Industry Buzz

Today's Outage

Everything Typepad -

We’re truly sorry for today’s extended outage. If you didn’t see our status updates, we were under a large DDOS attack. This attack was large enough to have a significant impact on our upstream providers, leading to the outage. In situations like we dealt with today, we have intentionally left out technical details as to not give away anything that might open us up to new attacks. We continue to work to improve our defenses and will provide a more detailed update tomorrow.

Social Signals Are Not an SEO Ranking Factor

Social Media Today -

Straight to the point – spoiler alert – social media signals (likes, shares, +1s) – are not direct SEO ranking signals. Have you read otherwise? Yeah – me too. Almost daily I find new blog articles extolling the importance of Social Media as an SEO ranking factor. There’s definitely confusion surrounding this issue, even within the SEO industry and among industry leaders. read more

Social Media to Site Traffic: 5 Tips from the Experts

Social Media Today -

Without thinking about it, many people automatically link their social media sites to their website's home page. If your home page, like many others, is cluttered and overwhelming, this strategy will set you up for failure. David Risley of Blog Marketing Academy suggests driving traffic to a more valuable page that will immediately engage visitors.read more

5 #SEO Tips To Get Your #BLOG Noticed

The Domain.com Blog -

  If you’re curious to learn more about search engine optimization of your blog, you’ve come to the right place. There are a few tried and true methods as well as a few ever-changing elements we want to share. Often times, writing “good content” isn’t enough to get the ball rolling and you might find yourself wondering why people aren’t finding your site. To help get you started, we’ve come up with five specific tips to help turn your blog into an SEO friendly site. 1.    Engage Online Community Link building is the key to getting search engines to discover how pages are related to each other and in what ways. By getting external pages (in this case, similar bloggers) to link to a page on your website, you’ll begin to engage your community and start showing up in results. We recommend reaching out to complementary bloggers and asking for a link exchange. You can also try guest posting and linking back to your blog.  2.    Google Authorship Link your Google+ page to your blog and authorize it. Google search engine tends to feature top results that come from Google+ authors. In fact, the search marketing firm Catalyst confirmed that clicks improved by 150% with a Google Author page.  3.    Learn What “Panda” or “Penguin” Means Google is always changing its search algorithm so keeping up to date with Google news will benefit your blog. Many bloggers miss out on the major changes that Google rolls out and end up seeing their sites drop in search result rankings. Researching tweaks can help you get to the top as long as you’re diligent.  4.    Create Themed Websites Rather than being a one-stop shop for a variety of content, hone in on what your blog is attempting to accomplish and go after complementary sites. For example, if you want to review different coffees and teas, reach out to other bloggers who review baked goods (they pair pretty well with coffee) or a recipes site to feature your reviews.  5.    Quality Over Quantity Keep your posts concise and to the point. We usually recommend writing about 500-700 words per post and including eye-catching graphics or photos. You don’t know who’s going to find your blog and you don’t know what type of reader they are. It’s better to balance your text to graphic ratio in your posts to engage a diverse audience. As you can see from the tips above, search engine optimization is a very interesting field. Some of these tips might be intuitive to you, while others are still new. Remember to write good content and have a strategy to develop your blog. Feel free to share any search engine optimization tips you have to help our Domain.com community in the comments below. As always, follow along on Twitter @domaindotcom or like our Facebook page to see what we’re up to! Related posts: The post 5 #SEO Tips To Get Your #BLOG Noticed appeared first on Domain.com.

The Fine Line Between Data Analytics and Security

Social Media Today -

The more you know about your customers, the better you can serve and give them the products they want. In return, the more they trust and become loyal to your brand. But with all the information you gather from your customers to provide one-to-one service and personalized products comes the responsibility to take care of their personal data. read more

At #MusicHackDay SF 2014

The Twitter Developer Blog -

Last weekend, more than 200 developers, designers and music lovers came together for Music Hack Day 2014 in San Francisco, and we were happy to be among them. Teams dug in to integrate with everything from the newly launched Beats Music platform to demo Leap Motion devices, and inspired us with their visions of the future of technology + music. It was also exciting to see teams integrate efforts into the Twitter APIs, including: Spirit Artist - Reads your tweets and finds your Twitter spirit artist Give Me Playlist - Reads your Tweet stream and builds a playlist to fit your mood Sick Lineup - Know when your favorite artist is going on stage Tweet Playlist - Tweet or text songs to a have them play over the Beats Music app While there were tons of great hacks, the winner of Twitter’s Social Hack Prize was Give Me Playlist, by @colin_durant and @hjharnis. Congrats to the #GiveMePlaylist team (@hjharnis && @colin_durant) for winning our prize at #musichackday pic.twitter.com/nwj0XmSGXV — TwitterDev (@TwitterDev) May 18, 2014   Check out more pictures from the weekend, courtesy of @cweichen from Gracenote. Thanks to Spotify, Rdio and Beats Music for teaming up with us on this event, and to Github for being such gracious hosts. And to all the hackers who came — we look forward to hanging out with you at the next Music Hack Day, and being inspired by your creativity and hard work!

Name.com Sticker Contest: .NINJA is almost here!

Name.com Blog -

In less than two weeks, the much anticipated .NINJA becomes available! Yes, that’s right, you’ll be able to get yourname.ninja! That’s pretty sweet and we’re beyond excited about this. Why is everyone at name.com so thrilled about this you ask? We’re obviously excited because ninjas are awesome. We can prove the awesomeness of ninjas by sharing three of the best ninja facts we know: When ninjas eat a cheeseburger, it turns into a salad in their stomach. Ninjas carry crickets in their pocket. Ninjas are really good at telling time. Let’s have a giveaway! To spread the word about the new .NINJA domain (and ninjas in general), we thought it would be a great idea to have a name.com sticker giveaway. Entering is easy. All you have to do to enter is press one, two, or all of the buttons below. The more buttons you press, the more chances you have to win! Enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway If you have any more questions about entry, press the little “Terms and Conditions” button in the widget above. You can learn about the rules and how we pick contest winners there.  

Want to try a new domain? Here are the deals to do so.

Name.com Blog -

Is it me, or do you need a domain? What about a new New Domain (Mind = Blown)? That’s twice the new for the price of one! And now, we have discounted them even further! For a limited time we’ve been able to drop prices on the following domain names, including .GURU, .PHOTOGRAPHY and .LINK. Get a .GURU or .TIPS domain to dominate in your field of expertise. .GURU domain names were $34.99, now only $24.99, and .TIPS domains are now just $16.99! Or perhaps you’re in the crowded photography business? Your photos are fantastic, and now you need a website that shows that. Be found in a flash with a new .PHOTOGRAPHY, only $16.99. Other discounted domains include .EMAIL, . LINK and this wholesome chart of low-priced goodness. New Domain           Was          NOW! .guru $34.99 $24.99 .photography $22.99 $16.99 .email $22.99 $16.99 .link $13.99 $8.99 .today $22.99 $16.99 .tips $22.99 $16.99 .company $22.99 $16.99 .technology $22.99 $16.99 How were we able to do this? Well…here’s a sneak peak into our discount pricing process… If you think that’s magical, wait until you find all of the tricks you can pull with your new domain. For example, URL Forwarding can send a new domain to your current website so you don’t miss a single customer. Here’s how to use URL Forwarding. Or maybe you want a way to brand yourself every time you send an email? You can get your own company email or have the most amazing personal name@coolperson.guru. Get started today with a new, discounted domain name from name.com.

Amazon RDS for SQL Server With Multi-AZ

Amazon Web Services Blog -

The Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) simplifies the process of setting up, running, and scaling your MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL, or Microsoft SQL Server database so that you can focus on your application instead of on complex and time-consuming database administration chores. Many AWS customers are using RDS in demanding production environments and take advantage of powerful features like automated snapshot backups (no more tapes and easy point-in-time restores), Provisioned IOPS for fast and consistent I/O performance, easy database upgrades, and the ability to scale processing and storage by simply modifying the appropriate settings. Customers who make use of Amazon RDS for MySQL, Amazon RDS for Oracle Database, and Amazon RDS for PostgresQL can also enhance availability and data durability by creating a Multi-AZ (Availability Zone) deployment. When activated, this RDS feature creates primary and secondary database hosts, arranges for synchronous data replication from primary to secondary, and monitors both hosts to ensure that they remain healthy. In the event of a failure, RDS will promote the secondary to primary, create a new secondary, and re-establish replication, all with complete transparency and no user or application involvement. Multi-AZ for SQL Server Today we are bringing the benefits of Multi-AZ operation to Amazon RDS for SQL Server. This new release takes advantage of SQL Server Mirroring technology and makes all of the benefits listed above available to SQL Server users.

Mobile Cloud Applications Key in Extended Microsoft SAP Partnership

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

Microsoft and Germany based software giant SAP announced an extended partnership today to deliver more options to enterprise customers. The partnership between the two companies spans over 20 years and will expand to focus even more on cloud services and mobile compatibility. They plan to increase customer productivity through greater…

3 Reasons Customers Abandon Their Shopping Carts, And How To Stop It

The Rackspace Blog & Newsroom -

Abandoned shopping carts are the bane of ecommerce stores. According to the Baymard Institute 67 percent of shopping carts are abandoned online. Forrester Research reports that the amount of money lost by online retailers due to shopping cart abandonment will soon climb as high as $31 billion. Your brand throws endless planning and hard-earned marketing dollars into attracting users to your site. So how do you make sure your ecommerce experience isn’t turning them away? Here are three reasons customers abandon their shopping carts without purchase, and some steps you can take to address them: 1. “Woah! This costs way more that I expected.” Problem: Statista reports that 56 percent of customers abandon their purchases when they’re faced with an unexpected price as they get to the final checkout. In a brick-and-mortar store, customers have invested substantial time and physical effort in their purchase. As a result, they’re less likely to abandon their entire cart at checkout. But that’s not the case when shopping online, where shopping is altogether more convenient and therefore easier to abandon. Solution: Make sure that number next to the dollar sign doesn’t catch anyone by surprise. You should be aware that, thanks to the giant retailers, free shipping has become an expectation in many industries. Online customers find free shipping twice as compelling as “percent off” offers. Figuring out some way to incorporate this into your ecommerce strategy—perhaps by offering free shipping over a certain price or instituting a loyalty program with a free shipping perk—is one way to ensure these customers don’t abandon their purchases in the first place. If you can’t swing free shipping, make sure your customer is aware of shipping costs as early as possible. It will make your brand appear more transparent and less sneaky about your pricing. Customers will show their gratitude when it comes time to buy. 2. “I’m not ready to buy yet.” Problem: An eMarketer study found that 57 percent of shoppers abandon their shopping carts because they’re simply not ready to buy. We’ve all been this type of customer—window shoppers with no urgency to purchase. Brands often write this type of shopper off, but they’re not a lost cause. On the contrary, they present your business with a huge opportunity. Solution: Your ecommerce strategy should include some effort to target these customers after they’ve left your site. Retargeting ads are a good option. Set up your store to save a cookie to the customer’s browser once they view your site. Then, by purchasing ad space on other sites, you can resurface products to the customer. It’s a smart, targeted form of advertising, and research has demonstrated that the more times a customer comes back to your site, the more likely they are to make a purchase. If you’ve captured their email address early enough in the checkout process you can target them with a personalized email. BI Intelligence found that emails sent three hours after cart abandonment have a 40 percent open rate and a 20 percent click through rate, significantly higher than your run-of-the-mill sales emails. Consider sweetening the deal by including a personalized offer. Giving window shoppers a wishlist option is another proven retention strategy. Just because they aren’t ready to purchase today doesn’t mean they won’t come back and purchase eventually. Giving them more than one call to action (“Add to Cart” and “Add to My Wishlist”) will get them closer to the point of purchase next time they visit your site. Is your current commerce platform capable of retargeting these kinds of customers? If not, it may be time to think about re-platforming. 3. “This site’s UX makes it a pain to buy online.” Small UX blunders can have a big impact on your bottom line, especially when they fall in close proximity to a user clicking “Buy.” Here are some easy steps you can take to give your customers the best possible experience, or at least make sure you aren’t turning them away: Simplify checkout: Reduce the number of pages between your shop and checkout path. The more screens a customer has to click through, the more likely they are to get frustrated and give up—it’s the digital equivalent of waiting in a long line at the checkout counter. Better yet, remove mandatory registration altogether (User Interface Engineering reports a 45 percent increase in sales when forced registration is removed). Easy-edit shopping carts: If a customer can’t find a simple way to remove unwanted items from their shopping carts, you can bet they will likely abandon their purchase entirely instead of seeking support for the problem. Utilize social tools and user generated content: Dimensional Research found that 90 percent of customers consult ratings, reviews and social media before making decisions. Give customers the means to share information so they don’t need to leave your site to do research elsewhere. Display security logos: It’s a quick and easy way to boost customer confidence. Limited quantity beats limited time: If you have customers that are sitting on the fence, offering them a deal can trigger a purchase. Limited quantity offers in particular create a sense of urgency to buy, so show customers when stocks are low to spur action. With every obstacle your customers encounter—clunky UX, higher-than-expected price, steep shipping costs—their desire to purchase erodes. Keeping these customers engaged, and retargeting those that have already abandoned your site, is key to making sure your brand isn’t leaving its money at the checkout counter.

What Do 50+ Social Media Professionals Think About the Need for Social and Infrastructure?

Social Media Today -

Sprinklr surveyd over 50 social media professionals on their opinions on marketing automation. Contributing brands include Cisco, Nissan, Samsung, Shell, Nestle Purina, HP, Medtronic, Wells Fargo, Pfizer, Dell, Reebok, Farmers Insurance, and MarketingXLerator. Don't miss this eBook if you are looking into automating some of your processes.read more

This 80s video will get you pumped up for .DANCE

Name.com Blog -

This Wednesday, the New Domain .DANCE is going into general availability (GA). That means that anyone who wants a .DANCE domain name can now get a .DANCE domain name. If you need a great website for your dance studio, or you’re a choreographer, or you’re anyone with rhythm and/or talent who needs some help getting your name out there, then find the .DANCE that is right for your business. Also, in honor of this momentous occasion, we decided it would be a great idea to get you as pumped up about about this New Domain as we are. On our quest for .DANCE pump-up material, we stumbled upon something truly glorious… dance videos from the 80s. These videos are awe-inspiring clips of physical genius and it was insanely hard to settle on which one that we wanted to share with you, but we managed to do that. We’re all beyond excited for the release of .DANCE and know that this video will get you insanely excited about it too! loadYouTube();

Cloud and Hosting Providers Need Innovative and “Value Unique” Services to Survive

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

Chip Bell is a bestselling author and the keynote speaker forHostingCon 2014. He says most organizations focus on value added services, in other words adding a services to an existing base. Companies basically take what base level services a customer expects then add more. He used the examples of airlines…

How to Hire an SEO Agency to Improve Your Site’s Ranking

Homestead Small Business Blog -

When it comes to building an effective business website, there are plenty of different elements that need to come together to form a cohesive whole.  Search engine optimization (SEO) is just one of these components that’s vital to internet marketing – though it’s one of the least understood by most businesses.  Hiring an SEO agency can help close this gap and improve your site’s rankings; however, be aware that not all agencies are created equal.Here’s what to look for when it comes to hiring a good SEO agency…A Website Doesn’t Exist Without SEOYour business can have the best looking website out there, that’s packed with fantastic content – and still not receive any visitors. If your site isn’t search engine friendly, no one will even know that it’s there. Moreover, there are thousands upon thousands of websites in any given market. Without effective SEO, finding your particular website on the Internet can be like looking for a needle in a haystack.Sure – programs like WordPress can make it easy for those with no technical expertise to create professional-looking websites. There are even special plugins you can install that will help with search engine optimization. But unfortunately, these plugins aren’t going to tell a website owner if he’s using the right keywords for his target market or how exactly to promote his website to ensure optimum traffic and conversions.If this website owner doesn’t have the time or inclination to learn proper SEO best practices, he may be better off hiring an agency to do the work for him.  A good SEO agency can help this business owner to find the right words and phrases to use on his website to separate the buyers from the tire kickers.  The agency can even look at the website’s Google Analytics and other metrics to determine how to properly promote the site in the SERPs and how to adjust individual web pages to increase conversion rates.In general, search engine optimization isn’t a process that’s done once and then ignored – it needs to be monitored and tweaked over time to make sure that the site is attracting the right visitors, and keeping them. Unfortunately, most businesses – especially small businesses where everyone has two or three jobs already – don’t have time for this type of ongoing project. In these cases, outsourcing SEO to a qualified agency helps save the company time and money by building an efficient, converting website that increases overall revenue.Invest in SEOBut beyond the time-saving advantages of hiring an SEO agency, it’s important to remember that keeping up with current SEO techniques takes an entirely separate amount of effort!Search engine optimization techniques aren’t even close to the same as they were when the internet first developed as a place for businesses to attract new customers. In addition, with the launch of its Hummingbird Algorithm update last year, Google revolutionized the way keywords, links and other SEO techniques should be used on the internet.Even for those SEO specialists working within the industry, it can be difficult to keep up on all of Google’s various changes.  For business owners and other non-professionals, it’s even more difficult to stay on top of what Google’s doing. However, the consequences for not adhering to the search giant’s most recent updates can be severe.  If Google deindexes your company website, you’ll probably wind up spending a great deal of time and money trying to back into Google’s good graces.Outsourcing your business SEO needs can help avoid this hassle.  As many of Google’s recent changes have to do with keyword optimization, linking strategies and webpage optimization, a good SEO agency can help you navigate these latest sets of requirements. They’ll be able to help you make any necessary improvements to your site, both simultaneously improving your online results and avoiding the hassle of being penalized by Google.Local SEO Is Just As ImportantBut just to add to the confusion, small businesses must be familiar with local SEO practices, as well as the online techniques needed to rank well in the traditional SERPs. If a business has local, as well as online customers, it needs to use local SEO techniques – which can incorporate Google strategies, using social sites such as FourSquare and even mobile strategies to help local consumers find both its website and physical location.If you only conduct business locally, understanding and implementing these techniques becomes even more vital.  Given that nearly 80% percent of consumers conduct internet research before buying a product or service, it’s obvious why local companies must prioritize local SEO techniques that enable them to be found on the web.But since learning local SEO requires studying an entirely new set of techniques, many small businesses find that they benefit from outsourcing these tasks in order to focus on more important areas of company operations. Hiring an SEO agency to take over local SEO can ensure that your business is found by both local and Internet customers through the appropriate use of linking strategies, keywords and tagging.  They’ll also be more up-to-date on the latest local optimization technologies – including both mobile and interactive applications – that can help make businesses easier to find.How to Find the Right SEO AgencyIf hiring an SEO agency to take over your business’s web and local SEO needs sounds like a wise use of your time and money, be aware that there are plenty of different aspects to consider.  For example, the agency’s expertise, strategies and past successes should be examined to make sure the organization is professional and competent.  It’s also important to understand the agency’s mission statement and how they deal with clients to make sure your final selection is a good fit for your business’s needs.Here are a few of the specific questions you’ll want to ask when interviewing potential SEO agencies:“Where are they located?” An SEO agency doesn’t have to be local to be successful.  Some businesses like being able to have onsite meetings with their outsourcers to make sure everything is on track, although with today’s technology, online meetings can be just as productive as physical meetings.  As long as you’re comfortable working long distance and the agency you’ve chosen is well-qualified, dealing with an SEO organization located elsewhere isn’t a problem.“How well do they communicate?”While it isn’t reasonable to expect someone at the agency to answer the phone all the time, your agency contact should call back or reply to an email within a single one business day.  They should also have established methods for updating clients and receiving feedback to alter a project as needed.“Do they stay current on new advancements?”With the field of SEO changing consistently, an SEO agency needs to demonstrate that they stay abreast of changes in technology and techniques.  To determine whether or not this is occurring, look for whitepapers they’ve written, notes on social media sites about seminars they’ve attended or blog posts their employees have written about new techniques in order to find out how knowledgeable they are about their field.“Is a long term contract required?”Because SEO strategies need to be monitored and changed over time, you’ll want to find an SEO agency that you can work with in the long-term.  However, be wary of getting roped into a long-term contact if you aren’t certain your SEO campaign will achieve good results.  When looking for a new agency, start with a three-month contract to find out if they’re a good fit. This way, you won’t be stuck with ineffective consultants you can’t work with.Because SEO is so important to internet marketing, it’s imperative that you use the newest and best strategies on your business website.  If you aren’t able to commit to learning these techniques yourself and implementing them on your website, hiring an SEO agency to carry out these best practices for you could wind up being a smart business decision in the long run.

AWS Activate Update - New Blog and More Goodies for Startups

Amazon Web Services Blog -

The AWS Activate program is designed to provide startups with the technical and business resources that they need to have in order to build businesses on AWS. Today we are making AWS Activate even more valuable to startups, with the addition of a brand new AWS Startup Blog, and a new Amazon Toolbox with exclusive offers from across the Amazon ecosystem.

Mobile Friendly: How to Manage Social Media from Your Cell Phone

Social Media Today -

Time—it flies, it’s ticking, it’s money, it’s on our side. Whatever you determine, you can’t argue: time is valuable. It becomes even more valuable when talking about social media. As fast-paced as we tend to be, social media can move even faster. Being able to manage on-the-go will take your social marketing to the next level.read more

1&1 Mobile Website Builder Now Available To All Website Owners

1&1 Online Success Center -

56% of the world’s population owns a Smartphone, according to a recent study from PewResearch. More and more people are turning to the convenience of their mobile devices to conduct daily tasks like communication, research, and purchasing. In fact, it’s estimated that 50% of the world’s average mobile Web users now choose mobile as either their primary or exclusive means of going online. Unfortunately, some businesses have yet to understand the significant impact that a mobile optimized website can have on their bottom line because they have not yet optimized their existing sites for these devices. Recently, 1&1 introduced the Mobile Website Builder within its Unlimited and Advanced Web hosting packages. Today, this great feature is available to everyone – whether they have an existing hosting package with 1&1 or another Web host. This tool is great for a wide range of users: from beginners and small business owners to experts and Web professionals. For those who are unsure of how their mobile site should look, automatic configuration of the mobile design can be achieved with very little effort from the user directly. This technique will highlight the most important website content and adapt the functionality and appearance for a smaller screen. Furthermore, having an attractive mobile site allows current and potential customers to find easily your business in a quicker and more convenient manner. Of course, users who wish to create an entirely new site for mobile devices will find comfort in the 1&1 Mobile Website Builder as well. Colors, images and text can all be customized to meet individual needs. In addition to the 1&1 Mobile Website Builder, users can leverage 10 GB of webspace, unlimited traffic, and 10 email accounts for just $2.99/month.

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