Category Archives: News

Local News Sources to Get Special Mention in Google’s Dedicated Local News Section

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Google is giving due credit to local news service providers, which includes local reporters, media agencies and content publishers through a special mention of their stories in its local news feed section.

Noticeably, Google already has a dedicated local news feed section, but the company realizes the importance of local news coverage that can be of regional value or even turn into national news. Rarely do local sources get the mention that they deserve for breaking a news story that later assumes the importance of national level news.

But not anymore! Google is providing an opportunity for local news service providers to shine by earmarking their stories under the title “Local Source”, which will be displayed in the local news section of every Google news edition. This way, the locally covered news articles can be identified by searching in Google history pages.

However, the earmarked local news articles will only appear in the extended story space provided on the Google News & Weather app for iOS and Android and on news.google.com.

GOOGLE’S TIPS ON HOW TO PROTECT YOUR WEBSITE FROM BEING VULNERABLE

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This is essentially an informative article to support the concept of #NoHackedCampaign by Google. It also sends a message across to the hacker community to mend their ways or find some new ones so that Google will again come out with new innovative ways to counter the same. So, let’s start this discussion with some facts, which will be followed up by the Google tips of how to avoid your website from hacking.

According to Google, the past one year saw 180% increase in the number of the websites getting hacked, a substantial figure in terms of breach of security of online content and information leaks. So, if you think you had contributed to that percentile or else believe that prevention is better than cure, take note of some ways below to safeguard your website from getting hacked.

1) Get a Strong and Lengthy Password

This is vital from the outset as we all know that creating a password that is difficult to spill out or crack is crucial in protecting your website. So an ideal password with combination of letters, numbers and symbols might do the trick but Google says there’s more to it than that. Length of your password also plays an important role with a mix of changing it from time to time will ensure there aren’t any security lapses.

In addition to that, Google has come up with 2-factor identification method which ultimately seals the deal for a strong and lengthy password.

2) Update your Website’s Software

Do upgrade your website’s software with the latest available update especially for WordPress sites, so that it becomes a hard part to crack. This is vital from the security point of view since Google says that a website with a backdate software is like a dream come true for the prying eyes of online hackers. This update includes the patching of the web server software with the CMS’s plug-in and the add-ons updated.

3) Get a Secured and Trusted Hosting Provider

According to Google, if you manage your own web server, be prepared to deal with any complex technical security issue that may come up.

However, if you are using a hosting provider, Google recommends getting a trusted hosting company with previous experience in handling issues related to on-demand support for dealing with hacked sites.

4) Use Google Services

Google provides the user with a number of services which when used in combination with one’s site helps to notify if the site is compromised or not. This can be done by signing-up with the Google Search Console, which is a direct connection to its services and also highly recommended by Google. Google Alerts is one such service which helps to notify about any suspicious activity taking place on your Google account or website. Moreover, Setting up Alerts for Spammy terms is also recommended per se.

The above parameters can help you in keeping your website safe on the web. However, that said, WordPress Vulnerabilities and Website Hacking Issues continue to be on the rise due to websites not being secured and updated. Our WordPress Website Maintenance Packages will help you to tackle such issues so that you can focus more on your business and worry less about your website.

A quick reminder on what we can help you with: Custom WordPress Websites, Responsive Designs, Landing Pages, Infographics, Ecommerce Websites, Video Creation, Logo & Banner Designs to name a few and our Web Development Services starting from just $299.

So, what are you waiting for? Email sales@ebrandz.com OR call toll-free on 888-545-0616 to benefit from our services.

GOOGLE’S SLOW PANDA 4.2 UPDATE HAS BEEN RELEASED. ARE YOU READY?

Google Panda Update

Slow and sporadic – that’s what Google dished out with its recent Panda 4.2 update, which possibly will take months to roll out completely. Google says that it is not designed to confuse the webmaster but the slowness of the update is due to some technical reasons. That means some of your web pages may not be affected with the Panda algorithm still site wide. Google confirmed that some 2% to 3% English language queries may have been affected.

About the slowness of the updates, Google’s John Mueller says “This [Panda update 4.2] is actually pretty much a similar update to before. For technical reasons we are rolling it out a bit slower. It is not that we are trying to confuse people with this. It is really just for technical reasons. So, it is not that we are crawling slowly. We are crawling and indexing normal, and we are using that content as well to recognize higher quality and lower quality sites. But we are rolling out this information in a little bit more slower way. Mostly for technical reasons. It is not like we are making this process slower by design; it is really an internal issue on our side.

What we know

After hearing some chatter, we decided to run some numbers. Our dataset of 3,000+ websites and 200,000+ keywords (local and national) makes it easy for us to get a birds-eye view of how our client campaigns are performing.

We were not surprised to find that this update didn’t have any negative impact on our client campaigns. Most probably, the new improved 2015 SEO deliverables which we offer saved our clients. This is another example of how our strategies future-proof your businesses.

So, how are we protecting you?

  • First up, we get the basics right i.e. focusing on On-Site optimization which includes correcting all possible 404 errors, fix duplicate (thin) content on the site, creation of landing pages, etc. Internal blog is also a good addition which we do when allowed.
  • We vary anchor texts to have a proper balance between branded and non-branded links.
  • Since social signals are of importance, we get social votes via Facebook likes, Tweets & Google+1’s. Client participation is encouraged.

Below are some of the additional backlink sources we’ve included in our 2015 SEO deliverables to diversify the backlink profile.

  • Magazine / News Placement
  • Q&A Posting
  • Community Setup

Conversion friendly activities include –

  • Usability & Conversion Optimization Report
  • User Testing Video
  • Heatmap, Scrollmap, Overlay and Confetti Report

So, if you’re hit by Panda OR want to make sure you’re not going to be a likely victim, we can help. Just reply to this email OR call toll free on (888) 520 8861 and let our professional SEOs to do the work for you. And yes, do not forget to check out our 2015 SEO Deliverables.

IT’S NOW OFFICIAL – GOOGLE+ AND YOUTUBE HAVE PARTED WAYS

So, Google has now officially announced that Google+ will sever ties with its popular video uploading entity YouTube. This development comes several months after Google stopped forcing its users to create accounts under it’s not so popular Google+ social network. After initial excitement, G+ network could not ramp up numbers or sustain excitement in its social network. So for the sake of numbers (users), Google made it mandatory to create a Google+ profile to create accounts on other services they own. Many people were absolutely livid with this (as you can imagine). Forcing people to do something against their will never works which is why Google has now decided to reverse this extremely unpopular decision.

Google YouTube Have Parted Ways

About the development, Google’s Bradley Horowitz says “Your underlying Google account won’t be searchable or followable unlike the public Google+ profiles. And those who already created Google+ profiles but don’t plan to use it, we’ll offer better option for managing and removing these public profiles.” He further added that Google+ integration with other websites would be a slow and a gradual process. He said that “in coming months, a Google account will be all you need to share your content, communicate with contacts, create YouTube channel across all Google platforms”.

Google had always been criticized over its attempts of integrating YouTube videos to the Google+ profile to give it much needed boost. Because of this, there was a growing concern and uproar among the users who felt that they were forced into the deal.

YouTube further clarified that the users who were unhappy with the integration will just need to press the button to disintegrate their YouTube profile with Google+.

This reminds us of early 2002. Microsoft was kind of desktop and enterprise segment, but was totally clueless about its online strategy. Google came in and started dominating online space kicking out Microsoft and others. It seems Facebook is doing the same to Google for Social. There is a lot of money to be made in Social contextual ads and it seems Google will be missing the boat. One option Google has is to utilize 70 billion dollars in cash which they have and buy some good social companies. Twitter should probably be their first choice. So we might hear more chatter of Google’s attempt to either buy twitter or some other social company.

Google has been accused that it does not take its social network seriously. While Facebook and Twitter both have great developer network and community, Google’s efforts to cultivate the developer community have been mediocre at best. A simple thing like publishing to G+ page needs your app to be whitelisted by them. Which is crazy when compared to how easy it is to setup and start using Facebook and Twitter or any other Social API to publish.

Coming back to the news, post this development, YouTube will be among the first big service to move away from Google+. So far, we’ve seen Google strip Google+ out of Gmail, Search, the navigation bar, Photos and Hangouts. With YouTube integration out the window, there really isn’t too much of Google+ left in the other Google products.

Still have questions? Let our professionals help you out. Request a quote now. Alternatively, you can get in touch with us at 1-888-545-0616 (Toll Free) or email sales@ebrandz.com.

4 reasons why your infographics are not working ?

We all have seen them, too many of them. At times, even felt overloaded with them. Ever wondered why inspite of good enough data, visual chunks and best graphic tools, your infographics are well, flop? If not done perfectly, they can fail terribly. In Part one of the  series, we talked about “Why every marketer should create infographics” , now let us figure out, why your infographics are not working.

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Infographics are “in” : Why every marketer should create infographics?

In this day and age, where new data is flowing in every day or perhaps every hour, we surely have more data than before, to comprehend. Statistical studies show that we create 1.5 billion pieces of content, 140 million tweets and 2 million videos, all in just ONE day! Isn’t that a huge number?

So how do you organize, assimilate and collate so much data? Do you bookmark, file it, take it down on your iPhones and iPads or just simply jot it down on your notepad? Hence, the concept of Infographics was introduced. Continue reading

Decoding Google’s Jelly Bean update

Google well understands, more than ever, what it must do, in order to turn Android into a responsive phone & tablet operating system for laypeople, not just highly tech-savvy users. And instead of piling on more and more complicated features with Android 4.1, it is centered on basic simplicity and usability. Jelly Bean, as Android 4.1 is nicknamed, is not an update loaded with show-stopping features. One can definitely grasp that from the version number. Only the decimal has apparently changed in it. But then there is Google Now, a solid competitor to Siri announced sans a lot of fanfare by Apple. Continue reading

DuckDuckGo – A New Search Engine to Look for!

If we look at the launch date of DuckDuckGo (25th Spetember, 2008), we would know it is not a ‘just born’ in the search world. But when it comes to awareness amongst people and the use of DuckDuckGo compared to other giant search engines, it is New.

Though new, this newbie is proving to be real competition to the widely used search engine platforms like Google and Bing. Here’s why — Continue reading

Facilitating a more dynamic discovery for images and videos

Taking its Image Search as well as Video Search to an attractive new level. Yahoo! has initiated a series of changes to redefine the experience through an extension of its existing partnership with Getty Images plus some smart redesigning and re-engineering of its multimedia search experiences. The idea is to deliver a more refined and timely experience, driven by high quality content. Continue reading