Author Archives: SEO Expert

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How Content Delivery Networks Help Your SEO 2

How Content Delivery Networks Help Your SEO

Category:SEO Tips & Info Tags : 

What Exactly is a Content Delivery Network or CDN?

CDN is short for Content Delivery Network which is a network of edge servers that deliver cached static content from websites to users based on the geographic location of the user. CDN’s, are not a web hosting substitute. It is an additional network of servers for certain static file types only.

Normally, when someone visits your website, they are directed to your hosting provider’s server. Your server is located in 1 location. For example, Michigan SEO Guys is hosted in Salt Lake City, Utah. If you’re not using a CDN, all of your website’s users are hitting this one server. If you have a site that gets lots of traffic, this can overload your server and cause the site to perform slowly and even crash the server.

User’s proximity to your web server has an impact on page load time. By deploying your content across multiple geographically dispersed servers, you can make your pages load faster from the user’s perspective. This is when a CDN comes in handy. In simpler words, the closer the CDN server is to where your user is, the faster the user gets the content. A good CDN, will have edge servers located all over the world and close to populated areas.

content delivery network

Content Delivery Networks (CDN) Help Speed Up Your Site

Websites have static resources such as images, videos, and certain types of files like CSS and JavaScript. Content Delivery Networks host these static resources on what is called an edge server. An edge server is a network of servers located all over the world. The purpose of an edge server is to host your website’s static resources so when your visitors hit your site, these static files load faster. The way it works has to do with internet latency and the number of hops or round trips that is required to render the page. When you use a CDN, you reduce the number of hops and the latency, which speeds up the rendering process.

Content Delivery Networks & SEO

Page speed is a ranking factor by most search engines. If your site is performing poorly, this usually hurts your ranking meaning that if two sites are tied for first place, the faster site wins. When you’re setting up a CDN, make sure you use a properly configured robots.txt in your pull zone to avoid duplicate content penalties. Also, specifying the origin IP address is not a bad idea either along with using SSL. I recommend MaxCDN. They have great customer support and very fast edge servers. How to setup the actual zone or CDN for SEO is beyond the scope of this post.

 


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SEO Services in Michigan 4

Why Copying Competitors That Outrank You Isn’t an SEO Strategy

Category:SEO Tips & Info

By Sean

 

In my years in this industry I have seen time and time again the mantra “Let’s copy the competition! They are number one, so they must be doing something right. Right?”

The process usually begins with the following: “I noticed our competitor X is number one on Google. Competitor Y is number 1 for a hundred different keywords. We should copy everything they do down to the minute detail! Let’s get going!”

While in some business disciplines that is a semi-ok idea, in SEO copying your competitors utilizing this reasoning is a waste of time.

Why Copying Your Competitors is Not an SEO Strategy


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What are HTTP or Browser Cookies? 2

What are HTTP or Browser Cookies?

Category:Hypertext Transfer Protocol

What’s a browser cookie?

 

You visit a website and your browser starts requesting all the files that constitute the website. So your browser asks the server, “Can I have image_011.jpeg?” and the web server says, “Yeah, here you go and take this thing with you and bring it back when you come back next time so I know it’s you.” Your browser says “okaythx” and then returns a nanosecond later: “Hello – can I have image_001a.jpg? And, I have this thing you gave me last time.” And then the server says, “Oh it’s you again. I remember you.”

At this point you’ve probably figured out that the mentioned “thing” is the cookie. This post is far from a complete description and it doesn’t go into why a server may want to recognize a client browser but that’s stuff you can easily look up elsewhere and I said we were going to keep this short.

What’s the Difference Between First Party & Third Party Cookies?

The thing to understand is that there is no intrinsic difference between a first-party cookie and a third-party cookie. There’s only cookies. The distinction exists only at run-time, within the context of a particular visit. Your browser maintains a collection of cookies. Your browser receives a request from a website’s server to store a cookie, and depending on your browser settings, it adds the file to a cookie collection stored on your device’s storage disk. There isn’t a separate collection of first-party cookies and a separate  collection of third-party cookies. There’s just one collection of cookies.

If a cookie is associated with a file requested from the same domain as the page you are viewing, it’s a first-party cookie. A cookie associated with a file requested from a different domain than the site you’re on, is a third-party cookie. That’s it.

Notice that the same cookie can be a first-party cookie one minute and a third-party cookie the next. For instance, when you visit twitter.com your browser sets several cookies associated with the *.twitter.com domain name. In the context of your stay on Twitter these are first-party cookies. If you then visit huffingtonpost.com, Huffington Post requests files from the  twitter.com domain and those requests include the same *.twitter.com cookies, they are now third-party cookies.

That’s cookies.

 

You can read more on HTTP cookies as well as HTTP requests and responses here.


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Why it's Important to Secure Your WordPress Site 3

Why it’s Important to Secure Your WordPress Site

Category:Site Security,WordPress Tags : 

There is no such thing as a completely secure WordPress website. Your website will get hacked eventually if you don’t put site security at the top of your priority list. It’s not a matter of if, but when. And if you make money with a WordPress site, you’d be silly to not take site security seriously. Keep in mind, that humans are rarely trying manually to break into your site. Instead, scripts are written to scan for vulnerable websites and when they find one, then try to break in. So, a malicious hacker can setup a computer or multiple computers to stay on 24 hours a day and just scan and hack into many sites without touching the keyboard most of the time. It’s important to understand that if you’re website is on the first page of search engines, you’re even more open to attacks.

As you may know, WordPress is an open-source content management system software developed by Automattic, Inc.  as opposed to closed-source software like Apple’s iOS. This means that the actual source code or the nuts and bolts of how it works is publicly available and accessible to developers. This is one of the aspects about WordPress that makes it so great. With open-source software, developers can collaborate and build just about any type of software solution to be integrated into WordPress. But, that same source code is also available to the types that are looking to break into and hack and exploit your site as well and this is why you should be concerned with site security. If your business runs on WordPress or any other open-source content management system, you need to secure it properly and continuously. You’ve been formerly warned and if you’re smart, you’ll take security very seriously.

You can be the biggest WordPress security expert in the world, it won’t matter one bit if your hosting company gets compromised. Hosting your own websites? Good luck with the Heartbleed bug, that affected the whole Internet for 3 years before someone even realized it’s existence.

wordpress security

 

 

 

 

 

So, if you can’t be 100% secure, what exactly can you do?

The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses—behind the lines, in the gym and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.

-Muhammad Ali

 

Be Responsible About WordPress Security

The Greatest told it like it is: You don’t start thinking about security when you’ve been hacked. By then it’s too late. You think about it before you start your website. You vet the plugin and theme authors. You keep an eye on your websites. If you’re out of your depth, you hire an expert. Being prepared makes all the difference in the world.

 

Don’t, for one second, start thinking that any WordPress security plugin and/or service will somehow make you magically prepared. We can help you take most of the load off your shoulders and provide the tools you need, but at the end of the day you, and only you, are responsible for the security of your WordPress website. And if your attitude is “meh, whatever, I don’t have time for this”, you’re setting yourself up for a fall. You can bet the guys trying to get into your site have time for it.

Always Have a Backup Ready

76% of WordPress users don’t use backups. This is the kind of insane shortsightedness you need to fight at every turn. You’ll never see an ice hockey goalie forget his helmet because there’s only a 2% chance of a ice cold, rock hard puck hitting him in the face off a slapshot and knocking his teeth out, right? 2% is enough of a reason to take precaution when the end result could be devastating to your online  business.

Even the baddest asses like being alive

It’s also the reason why we backup our client’s sites more than once per day. Handling backups for 70+ websites is a pain, so we use a backup plugin that’s easily controlled from the WordPress dashboard. We recommend that our clients use a robust, incremental backup plugin for WordPress that uses very little web server resources, and stores it on a secure off-site location. We also recommend doing hourly backup cycles, so your website has a restore point every hour. This is also beneficial if your site was ever hacked. It enables you to identify the point of entry and patch the security vulnerability more quickly than if you had no backup or backups running just once per week.

Be Vigilant. Always.

Some attacks are easy to notice: your website goes down, or it’s defaced. The ones you don’t know about are much more dangerous: someone could inject malicious code into your website and abuse it for weeks, without you even noticing it. By that time your SEO score is crap, you’ve been blacklisted, and the damage has been done. That’s where we come in.

Uptime Monitors are great for detecting when your website goes down or is defaced. You’ll immediately get an email and/or an SMS with more details, and you’ll be able to spring into action before anyone else notices.

Website Security Checks inspects your website for known vulnerabilities, malware, checks the blacklist status, and a number of other things. In the near future we also plan to automate the checks, so you can let the system run daily checks and notify you if it notices something’s wrong.

Performance Checks are perfect for the sneakiest of the sneakiest attacks. Sometimes the Security Checks will not detect the intrusion because it’s a new type of malware that’s not in the vulnerability database, or maybe it’s not malware at all. Your website server resources are still being misused, and it’s slowing your website down. Pingdom.com grades your website performance and stores the result. Each time you run a new check, you can compare it to the previous grade and notice when it drops. Now you know something’s wrong, and you’ll be able to fix it before there’s any permanent damage.

 

  • There’s no easy fix for WordPress security. You need to act responsibly
  • Check your website security regularly


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Search 3

How to Rank #1 on Google

Category:Google SEO

 

 

How to Rank #1 by Matt Cutts

If you would like to rank #1 on Google or if you’re one of our hundreds of competitors trying to take us out, here’s all you need to know.

 


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Google Hummingbird and the Future of Search 2

Google Hummingbird and the Future of Search

Category:Google SEO,Search Engine Technology Tags : 

By William Gannon

Providing Nectar to Google Hummingbird

 

There has been a great deal of concern within the SEO community recently, over the changes implemented in the Google Hummingbird update. The latest algorithm comes as a planned response to innovations made in voice recognition and wearable technology devices such as Google Glass. Although, the changes have been occurring over the course of the year in 2013, many concerns have been raised as legacy systems are decommissioned.

One of the legacy systems that SEO consultants are particularly concerned with remains to be Google’s PageRank. While search engines run on many algorithms, the implementation of social media signals and page connections through simple links to high value sites tend to provide higher rank in websites. Linking back is a popular method used by SEO companies to allow the search crawlers and traffic to flow through the collection of sites. Keywords, in this scenario, ultimately becomes the goal which leads to nefarious keyword manipulation and poor search results. Hummingbird integrates new technology that blocks keyword cheaters and benefits quality content.

Prior to Google Hummingbird

Prior to the Hummingbird update, in April of 2012, Google released Penguin which targets techniques that cheaters use to manipulate search rankings. Earlier in 2012 Google implemented the Panda update, which incorporates a human search quality rater that will assist in assigning a URL rating. Websites will be judged according to the intent and utility that they provide. Other factors include the website’s contact location, language, query interpretation, necessary content, and video content relevance. The scale beyond the robot queries now assigns a manual rating system. Pages are rated on a scale of Vital, Useful, Relevant, Slightly Relevant, Off-Topic, Useless, and Un-rateable.

The idea of a long-tail search remains the focus of any site that seeks to provide information to its visitors. Ideally, you never know what the end-user is going to provide in the search query box, so your interests are best suited in concentrating on SEO basics, design, and providing relevant content. During testing of the new systems, we have found that focus will remain in identifying people or businesses that provide the internet with the best profile of the target search.

 

 

google hummingbird updateWhen you provide content to a Google listed domain, the index targets users, pictures, article content, videos and any links to further content on the website. The old tricks are still the best if you seek to provide the internet with information about your website. Making your content relevant in the social media circles can certainly provide more opportunities to be found by the major search engine providers. It is best to know your targeted audience and provide to your community with a simple catchy URL address and with the expansion of new generic top-level domains (gTLDS) like .ninja, thus creating a new layer to theory of word games and structures.

 

The Future of the Search Query

The Hummingbird update ultimately leads us to the future of searching and queries in conversational search patterns. As a business owner, we would all like to be at the top of the list when someone inputs swimming pools, carpentry, landscaping, web design, computer repair, etc. In these cases you will try to foresee what users are querying in search engines that might bring users to your page. It is very important to include your locations and target business areas with relevant content that allows the new rating systems to index your sites accordingly. The main idea is to allow SEO’s to publish relevant material and query results to mobile and voice recognition systems.

 

Hummingbird is All About Improvement

The improvements following Hummingbird will allow Google to rank your page against the millions of other pages out there on the internet. The best way to attract attention to your website is to utilize all the tools available to the developer community. Start with the basics of simple webpage design, apply the techniques of ad marketing, and always focus on networking.The major advancements in search engine technology are growing so quickly that one can find themselves in the position of perpetuating old and out of date methods. It’s important to keep up with the major changes that seek to enhance our visibility and customer base. Allowing a pro SEO to optimize your website, will provide Hummingbird with vital information to help improve your standing in the internet community and draw more customers to your business.