Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts, talks about the search engine’s algorithmic changes coming down the pike in the Summer of 2013 (see Cutts’ 7 minute video below). The changes will be an attempt to improve user experience and hinder spammers.
To avoid problems, Cutts encourages web owners to use high quality content with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind. He says Google’s changes will promote doing a better job of detecting the authority of website and content authors. They are also looking at their filtering software, Panda, to find additional signals to refine things on sites and soften effects, as well as seek additional signals of quality. Google will supposedly be making improvements to how search results are viewed, too. For example, once you’ve seen a cluster of results from one site, you’ll be less likely to see more results from that site as you go deeper into the Google search result pages.
For the average Google user, you probably won’t notice anything has changed or maysimply find search results are better than before. But for website owners who utilize SEO strategies, be aware of your site content and keep it high in quality with clearly defined keywords and phrases. Avoid anything that may be considered ‘black hat’ and be sure to put emphasis on your authorship. If you don’t prepare for the changes, you may see your rankings and traffic take a hit this fall.
For most businesses, an ideal website will be responsive to desktop computers, tablets and smart phones. When planning to design or redesign your website, however, you need to consider if you want to target a mobile audience. If so, what do you want to convey to them through mobile? Some statistics…
56% of people who own cell phone use their phone to go online
50% of smart phone owners use their phones for social media every day
34% of mobile website users would visit a competitor’s mobile site, if they had a bad mobile experience with a business
30% use their phone to decide whether to visit a local business, such as a restaurant or retail store
Top activities on Smartphones:
access local information (maps, directions)
search for general information
participate in social media
access news and entertainment
find local services (ie., restaurants)
Since over half of cell phone users go online with their mobile devices, many businesses (especially local storefronts and restaurants) would benefit from a mobile site. To avoid frustrating your audience, consider the following details:
Mobile Web Design should:
keep branding elements (logo, colors, etc.) consistent with the desktop website version
simplify navigation, so it is easy to understand and select options from a smaller screen
be thumb friendly–easy to click with little typing needed
give an option to view the full website version
use white space and minimal text for better viewing
clearly show contact information, directions and map
If you think you need to have your website accessible by phone, then consider the design, target audience and goals. Analytic tracking of mobile activity is a must and should be implemented to gauge the value of the mobile site. Otherwise, how will you know if your efforts have delivered a good return on your investment?
Ever see an email from someone at your own domain, yet you know the person is not a part of your company? Chances are it is is commercial spam–a “joe job”–and if you don’t open the email, it is relatively harmless.
According to Wikipedia, a joe job is a spamming technique that sends out unsolicited e-mails using spoofed sender data. Early joe jobs aimed at tarnishing the reputation of the apparent sender or inducing the recipients to take action against the person, but they are now typically used by commercial spammers to conceal the true origin of their messages.
If you want to determine what to do, you can look at the code header of the email to confirm the sender is really from another domain. Don’t open the email, though. To look at the header safely in Outlook, right click on the email sitting in your inbox and select Message Options (see image 1 below).
Image 1 – Outlook Message Options
In the line “Received: From” you’ll be able to see the true origins of the sender (see image 2 below) and it will most likely be somewhere other than your own domain server. Simply move the email to the junk folder and forget about it.
Image 2 – Outlook Internet Header on a Spam Email
If by some chance, the sender origin really IS your own domain then contact your hosting company immediately! A hijacked email account is a serious problem and should be dealt with quickly. Needless to say, to reduce the chance of someone accessing your account and taking it over make sure your hosting account passwords are complex.