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Posts Tagged ‘copyright’

Are Traffic Spikes Worth Chasing?

Crash GraphYesterday, 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

Categories: Blogging Sense
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5 Lessons from the Recent WordPress Attack

WordPress LogoEarlier 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

Categories: Blogging Sense, WordPress Tips
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4 Reasons Every Blogger Needs to Know U.S. Law

American Flag ImageThe Internet is a truly international creation, reaching every (or nearly every) country on the planet.

However, with that broad reach comes some very difficult legal questions. Each of those countries have their own set of laws that govern many of the legal issues on the Web including copyright, defamation, contract law, privacy and trademark and so forth.

These countries, historically, have had a great deal of autonomy to set those laws and enforce them as they see fit. However, online, legal problems routinely involve multiple nations. For example, a person in Australia can use a site hosted in Canada to infringe the copyright of someone in Germany.

This is a big part of why it’s important to not just be aware of your nation’s laws, but of other nations as well (within reason). Unfortunately though, it’s completely impractical for someone to learn even the basics of all the relevant legal areas on every country, much less keep up with the changes.

But there is one country that every blogger should study the laws of: The United States.

The reason isn’t a misguided sense of national pride or importance, but because of the practical realities of the Web. Whether you like it or not, your site’s activities are governed in large part by U.S. law and, even if you’re not a citizen or have never even visited the country, it’s laws can come back to bite you.

On that note, here are just four reasons why U.S. law is important to all bloggers, regardless of where they are located. Read More

Categories: Blogging Sense
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Blogging Pitfalls: What You Need in Your Site’s Footer

Image of Feet

When it comes to blog design, most put the lion’s share of their effort on the area that “above the fold” or what appears on the screen before the user has done any scrolling.

This makes a lot of sense because this is the first thing that visitors see and, as we have discussed before, you can’t ignore blog design as these first impressions can literally make or break your blog.

But what about the content at the other end of your blog? While it might not be the first thing that people read or even something your casual visitor will observe at all, it still has a series of critical functions for your site and ignoring it outright simply is not an option.

Most importantly though, it is the first place at least some of your visitors will look for key information and, if they do, you need to make sure you have what they’re looking for there. Otherwise, there could be legal or other related issues to not having your information available.

In short, you can’t afford to ignore your site’s footer. It’s an important part of your site and one you need to craft carefully both to maximize its usefulness and to avoid any unnecessary trouble.

Read More

Categories: Blog Design
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Blogging Pitfalls: Why You Can’t Ignore Copyright Licensing

What terms someone can use your content? Can they post your articles on their blog? What if the blog is commercial? What if they don’t give attribution? Can they share it on Facebook? What about printing out copies to give to friends?

If you don’t have a clear, ready answer for these questions, your visitors won’t either and that, in turn, means they will make mistakes. Whether they are taking liberties with your content you don’t approve of or avoiding sharing content in ways you do want, they will make mistakes with your content and hurt its chances of being used properly.

As such, you need to quickly and easily convey to your readers what your rules are regarding your content if you ever hope for them to be followed.

Unfortunately, most bloggers don’t think about content licensing and the issue doesn’t come up until they find their work on a spam site or plagiarized on another blog. By that time, however, it’s often too late as the situation is likely already out of hand.

This makes now, before there is a problem, the time to think about content licensing as tomorrow may simply be too late.

Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips, Marketing
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Blogging Pitfalls: Avoiding Duplicate Content Purgatory

Copy ButtonWhen you hit “publish” on a new post, how many copies of that post exist on your site? How about on the Web?

The truth is that there is no way to know exactly how many copies of your post you create because every theme and every site are different in this area. However, depending on your setup, you can create more than a dozen copies of the work on your site and that can create a serious headache both for yourself and for the search engines.

Duplicate content may not be the extreme danger it once was but it is a lurking problem for bloggers and other webmasters alike. However, it isn’t a simple one to stop, especially considering that the issue isn’t limited to what is going on with your site but can be amplified by the actions of others sites, including those you don’t control.

It’s worth taking a moment, if you haven’t already, to understand duplicate content, how it works and, most importantly, how to avoid it. Read More

Categories: Blogging Tips
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