists in the identification of rank-modifying spammers.

2)      The idea that Google pulls out a pieces of the algorithm puzzle here and there so things don’t make clear sense is now accurate and documented. I used to call this “Pulling out a piece of the puzzle”. Now it’s better defined by Google as: “Creating an unexpected result” or “Injecting Noise”. “The rank transition function provides confusing indications of the impact on rank in response to rank-modifying spamming activities”. For example, the initial response to the spammer’s changes may cause the document’s rank to be negatively influenced rather than positively influenced. Additionally, it may take an unknown (possibly variable) amount of time to see positive (or expected) results in response to the spammer’s changes. In response to delayed results, the spammer may perform additional changes in an attempt to positively (or more positively) influence the document’s rank. In either event, these further spammer-initiated changes may assist in identifying signs of rank-modifying spamming.

3)      The idea that despite site improvements things could get worse before they get better is also now accurate and documented. Google calls this : “time-delayed-response” “The rank of a document may initially decrease in response to a positive change in its link-based information. After a period of time, the document’s rank might rise to its new steady state (target) value. In other words, the document’s rank may decrease for a period of approximately 20 days before settling in on its new steady state (target) value in approximately 70 days after a positive change in its link-based information. This noise might cause random, variable, and/or undesirable changes in the document’s rank in an attempt to get the spammer to take corrective action. This corrective action may assist in identifying the document as being subjected to rank-modifying spamming. If the document is determined to be subjected to rank-modifying spamming, then the document, site, domain, and/or contributing links may be designated as spam. This spam can either be investigated, ignored, or used as contra-indications of quality (e.g., to degrade the rank of the spam or make the rank of the spam negative).”

The term “Rank-Modifying Spamming is defined by various techniques such as:

  • Keyword stuffing
  • Invisible text
  • Tiny text
  • Page redirects
  • META tags stuffing
  • Link-based manipulation

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&d=PALL&S1=08244722&OS=PN/08244722&RS=PN/08244722

Cybersecurity Legislation Fails: Persistence is Key; Ignorance is Bliss

August 11th, 2012 No comments

Most people are familiar with the news that surrounded the major FBI raid on file-sharing site Megaupload. This was probably one of the biggest take-down stories of the year as the site had over one hundred and eighty million (180,000,000) registered members that visited over fifty million (50,000,000) times per day before it was shut down on January 19 2012.

The sites founder, dubbed a file-sharing kingpin, Kim Dotcom, was indicted and charged with criminal copyright fraud and racketeering by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The case against Dotcom, a resident of New Zealand, has been the subject of significant controversy over its legality and could even be dismissed entirely as Megaupload, a Hong Kong corporation, had no physical presence in the United States. Defense attorneys claim that as such, it should be subject only to its laws of jurisdiction.

Footage of the actual raid taken by helicopter has been released by New Zealand news agency 3News and is below. The video details the seriousness and aggressive action taken by authorities in apprehending DotCom as well as statements from the court hearings, Kim Dotcom’s deposition along with that of one of the police officers who was on the scene.

In retaliation of the raid, arrest and destruction of the service, Anonymous Hackers posted a message where the group claimed responsibility for attacking numerous web sites including the DOJ, Universal Music, MPAA, RIAA and others. Anonymous doesn’t seem to be finished with their fight either. The torrent site Demonoid was shut down last week by authorities, and the hacker organization wants to take revenge on those responsible in that incident as well. The organization launched serious Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks against several websites operated on behalf of the Ukrainian government. Anonymous has vowed to revive Demonoid, in an effort codenamed #OpDemonoid by asking members to host limitless mirror sites around the web.

With the amount of serious security problems so far this year, many organizations haven’t caught up with technology yet; even security firms themselves have been hacked and made examples of. February’s leaked phone conversation between the FBI and Scotland Yard also became
widely read news
and serves as an additional case-in-point.

Unfortunately, these issues create difficult situations when policymakers (individuals in power who often misunderstand technology), try to fix things by scrambling to pass new quickly thrown-together laws, in what is mostly a genuine effort to protect consumers. This is what happened with both the SOPA and PIPA debacles where legislation was quickly crafted only to be struck down when major forces from the Internet community like Google and Facebook wouldn’t openly support them as they failed to protect fundamental principles which keep the Internet free, fair and open; SOPA and PIPA both failed to attract the support needed for passage. Most recently, on August 2, 2012 Congress failed again to reach a consensus on the “Cybersecurity Act of 2012”, which the administration called “a profound disappointment.”

However, support for other evolving laws seems likely as there will be no shortage of hacks and no shortage of media attention to occurrences of them until something which gives more control to ISP’s and authorities is finally passed. For instance, “cyber weapons” are becoming a very hot topic. A search for Flame (Malware identified in May 2012) Stuxnet (Computer worm discovered in June 2010) Gauss (Malware discovered on August 2012) and Duqu (Computer worm discovered in September 2011) will return thousands upon thousands of results. Controversy and buzz is heating up over these issues in the mainstream media. Even general news focused outlets are starting to carry these stories as such reports are no longer confined to technology related media. No matter how many times legislation is killed, it will keep coming back. The only difference will be that threats will get louder and louder until enough support is obtained. Persistence is key.

But Is It All for Good Reason??

Some say, yes, it is. A computer worm called Ramnit (first detected in 2010), was developed specifically to infect Microsoft Windows computers and steal your log-in credentials. Security researchers from the Seculert group, an Israeli security company, found a botnet command-and-control server that apparently had 45,000 individual sets of Facebook credentials. In July they had said on their blog that “Up to now Seculert has identified more than 70,000 Facebook users that are infected with the Facebook worm”. Over 800,000 Windows PCs were estimated to be effected with some form of Ramnit between September and December 2011.

With the recent demise of legislation time and time again, the majority of security breaches don’t have powerful enough political ramifications, however, as there has been no shortage of news on these incidents this year. Hackers struck Zappos.com in January, and collected information on not thousands, but millions of customers, as much as 24 million. The organization saw email addresses, billing and shipping addresses, phone numbers and the last four digits from credit cards swiped, but said entire credit card numbers were not obtained. Naturally, the popular shopping site automatically updated customers passwords and warned that similar passwords across the web shouldn’t be shared from site to site.

In February, a hacker group called Swagg Security broke into Foxconn’s servers. Located in Taiwan, Foxconn manufactures hardware for Apple, Dell, Microsoft, Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, Samsung, Sony, IBM, Nokia, Panasonic, Motorola and others. Swagg  posted log-in credentials that would permit individuals to place fraudulent orders under the names of well-known technology companies. This was said to be in response to the media outrage over the reportedly horrific working conditions at Foxconn but the hacking group denied that in a somewhat unusual looking post. Swagg Security also went after Warner Bros for what they called “its ignorance” of security vulnerabilities.

Also in February, The University of Florida announced that there were over 700 Social Security numbers improperly stored on a state website server. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte released a statement with proactive measures after they had discovered that approximately 350,000 social security numbers were included among a data breach that left files containing sensitive data “stored in a manner that left them open to the Internet” between 1997 and February 2012.

The above examples are just a few of this year’s security nightmares – there are plenty more as vulnerabilities and breaches are speeding up and becoming even more common and frequent with attacks now aimed at multiple browsers. For years, Microsoft Internet Explorer was the most used browser in the world claiming a peak usage of about 95% of the browser market share during 2002 and 2003. This resulted in the majority of viruses and phishing attempts to be targeted at Internet Explorer users alone. As of lately, new and even more sinister financial scammers are targeting users of all browsers including Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and others leaving no browser immune. In the past, avoiding trouble meant not using IE, having Norton Internet Security, McAfee Anti-Virus or installing other firewalls and virus protection software but today’s hackers are developing clever ways not only to get hold of your computer, but to avoid detection once inside.

Regardless of what responses these attacks cause, one thing is for sure; the best way to stop being a victim of cybercrime is by securing your individual machine as best you can and to follow available announcements of data breaches as they become available. Users can do a lot to plug up their own security holes by knowing what to look for and staying informed. While most are powerless to some extent, you can at least try to take precautions. By keeping yourself in-the-loop of what’s out there, you can help prevent those who are trying to get access to you or your bank account from getting the best of you, and your money.

Two Different Google Penguin “Death Messages” from Webmaster Tools

July 30th, 2012 No comments

Who knew a Penguin could be so deadly?

Losing your traffic and search positioning on Google is bad, real bad. Showing up on Bing or Yahoo near the top of search is just sort of cool, but it doesn’t really make much difference to your business. Sure it might make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside seeing you up at the top there, but even competitive terms, year over year, don’t seem to yield much traffic.

Google, on the other hand, makes or breaks your business, regardless of what type of business or service you provide. With good Google rankings, comes lots of traffic, and when you have lots of traffic, you have a business, so you don’t want to see what’s below, but chances are, that is, if you’ve found this post in search, you have already been cursed by the Google Penguin. The following messages are received from Webmaster Tools just before you are about to go out of business from reduced rankings on Google.com – They both indicate that Death is right around the corner, but there are different levels of death and disaster which strike.

Here is the first type of Google Penguin message you’ll receive:

Subject: Google Webmaster Tools notice of detected unnatural links to http://www.yoursiteaddress.com
From: wmt-noreply@google.com

Dear site owner or webmaster of www.yoursiteaddress.com,We’ve detected that some of your site’s pages may be using techniques that are outside Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links pointing to your site that could be intended to manipulate PageRank. Examples of unnatural linking could include buying links to pass PageRank or participating in link schemes. We encourage you to make changes to your site so that it meets our quality guidelines. Once you’ve made these changes, please submit your site for reconsideration in Google’s search results. If you find unnatural links to your site that you are unable to control or remove, please provide the details in your reconsideration request. If you have any questions about how to resolve this issue, please see our Webmaster Help Forum for support. Sincerely, Google Search Quality Team


Google Penguin DeathTranslation: You’re finished; you’ve probably already begun to suffer in search, it’s just going to take a few days to a week before we (Google) completely kill you. We’re going to tank your sites rankings because we’re pretty darn confident you’re buying links. Now, we’re not absolutely certain, but it’s looking really bad, so we’ll first convict you as judge, jury and executioner, and if you’ve got anything to say about it, we’ll allow you to plead your case. It will be a slow but consistent decline until you have little to no traffic left and die. Thanks, Google.


Here is the second type of Google Penguin message you’ll receive:

Subject: http://www.yoursiteaddress.com: Unnatural inbound links
From: wmt-noreply@google.com

We’ve detected that some of the links pointing to your site are using techniques outside Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. We don’t want to put any trust in links that are artificial or unnatural. We recommend removing any unnatural links to your site. However, we do realize that some links are outside of your control. As a result, for this specific incident we are taking very targeted action on the unnatural links instead of your site as a whole. If you are able to remove any of the links, please submit a reconsideration request, including the actions that you took. If you have any questions, please visit our Webmaster Help Forum.


Google Penguin Death WarningTranslation: We’re (Google) not too sure at all what is going on here, but there are some links pointing at your site that we just do not like to see. I mean, we don’t know if you know about these links or not, but we’re going to penalize these links that are pointing to you and penalize the single page that these links point to, but we have no idea who’s behind these link efforts and even we feel sort of guilty (believe it or not) in taking action based on our findings, so what we’re going to do here is, we’re just going to tank the rankings that these particular links are giving to the specific target page it points to; but do take notice: We are watching you – very carefully – and if you’re buying links, we’re going to find out and catch you, then, it will be a slow but consistent decline until you have little to no traffic left and die. Thanks, Google.


To Googlers: This is kind of, sort of, a joke; so don’t kill me for it, just chuckle. I like Google Penguin, I do. It will clean up the Internet by getting everyone to clean it up collectively. A necessary evil so to speak.

I agree with Michelle MacPhearson below from www.fromideatoempire.com. She does an excellent job at explaining Penguin in a honest, simple to understand and informative way.

UPDATE 8/7/2012: There has been an update related to this topic. See what Matt Cutts has to say about the differences in these particular messages.

Search Market Share: Rivals Struggle as Google’s Shadow Grows Bigger

July 23rd, 2012 No comments

Newly released figures from comScore, an Internet analytics firm, show Google’s dominant position to be a granite boulder against which weaker competitors can only grind futilely. Despite vigorous attempts by Microsoft, Yahoo and others to whittle away at the commanding share of Web visitors held by Google, the search king expanded its slice of the pie to 66.8 percent in June 2012, a significant rise from 65.5 percent in June of the previous year. Yahoo’s share slid to 13 percent, a full 2.9 percentage points down from June 2011, while Microsoft’s Bing picked up 1.2 percentage points to end at 15.6 percent.

The jump to a high-water mark for Bing comes after 25 consecutive monthly increases. Microsoft, which has locked horns with Google in multiple technology markets, also powers Yahoo’s search engine in a partnership with the smaller company. Combined share for both companies stands at 28.6 percent, a drop of 1.7 percentage points in a year.

Google’s muscular presence gives it considerable leverage in negotiating lucrative deals with marketers, many of whom are willing to pay top dollar for targeted advertising meant to draw the attention of especially profitable customers. However, a downside to rampaging across the Web is unwelcome attention from regulators, who see Google’s virtual kingdom as potentially anti-competitive. The Federal Trade Commission is currently investigating claims that the Internet powerhouse has been abusing its position to shove aside smaller firms in favor of Google’s own offerings.

Google Market Share Report: Weaker Rivals Struggle as Shadow Grows Bigger

Despite vigorous attempts by Microsoft, Yahoo and others to whittle away at the commanding share of visitors held by Google, the search king expanded its slice of the pie to 66.8 percent.

Over the last couple of years, Microsoft has poured considerable resources into the Bing search engine in its fight to wrest market share away from Google and weaken a feared rival. After starting out strongly with an 8.4-percent share two years ago, Bing has steadily improved its presence at the expense of former search-engine leader Yahoo, also-ran Ask Jeeves and fading giant AOL. Yahoo’s fortunes have slipped steadily for the past ten months with the latest figures representing the lowest market share ever for the once vaunted Internet property.

In spite of creeping up in the rankings, Bing has been a disappointing battlefield for Microsoft. The software colossus’ online-services division has bled money since venturing into the shark-infested waters of search-engine advertising, losing a staggering $10.4 billion over five years. Company officials declared early in July that Microsoft would write off $6.2 billion on its Internet business activities. A near-total abandonment of the goodwill value of a $6.3 billion acquisition of aQuantive, an online-advertising services provider, accounted for almost all of the noncash bookkeeping charge.

Notwithstanding optimistic predictions by Kevin Johnson, former president of Microsoft services, the 2007 purchase of aQuantive fell far short of boosting the company into the first ranks of Web advertising providers. Microsoft had gambled heavily by paying an 85-percent premium for aQuantive’s stock after seeing other prospects snatched up by eager competitors.

In addition, Microsoft and Yahoo recently said in separate statements that their advertising partnership, launched early in 2010, had not proven as effective as expected. The joint effort was meant to unify disparate marketing efforts, increasing the attraction of a single advertising space to potential customers. Many industry analysts believe long-term profitability depends on capturing at least 25 percent to 30 percent of the search market, leaving Bing lagging badly in its quest for independent market viability.

In what appears to be an effort to “stop the bleeding”, hopefully overshadowing these latest figures, Yahoo announced last week that it had appointed 13 year Google veteran Marissa Mayer as Chief Executive Offer of Yahoo. Mayer, now 37 years old, was Google’s 20th employee. During her years at Google, Marissa has held numerous positions, including engineer, designer, product manager, and executive, and has launched over 100 well-known features and products and played an instrumental role in Google search, leading the product management efforts for more than 10 years, a period during which Google Search grew from a few hundred thousand to well over a billion searches per day. Marissa led the development of some of Google’s most successful services including image, book and product search, toolbar, and iGoogle, and defined such pivotal products as Google News and Gmail. She is listed as an inventor on several patents in artificial intelligence and interface design. This indeed is big news for Yahoo and there has been a flurry of speculation on what Mayer’s first order of business will be as CEO. Yahoo Shares rose shortly after the announcement.

As far as Microsoft and Bing is concerned, for now they’ve brought in popular PR professional Mark Penn who packed the massive punch behind Hillary Clinton’s, strong, yet unsuccessful presidential campaign back in 2008.

According to the Wall Street journal, Penn, who will report directly to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, has said in an interview that he will be assembling what he calls a “SWAT team” to work on strategy around consumer projects with his “initial priority” focused closely on Bing.

Google Webmaster Tools Now Offers Email Alerts for Crawl Errors

July 16th, 2012 No comments

Google Webmaster Tools has been fairly popular for some time but it’s popularity is beginning to grow even more quickly. Much of this new found fame is due to the messages being received by a wide range of webmasters (over 700,000 recently), primarily from, or what seems to be from, the changes rolled out in Google’s Penguin update. Equally significant is the significant buzz and publicity surrounding the fact that receiving these messages is generally bad news for your site – so that’s prompted many webmasters as well as general site owners to be concerned about what these messages mean.

Crawl errors and other server malfunctions can be a major problem as having them last too long could result in Google not visiting and indexing your pages. Many times, webmasters don’t even realize when these problems are occurring or just don’t catch them quickly enough and loose rankings for pages which fail to remain indexed since Google can’t access, read or inspect them any longer. They’re also red flags to problems within your hosting environment or programmed pages. With more and more CMS ‘content management systems’ in use, programming errors are becoming much more frequent and problematic as well as instances where hackers are able to “break in”, not to mention the misuse of servers from those looking to control email servers for spam though php injections, to host malware on your pages and go unnoticed, and/or take over for other forms of server and web site misuse.

Search engine crawlers are, for the most part, silent and rarely require much monitoring as far as how much they’re crawling your site, if, when, and how often (unless your sites’ huge with millions and millions of pages). General users  who regularly post on forums might occasionally see Google, Yahoo and Bing bots as logged in users on the forum, but otherwise, especially to the laymen, crawlers and bots don’t stick out too much. Developers see them often in their web logs or stats (server statistics) but usually don’t know or realize if there is any problem with a search engines visit or how they’re indexing your site. Webmasters see them come and go, but other than that, don’t have much more of a chance to view or examine the actual crawl results – unless either their site is operating really slow or pages aren’t getting indexed long after they’ve being published.

It is important to note that certain server configurations can prevent Googlebot and other search engines from making connections or accessing a “robots.txt” file (a file search engines check for permission to crawl). Naturally, Google also considers downed or overloaded sites to be experiencing problems or unreliable – a characteristic you don’t want to be labeled with if you’re looking for success in search engines. Pages which have been deleted or removed, possibly by accident, or are found through broken links cause 404 errors (the response which means the “Page is Not Found”).  These are the sorts of connectivity errors that just about everyone who runs a website experiences at some time or another, but since the goal of search engine optimization is to achieve high rankings, those focused on SEO want to be sure that their sites are easily accessible to search engines – at all times. If they aren’t, all other efforts could be useless. So with this new feature, any of these server errors would prompt a report in Webmaster Tools which could be emailed to the account holder, or anyone the account holder designates. This way webmasters can not only see and address major site-wide problems, but receive alerts for things Google finds at the time Google finds them.

Websites which have broken pages, begin to run slower than Googlebot can crawl effectively, or redirect to broken pages or errors through poorly configured servers can find them themselves suffering in search, sometimes pretty severely. Although Google likes to give pages the benefit of the doubt before DE indexing material, pages which no longer appear will eventually be deleted from their results pages. This is a particularly serious problem, especially if your site is being hacked or broken into, site owners need to know right away that trouble is brewing on their server or they could wind up with the kiss of death: one of those “This site may harm your computer” messages. You want to see your traffic take a nose dive? Get one of those messages next to your link in Google and watch what happens to your traffic.

As far as simple crawl errors, they have nothing to do with the Google, the individual web sites cause them. Crawl errors simply mean that Google’s crawler isn’t able to visit particular pages because of problems with the servers request for pages that are hosted on a web site. The search engine is powerless to correct other people’s problems on their server. However, when webmasters receive these alerts they at least have the opportunity to correct them. The first step to fixing a problem is realizing the problem exists.

Google offered these alerts and messages for some time, but what’s new is that Google will now email them to the Webmaster Tools account holder or even a contact specified within Webmaster Tools like a developer or dedicated consultant. That’s the new part; although they offered the alerts in the past, many webmasters tend to not check the system often, which means an alert can sit for weeks or months at a time before anyone sees it.

Below if a video from Matt Cutts of Google from when they first released Webmaster Tools describing new features Google is offering to users and webmasters to check robots.txt files, discover crawl errors that Googlebot finds, and see other problems.

Google knows and understands that this doesn’t serve its purpose and that by the time an error is noticed it could very well be due to a sites traffic falling off a cliff from an undiscovered problem that went too long, so communication continues to be something Google moves to improve as they obviously feel more and more responsible for what users find on the web. Either that or they continue to work towards getting as many users to use their tools as possible, because the more you use, the more they know – like Google Analytics. I bet it’s nice for Google to know about the traffic they’re sending you. I bet it’s even nicer to know about the traffic they don’t send you.

To make sure you have email set up for your Webmaster Tools account (if you want them) visit:  https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/preferences?hl=en