Archive for the ‘Blogging Sense’ Category
Over the past year or so, Google has been clamping down on what it considers bad links and bad linking practices. This includes a wide variety of link building activities that Google considers unnatural. This includes some forms of article marketing, comment spamming, etc.
This has led to a large number of webmasters, including many who didn’t feel they were doing anything wrong, to take severe penalties in Google that hurt their traffic and their bottom line. Many webmasters first learn about these penalties from Google Webmaster Tools and its alerts, while others simply see a drop in traffic and go hunting for an explanation.
But regardless of how it is discovered, once a webmaster learns that they’ve been hit, there’s usually a sense of panic and a rather large mess to clean up. Most of the sites bit by Google penalties have hundreds, if not thousands of questionable links. Removing them to get back into Google’s good graces can be a daunting challenge.
However, it’s not just a challenge and a problem for the people who have their site hit by the penalties, it’s also a problem for the sites where those links appear. Those include many legitimate sites who either were the victims of comment spam or hosted guest posts unaware that the author was engaging in dubious behavior.
Many of those webmasters, myself included, have been getting an increasingly large number of link removal requests and are wondering what to do about them.
Unfortunately, the answer isn’t 100% clear and it depends heavily on you, your site and the situation that you’re in. Read More
Blog scraping can be defined by the act of copying content from one blog and passing it off as your own. What truly defines scraping is copying the content exactly. As long as you are using your own words to detail facts, the act frees you from copyright infringement. This is aside from the fact that search engines such as Google are working diligently to remove “scraped” content from appearing high in search rankings. What labels one as a blog scraper?
For many bloggers, the desire to become a professional is driven out of a desire to work for oneself. to be in command of one’s own life and be self-employed.
On the surface, it sounds like the dream job. The commute is just a hop across the hall, you can set your own hours, work when you please and do something that you’re passionate about for a living. What could be better?
Well, as someone who has been living that reality for the past five years or so, I can safely say that working for myself is the best job that I’ve had and that all of those things are true.
However, it’s also a job that has trade offs. While the commute and flexibility are both great, there are definitely things about it that aren’t so great. In addition to the pitfalls that you should definitely strive to avoid, there are a few things about it that, quite frankly, stink and there isn’t much that you can do about it.
With that in mind, here are five reasons why working for yourself can be great, but it certainly isn’t perfect. Read More
Face image from Shutterstock
If you’re looking to attract and keep an audience on your blog, you’re going to need to post consistently. That’s not just in how often you post, though you should come up with a cadence that works around your schedule. The other half of this equation though is what voice and value you bring to readers. After you pick a subject matter to cover — food, finance, biology, etc. — determine in which style you will write. Pick one that makes you comfortable and casual and will elevate the conversation.
I’ve written for many different sites and through all kinds of voices. I’ve read thousands of other posts, too. These are the five styles that stand out as the most viable and most compelling blog voice options to choose from: Read More
Yesterday, I pulled up the site statistics for my main site and noticed that they were through the roof.
It was as if someone had just flipped a switch and ratcheted up my site’s traffic by about 4x. That traffic spike stayed with me through the entire night and through most of the day Monday.
Strangely though, it didn’t seem to be coming from anywhere. There was no referring site, no search engine query that I was scoring well on and no obvious cause for it. Even after a fairly lengthy investigation, I had no clue where the traffic was coming from.
It was so strange, that I even considered the possibility it could be a stat reporting error or a problem with my site. Neither checked out though as my content delivery network was reporting more traffic than usual and a live look at the traffic showed an organic patten for each visit/pageview.
To make matters more confusing, as soon as it began, it ended. About 5PM local time it was if the spigot was turned off and traffic immediately fell to normal levels.
What happened? I have no idea. But the incident got me thinking about traffic spikes to my site and the impact they’ve had.
This wasn’t the first or the largest traffic spike I’ve had, even over the past month. But over the years I’ve been running my site, I’ve noticed something, that while I’m always happy people are taking an interest in my work, with most spikes, there is little, if any, long-term effect.
So is it worth going after the big score when it comes to traffic? I’m a bit more dubious than I was almost eight years ago when I started, at least when it comes to me and my site. Read More
Successful marketing largely hinges on how well you understand your customer. Being able to anticipate their needs and wants and how well you can communicate your message across to them without alienating them are factors that contribute to effective marketing, and ultimately, a successful business.
The best way you can anticipate your customers’ needs is by reading their minds, but while there’s no technology yet that can grant you telepathic powers, there’s a tool that, when used properly, can offer you the same results – web analytics. Read More
Every month as Webmasters we ask ourselves what we can do to get more traffic and success with our SEO efforts. Because things seem to change so much in SEO we are forced to constantly change, innovate, and adapt. You could make an argument that this is what makes SEO so enjoyable. It’s challenging and new challenges are always arising. Read More
Yesterday, Twitter shut down Tweetdeck for the iPhone and Android and, at the same time, ended support for Facebook in the app, ending its ability to read and post to user Facebook accounts (Note: As of this writing, my Facebook columns are still working on Tweetdeck).
However, this wasn’t the first time Tweetdeck made a major change that sent users scrambling for alternatives. In December of 2011, months after its purchase of the app, Twitter recoded the application entirely, renaming it “Tweetdeck by Twitter”, and stripped out many of the apps most popular features, including LinkedIn and Foursquare support.
Though the app was able to battle back some and win over some of the people who left it, there are many, even today, who still pine for the original Tweetdeck over any other version.
But this isn’t the first time in recent memory that important Web applications have been shuttered or drastically changed. In March, Google announced that its popular Google Reader service would be shutting down July 1st and, in April, Posterous announced it was closing in a mere 30 days. Read More
Earlier this month, WordPress users across the world (as well as users on other platforms) fell victim to a massive brute-force attack on their sites.
The hack, or attempted hack, used a large botnet (a network of compromised computers doing the bidding of someone else) to repeatedly try and guess passwords on WordPress sites to gain administrative access to them. From there, the botnets would take over the sites and attempt to integrate them into a new bothnet, one made up of high-powered servers with better connections to the Web.
For most sites, the hacking attempt was pretty harmless. If you don’t use the original “admin” account and have a password that is easily guessed, you were most likely safe from the attack. Rather, the attack was an attempt to cast a broad net in hopes of finding the low-hanging fruit, sites that can be trivially broken into.
But while your site is probably fine as long as you took even the most basic precautions, there were still repercussions. The weight of thousands of attempts to login put a strain on many people’s servers, especially if the server had many different WordPress sites. This resulted in websites slowing to a crawl and even shutting down, including ones not directly affected.
But while the worst seems to have passed for now, there are still some lessons to be learned from it and it’s important to grasp them before the next wave hits.
Because if there’s one thing that’s for certain, there is another wave coming. Read More
Earlier this week, Ars Technica ran an article about CMA Communications, a rural ISP that, for a time at least, began to display banner ads on all websites a customer visited. This move angered customers, who already paid for their Internet access, but it also was earning the attention of webmasters who were having ads injected into their sites, often covering up existing ad spots.
Though CMA Communications appears to have abandoned the project, it brought site manipulation to the limelight in a major way. It was the first time an ISP, supposedly an impartial intermediary, was interfering with customers’ Internet traffic for the purpose of injecting ads.
But just because CMA has stopped doesn’t mean that your site gets to your visitors exactly the way you intend. Unwanted site manipulation has been a problem for webmasters for some time and it may get a lot worse.
Though most bloggers know to check their theme on multiple browsers and devices, all of that tweaking and fine-tuning may be for naught if intermediaries, either with or without user permission, alter your site and give them a different experience.
So what are your visitors actually seeing when they come to your site? The answer may be more complex than you may realize. Read More