One of the most important aspects of website success is having a solid hosting/server provider, because a slow or non-functional website is inefficient for every business. If you use WordPress, it is important to understand that not all companies are ready to host your website. That’s why we recommend specialized hosting for WordPress websites. In […]
All posts tagged “Engine”
‘I think someone sent me a link to a Japanese disco song a while back?’
A couple years ago, news of Google’s ad settings — the page that reveals your advertisement profile — exploded onto the internet. People were both horrified and amazed that the company was capable of assigning ages, genders, and interests based on simple search histories. Now, just two years later, that news doesn’t seem so crazy. Information about who you are has become common currency on the web, and it’s used…
Some hackers are learning what it’s like when the hunters become the hunted. A new search engine called Indexeus offers an easy way for ne’er-do-wells to look up login credentials from over a hundred hacks, including recent high-profile dumps of Adobe and Yahoo credentials. But there’s a catch: most of the data indexed by the service comes from hacks of forums and websites popular with the underground hacker community. In other words, the search engine is marketing itself to the same people that it is exposing.
Also known as protection money
But that’s all part of the business plan, reports Krebs on Security. The men behind Indexeus planned to offer protection services — pay the site a “donation” of $ 1 per record, and you can have your…
What Is Search Engine Optimisation?
At its most basic, SEO is the process of identifying techniques that will position a website or webpage in front of Internet users and potential customers. While it seems like a simple concept, search engine optimisation services can become a very technical endeavour. For example, ensuring that the website’s structural foundation (or the code that drives the website) meets the qualities recommended by search engines can present a challenge for the less technically savvy. Websites should follow a specific structure and format that makes it easy for search engines to identify content and catalogue the information.
In addition to technical knowledge, SEO professionals should understand how to execute an SEO strategy with ethics in mind. Many “blackhat” SEO horror stories exist where search engine optimisation services used less than stellar techniques to get first page placement; these stories usually end with the website being removed from a search engine’s database altogether.
What Benefits Can You Expect with Search Engine Optimisation Services?
Search engine optimisation services offered by a reputable company will guarantee the use of ethical placement methods. Establishing an ethical plan starts with understanding current SEO techniques and the business itself. For example, finance companies must follow strict regulations and guidelines and their websites should reflect trust, loyalty and honesty and your SEO should understand your company’s mission.
When you hire search engine optimisation services, you will receive a team dedicated to establishing your online presence. Along with this comes the commitment to providing a strategic plan that targets your ideal customers and places your business in the right place at the right time online. Your team should work to identify important keywords, examine and correct, if necessary, the structure of your site and implement a monitoring plan that helps identify what works and eliminate what doesn’t.
While many people attempt SEO on their own, working with a team of professionals can vastly improve your results. Search engine optimisation services deliver an ethical plan that supports business goals and adheres to current ethical policies and procedures. There are many companies that “specialise” in SEO. Before signing a contract and working with one of these companies in Australia, be sure to learn about the compnay and make sure that they are using white hat tactics for all digital marketing. With all of the recent penalties and Google algorithm updates it is safer to go with a more expensive, amazing digital marketing company than it is to work with a cheaper, black hat company. Keep this in mind when looking at rates and comparing existing marketing firms.
Learn about search engine optimisation services with ROI.com.au.
2013 steamed up much heated discussion between artistic web designers and dedicated search engine optimizers, but who won the debate still remains a question. The reason is pretty simple!! Whilst designers struggle to make their clients happy with their aesthetic web layouts that focus on minimal text visual appeal, search engine optimizers complain that website is lacking key-worded content and is not at all fit for on page and off page optimization.
The arguments put forth by most of the designers include “What is the use of a website that looks like a piece created in 1990’s??”, “Do you really think customers will engage on a site that looks ugly??”.
Search Engine Optimizers also contradict fairly by saying “Do you think visitors can even find you, forget about engagement!!”. Well, this is indeed a chicken and egg scenario wherein who comes first is not easy to predict. But this is for sure that web designers can’t just ignore the SEO part only to discover that they need to completely revamp their design and come up with a solution that looks amazing without compromising on SEO performance. Now the question comes, how can one build aesthetically appealing websites that are good from the SEO-lens as well?? The answer to this question lies in adopting the best design practices and draining some bad tactics that designers tend to follow for achieving targets and meeting deadlines. So let’s resolve to keep in mind the below mentioned do’s and don’ts this new year to make everyone happy!!
a) Say a big “NO” to flash Animations and Navigations
Yes, we do agree that Flash stuff is good-looking and they just keep your eyes wide-open with their visual appeal. But, think of a customer who is looking for some product urgently or a client who is visiting your site with a perception of getting the first-hand information quickly and just because you focused on flash animated navigations, you will certainly end up frustrating him/her. Ask yourself, can you really afford to loose business and brand credibility this way?? Probably not, no one does!! So it’s high time you take a resolution not to use Flash while developing websites because:
- Search Engines including Google can’t crawl the text present on images and animated media.
- Apple has already denied supporting Flash elements on all its devices.
- Flash based websites don’t deliver well on Blackberry and other smartphones as well.
b) Get rid of Frames
Frames are a big trouble to search engine spiders since they don’t just let them read the content present on your website. Plus they create a good amount of mess in “Indexation” as well. This is because a normal website uses 1 HTML file on one page while frames use more than 2 or 3 HTML files on the same webpage and thus they tend to confuse the Search Engines horribly.
c) Put all your Scripts in External Files
d) Use Breadcrumbs to Enhance Navigation
Navigational system is the main backbone of On-page-SEO and building internal links. The bestest way to achieve enhanced user experience is to make it easy for people to navigate through all the pages of your website. At times, it does happen that there are pages inside pages (nested pages) and users may have to bang their heads finding a way out. This is where Breadcrumbs come to your rescue. Not only, they create a good internal link matrix but they prove to be a boon for search engines since they make it easy for them to find the hierarchical navigational structure of your website.
e) Never ever use pop ups
Pop ups are not only annoying to visitors but they seem to frustrate search engines as well. No search engine indexes pop-ups as a part of website and instead they block them completely. Plus your site is at the risk of going to spam.
f) Make your Websites Responsive
Yes, you guessed that right!! Google recommends optimizing your website and making it responsive to cater to multi-sized screens. Responsive web designs have the ability to render on all the devices and browsers with exactly same URLs thus eliminating redundancy in the HTML documents .Not just this, a good responsive design will load the site faster since there are no re-direction scripts and will also help crawlers index all your WebPages only once thus saving on search engine resources.
g) Make a Good Habit of Using Unique Metadata and Search Engine Friendly URLs on All your Webpages
By this we mean to say that the text of your Page titles, Page descriptions, and keywords should all be unique. Some of the tips are shared below:
- Analyze the keywords people tend to use in their search queries and try to optimize your keywords accordingly. For eg – “how to make a pizza”,”buy shirts online” etc. You can also use keyword suggestion tools to make this task even more easier.
- Create unique titles for every webpage and include a unique description in the meta tag as well.
- Using a proper naming structure would save a hell lot of work for SEO people. Name all your webpages using relevant keywords that describe what the page is all about. For ex, Instead of “1.html” use meaningful names like “web-designing.html”.
g) Pay heed to Website Load Times
It is critical to design a website that loads fast, even if you need to compromise and drop some design elements. The reason as to why it is important is that the average time that a normal user spends on a website is between 5-6 minutes. And you just have these couple of minutes to leave a good impression on your visitors. So, here we go with some of the best recommendations to let you improve your website performance.
- Optimize your style sheets (CSS files) by eliminating the inline styles and wrapping up everything to include it in the external css file.
- Avoid using very high resolution images that tend to load slow. Use tools like Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Fireworks to reduce the size of your image files.
- Use image sprites instead of hundreds of smaller images on your site.
h) Include Crystal Clear Call to Actions (CTAs) if you really mean Business
The journey to convert a passive user into an active customer is not that easy but this is what the goal of a website is. What’s the meaning to create a website if it doesn’t fetch you enough business. To encourage your visitors to take desired actions, you must make it a habit to include “Call to Actions” in your web designs.
For designers who don’t have an idea what CTA is, let me briefly elaborate the concept. Call to action is basically a group of eye-catching stuff (Banners, Buttons etc) clubbed with small text phrases that seem compelling enough to the audience that they can’t resist engaging on the site and keep on exploring every other webpage that comes their way, thereby increasing a good amount of inbound traffic plus making your website click-worthy. Now let’s have a look at a step-by-step guide to come up with an effective CTA for your website.
Step-1: Craft a Killer CTA bundled with short and crispy Taglines
The first focus is on looks and the text that you are presenting in front of your customers. Shared below are some good examples of a few text phrases that might help you in the long run.
- Try It for Free
- Free T-shirt for 1st Hundred Buyers
- Subscribe for a Free Newsletter
- Sign Up Within seconds
- Watch Now
- Donate Generously
- Play For Free
- Offer Valid till 20th Feb
- Register today and save 30%
- Call today for expert advice
- Download Now for free
- Buy Now to get 10% Off
Step-2: Blend it right with your Web Design Theme
This part is often overlooked by most of the designers. It’s very critical to match the Graphic Appeal of your “Call to action” with the Design Theme so that it doesn’t look like deliberately stuffed into the content of your website.
Step-3: Find a good place for your CTA
Finding a good place for embedding your Call to Action Stuff is very important. Don’t just clutter everything on your Homepage. Instead try to place multiple sections on Homepage and some particular sections on specific WebPages. Remember to keep your CTA stuff “above the fold” so that the users don’t have to scroll through to find it.
Step-4: Make it worth clicking on Finger-friendly devices
By Finger friendly devices, I mean everything from small sized mobiles to king size tablets. You have to enhance the User Experience if you really want it easy for customers to click on it. Most of the designers are often careless on this part and they make their CTA graphics too short to be clicked or sometimes, even the text embedded on them is not readable. To make sure that this doesn’t happen, at least design your stuff in “44 X 44 px” to make it clickable.
Step-5: Analyse the effectiveness of your CTA stuff monthly by using a conversion rate formula that should calculate the no. of clicks over the times your CTA is seen.
Step-6: Use A/B Testing procedures to test the effectiveness of your CTA using a bunch of graphics and select the one with the highest success rate.
With 2014 already in, don’t just change your calendars but commit to strategize a solid plan that will facilitate your web designs enhance SEO performance and thus achieve all the Digital Marketing Goals this fiscal year. Don’t forget to keep in mind the key recommendations and best practices mentioned above.
Visit us at InstantShift.com
Educational institutions, organizations, and even Internet Service Providers (ISPs) try their best to restrict access to many websites for a variety of reasons. But if you believe that you should be allowed to browse any site of your choice, a proxy can help you access sites blocked by a firewall on your network.
There are various proxies available on the web which can be used to access restricted websites but the problem here is that network administrators can block access to these proxies, so we are back to square one with this. The solution? Getting your own proxy to browse the Web openly.
Recommended Reading: 9 Alternative Ways To Access Blocked Sites
A proxy opens blocked and restricted websites, and lets you access any website of your choice even behind the firewalls. You can create your own proxy using Google App Engine (GAE). GAE provides a bandwidth quota of 1 GB/day for free, which is more than enough for browsing websites.
It’s a very simple process involving only four tasks, and it costs absolutely nothing. Administrators use various lists to block proxies and other websites, but that list most probably won’t contain your proxy, thereby allowing you free reign.
Let’s learn how to create your own proxy using the powerful platform of Google App Engine.
You will need to install software for running, testing, and deploying your proxy application to Google App Engine. Please download and install Python 2.7 and App Engine Python SDK (please install these tools with their default/factory options to prevent problems).
Task 1: Create An account at Google App Engine
Go to appengine.google.com and sign up for a Gmail account if you don’t have one yet, or sign in if you do. You will be taken to GAE dashboard, after a successful login process.
Task 2: Create an app at Google App Engine
Now, you’re required to create an app at Google App Engine. This app will serve as the proxy, after you deploy it using the App Engine SDK in the nexttask.
Click on the Create Application button. You may be asked to verify your account, then you will be taken to the Create an Application page.
- The Application Identifier will make the subdomain address for your proxy site. Choose this identifier wisely, as it can’t be changed afterward. You will need this in the next step.
- The Application Title will be shown to people visiting your proxy application.
- Leave the Authentication Options (Advanced) to its default option (Open to all Google Account users).
- Then, click on the Create Application button.
You will see the "Application Registered Successfully" page (see below).
Task 3: Develop your proxy app using GAE Python SDK
Now it’s time to develop and edit your GAE proxy app on your system using the tools you have downloaded earlier.
- Open the Google App Engine Launcher from the Start menu on your computer.
- Open File menu > Create New Application.
- Enter your Application Identifier as the Application Name for your proxy.
- Choose a directory to store your app’s local files by clicking on the Browse button. Remember this location.
- Leave default values for the Port and Admin Port options.
- Click on the Create button.
Follow the given steps to copy Mirrorrr’s files to your app’s local folder:
- Extract the contents of the compressed Mirrorrr file (mirrorrr-master.zip) you have downloaded earlier.
- Open the extracted "mirrorrr-master" folder, and copy all of its contents (files as well as folders).
- Open your app’s local folder (the same place as in step 4 in the previous task) and paste the copied contents. Replace the old files. Your app’s local folder will contain files named app.yaml and index.yaml, which should be replaced by the Mirrorrr’s files.
Note: You can edit the files inside the "static" folder to change the layout, style, and pictures of your proxy website. If you’re creating a proxy website to share with others, please change the files inside "static" folder. Mirrorrr’s files belong to his developer (Brett Slatkin), and should not be used in not-for-personal applications. You can delete unnecessary files like README and .gitignore.
Before we move on to deploy your proxy app, there is one thing to fix.
Choose your proxy application in Google App Engine Launcher. Click on Edit. Your application’s new ‘app.yaml’ will open up for editing.
Check the first line of the file, and replace "yourappid" (without quotes) with your application identifier. Save the file and close the editor.
Task 4: Deploy your proxy app to Google App Engine
Now you need to do the final step of deploying your app’s files to the server. You are only required to check your app, and then upload it to Google App Engine.
To check your proxy app, choose your application in the Google App Engine Launcher. Click on the Run button, then Browse. You will see your proxy website. If you don’t then check back with the steps in this tutorial.
If all is well, it’s time to upload your proxy app, choose your application in Google App Engine Launcher. Click on Deploy. Enter your Google account’s email and password, and press OK. A python window will detail the progress of the deployment operation. The process will take time depending on your system’s Internet speed, but you won’t see any error message if all goes well.
Now that your proxy website has been deployed successfully, you can access your own proxy at the web address: http://yourappid.appspot.com. For example, Mirrorrr’s official demo website is located at http://mirrorrr.appspot.com.
Congratulations for setting up your own proxy! It was easy, wasn’t it? Now no one will be able to prevent you from accessing websites. You can now access any website, from any computer behind any firewall on any network.
In what appears to be a further attempt to censor the internet, Russia is reportedly building its own state-controlled search engine. The report comes from Russian newspaper Vedomosti, which claims that the search engine will be called Sputnik, and is being developed by state-owned telecom Rostelecom. It could potentially become the default search tool for government institutions. The telecom has reportedly invested more than $ 20 million in the project, and is attempting to lure talent from rival companies with hopes to launch the search engine early next year. However, even if the report is true, the search engine will likely have a tough time cracking the Russian market. Local company Yandex holds more than 60 percent market share in…