Unused, or previously used, email accounts are often spoofed (Faked) to create a ‘legitimate’ from address in spam emails. It is pointless complaining to your ISP and nobody else seems to care, so what can you do to prevent this happening? SPF DNS Entry. There is only one thing that can be done to hinder the ability of spammers to send mail with your domain name. You will need to request that your dns provider add an entry into your dns file called a SPF. This entry will specify the mail servers that are allowed to send mail with your domain name.

When other mail servers receive mail, they should check for a SPF entry, and if it exists check to see that the email came from that server. If it doesn’t then the other mail server will delete the message.

The problem is that the vast majority of mail servers do not do this check, so it will not stop the spammers, but any intelligent spammer will not choose to use a domain with a SPF entry, because it will reduce the amount of mail that gets delivered. Important Note: If you create an SPF file you can not send email from any other mail servers than those specified in the entry.

If you try to send email from a server that is not listed much of the mail it will not get delivered. For example, it is common for companies to send newsletters from third party providers. If they don’t find out the ip address of this provider and add it to the SPF file the emails will get blocked.

Remove any email dump accounts It is a common practice to have an entry in your email server like @yourdomain.com that tells the email server to accept any email address at your domain name.

I do not recommend doing this, because it means you will get any random email that someone uses to send you mail. Removing the dump account will not stop the spammers, but it will reduce the amount of junk mail you see in your inbox.

A lot of people keep wittering on about how important Page Rank (PR) is for a site. Page Rank was invented by Larry Page and Sergey Brin – the Google co-founders, as a way of ranking websites for quality back in 1996. The patent expires in 2015 and the algorithm itself has not been used by Google to rank any site since mid to late 2012. It is dead. Anyone talking about it is either living in the past or talking B.S. The current metrics you should be chasing are Citation Flow (CF), Trust Flow (TF), Page Authority (PA) and Domain Authority (DA). The first two are the creation of Majestic SEO, the last two are by MOZ. These two are the new ranking giants. Rumour has it that Google is to buy Majestic this year though I suspect they have the clout to reverse engineer the Majestic Product rather than buy it. What are these new metrics? How many people are quoting your content TF The quality of people linking to, or quoting your content. The quality or authority of the individual page.

The overall quality or authority you exert. Bing is focussed on the relevancy and quality of their results, they want to be the authority on web content, sorting through the dross to the gems of information.

Google is focussed on ways to sell advertisements and earn revenue, Google are heading toward ‘Location relevant’ results so they can sell adspace to businesses near your mobile device. With over 40% of web use being on mobile devices (and rapidly rising), there is sound logic to their weighting. Hence the wide disparity of your SEO results.

It is easier to rank well in Bing (incorporating Yahoo) than Google by using quality content. Google makes it easy to rank locally based businesses but seems to struggle with ranking international businesses. Logical, but frustrating for business owners.

With literally 200+ ranking factors involved, it’s anyone’s guess how to improve your rankings. The best answer is : “Consider your visitor and provide a quality experience that meets their needs”¬†– Good old Customer Service we used to enjoy in shops before they became impersonal mega whatsits.

Someone asked the other day, “What is the best option for my online shop?”. A very open ended question, but let’s try and answer it. Actual plugins and extensions are next on the discussion as we need to sort which platform to use first.

Your main options are:
– A hosted solution (Like Shopify) that costs per month and removes the IT / Security headache but limits your options
– Self hosted CMS – All your problem
– A ‘managed’ hosting where you pay someone else to take care of the headaches for you (this is what Jam88 does).

Many options on the self hosted, all with plusses and minuses.
Wordpress is free, lots of plugins and a big hacking target due to it’s market dominance and ‘free’ plugins
Drupal, Joomla – Less common, less free stuff, smaller hacking target
Concrete5, Magento – Rare, Steeper learning curve and / or the extras cost, unlikely to be hacked.

So it comes down to a trade off. Free but with some risk or pay and almost no risk from hacking.

Anything made and sold for free has risks, that’s why the WP plugins are being used for attacks – Little reward or reputation on the line to make them ‘perfect’. The diversity of programming talent and the wide open architecture is a challenge to secure. A more secure environment limits choice and requires paid labour to design and maintain it. Reward attracts programmers who can earn a living expressing their talent, free attracts part timers and people practicing – you can’t pay the bills by giving away your work. PC vs Mac.

The ‘killer’ requirement is frequently ‘free plugins / options’. This limits you (mainly) to WordPress (Drupal or Joomla). Nothing else has the range at the price. Remember though, time is money, and a ‘paid for’ solution that is secure is probably cheaper than spending a week recovering from a hack.

I’ve had Concrete5 sites for over 3 years and never an attack. WordPress – daily attempts, 2 ‘successes’ (When WP itself was hacked in 2013 and the plugin issues in 2014). Time to fix and rebuild a site vs ‘set and forget’.

If your priority is ‘no-cost’ go WordPress, and pay with time and maintenance otherwise spend $ upfront.

Google does not like sites with too big a percentage of affiliate links. There are those who would steal your links and take the credit. – Plain html is too exposed. Plugins – Ones I tried didn’t work. Bit.ly – Think Google doesn’t know about this? Answer ? – Make your own!

Creating and Installing Your Own URL Shortening Service
By Lee Underwood

URL shortening services such as tinyurl.com, bit.ly, and poprl are very popular and have a wide array of uses across the Web. For instance, shortened URLs can be used in e-mail and forum postings. It’s also advisable to use shortened URLs in newsletters as many spam filters sometimes interpret several, long URLs as spam. And shortened URLs are, of course, a requirement when using Twitter. In addition to saving space, shortened URLs also make for easier reading.

In addition to the basic URL shortening services, many organizations have gotten into the act, e.g., Facebook, Google, even the Republican party. However, you might want to consider where some of these services originate. As Wired.com recently noted, some of these services are in countries that support terrorism, e.g., Bit.ly. “ly” is the country code for Libya, a country with ties to terrorism. You can find a list of country codes on the IANA Web site.

Roll Your Own

Instead of concerning yourself with all of those details, you could just create your own URL shortening service. You can offer it for use by the general public or for your own personal use. In addition, this is a great method for getting the URL of your Web site spread around the Web. Although the actual link would usually go to a different site, your main domain would still be there, e.g. example.com.

There are many different scripts to choose from. One of them is an easy-to-use script created by Harry (yep, just “Harry.”). It’s call “Harryjerry Linx” and is very simple to implement. Harry is currently working on additional features to enhance the usefulness of the script. All you need is a Web hosting account with PHP/MySQL support.

Installing the Script

First, you will need to download the script and uncompress the file.

Next, upload all the files to your server. It’s best to use one letter for the directory name where the files reside to keep it short as it will be included in the shortened URL, e.g., http:yoursite.com/l/r2. Be sure to place the includes subdirectory (included with the compressed file) inside of this directory. Here is a list of the files, with their location, that you will need to upload (if you are using a directory titled “l”):

/l/.htaccess
/l/database.sql
/l/index.php
/l/includes/conf.php
/l/includes/hjurl.php
Next, create a MySQL database on your Web server. If you’ve never done this before, and have a Web host that is using cPanel, it’s really pretty simple. (There is also a great MySQL video tutorial available for all the steps below.)

To create the database, go to the database area in cPanel and select the “MySQL Database Wizard.” Enter a name for the database, e.g., shorturls. (The name can only consist of letters and numerals.) Click the “Next Step” button. Now, before adding a user, look at the top of the page. Here you will be able to see the actual name of the database. Make a note of this as many Web hosts add the name of your account to the beginning of the database name and you will need to know it later. For example, if the name of your account is “yoursite” and the name of your database is shorturls, then you will probably have something like yoursite_shorturls shown as the actual database name. (On shared servers, this allows the system to easily sort out the databases, displaying only the ones for your account.) Now, you will need to create a username and a password. Usernames cannot be more than seven characters and can only consist of letters and/or numerals. After pressing the “Next Step” button, be sure to make note of the actual user name on the next page. Once again the Web host may have added the name of your account to the beginning of your user name. To select the privileges you want for this account. just select “all.” Before pressing the “Next Step” button, you may want to print out the page, as it will probably have all your pertinent information, e.g., database name, username and password. Keep this information safe for future reference.

Once you have created the database, open the conf.php file found in the /includes directory on the server. You will need to add your database information here. Look for this section:

define(‘MYSQL_USER’, ‘harryjrc_linx’);
define(‘MYSQL_PASS’, ‘pb650917’);
define(‘MYSQL_DB’, ‘harryjrc_linx’);
On the first line (‘MYSQL_USER’), replace harryjrc_linx with your database username. On the second line (‘MYSQL_PASS’), replace pb650917 with your database password. Finally, on the last line (‘MYSQL_DB’), replace harryjrc_linx with the name of your database. Be sure to include the full name of each of these, as given by the Web host, if applicable.

Finally, you’ll need to import the contents of the database.sql file into the database. You should use phpMyAdmin if it’s available. If you’re using cPanel, go to the database section and click on phpMyAdmin. Select your database from the menu on the left hand side. Then, select the “Import” tab. Under “File to import,” browse to and select the file database.sql. Then press “Go” in the lower right-hand corner.

Testing the Script

Now, if you point your browser to http://yoursite.com/l/ it should bring up the page with the URL link shortening generator on it. It should look like this page. After creating a shortened URL, you will need to reload the page to create a new one. A quicker method is to add the following code between the line where the form ends, e.g., , and the line with “Powered by” in it.
Another one (http://yoursite.com/l/)

It’s nothing magical; it’ll just reload the page. But it’s easier to click on the link than to go to the reload button in the browser (do not remove the “Powered by” line unless you want to donate money for the script). You can change the page to look anyway you want to.

Conclusion

That’s it! There is nothing left to do but to start shrinking those URLs! If you’re offering the page to the general public, you can change the page to anything you like. Just be aware that there is not a lot of security with this script, as far as stopping others from using it. But if you don’t tell others, they won’t really know it’s there. However, you shouldn’t really have any problems with it. If you have any questions, you can ask Harry.

How does Google rank international sites now that it’s latest algorithm is aimed at local businesses and the mobile browser?

Google have stated that locally relevant results are the most important. As you say, where does that leave international businesses? TBH – Don’t know – never seen that aspect mentioned. I see that they want to supply locally relevant results to mobile users – Makes sense, I don’t want a pizza shop in Denver when I’m in Sydney. *perhaps* they produce more internationally focused results for non mobile browsers?

OK – A one off test for the word Pizza. (Australia / USA = Corporate site, not local)

Desktop:

Bing : Australia (2), Wikipedia, Australia (2), Range of videos, Australia (4), IMDB movie

Google : Australia (With list of nearby stores), News article, Yellow pages, Wikipedia, Australia, Facebook (Corporate x 2), YouTube (2), Job site, App store

DuckDuckGo : International (3), Wikipedia, Website, USA (2), Recipes website (2), Imdb movie, Dictionary, USA, Diverse results from many sites

Mobile: Mobile Google : Australia (3), Local (3), Australia (2), Range of images, Australia, Review site, Local (4), News article (3)Mobile Bing (Set to all answers, not local) : Local reviews, Australia, USA, Australia (2), Wikipedia, Australia (2), Bing Videos, Australia (2), USA, Australia, Imdb movie

“Answers on a postcard please”

Desktop Google seems to have a more diverse range of answers, but the winner is DuckDuckGo.

Found a couple of sites run by an amazing expert today – Too good to hide. For those wanting to secure their WordPress sites properly :
WP Cop
The other is more suited to those who are running their own VPS servers.
VPS Bible
This is aimed at those who have climbed the rung from shared hosting to their own VPS.
Both are VERY comprehensive resources and the VPS bible even has a book for free download!

It’s easy – just follow these steps and you’ll succeed in finding out who visited your Facebook Profile!

– Go to your Facebook timeline- facebook.com/xyz – Right click on your timeline and hit View page Source Now, you’ll be redirected to a new page with lots of html code – Hold CTRL+F on your keyboard, a text box appears at the right corner, in that box, type- InitialChatFriendsList (Don’t include Quotes) – The text will be highlighted. The numbers that follow are the profile ID’s of people who have visited your timeline. Just go to facebook.com/ and paste the ID number beside it. For example, if the ID is abcd, you have to put it as- facebook.com/abcd. The first ID shows the one who visits profile more often while the last ID never visits your profile!

BEEUTYLIFE

New Zealand’s highest quality beauty products from the best quality ingredients.

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CHEF’S TRICKS

Tips and tricks for the professional (and amateur) cooks. Over 900 at last count!

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WORLDWIDE PALEO

Paleo news and recipes from around the World.

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PROPERTY RESEARCH

Property investment and research focussed on New Zealand and Australia.

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