Tips Tuesday – Spam Bot Crawler Blocker, Chrome Ditching Java, CloudFlare Page Rules

BlogAid Tips Tuesday 0150421

Tips this week include:

- Pinterest, Ads, and Mobile Webinar
– WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast ver 2.1 video quick tour
– new CloudFlare Page Rules and Check Headers video tutorials
– the real truth about the new Google mobile algorithm
– how to easily create annotations in Google Analytics
– how to submit an XML Sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools video tutorial
– a new spammy crawler bot blocker plugin I’m testing
– how to block Google from accessing site search results
– a list of major plugins with an XSS vulnerability
– Chrome cutting off Java support in the next release and how that will affect ads
– why a website is not enough
– an image optimization tutorial and case study

Listen to the podcast

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Tips Tuesday – CloudFlare Video, Pinterest and Ads Webinar

BlogAid Tips Tuesday 150414

Hello Happy Site Owners! Welcome to the BlogAid Tips Tuesday Podcast for April 14, 2015 and I’m your host MaAnna.

Tips this week include:

- making a spreadsheet of all your site’s pages and posts
– new video tutorial on how to install and configure CloudFlare
– a Reverse Webinar for folks who use Pinterest and run ads
– more of what’s coming in WordPress 4.2 and when
– 8 blog post SEO techniques that work
– the look at me vs. look at you approach to marketing

Listen to the podcast now.

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Tips Tuesday – Big WordPress Changes, Free Conversion Rate Optimization Resources

BlogAid Tips Tuesday 040715

Hello Happy Site Owners! Welcome to the BlogAid Tips Tuesday Podcast for April 7, 2015 and I’m your host MaAnna.

Tips this week include:

- new Webmaster Training videos on how to spot bad bots and plugin resource hogs
– a few changes to the WordPress | SEO | Genesis Library
– new webinars for WordPress and SEO fundamentals
– WordPress 4.2 coming out soon
– dramatic changes coming for WordPress and plugins
– a super roundup of all the important SEO news from March
– bunches of free hangouts in this year’s Conversion Rate Optimization Day
– an easy way to move all of your YouTube channels to one profile

So let’s dive in. Listen to the podcast

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Tips Tuesday – Content Audit, Page Load Speed, SEO Videos

BlogAid Tips Tuesday 150331

Hello Happy Site Owners! This is the BlogAid Tips Tuesday Podcast for March 31, 2015 and I’m your host MaAnna.

Tips this week include:

- WordPress SEO Plugin 2.0 release and new video tutorials
– Everything you need to know about Google’s Mobile Algorithm
– Why page load speed matters more than ever
– Server response time vs. page load time
– Getting serious about site success
– My site revamp journey details
– why you need to conduct a content audit
– what to do with your old, neglected, and broken content
– what’s behind the 5 big EIG host companies being hacked
– why you must use unique, strong passwords everywhere

So let’s dive in. Listen to the podcast.

BlogAid Happenings

WordPress SEO Plugin 2.0 Released

In knew it. A couple of months ago I helped Yoast run performance tests on the 1.8 beta version of his WordPress SEO plugin. Since then I’ve been waiting to remake my SEO video tutorials for it in both the WordPress | SEO | Genesis Video Library and the Webmaster Training Video Library until after it was released.

Well, I got tired of waiting and started in on the first video. And wouldn’t you know it. The very next day there was a major update of the plugin to version 2.0.

WordPress SEO Plugin Configuration Videos

I have been a video making crazy person this week. I jumped right on this new plugin version.

There are now 7 video tutorials for version 2.0 of the WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast. You’ll find them in both the Webmaster Training Library and the WordPress | SEO | Genesis Library

SEO Course

And in that WordPress library, there is a full SEO course that has 2 hours’ worth of video instruction for you to set up everything including that plugin to tweak it exactly for your site, all of your on page SEO, and both authorship and publishership connections.

And no, neither of those are dead. Google very much wants to know who wrote what online. They just stopped giving some of the more visible authorship perks, like your happy face next to all of your posts to anyone other than your Circles in G+.

New Webmaster Training Videos

And I’ve added several new vid tuts to the Webmaster Training member site besides the WordPress SEO plugin. In fact Level 3 is all about SEO and includes everything from making your Google Connections for analytics and Webmaster Tools to how to do redirects properly. I’m finishing out that section right now. And only have a few videos left to make in Level 4 that will complete the entire training course.

Designers Who Know This Stuff Make More Money

If you’re a designer or work with sites in any way, including just setting them up for folks, this is the kind of webmaster training that will help you stand out in that crowded field and set your business apart from the rest. You’ll be able to bring so much more to your client work, and can make more money that way too.

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BlogAid Training Testimonials

I want to thank a couple of nice folks for their wonderful comments on G+ to that WordPress SEO plugin video tour.

+Tim Sweeney said,

“This is one of the reasons why I signed up for all your training. You summarize and present what we need to know as site owners all in one place. Thanks! (Saves hours of searching and vetting information.)”

+Mary Ionatti said,

“MaAnna’s trainings are huge time savers. Lots of good information is also exchanged at the live Webmaster webinars. It’s extra knowledge you won’t find in the trainings and it’s really valuable.”

Very kind of them to say.

That’s most all the news from around here.
Let’s jump into this week’s tips from around the ‘net.

SEO Tips

The really big news this week comes from Google. They have drawn a line in the sand about getting your site lean and clean.

Google’s Mobile Algorithm – What You Need to Know

This is an outstanding post by +Ana Hoffman replete with every link worth reading about the impending Google edict to get your site mobile-friendly by April 21st or else.

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Page Load Takes Two-Seconds? Google May Slow Crawling Your Site

And then +Barry Schwartz put the nail in the coffin with this report on John Mueller himself saying that if any URL takes longer than 2 seconds to fetch by a Google bot then Google will severely limit the number of URLs the will crawl on your site.

Now, this is mainly referencing server response time, not page load time.

The days of cut rate hosting are over.

Server Response Time vs. Page Load Time for Google Crawl

+Ana Hoffman posted about this news from Barry, with a challenge for folks to write posts that helped explain all of this in layman’s terms. Then Google’s own +John Mueller commented that he would like to see a post begin with the difference in server response and page load times.

So, I wrote it.

Go have a look at why all of this is so important and what it all means, plus what you can do right now to help your site.

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Are You Serious About Site Success?

That’s it folks. The gauntlet has been thrown by Google. And I’m going to make it as clear as I can for you.

Either you want to run a successful online business, or you don’t.

If you think these changes with Google won’t affect you because your business does not depend on search from Google, think again. More and more folks every single day are getting their sites in line with Google’s directives. That means cleaner and leaner is going to become the norm. And visitors will expect sites to load accurately and quickly on phones and other mobile devices. If yours doesn’t, they leave. And they go to sites that they can easily view. That’s the bottom line.

There are billions of sites on the web. You’re competing with all of them in viewer expectation, regardless of niche.

Get a Site Audit

I had an interesting conversion yesterday with a client who initially hired me to help her with SEO on her site. It took me about 2 minutes of poking around to check her current SEO status to find several other serious issues with the site that dramatically increased the load time, which is about 8 seconds.

When I showed her a few of those things in a live session, she remarked that Google is making it impossible for the average blogger to have a successful site.

Yes, exactly!

It’s time to take responsibility as a business site owner and invest in making your site what it needs to be to make you money. You can’t have a gorgeous design on cut rate hosting anymore. It’s like a great store in a crappy neighborhood. You don’t want your visitors to have to go through that to get to you.

You can’t just keep throwing plugins and ads all over your site and expect it to perform well.

And you can’t keep hiding behind the cobbler’s children excuse.

If you don’t think you have enough time to get your whole site account, including your hosting in order, you’re about to have a lot more time on your hands from being out of business.

Every other site in your niche that is making the time to get their online act together is going to do better.

Are you ready for your site audit now?

You’ll get a full report that we chat about live and can make a nice to do list in phases so you take it in an organized way, in manageable chunks. You’ll know exactly what needs to be done and how to do it.

Site Revamp Tips

As promised, I’m sharing the steps I’m taking for my deep audit of BlogAid and I’ll be sharing those tips in a series of posts.

I’ve been playing with some new layout ideas. You can see a few changes on the home page of the site. It’s not exactly pretty, but at least everything there reflects the type of services and information I offer now.

I’m doing most of the work on the backside for now. I’ve made a list of all the core pages on the site, mainly by just going through the navigation menu, and I’m tweaking the content and layout over in a sandbox site so that they will also reflect my current offers, and to get them ready for a responsive design.

Next, I plan to copy my XML sitemap into a spreadsheet and go through every single page and post on the site. I’m betting that there will be bunches of them that can go bye-bye. I’ll tell you more about that whole process in the weeks to come.

But the main thing is, I’m doing a full content audit and I’m taking it a step at a time. Here are a couple of nice, and timely posts, that will help you do the same.

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Why You Need To Conduct A Content Audit

A content audit can seem like a daunting task. But it is necessary to do, especially if you’ve never done one on your site. It’s probably full of outdated info that is no longer helping you meet your online goals.

+Carrie-Anne Foster has a nice post on why you need to conduct such an audit with helpful tips and an infographic that will help you get started on the process and help you take it a step at a time.

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A Brief Guide to Fixing Your Old, Neglected, and Broken Content

And once you get started with that audit, you’ll enjoy this excellent post on Copyblogger about what to do with all that old content on your site. There is no single best way, and the variety of actions Demian Farnworth offers in this post are spot on, including:

  • 3 reasons to fix it
  • and 4 options of what to do with it
  • what to do with past events
  • what to do with obsolete products
  • what to do when a product or company name changes
  • what to do when sales end
  • fixing expired job or house listings
  • and what to do with limited capacity training courses once they have filled

So, it’s most definitely worth the read to not let all of these things just expire and become dead weight on your site.

Security Tips

5 Biggest Hosting Companies hacked by Syrian Electronic Army

Holy moly. Hosts owned by EIG such as HostGator, Bluehost, HostMonster, and JustHost were hacked yesterday by the Syrian Electronic Army. According to the report by +The Hacker News the SEA went after EIG’s biggest brands because the hackers claimed EIG was hosting terrorist sites. The hackers even displayed screenshots on their Twitter accounts of the hacked home pages of each host.

Y’all know that I’ve been steering folks clear of EIG owned hosting companies for a couple of years now. But honestly, there is no place to hide from this sort of thing. It can happen to any host, just like a massive DDoS extortion attack can befall one of them. It’s unique that we actually know why hackers chose this particular target. But all hosts are at risk these days.

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Use unique, strong passwords everywhere

If you have multiple users on your site, require every one of them to use super strong passwords, and require that they get rotated on a consistent basis, like every 6 months or so. I don’t care how much you would trust them with your life, you can’t trust that they are using a unique password that hasn’t been used on any other account, and that account has not been compromised.

The same holds true for you. Case in point below.

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RadioShack puts customer personal data up for sale in bankruptcy auction

Radio Shack is going bankrupt. And they are now auctioning off their database of customer information. Talk about selling out trust. This should be against the law. Folks gave them the information in good faith that the privacy policy would be honored.

Here’s the reality. Privacy policies can change any minute. Act like there isn’t one with every account you open. Assume that your data is being shared or sold and is already available on the black market and in use to try to hack other accounts.

Get LastPass

To help you keep up with all of those unique passwords for every account, get a service like LastPass. There is a free version, but if you want to have access to it on multiple devices, including mobile, you’ll want to pay the $1/mo fee. Come on. $12/yr guys. It would take you way more than an hour of your time to straighten out any hacked account, and most folks listening to this podcast make more than $12/hr.

Stop expecting everything to be for free and make the investment to protect yourself properly.

Thanks to +Mark Vang for catching this news for us.

Wrap Up

That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday. Thanks for subscribing on iTunes, and for giving this show a rating and review. I really appreciate it. And do drop by and say hey over on my Google+ page too. That’s where I hang out. Be sure to visit BlogAid.net for more tips and resources and I’ll see you online.

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Tips Tuesday – Recommended Plugins, Test for Mobile, Security Plugins Vulnerable

BlogAid Tips Tuesday 032415

Hello Happy Site Owners! Welcome to the BlogAid Tips Tuesday Podcast for March 24, 2015 and I’m your host MaAnna.

Tips this week include:

  • new Webmaster Training videos
  • the launch of the new Site Success Interview Series
  • what’s in the WordPress 4.2 Beta 1 release
  • testing WordPress for mobile
  • a great recommended plugins list
  • whether to replace Akismet with Antispam Bee
  • security plugins becoming a security risk
  • the best place to find security news
  • and how to get the best image optimization

So let’s dive in. Listen to the podcast.

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Denise Wakeman on the BlogAid Successful Site Interview Series

Denise Wakeman on the BlogAid Site Success Interview Series

I’m delighted to welcome visibility expert Denise Wakeman and her adventuresome spirit to the inaugural podcast of the Successful Site Interview Series where I’ll be chatting with my clients and online entrepreneurs about what it takes to run a successful site. Listen now

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Tips Tuesday – Site Review Webinar, Plugin Auto Updates, Site Maintenance Packages

BlogAid Tips Tuesday 031715

Hello Happy Site Owners!

This week’s tips include:

  • free site review webinar with special guest
  • Webmaster Training member webinar
  • what’s up with me and host provider recommendations
  • HTML5 tags coming to widgets in WordPress 4.2
  • the hoohaa over the recent WordPress SEO plugin update
  • clarification guidelines on all plugin auto updates
  • what’s recently been updated in a few popular plugins that shows a trend
  • new site maintenance packages from my favorite fix-it guy
  • why you should give your best content away for free
  • a new place to get super free images for your site
  • 2 new additions to Google Webmaster Tools

So let’s dive in. Listen to the podcast.

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Tips Tuesday – Slow Load Heatmap, Site Review Webinar, NoFollow Links on Themes

BlogAid Tips Tuesday 031015

Hello Happy Site Owners! Tips this week include:

  • new interview podcasts
  • free site review webinar
  • re-launch of the carving site
  • New head of StudioPress,
  • Privilege Escalation vulnerabilities
  • round up of all changes to Google Webmaster Tools in the last month
  • why designers need to put nofollow links on their client’s sites
  • page level assessment of the new Mobile Friendly algorithm
  • 7 ways to make your website project fail
  • and a Chrome extension for a heatmap of your slow load elements

So let’s dive in. Listen to the podcast.

BlogAid Happenings

Lots of happy news around here this week.

Going Full Time

This Saturday will be the one year anniversary of leaving my day job as an electronics engineer for nearly 30 years and going full time with BlogAid. It’s great to be living my dream! I do a job I love every day and get to help other folks do the same. And, I’m very blessed to work with so many people who put good into the world. And that just warms my heart.

New Family Member

The big news around here is that there has been an addition to the family. I’ve adopted a schnauzer and tickled pink to have puppy paws in the place again.

I spent a lot of years working two full time jobs and then this last year building the rest of the foundation for BlogAid and had put a lot of my joyful life things on hold to get it done. That’s the way it is being an entrepreneur of a startup.

So, I’m very happy to start getting my life back and be off the road and in a position to have a doggie again.

Heartwood Art Re-Launch

And on that note, I’m delighted to announce the relaunch of my wood carving site, Heartwood Art! And a HUGE THANK YOU to +Cyndia Papia for doing the big tasks of integrating a static HTML site and a Blogger blog and getting all under one WordPress roof.

We thought we would be making an interim theme for now and do a more detailed design later, but a few more tweaks here and there on the draft led to this being the theme. I’m thrilled with it. This was all Cyndi. I told her what I wanted to do with the site, gave her some images, and made just a few comments on the first draft. Everything else is her doing.

When I first announced I’d be turning this project over to her entirely and just staying out of her way, y’all thought I was crazy. Go have a look at the site and see just how smart that decision was.

Besides getting caught up on the blogs of my latest project, I’ll be tweaking the content on it over the next few months and learning more about generating passive income through ads and sponsors too. As I create new and bigger graphics for my carvings and get more sponsors, we’ll be rearranging it a bit.

New Interview Podcasts

In other big news here, I’ve sent the invitations out for client interviews. These will be in addition to Tips Tuesday and will give you the inside scoop on what it’s like to run big, successful sites over the years, or what it’s like to go through a full site revamp and training to take things up a notch.

I’m delighted that visibility expert +Denise Wakeman will be my first guest. She’s been at this online marketing thing for years and she has a unique perspective from trying just about every visibility technique known.

I’m excited to hear what she has to say on the value of trying new things and evaluating the ROI with regard to her site and what it takes to keep up with all of that.

Free Site Review Webinar

I do believe it’s time to do another zero-pitch, free site review webinar. It will be coming up very soon.

BlogAid News subscribers will be the first to know the date and get first dibs on submitting their site for the limited slots. So, be sure to get on that list if you haven’t done so already.

And, we’ll have a special guest this time. Social media coach +Carrie-Anne Foster will be joining us. She had her site reviewed in one of these webinars and has since gotten a site audit. You’ll get the scoop on what we found on the difference in looking at the front side compared to the backside and what it really takes to run a successful site.

Webmaster Webinar

The next Webmaster Level 5 member webinar will be the 22nd. We’re doing this one on a Saturday afternoon to give folks who can’t attend on Thursday a chance to be there live, instead of watching the replay. That way they get to ask questions too.

We’ll be covering my latest security tests and performance tweaks, plus how to get sites ready for the new Mobile Friendly ranking factor.

That’s all the news from around here.
Let’s jump into this week’s tips from around the ‘net.

WordPress News

4.2 Enhancements Deadline is March 10th

Today is the deadline for adding things to the upcoming release of WordPress 4.2. The first beta should roll out on Wednesday and from then on they will be focused entirely on bug fixes until the public release sometime in April. I’ll keep you posted on details of what all is coming in this release as it gets closer.

Theme News

Brian Gardner Moves to Rainmaker

When you think of StudioPress, the first name that comes to mind is the creator of Genesis, Brian Gardner. Well, he’s going to be moving full time over into the Rainmaker platform, which is their unique version of managed WordPress hosting.

Lauren Mancke will be taking his place. She’s not new to StudioPress. They brought her in a year ago as the creative director. Her themes are lovely and I was hoping that would translate into more variety on StudioPress, but it didn’t. Maybe it will now. We’ll see.

Listen or watch this HOA of Carrie Dils’ interview with Lauren and get the skinny.

Security Tips

Xen security issue prompts Amazon, Rackspace cloud reboots

Thanks to my fave fix-it guy +Makis for this heads up on a cloud vulnerability that will affect those who host on Amazon EC2, Rackspace, and any service using Linode. As safe as the cloud is, it’s not going to escape this new rash of security issues. The hackers are now going after broad stroke, foundational stuff.

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Privilege Escalation

Lately I’ve been seeing more plugins with a privilege escalation vulnerability. This not something new and not something that affects just plugins or just WordPress. Even Windows has a problem with it. But, for websites, it means a hacker can gain control of the root account of a whole server with it. That affects every site on a server.

I’ve also seen attacks on sites that look similar to this, but the entry point can’t be identified. So, I don’t have anything definitive for you at this time on it, but can tell you that I’m only seeing it on shared hosting so far.

SEO Tips

March 2015 Google Webmaster Report

+Barry Schwartz has released his monthly report on changes at GWT and it’s pretty active this time. He covers all of the major announcements like mobile-friendly ranking and the ecommerce update. And he’s found a few surprises too, like Google proactively reaching out to help site owners recover from a hack. No kidding. Thanks to Barry for making it easy on us to get all that news in one place.

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Google: Definitely Put A Nofollow On Web Design By Links

All of the designers on my team stopped putting a “designed by” type link on their client’s sites years ago, mainly because they think it’s tacky to use the site as a billboard.

But, there’s a very real SEO reason too. Google has made it official that if such a link is on a site, it needs to be made nofollow.

Now for folks who design themes to be sold en masse, they do want to have a link. And it’s usually dofollow. And that’s usually in the core coding and not something end users can change easily. So, you may want to have a look at the very bottom of pages on your site and see what links are there and make them nofollow.

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The Google Mobile Algorithm Is Real-Time & On The Page Level

April 21st will be here before you know it. That’s when the new Mobile Friendly ranking factor goes into effect at Google. But don’t fret if all of your site pages don’t meet the criteria. The ranking will be on a page by page basis instead of site wide. You can read more about it in this post on SEO Roundtable.

7 Ways to Make Your Website Project Fail

I want to thank designer +Paula Gregorowicz for writing this post.

I’m going to list just a few here:

  • Assume your designer can read your mind.
  • Drag your feet when it comes to providing the content/copy for the site.
  • Ask for endless revisions.

There are 4 more and you’ll want to go read the post for the rest. I know she meant this tongue in cheek, but they are so typical and true. Read that post and don’t be that client.

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YoastCon: 5 year anniversary conference

In May, the Yoast company turns 5 years old and they are celebrating with YoastCon. It’s in the Netherlands and features bunches of great speakers discussing website optimization. Be sure to see the site for more info, including ticket prices and speaker list.

Performance Tips

HTTP/2 not coming to cPanel

You may recall me reporting in a recent Tips Tuesday about the new http/2 protocol coming to browsers soon  and making web pages load faster.

According to +Denver Prophit https://plus.google.com/+DenverProphitJr/posts it may be supported by most browsers, but won’t be coming to servers with cPanel. He spoke with the techs at LiquidWeb who say it’s unsafe. And with all of the patches that have been coming out for softwares on Linux servers, I’m betting they don’t want to add to their problems right now.

Bottom line – it’s more imperative than ever that you get your site clean and lean and loading fast as it sits. A site audit will show you where the drags are and how to improve them.

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Heatmap of Slow Load Elements

Hey, you want to try something fun? There’s a new Chrome extension called Perfmap and it color codes what’s loading slowly on your site. The times are how long it took for the visitor to see each element.

Now, since this is an extension, you may want to run it and remove it. It won’t take the place of a site audit, but I suggest that you give it a try because it’s super easy to read and will give you a super quick way to get a page load grip on your site.

Wrap Up

That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday. Thanks for subscribing on iTunes, and for giving this show a rating and review. I really appreciate it. And do drop by and say hey over on my Google+ page too. That’s where I hang out. Be sure to visit BlogAid.net for more tips and resources and I’ll see you online.

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