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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. Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress also connects to Google Search Console. As a result, your WordPress SEO can benefit from things like Google and Bing Authentication and also notifications about soft 404 errors and much more.

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. Search Engine Optimisation is an ongoing thing for bloggers and website owners and WordPress has many features to take the pain out of this for you.

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 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 OF DOMAIN NAME SCAM EMAIL — — —

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 provide 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
  • Perhaps note your domain details on paper for future reference including expiration dates and login info (don’t write passwords down though)
  • 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 to 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.

It’s 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 this fix for the frozen iPhone has worked for you then please leave a comment below.

 

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

Securing WordPress

There are millions of WordPress blogs around the world. If you host WordPress yourself you will know that there is often some maintenance to be done. However, many people don’t know and many security issues can affect their blog. Most self-hosted bloggers 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) Update your 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.

If you are finished using or no longer use a certain WordPress plugin, delete it from your system. It reduced clutter and also other risks of unsecured plugins.

2) Check your 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 WordPress upgrade process may include a database backup advisory so if you don’t back up your WordPress databases you should and there are some excellent plugins which allow you to do this.

3) Check for WordPress 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) Check your file and directory 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) WordPress Table naming and Admin usernames

One other way of protecting WordPress is when installing the system to avoid calling your tables wp_ (this is the default for WordPress) 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 WordPress, the worlds best Blogging software.

Stupid “Who Viewed My Profile” Apps on Facebook sharing Data

Stupid “Who Viewed My Profile” Apps on Facebook sharing Data

I get very irate when I see peoples gullibility by clicking apps to see who has been viewing your Facebook Profile. Thousands of people have been attracted to webpages and Facebook apps which claim to be able to give you an analytical insight into who is viewing their Facebook profile. These apps have the potential for Facebook sharing data with the 3rd parties. 

OMG See who is viewing your Facebook Profile

You may have seen many messages such as “OMG… I can’t believe this actually works! Now you really can see who views your profile!” or “See who views your Facebook profile in real-time!”

See whos viewing your Facebook Profile - Facebook profile apps

These are ALL Scams – Please do not click the links to these Facebook profile apps, as you cannot see who views your Facebook profile.

Facebook Official Statement (via their Privacy section)

Can I know who’s viewing my profile (timeline) or how often it’s being viewed?
No, Facebook does not provide a functionality that enables you to track who is viewing your profile (timeline), or parts of your profile (timeline), such as your photos. Third party applications also cannot provide this functionality. Applications that claim to give you this ability will be removed from Facebook for violating policy. You can report applications that provide untrustworthy experiences.

What do these apps do?

To gain access to the secret behind the scenes data of who is viewing your Facebook profile you may be asked for personal information, you may need to take surveys and you may even be asked for your mobile number (which could be used for God knows what).

The information from these Apps is not true

I know of one Facebook user who died in 2011 but the Facebook profile is still active. This person was listed as recently viewing and being on of the “Top 20 viewers” of another person’s profile. This person was Tagged in the photo as having viewed the other persons profile; which is not only upsetting for the family of the deceased but also very bad behaviour from the writers of the App.

These apps determine the people who viewed the other peoples profiles by randomly selecting people from the friends list (which the third-party app now has, as it was granted access by the person who tried the Who’s looking at your profile app)

Who views your facebook Profile - Who is viewing your profile on Facebook? Facebook App

Staying Safe on Facebook – These Facebook Profile Apps Don’t Work !

These “Who’s viewing your Facebook Profile” app  scams don’t work. These Facebook apps are not malware, spyware or clickjacking, purely gullibility of Facebook users. 

Think about what you are doing,

(1) you are giving the Facebook App access to your profile

(2) This app now has access to your data

(3) the app can write on your wall when ever it wants.

 

Share this News with others!

Please share this page on Facebook to warn your Facebook friends about these stupid and unproductive apps. There are share links below for Facebook, Twitter and other Social Networks.

Santa talks to you and gives a personalised video message

Santa talks to you and gives a personalised video message

The Portable North Pole or PNP where Santa Talks to you

I originally posted this back in 2009 but I have updated the post with some new information. Its the first-day od December and this is the first of the Christmas links.  I found this excellent video greeting and message from Santa on 23rd December 2009 and thought it was a really well-designed system. Santa will talk to you and gives you a very personalised message. This is cool both for kids and the older kids (mum & dad).

Simply provide the information and you can amaze your kids or young children (or older people who don’t understand technology) – it is very well done!

The Portable North Pole system has Santa at the North Pole and with the information you provide. Santa then talks to you and to deliver a personalised video with details of what that person asked for. You can also save and buy the video later if you want. I have done this a few times and I really enjoy doing it for others. The amount of effort which must have been put behind this project is mindboggling. They must have had to record every name possible – either that or they recorded all the parts of the words, so for Shane, they would record Sh – ANE  (which is how it is pronounced) and the video places these side by side to create the full name. Either way, but this is a great Santa video system in time for the Christmas Season.

The PNP (Portable North Pole) Santa system is really an excellent system. So, to get your personalised Santa video go to http://www.portablenorthpole.tv/home

If you use it once the PNP system will send you emails during the year and approaching Christmas to let you know Santa is ready to create another personalised video for you.