Tips – Deja Vu All Over Again

I cannot believe it’s been 7 or 8 months since I last posted anything.  But, as some of my clients know, personal life sometimes gets in the way of business.

Speaking of which. . . oh my gosh, I continue to be amazed by a number of things including:

1. Why doesn’t everyone have their email set to view as text rather than HTML?  It would save so many people from having their computers infected because they click on a link that looks legit, but really takes them to a malware site.

2.  How many times do I have to tell clients to run nightly backups and, if nothing else, save their entire c: drive to a 16 gig flash drive (or whatever size is necessary) at least once a month and give it to a trusted relative on the off chance your house burns down.

3.  My own sister has been running a malware program instead of a respected antivirus program.  Buy Norton Internet Security or McAfee or AVG and set it up  to do a full scan nightly and to automatically check for updates and install them.  You get what you pay for.

4.  People fail to install all the updates to various software programs from Windows to their shopping carts and WordPress sites.  Updates are important.  They are most often “fixes” that relate to security or bugs.  Not installing them is akin to getting a recall notice on your car for a safety issue that needs fixing immediately and then ignoring it.  Not very bright.

5.  People will click on almost anything without a second thought, whether it’s in an email or search results.   Many of those links will take you to bad sites and I don’t mean bad as in not very meaningful.  I mean “bad” as in malicious.  In IE and Chrome (and probably Firefox and Safari), one can mouse-over a link and look down the bottom left of the browser window and see where the link will actually take you.  The same is true of Outlook.

6.  Don’t embed images or movies, etc. in emails.  Send your friends/relatives/business associates a link to the website or image and/or a description of it.  Give enough information that they know the email is really from you and that some evil person hasn’t phished your email address.

Oh, my, the list goes on. . . but I’ll stop here for now.   Except for one last thing:  listen to advice.  You aren’t a 13 yr. old who thinks they know more than their parents.  Unless you actually spend your day managing other people’s websites and making them rank well, don’t think you know more than the person who has.

In that case, that would be me.  If all my clients really followed my advice and suggestions, they would be much happier.  Of course, I wouldn’t make as much money, but, then, it’s never been about the money for me.  I made money in my old job.  I started this business to help people be successful on the internet.  It’s frustrating (as you can tell, after reading this) to make recommendations, have them ignored and then 2 years later have the same client come back and say, “Hey, why don’t we do this?  So-and-so said it was a good idea.”   I fear I may not present myself as authoritative as I am.

Such is life.

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Doing The Google Shuffle

Google changed its ranking algorithm again this past week and, as usual, it’s good for some and bad for others.  I was pleased to see that one of my clients who has been online for 7+ years and has a very niche market is back in the top 3.   For 6 years (once I got them set up and gave Google time to rank them), they were always in the top 3 for their keyword of choice.  Then a year ago, Google implemented major changes and, almost overnight, this company that is the largest online seller of their type of products, dropped to the 2nd page.

I use only “white hat” SEO methods, but the client who manages her own product database had gone a tad (a lot?) overboard on that keyword phrase in the succeeding years, as she added more products.  It took months of cleaning up product descriptions, etc. to delete the “offending”, but accurate, keyword to get her back on page 1 of results.

I noticed in April that she was moving up more and then, after the change a few days ago, she is again in the top 3.

The lesson to be learned: we’re at Google’s mercy!   Her products and targeted audience haven’t changed and her site has more of her type of products than any other online site.  While she could, and probably was, “guilty” of keyword stuffing, even that is a matter of opinion.   Pretty much everything she sells fits that keyword, so why wouldn’t she use it when describing the particulars of a product?

I don’t mean to be cagey by not providing her website, but it’s irrelevant to this subject.  Plus, I fear Google’s wrath!

Along those lines, I own a site that is very, very old that has always been in the top 3 or 4 for the very same keyword.  No more.  The content of the site hasn’t changed drastically over the years, but instead of being in the top 5, at least, I’m lucky to find my site on page 4.

The takeaway from that situation?   The only thing that changed, relative to the website and/or Google, is that Google started charging to show items in their Shopping section.   Since my site doesn’t actually sell products, but merely promotes them, I think it’s been penalized because I’m not contributing to Google’s revenues.

Now, let’s hope Big Brother doesn’t find out which sites I’m talking about!


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Don’t Get Spoofed

Tips for avoiding spoofing:
When you send something to a group, send the email to yourself with everyone else’s email in the bcc: field. Politely remind your friends to do the same. Forwarded (and forwarded) emails are one way spammers collect email addresses to spoof. That’s why some of those “Reply to this for good luck” emails exist!
Never post your real email address on any public site. Spammers troll websites with programs, simply collecting email addresses to spoof.
Get a Google or Hotmail or Yahoo! email address to use for anything that could become remotely public.

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Wireless Security

Here’s a great YouTube video from SecurityMetrics about staying more secure when using wireless.

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Lead by Example

In other words, don’t wait almost 2 months between posts.   Sorry to those of you who read this, but October to December are busy months for anyone remotely involved in e-commerce.    More tips will need to wait until after Christmas probably unless I run across something incredibly valuable.

But I will take this opportunity to plug one of my client’s who’s book is the basis for this year’s Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, Christmas With Holly.   Watch it on December 9 at  9E/8C on ABC, with encore presentations on the Hallmark channel.

Congratulations to Lisa!

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