Industry Buzz

How to Get Started With Social Media Marketing

Social Media Examiner -

Do you need a beginner’s guide to social media marketing? Looking for something to help you get started with social media? Social media is a conversation you can join any time. Join now. You’ll be welcomed. In this article I’ll help you blast through the hardest part of social media: getting started. Right here. Right [...]This post How to Get Started With Social Media Marketing first appeared on Social Media Examiner. Social Media Examiner - Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

5 Ways to Find Leads and Customers on Twitter

Social Media Examiner -

Do you need more leads? Have you used Twitter to find qualified leads? Does the idea of finding new customers on Twitter peak your curiosity? Many businesses don’t know how to cut through the clutter and find the people they’re looking for on Twitter. In this article you’ll discover five ways to find leads and [...]This post 5 Ways to Find Leads and Customers on Twitter first appeared on Social Media Examiner. Social Media Examiner - Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

Tweet on Sunday and 5 Other Science-based Tips to Get More Retweets

Post Planner -

Do you want more people to retweet you stuff on Twitter? We all do, right? My advice: look at the data! That’s why I turned to TrackMaven for this post — because they analyze hundreds of thousands of tweets to see which tweets get retweeted the most. And the findings are amazing! TrackMaven looks at: Best Day for Retweets Best Time for Retweets Best Use of Hashtags Images in Tweets “Retweet” or “RT” Exclamation points With a couple easy tweaks your tweets might see more engagement than ever. 6 Science-based Tips to Get More Retweets on Twitter 1. Best Day for Retweets Is tweeting during the week the best way to reach your followers on Twitter? Not according to TrackMaven. Surprisingly, Sunday sees the most retweets. >> Click to Tweet <<  2. Best Time for Retweets Many tweets are retweeted between 12pm and 3pm. But the most retweets occur in the evening. >> Click to Tweet << 3. Best Use of Hashtags Tweets with 5 hashtags are retweeted a lot more often than tweets with no hashtags. >> Click to Tweet << 4. Use Images Tweets with photos are the most likely to get retweeted — averaging about .4o retweets for every 1,000 followers. >> Click to Tweet << 5. “RT” or “Retweet”?  Asking someone to “retweet” your content is one of the best ways to get more engagement — but you have to spell out the word “retweet”. >> Click to Tweet << Those who ask fans to “retweet” see an average of almost two retweets per tweet per 1,000 followers. 6. Use Exclamation Points to Get More Retweets Similar to what the new Facebook stats show, using exclamation points can help you get more retweets! >> Click to Tweet << The more exclamation points — the better.  Key Findings Tweet on Sundays to get the most retweets Most retweets occur after 8pm Tweet images! Ask people to “retweet” by spelling out the word Use images in your tweets Use exclamation points in your tweets This TrackMaven stuff is always teaches me a lot about how to use Twitter for business. Here I learned that tweeting on Sunday & after 8pm can get me more retweets. And I love the stuff about the exclamation points. Have any of these findings helped you improve your social media metrics? The post Tweet on Sunday and 5 Other Science-based Tips to Get More Retweets appeared first on Post Planner.

#SmallBizSuccess spotlight: @LUXTan

The Twitter Small Business Blog -

Recently, we asked you to help us celebrate #SmallBizSuccess by sharing examples of your most creative and effective Twitter Ads campaigns. We received many impressive submissions; today we’re pleased to highlight one from LUXTan (@LUXTan). A high-end tanning salon in Dallas, @LUXTan offers services and premium amenities in a luxurious spa-like setting. The staff uses Promoted Tweets to drive awareness of its offerings and to reach new customers. In their Promoted Tweet campaign, LUXTan encouraged people to spread the word about its business through Retweets. Potential customers could then visit the salon and show their Retweets to a staff member to redeem a special offer. This strategy helped the salon determine how many new customers were referred by their Twitter campaigns. As customers bought services and memberships, the company was able to calculate a return on its Twitter Ads spend. During its Twitter Ads campaigns, @LUXTan saw a 5x return on spend. We spoke with the @LUXTan team about how they drove #SmallBizSucess on Twitter. Here are their three pieces of advice: Listen.The salon used Twitter to source real-time feedback about the types of offers and services that resonated most with their customers. They then used this intelligence to inform their product and Twitter content strategy.  @LUXTan I WANT TO TRY THIS SO BAD — Carla Perez (@CarlaPerezzzz) January 25, 2014 Find and engage with your audience.To reach an audience likely to be interested in their beauty and tanning services, LUXTan targeted people with interests similar to the followers of popular lifestyle and fitness brands like @equinox and @lululemon. They also used Twitter’s TV conversation targeting to join real-time conversations about live TV events like the Oscars and shows like “The Real Housewives,” during both of which beauty regimens were a frequent topic. We all know the real award of the evening: Best Dressed. Who is your pick? — LUX | a tanning spa (@LUXTan) March 3, 2014 Test and iterate.LUXTan created separate campaigns for each of the audiences they targeted, which helped them to craft Promoted Tweets tailored to each group and measure performance across campaigns. By monitoring engagement rates at both the campaign and individual Tweet level, the salon was able to identify which of its offers was most compelling to which segment.  Look poolside flawless with LUX. RT & show Tweet for a complimentary sunbed session, including Champagne, thru 4/19. — LUX | a tanning spa (@LUXTan) April 6, 2014 Stay tuned for more examples of #SmallBizSuccess, and please continue to share your own examples by tweeting to us @TwitterSmallBiz.

CoreOS Will Solve For What’s Next At Rackspace::Solve SF

The Rackspace Blog & Newsroom -

By Alex Polvi, CEO, CoreOS It is an honor to be a part of the Rackspace::Solve event happening in San Francisco next week, where I’ll present “Solving For What’s Next.” Rackspace acquired my first company, Cloudkick, in December of 2010. Once we got acquired, we helped set up the Rackspace San Francisco office, and I spent a lot of time thinking through product direction. During my time there, I developed great friendships and came across wonderful mentors. I can’t wait to celebrate Rackspace next week; have heated discussions about the current and future state of infrastructure; and visit the Rackspace San Francisco office for the after party to see how much the office has grown since I have left. After some time at Rackspace, I eventually got bit by the startup bug again, and here I am now with my second startup, CoreOS. Brandon Philips, my co-founder and I wanted to solve some of the hardest problems in infrastructure. We started by asking ourselves what we could do to help improve the security of the internet. We still continue that mission, but have stumbled into something much larger: warehouse level computing. Today some of the companies we rely on being up every day and every hour, like Facebook or Twitter, use principles of warehouse scale computing in their own environments. We wanted to figure out how to deliver these methods of server management to all companies, and we are well on our way. CoreOS does this by providing a set of composable tools for building your own warehouse scale machine. We use containers to run applications; etcd to help with service discovery; and fleet to help with cluster management. If you want to try us out on Rackspace, follow our documentation here to get CoreOS working. We also work on Rackspace OnMetal so you can move from the cloud to bare metal easily on CoreOS. CoreOS is open source software, and we invite you to get involved. We’ll see you at Rackspace::Solve! Want to hear more about how CoreOS solves for what’s next? Alex Polvi, CEO at CoreOS, will present at Rackspace::Solve San Francisco, a one-day summit where you’ll hear directly from companies like CoreOS about how they’re solving tough challenges for their customers and in their businesses. Rackspace::Solve San Francisco is Monday, July 28 at the St. Regis Hotel. Rackspace::Solve San Francisco is currently sold out, but stay tuned for details of upcoming Rackspace::Solve events in New York City and Chicago.

Mobile Fundamentals Reading List

The Rackspace Blog & Newsroom -

Mobile is more than a distraction; it’s becoming ubiquitous across industries ranging from smart grids that run on mobile technology to farms run on data from mobile sensors. Regardless of what business you’re in, mobile will touch the way you work and do business. We’ve also seen the growing impact of mobile and have written extensively on the topic. Here’s a list of our top mobile articles that dig into managing the mobile experience inside (infrastructure) and out (design): Mobile Ecommerce on the Hybrid Cloud: This just-released whitepaper breaks down the keys to mobile commerce, or m-commerce, success from an infrastructure perspective. Learn how keeping pace with mobile as the new point-of-sale device means making hard decisions about infrastructure to stay competitive. Embracing Mobile First Design: If you’re not thinking mobile first, you could wind up mobile last. This article offers a pathway for making mobile part of the initial project discussions instead of a last minute add-on. How mobile is bridging brick and mortar’s data gap: Big data is becoming a big headache for enterprise IT. Find out how mobile is helping to alleviate the pain. Tapping into Mobile Commerce: Retail has gone mobile but not all retailers are prepared for the shift. See what the potential market looks like and how you can get ahead of the curve. Moving Toward Responsive Design: Designing for mobile once required creating specific interfaces for each device. Get the basics on how responsive design lets you “design once, run anywhere.” Making Mobile Seamless: Mobile comes with a whole new set of UX and interface design rules that can make or break your app. Get seven strategies to guide building your ideal user experience into your next app. 3 Brands That are Driving the Future of Social-Mobile Shopping: These three brands struck gold by catering to consumers who were both heavy mobile users and social media savvy with innovative social-mobile shopping apps and campaigns. Need help figuring out how to build and maintain mobile-ready environments? Talk to the specialists at Rackspace Digital.

Better WordPress Security for Everyone

1&1 Online Success Center -

By John Zanni, Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President of Strategic Alliances, Service Providers, Parallels. WordPress has grown in popularity year over year and currently represents 22.7% of all websites online today. WordPress also commands over 60% of the content management system (CMS) market share and the demand for WordPress shows no signs of slowing down. (Google Trend: WordPress) To meet the growing demand for WordPress, an entire ecosystem has evolved to cater to the needs of WordPress users and WordPress administrators. You can easily find a wide variety of WordPress designers, developers, and digital agencies ready to customize a WordPress website for just about any occasion and any budget. Software developers who cater to the WordPress community are also building plugins that extend the functionality even more. There are now over 32,000 different plugins available for WordPress users, which have totaled more than 690 million downloads. ( These are certainly some impressive numbers, but unfortunately this increased level of popularity and demand for WordPress hosting has made WordPress an easy target for hackers and malicious users. Last year alone, one researcher reported that 73% of the top 40,000 WordPress websites were vulnerable because they were running an outdated version of WordPress. Old WordPress installations or plugins that are out of date are now becoming a haven for malware attacks because of their known vulnerabilities that can be exploited at any time. It’s getting ugly. ( If you are a WordPress administrator, you need to make sure your environment is secure and ready to handle the burden that WordPress places on your infrastructure. And if you are a WordPress user, you should always make sure that your keep your WordPress plugins and themes up-to-date; and only download and install plugins and themes from trusted sources. But don’t worry; if you are hosting WordPress on a server with Plesk 12 purchased through 1&1, we’ve got you covered. As of June 2014, all new 1&1 servers are now equipped with Parallels Plesk 12 which include the all new WordPress Toolkit and built-in server-to-site security delivered via the enhanced Security Core. The WordPress Toolkit was designed help everyone (from seasoned WordPress administrators to novice WordPress users) to easily manage and secure their WordPress installations. Using the new one-click hardening tool, a WordPress installation can be locked down preventing malicious users from executing easy exploits. The toolkit also includes a mass-update notification system that can identify if a WordPress installation, a theme, or any of the 32,000 plugins are out of date and needs to be upgraded. Simply use the new WordPress dashboard within Plesk to apply updates and upgrades as needed. In addition to the hardening features of the WordPress Toolkit, Plesk 12 also includes an enhanced security core that provides an additional layer of protection from a wide variety of threats against the server itself or any website running on the server. The security core consists of several components that work seamlessly together including; fail2ban with ModSecurity (on Linux only) and ServerShield by CloudFlare and Outbound Anti-spam (both on Linux and on Windows servers).You don’t have to be a security expert to take advantage of the new security features because they are built-in and easily to enable from the Plesk interface. All you have to do is turn them on. Parallels and 1&1 have teamed together to enhance your WordPress experience. And best of all, 1&1 included Plesk 12 in all server packages!

Choosing the perfect domain extension in three easy steps Blog -

You have unlimited choices when it comes to your domain name, thanks to all the New Domains coming into the fold. That’s great news if you’re looking for a memorable and intuitive domain name, but having so many choices can also prove overwhelming—nothing’s worse than knowing what you want and then being presented with every option in the world. We can help narrow your choices down in three easy steps that will make it possible to go from “Wha????” [brain explosion] to “Success!” So much decision. 1. Focus your branding. What traits do you consider most important when shaping your brand— whether that be a company brand, an individual brand or a non-profit brand? Do you pride yourself on being local? On being an industry leader? Do you pride your credibility? Or your responsiveness? These traits are reflected in the New Domain and traditional TLD options. There are basic categories of TLDs: culture, geographic, industry-specific, generic, brand and off-beat. (Search by category here). Knowing what niche you’d like to fit into can help narrow your search down. Example: Say you’re a local, medium-size shoe manufacturer based in New York City looking to register a domain. Although .NYC is an option, your store does most of its business online and prides itself mostly for custom shoes that are highly fashionable. You can cut out brand, culture, and geographic TLDs and look at traditional (.COM, .NET, .BIZ), industry-specific New TLDs in the retail and fashion sectors (.shop, .fashion, .style) and offbeat TLDs that create fun domain names (.GURU, .SPOT, .HOT). 2. Narrow down to a few options. Maybe choose them all. Okay, so a domain registrar telling you to register more than one domain might seem like a car salesman telling you to buy a station wagon for the weekdays and a sports car for Friday and Saturday, but we promise: A lot of businesses register more than one domain and use them for different purposes. So if you can’t seem to decide between three domain options and all are available, consider registering all of them. Some can redirect to your main page, and having a diverse domain portfolio allows you to market to different groups and cover the domains in your industry. Example (cont): Now that we’ve narrowed down our options for the shoe store to traditional, industry-specific and offbeat, we choose a couple TLDs in each category that appeal most. The store’s name, Ice Ice Shoes (okay, so it’s a terrible name) is available on .COM for $10.99 (not surprising, considering the quality of that brand name), so we want it. Then, we’d take an industry-specific New TLD, like .SHOP ( we add iceiceshoes.SHOP to our watchlist, since .SHOP is launching soon) and a fun and highly memorable domain that acts as a redirect, like .GURU—iceyshoe.GURU ($24.99). 3. Once you choose your options, do a little research. There are a lot more registries than there used to be, and since a lot of them are operating for the first time with the launch of their New TLD, it’s not a bad idea to check and see what type of user agreement they have in place, as well as consider the size of the market, the openness of the registration process and the registry support measures put in place. Traditional TLDs, like .COM, .NET and .BIZ have been around a long time, so you don’t have to consider the same parameters, but it’s worth looking into the New TLD you like, specifically if there are others a lot like it (.SHOP and .SHOPPING, for example) and decide which has more of an appeal. Example:  When Googling .GURU, we find it’s distributed via most of the top registrars (most importantly,, of course), there’s been a lot of media attention for this particular new TLD, and that it’s one of the most popular New TLDs being registered. It’s supported by a portfolio registry (meaning they run more than one New TLD), and the registry has an open, friendly agreement. Done. Want to start your search or peruse available domain options? Start now. Waiting for your favorite New Domain? Read how to use our domain watcher.   

The Art of Brand Architecture: Infographic

Bluehost Blog -

Your brand is the hallmark of your business. It lets customers know what your business values and what it delivers—it creates a relationship between your business and your customers. Because of this, building your brand in today’s marketplace is essential for success. Find out what brand architecture is and why it matters. The post The Art of Brand Architecture: Infographic appeared first on Official Bluehost Blog.

More than 150 New Top-Level Domains Now Available for Immediate Registration from 1&1!

1&1 Online Success Center -

This week 1&1 Internet has launched eight new top-level domains (TLDs) potentially relevant for the US market for immediate registration. This brings the total number of available new TLDs above 150! Check out the 1&1 Domain Showroom which allows browsing of all new TLDs available, as well as provides valuable information on upcoming domain names. The eight brand new TLDs this week are: .CONSULTING – Companies that offer consulting services can create a new website, or even just a simple landing page on their existing website under this new TLD. .CONSULTING can be registered for $19.99 for the first year. .PICTURES – This domain now joins .PHOTOGRAPHY and .PHOTOS to create a well-rounded new domain portfolio for photography businesses. For the first year of registration, .PICTURES can be registered for just $6.99. .ASSOCIATES – Businesses, law offices, and more can take advantage of a .ASSOCIATES domain extension for their website. In some cases, a company with the word “Associates” in its name could create a clever URL for itself with this new TLD, for $19.99 for the first year. .MEDIA – Media production companies and news websites are just two examples of the organizations that can benefit from this new TLD. MEDIA can be registered for $19.99 for the first year. .LEASE – Real estate businesses have already begun to register TLDs such as .RENTALS. Now these companies can take advantage of the similar .LEASE as well for $39.99 for the first year. .NAGOYA – This Japanese city has its own domain name with open registration to everyone, and can be utilized by businesses and websites operating around the region, as well as travel agencies promoting the city. This domain can be registered for $9.99 for the first year. .TOKYO – The capital of Japan, and a top tourist destination, Tokyo now has its own TLD available for businesses and websites interested in promoting the city. For the first year of registration, .TOKYO can be registered for $9.99. .MOE – Following the Japanese trend this week, moe is a slang word in Japanese culture often used to mean “adorable” or “cute”. This domain can be registered for $14.99 for the first year. Photo Credit: ©

Malware Infection Breaking WordPress Websites

SEO Hosting Blog -

There is a known malware infection caused by a serious vulnerability in the MailPoet WordPress plugin. This malicious attack attempts to slyly inject Spam into the hacked site, which is causing websites to break, and focuses predominantly on WordPress sites with outdated plugins or weak admin passwords. What It Looks Like The infected PHP code is very buggy and is corrupting legitimate website files, as well as themes and plugin files, which causes PHP errors to be displayed instead of website content: Parse error: syntax error, unexpected ‘)’ in /home/user/public_html/site/wp-config.php on line 91 After removing the infecting malware, the only way to remedy the issues is to restore the corrupted files from a backup. This is what the malware code looks like: < ?php $pblquldqei = ’5c%x7824-%x5c%x7824*!|!%x5c%x7824-%x5c%x7824%x5c%x785c%x5c%x7825j^%xq%x5c%x7825%x5?c%x7827Y%x5c%x78256<.msv%x5c%x7860ftsbqA7>q7825)3?of:opjudovg< ~%x5c%x7824!%x5c%x782421787825!|!*!***b%x5c%x7825)… If you are running MailPoet, we recommend upgrading it to the latest version. If you do not have a firewall on your website, you have to upgrade the plugin or remove it altogether to avoid more issues. Support If you aren’t able to fix the issue on your end, please don’t hesitate to contact Support. We’re happy to help.  

Website Shows How Metadata Can be Used and Abused by Plotting Out 1 Million Cat Photos

Web Hosting Industry Review (WHIR) / Web Hosting Talk -

Online activity can often create an easy-to-follow breadcrumb trail that allows anyone to piece together location and identity details, yet this is something people often forget when having fun online. The post Website Shows How Metadata Can be Used and Abused by Plotting Out 1 Million Cat Photos appeared first on Web Hosting Talk.

Malware Infection Breaking WordPress Websites

The Homegrown Hosting Blog (A Small Orange) -

There is a known malware infection caused by a serious vulnerability in the MailPoet WordPress plugin. This malicious attack attempts to slyly inject Spam into the hacked site, which is causing websites to break, and focuses predominantly on WordPress sites with outdated plugins or weak admin passwords. What It Looks Like The infected PHP code is very buggy and is corrupting legitimate website files, as well as themes and plugin files, which causes PHP errors to be displayed instead of website content: Parse error: syntax error, unexpected ‘)’ in /home/user/public_html/site/wp-config.php on line 91 After removing the infecting malware, the only way to remedy the issues is to restore the corrupted files from a backup. This is what the malware code looks like: <?php $pblquldqei = ’5c%x7824-%x5c%x7824*!|!%x5c%x7824-%x5c%x7824%x5c%x785c%x5c%x7825j^%xq%x5c%x7825%x5 c%x7827Y%x5c%x78256<.msv%x5c%x7860ftsbqA7>q7825)3 of:opjudovg<~%x5c%x7824!%x5c%x782421787825!|!*!***b%x5c%x7825)… If you are running MailPoet, we recommend upgrading it to the latest version.  Support If you aren’t able to fix the issue on your end, please don’t hesitate to contact Support. We’re happy to help.

Strong Economic Optimism In India Amidst A Mixed Global Picture: LinkedIn Economic Confidence Outlook

LinkedIn Official Blog -

The headline from our Q1 2014 LinkedIn Economic Confidence Outlook was “scattered optimism” about the global economy among business leaders. The latest results from Q2 show a decrease in the already moderate optimistic outlook among the majority of the 15 countries we surveyed, with one notable exception: India. Confidence in the global economy among business leaders in India took a major leap from 51% to 71% in Q2. The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) pro-business and pro-job creation agenda and its extremely strong showing in India’s 2014 general election in May is a likely spark for that impressive increase in economic confidence. This quarter’s survey was fielded in June, shortly after the Indian elections. Read on for full results of the Q2 LinkedIn Economic Confidence Outlook survey of more than 13,000 senior business leaders on LinkedIn, including global optimism, optimism by country, and hiring expectations by country. India Comes Out On Top Among Mixed Global Optimism While India had the most dramatic increase in confidence in the global economy, France, Canada and Brazil decreased the most, at 10%, 5% and 5% respectively. The charts below compare confidence levels of surveyed business leaders in the 15 countries in Q2 as compared to Q1. National Optimism Follows Global Optimism Optimism about the economy in each business leader’s home country followed a somewhat similar pattern to the global outlook, with India again showing a dramatic 37% rise from last quarter, with France and Brazil each showing a 7% decline. Italy (+7%) and Spain (+5%) were also noteworthy risers. In all, less than half of the 15 countries had an increase in their positive outlook. Hiring By Country Paints a Rosier Picture Economic confidence as reflected in hiring expectations, which can be considered a leading indicator, painted a rosier picture in Q2 than general confidence overall. Business leaders in twelve out of the fifteen countries show an increase in optimism about adding staff. The decreasing confidence in France on each measure (global economy, national economy) is also reflected in decreasing confidence when it comes to upcoming hiring. Full results for the Q2 2014 LinkedIn Economic Confidence Outlook are included below, along with individual breakouts for each country represented in the survey: Watch for our next LinkedIn Economic Confidence Outlook in the third quarter of 2014. In the meantime, follow the Economic Graph Showcase Page for continuing coverage of issues impacting the global economy. About the LinkedIn Economic Confidence Outlook Each quarter, LinkedIn taps more than 13,000 senior business leaders from among its membership of more than 300 million professionals around the world from nearly every major industry and job level. We ask them a series of questions designed to elicit perspectives on where their national economy and the global economy is headed in the near future. About The Data: The survey was conducted in June 2014 of LinkedIn members director-level and above. Responding executives were located in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States. These countries represent almost two-thirds of global economic output.

New App Enables Wix Customers to Integrate Etsy Shops into Websites

Web Hosting Industry Review (WHIR) / Web Hosting Talk -

Wix is now offering an app to allow SMBs to integrate their Etsy shop into their Wix website. While Wix users could previously connect the two with code or a widget, the app allows full integration and simplifies the process. The post New App Enables Wix Customers to Integrate Etsy Shops into Websites appeared first on Web Hosting Talk.

Web Bots: What Every Website Owner Needs To Know

The Rackspace Blog & Newsroom -

By Charlie Minesinger, Director of Sales, Distil Networks If you or your company operates a website or utilizes online advertising, then web bots and spiders are a cause of serious concern. No one is immune from bot traffic, so the question is: how much bad bot traffic is acceptable? Can you measure your bad bot traffic? Malicious bots can threaten the viability of your ad campaigns, affect your KPI tracking and analytics, and negatively impact your sales, conversions and overall customer experience. To get an idea of their true impact, let’s first discuss the kinds of web bots to which your site could fall victim. Theft Bots Theft bots aim to steal content, pricing, images and other information from sites on the web. Sometimes, they do this to sell the content to rival websites or content farms; at other times, they simply use it to post directly to their own sites. In some cases, a competitor may even use your data to get an inside look at your content and pricing, so they can get a leg up in the marketplace. In addition to scraping your content and data, theft bots can also harvest lists of email addresses for spam purposes. In addition to these negative effects, theft bots can also cause SEO problems for site owners. If content is stolen and duplicated elsewhere on the web, it severely downgrades the original site’s search engine rankings and could even result in getting a site blacklisted. A great example of a theft bot can be seen in a recent court case. Last year, the Metropolitan Regional Information Systems Inc., or MRIS, filed suit against the American Home Realty Network for copyright infringement. MRIS alleged that AHRN had used web bots to effectively steal content from various real estate MLS listing sites and then pass the information off as its own. While the case is still pending, MRIS was granted an injunction, which likely means that AHRN will be found guilty. Fraud Bots Fraud bots create fraudulent traffic by clicking on paid advertisements and display ads throughout the web, and sometimes they even post spam to websites, blogs and various web forms. These bots can create fraudulent accounts on databases or networks to gain access to directories of customer information. Fraud bots mean bad news all around for your site, your customers and your sales. The biggest issue with fraud bots is the problem of click fraud. In fact, according to AdWeek, web bots steal an average of $6 billion from advertisers every year through fraudulent traffic and clicks. Furthermore, according to Medialink president Wenda Millard, about 25 percent of all traffic attracted by online ads is likely fraudulent. That means one out of every four clicks your site gets on its PPC or display ad campaigns could be a fake. When you consider the costs of those fraudulent clicks over a week, a month or even a year, it can result in substantial financial losses. More on Bad Bots In addition to the above repercussions, web bots also lower the quality of the user’s experience as a whole. Bots can cause slow moving, poorly performing websites; infect users’ devices, computers and mobile phones; and diminish the overall web-surfing experience. Businesses and website owners may see their bandwidth decreased, their KPIs and analytics become hard to decipher, and their intellectual property, content and data stolen. The number of both fraud and theft bots has grown exponentially over the last few years. According to Distil Network’s most recent Bad Bot Landscape Report, the number of damaging web bots doubled in 2013. Bad bots accounted for just 12.25 percent of all web traffic in the first quarter, but climbed to a whopping 23.6 percent by the end of the fourth quarter. Furthermore, though many bad bots come from overseas, the Landscape Report reveals that more bad bots originate in the United States than any other country in the world. On May 15, 2014, the Executive Director and President of the Online Trust Alliance (OTA), Craig Spiezle, testified to the U.S. Senate about the risks of malicious ads and web bots. OTA research reports that malicious advertising, or “malvertising,” rose by more than 200 percent in 2013. In addition to threatening the effectiveness of your website, malicious ads can be used to infect personal computers, steal personal information, or manipulate devices into becoming part of a DDoS attack. In addition, one botnet called “Pushdo” was detected on more than 4 million IP addresses, including IP addresses of most every major Internet Provider in North America and Europe. Fortunately, there are technologies and strategies for blocking bots and protecting your website and your ads from fraud and theft without negatively affecting SEO and your (human) customer experience. We’ll be discussing these strategies, as well as more on web bots, in an upcoming post, so stay tuned! In the meantime, take your traffic readings and PPC results with a grain of salt—you never know when web bots may strike.

Longreads’ Best of WordPress, Vol. 2 News -

Here’s the second edition of Longreads’ Best of WordPress! We’ve combed through the internet to put together a reading list of some of the best storytelling being published on WordPress. (You can find Vol. 1 here.) As a reminder: If you read or publish a story on WordPress that’s over 1,500 words, share it with us: just tag it #longreads on Twitter, or use the longreads tag on Before You Know It Something’s Over (Riese Bernard, Autostraddle) On grieving after the loss of a parent at a young age: My father died on November 14th, 1995, when I was 14. Every day since the day he died I am one day farther away from him than I was before. This is the truest thing about me. It is the most important and worst thing to ever happen to me. It is me. My father died when I was 14. I will tell people this forever. It is the truest thing about me. I was 14 when he died. My father. I was 14. Read the story How the Other Half Works: An Adventure in the Low Status of Software Engineers (Michael O. Church) “There was a time, perhaps 20 years gone by now, when the Valley was different.” Michael O. Church looks at the state of the software engineer — perhaps paid well, but not elevated to leadership roles even within Silicon Valley companies. Read the story Inside the Box (Mike Christman, The Giddy Summit) “After learning to hover you were taught to land, then what to do when an engine failed, then to fly off your instruments in the clouds.” A marine learns to fly a helicopter and goes to combat in Afghanistan. Read the story Perdition Days (Esmé Weijun Wang, The Toast) Esmé Weijun Wang writing for The Toast on her experience with psychosis: “Let’s note that I write this while experiencing psychosis, and that much of this has been written during a strain of psychosis known as Cotard’s delusion, in which the patient believes that she is dead. What the writer’s confused state means to either of us is not beside the point, because it is the point. The point is that I am in here, somewhere: cogito ergo sum.” Read the story The New Science of Evolutionary Forecasting (Carl Zimmer, Quanta Magazine) Scientists may not be able to predict what the world may look like 100 million years from now, but they may be able to look at how diseases like the flu will evolve in a few months, which has the potential to save lives: Lässig hopes to be able to make predictions about future flu seasons that the World Health Organization could consult as they decide which strains should be included in flu vaccines. ‘It’s just a question of a few years,’ he said. Read the story Stand Down (John Lorinc, The Walrus) The victims of police shootings are often people with mental illness. The city of Memphis, Tennessee, has found a solution: Memphis, one-quarter of Toronto’s size but with a homicide rate nine times higher, has developed a progressive approach to de-escalate high-tension confrontations, improve police attitudes toward those suffering from mental illness, and divert them from the criminal justice system. The Memphis Crisis Intervention Team model centres on dispatching specially trained beat cops to emergency calls as quickly as possible, and giving them the authority to take charge of the scene. That approach triggered a revolution in policing that has now been emulated in 2,700 jurisdictions across the US, including large urban centres such as Chicago and Los Angeles. A handful of Canadian cities, among them Hamilton and Vancouver, have also adopted the CIT model. While the TPS has not, senior officials claim that all of its 5,500 uniformed officers receive some training in how to handle mental illness, which makes the recent proliferation of shootings that much more perplexing. Read the story Islands in the Stream (Bob Stanley, The Paris Review) The Bee Gees were pop music geniuses whose work in 1978 “accounted for 2 percent of the entire record industry’s profits.” Yet they were still underappreciated — and also still capable of making ill-conceived creative decisions. Read the story One of a Kind (Seth Mnookin, The New Yorker) Seth Mnookin reports the story of how one couple, Matt Might and Cristina Casanova, worked with researchers to diagnose their son’s disease and connect with other families whose children also had the same genetic disorder. Mnookin’s story also exposes some of the problems within the cloistered research community. Read the story I Am My Own Wreckage; I Am My Own Black Box (phonaesthetica) A personal story about dealing with the feelings of loss that come with unexpected fertility problems. Read the story The Heart You Save Won’t Be Your Own (Anya Groner, Guernica) A young social worker fights Medicare to cover a homeless teenage boy’s medication, forfeiting her own idealism in the process: The year I worked at Hudson Outreach, we found mistakes in over half the Social Service denials we saw. Of the cases we argued, we overturned a third. People who had previously been denied heating assistance or rent got much needed checks from the state. Another third of our clients received grants from us. The final third received nothing, not from us and not from Social Services. Often they became homeless. “You mean to tell me,” I said to Mrs. Stafford, “that the caseworkers at Medicaid are making your son wait for the medicine he needs to survive?” Read the storyFiled under: Reading, Tags, WordPress, Writing

Avoiding Common Blogging Mistakes: Your Sidebars are Languishing

Everything Typepad -

Welcome to our series on common blogging mistakes, and how to avoid them. Every other week, we'll debut a new post designed to help you avoid mistakes that are common to both new and veteran bloggers, full of tips and tricks guaranteed to help you become an even more passionate, engaged blogger with a growing audience. Typepad offers easy ways to add all types of content to your blog's sidebars - images, links to other sites and pretty much anything else you might want to include. The downside is that it's easy to add content to the sidebar and then forget about it. This can lead to slow load times, broken outbound links, and a blog that appears unkempt. When we perform a Blog Tune-up Service, one of the very first things we check is the health of the blog's sidebars. You can do this yourself easily and it can help reduce clutter on your blog while improving load time. At Blogs > Design > Content, you can see each item that you have set for the blog's sidebars. First, look at the general number of modules you have in the sidebars. If it's a lot (maybe more than 10 in each sidebar), it's time to consider getting rid of non-essential items. Some widgets and banners are only relevant for a specific time, so those are easy to remove. Then, starting at the top, go through each item that's not a built-in function, like ads and outside links, and check for: Correct HTML tags: Simply open the module, copy the code and paste it into a validation service. If there are incorrect tags, replace the old code with the corrected code and save. It's important that HTML tags are formatted properly - it's not something you can approximate! Functionality: If you have a banner or link to an outside site, click through it from your blog and make sure the site is still functional and the content is what you expect to see there. If you have a dedicated blogroll, it's a good idea to do this periodically so you know you're directing your own readers to sites you'd visit yourself. Relevance: Each item in your sidebar should either aid readers in getting around your blog, learn more about you, or provide information that's in some way relevant to your blog. If you write about food and have links to different cookbooks or other chefs, that makes sense and adds value. If you have content that is not related to you or your content, consider removing it. Readers will likely ignore it anyway. Finally, check to see that your sidebar items are in an order that puts important elements at the top. A good order is something like: A welcome blurb and photo of yourself Links to your major social media profiles Subscription options Search module List of categories Outside links and banners This prioritizes information about you and navigational items so your readers can easily find more of the content they're interested in. A quick sidebar check up once a quarter will ensure that your blog remains in tip top shape.

The Backup Plan Your Domain Can’t Live Without

1&1 Online Success Center -

Domain owners have enough to think about without worrying about the back-end operation of their online property. After all, that is someone else’s business, right? In fact, it is. It’s the business of a domain registry (which is different from a registrar like 1&1). But, what would happen if a domain registry goes bankrupt? Should the owner of a top-level domain then fear for their website address? Don’t worry: The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which is responsible for the assignment of names and addresses on the Internet, has an emergency plan up its sleeve for such cases. With the “Emergency Back-end Registry Operators” (EBERO) program, ICANN ensures that the new top-level domains (TLDs) are operated correctly and remain stable. If a registry cannot guarantee the availability of domain name services, for example if they are in financial distress, a selected EBERO steps in. Furthermore, in the case of a technical failure or transition from one registry operator to another, the EBERO goes into action and temporarily undertakes the following five critical registry functions: DNS resolution for registered domain names Operation of the Shared Registration System (SRS) Operation of the Whois service. This service provides information about the owners of IP addresses and domain names. Registry data escrow deposits Maintenance of a properly signed zone in accordance with DNSSEC requirements EBEROs are distinguished by having years of expertise in domain name service, registration data directory services, and extensible provisioning protocol (EPP) services. In addition, they meet stringent technical requirements. ICANN sought candidates from geographically diverse regions in order to provide regional service to registries in all regions and alternate sites in case of local disasters. The currently contracted EBEROs are China Internet Network Information Center, Core Association, Nominet, and Neustar. EBEROs are limited in the services they can provide. They only take over the main functions of the registries, additional services such as Web hosting or network analytics are not available. The emergency plan enables ICANN to respond to the high growth of a wide variety of registries – especially since the introduction of new gTLDs last year. (Image: tashatuvango/

ICANN Suspends Brandon Gray Internet Services, Demands it Stop Sending Deceptive Marketing Materials

Web Hosting Industry Review (WHIR) / Web Hosting Talk -

ICANN has suspended Brandon Gray Internet Services (DBA Namejuice), the company behind the Domain Registry of America, from registering names until Oct. 17, 2014. For the past 10 years, the company has been sending misleading letters to trick users into renewing their domains with the DROA instead of renewing with the company where they bought it from, usually for a much higher fee. The post ICANN Suspends Brandon Gray Internet Services, Demands it Stop Sending Deceptive Marketing Materials appeared first on Web Hosting Talk News.


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