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WordPress SEO – Some Simple Tips for better SEO

WordPress SEO – Some Simple Tips for better SEO

WordPress & SEO

I just learned of something WordPress SEO related which might be hampering your attempts to get good levels of traffic to your site if you are using WordPress. This is a great WordPress SEO tip.

One of the best things about WordPress is that you can add a category or two to your post. It turns out that listing your blog post under more than one category might be considered as duplicate content in Googles eyes and your site may be penalised.

I will be posting under only 1 category for a while to see if this helps with the site traffic / SEO on the site.

Any comments – please add them below to discuss the search tricks you use for WordPress SEO. I am trying this on this site, shanemcdonald.ie and hopefully, it will help my SEO efforts.

Also, if you are adding Tags to your site and you have tags which only have one or two posts this could cause issues also. Consider this, your site has 300 posts and you have a blog post with a recipe and a WordPress tag called ‘recipe’. If this tag has never been used on your site apart from this one time, then this tag remains with 1 post attached to it. This doesn’t really have any real impact on your site’s SEO. Perhaps a better approach might be to add this into a tag such as ‘Lifestyle’ or ‘Food’ which might have a higher post count.

If you are working on your WordPress sites SEO then you should also consider SEO plugins such as Yoast or the All in One SEO plugin. I have used both plugins but I can tell you that Yoast works a bit better for my 3 sites. 

One final SEO tip for WordPress users is to install caching and speed optimisation plugins. Take a read of this blog post ‘How to setup WordPress caching and image optimisation your website‘.  I saw an improvement in Bounce Rate reduction and also organic SEO visits.

If you have any comments on website or WordPress SEO Tips please leave a comment below.

Watch your domains – Fake Domain Renewal Scam

Watch your domains – Fake Domain Renewal Scam

Do you have a Domain Name?
Have you got a letter or invoice asking you to renew your domain name for a higher price than normal?
If so, then read on!!!

If you have a website then you will most certainly have a domain name, be it .com, .org or .co.uk you will renew your domain name every year or two. An alarming new trend on where people who own domain names getting what seems like a domain renewal bill. These are Fake Domain Renewal Scams which are nothing more than an SEO service.

These letters are addressed to the domain holder and state that if you don’t renew your domain your website will no longer be visible. This is a correct statement, i.e. if you don’t renew a domain your site can’t be found – the problem is that people think that they have to renew with this company who sent this letter which seems like a bill for their domain.

One sample of a Domain Renewal Scam which I got recently is shown below. Note I have removed any items such as addresses and formatting which might identify the domain it was sent to or the company who sent it. My aim here is not to target one particular domain name scam rather to highlight that the practice takes place.

Sample Domain Renewal Scam Email

Below I have shown a type of domain name scam email which I got recently, not all are of this nature, some arrive by standard mail not email, but it should give you an idea of what to look out for.

— — — START — — —

Registration Expiration

Order Number: 123456
Order Date: October 21, 2016
Bill To: Your Name goes here, Your Address goes here

PROCESS SECURE PAYMENT

Domain Name SOME-DOMAIN.COM
Domain Registration October 21, 2016 – October 20, 2017
Price $85.00
Term 1 Year

Domain Name: SOME-DOMAIN.COM

To: [Your name]

Your Domain Registration includes Search Engine submission for SOME-DOMAIN.COM for a period of 12 months. There is no obligation for you to pay for this order unless you complete your payment by Nov 12, 2016. Our Search Engine Submission services provides submission services and search engine ranking organization for domain name owners. This search engine offer for submission services is not required to renew your domain registration.

Failure to complete your search engine registration by Nov 12, 2012 may result in the cancellation of this order (making it difficult for your customers to locate you using search engines on the web).

For Domain Name: SOME-DOMAIN.COM

PROCESS SECURE PAYMENT

UNSUBSCRIBE INSTRUCTIONS

You have received this message because you elected to receive special domain notifications and search engine submission offers for SOME-DOMAIN.COM. If you no longer wish to receive our special notices, please unsubscribe here, or mail us a written request to the attention of: Some fake domain registration company who sent it, PO Box DOMAIN, Somewhere in Domain town, DO 00001-00002. Please allow up to six weeks for the complete unsubscribe process to take place. NOTE: If you have multiple accounts with us, you must opt out for each one individually in order to fully stop receiving these notifications. This message is CAN-SPAM compliant.

Please do not reply to this email, as we are not able to respond to messages sent to this address.

— — — ENDS — — —

Some of the things to look out with domain name scams are;

  • The letter may not be named or addressed personally or correctly
  • The price for a one year renewal is far too high – $85 as opposed to maybe $10 per year
  • The domain expiry is always in the next few days even though your domain might be paid for until the following year – always know when your domain expires.
  • The invoice is not for domain registration rather it refers to Search Engine Submissions for your domain
  • The letter doesn’t read right – or you might say, “I never got this before regarding my domain name”, you might have a gut instinct about these dodgy practices.

If you are unsure you could ask your hosting company (if you have a quality host with good support), or ask a local web developer or IT person who will know of these domain name scams.

What to remember about your domain names / Domain Renewal Scams

  • Basically, your domains should auto-renew and most domain registrars tell you 1 month in advance that the domain is scheduled for renewal
  • Most domain names are $10-20 at most per year (unless it is a specific domain type i.e. not .com / .net / .org)
  • All domain name registrars will address you by name with correct personal information
  • Finally, if you are uncomfortable renewing or processing a letter where you have to part with money – seek advice.
How to Fix a frozen iPhone or a Frozen Safari App

How to Fix a frozen iPhone or a Frozen Safari App

So you are looking to find out How to fix a frozen iPhone ,,,, Has your iPhone stopped working? Is the iPhone totally frozen? Is the iPhone unresponsive? If you answered yes, then keep reading.

Have you dropped your phone in water or has the iPhone got very wet recently? If you answered yes, then this solution probably won’t fix an unresponsive iPhone. I would suggest not trying to turn a wet iPhone on and you should get professional assistance with this.

How to Fix a frozen iPhone or a Frozen Safari App

I was asked once how to fix a frozen iPhone which had a Frozen Safari app (Apples Internet Browser). This can also fix a Frozen iPhone in some situations like an app which is unresponsive.

The problem was that Safari on the iPhone would not accept any touches to the address bar, search bar or bookmarks – basically the Safari interface on the iPhone was frozen or simply it is a Frozen iPhone.

The solution to fix this frozen iPhone or frozen safari app is fairly easy, but not everyone knows it. To fix and unfreeze the iPhone Safari App , do as follows;
– Load the Safari App on the iPod Touch / iPhone … if the whole phone is just unresponsive read the iPhone Reset step below
– when Safari has loaded, press and hold the home button (the circular button in the middle of the iPod) until Safari quits
– your iPhone / iPod Touch should return to the home screen.

How to Reset an iPhone

If this does not work you can try do an iPhone reset. The iPhone reset is done by pressing and holding the home button and the power on/off button simultaneously, until you see the Apple logo and then release – while ignoring the “slide to turn off prompt” when doing this.

Its probably useful to clear your cache and cookies when this has resolved; this can be done by Going to Settings > Safari and select Clear History, Clear Cookies, and Clear Cache.

You can also ensure no further issues occur by turning off and re-powering the iPod/iPhone once finished this.

Hopefully, this should solve any problems if you have an iPod Touch or iPhone with a Safari App which is Frozen or if you have a frozen iPhone, hopefully you are now back up and running.

 

If you are very unfortunate and your iPod / iPhone won’t start at all, you may need to do a full reset of your iPhone !

How to Fix a frozen iPhone or a Frozen Safari App
5 ways to secure your WordPress Blog & avoid downtime

5 ways to secure your WordPress Blog & avoid downtime

There are millions of WordPress blogs around the world and if you host WordPress yourself you will know that there is often some maintenance to be done. But many people don’t know and therefore when things go wrong on their blog. Most are surprised to find out that there were things they could have done to prevent the downtime. These are 5 ways to secure your WordPress Blog & avoid downtime. My shanemcdonald.ie site is based on WordPress and rarely do I have issues.

1) WordPress Plugins

Your hosted WordPress installation will have some plugins installed and from time to time these will be patched, improved and in some cases be given security improvements. You will know if an update is due on your WordPress plugins as a circle with a number will appear after the Plugins section on the left hand column of your WordPress Dashboard. Simply click into the Plugins section, select the plugins for upgrade and hit the Upgrade button. It is a straight forward process which is worth checking for every few days.

2) WordPress Installation Updates

Occasionally WordPress itself will be upgraded, at the time of writing this post version 3.4.2 of WordPress is the latest stable release. You will know if an upgrade for WordPress is available as it will be highlighted across the Top of your WordPress Dashboard. This Notification should not be ignored as it usually gives security improvements plus new features. The Upgrade process may include a database backup advisory so if you don’t backup your wordpress databases you should and there are some excellent plugins which allow you to do this.

3) Framework Updates

If you use purchased or 3rd party WordPress Themes, these may come with a Theme Framework. These framework updates are sometimes overlooked and people don’t even know they are there. Most often if you click Appearance -> Themes you may see an extra dropdown for Update Framework…this may also appear further down the Dashboard left column under Theme Options. you should always know what theme you are working with so that you don’t inadvertently delete or change settings for the theme – also if you are on twitter / the web you may see notifications or alerts for certain themes saying that updates are available for potential security loopholes etc.

4) Permissions

This is one of the biggest problems on sites which have been attacked or hacked – people don’t set the correct permissions on files and folders. Setting permissions using chmod 777 which is read, write and execute for everyone is one way of asking for trouble. Its like leaving your backdoor open and wondering why you got robbed. There are plenty of tutorials online which explain file permissions and correctly set permissions allow WordPress and you (as the web admin) access, but no-one else.

5) Table naming and Admin usernames

One other way of protecting WordPress is when installing the system to avoid calling your tables wp_ and also by not allocating admin as the username but by choosing something else. This helps avoid attacks on known tables / usernames.

Conclusion

Hopefully these 5 ways to secure your WordPress Blog will help you avoid downtime. It might help you maintain a safer installation of the worlds best Blogging software.

SEO Experiment in July seemed to work … I think

The traffic to the site is now 1,000 visitors up PER DAY, over the same daily periods in the first 6 months of the year. In the months Jan to June I was getting about 1,800 visitors per day to the site and I put this down to my lapse in frequent blogging and a reduction in updates to the site. This follows on from the Panda and other updates from Google in recent months and I was sure I was affected.

In July I decided to start blogging more and updating the site more frequently. I uploaded a few blog posts in July. This seemed to work very quickly and early August traffic seemed to indicate very high spike in traffic and no apparent reason. Could this be down to the updates and more frequent blog posts?

I will wait and see – but for now I will not be resting on laurels and will be updating the blog on an ongoing basis to ensure this new gain of traffic is not lost !

How failing to have regular website updates can hurt your traffic

How failing to have regular website updates can hurt your traffic

How having regular website updates can increase your website traffic

I had been blogging quite a lot between July 2011 and January 2012 but due to may things, I had very infrequent updates to the blog and to the website in general since January. The one thing I noticed was a drop in traffic and this is something which Google and Search Engines love to see – Regular Updates with Original Quality Content.

Below is a graph of traffic to the website since the regular updates to the site were reduced to once a month or once every three weeks. I’m now doing a test to see how a concerted effort on content might grow this traffic once more.

Regular traffic updates help grow your website traffic - SEO Website Traffic Growth

I’m going to have a blog post on the site once every three days if possible and can then assess the results in traffic numbers. I’m looking at getting the traffic back up over the 50K unique visitors per month.

Lets wait and see…