09 Aug

Google Tells You About Manual Penalties

Finally, after years of asking for it, Google now let site owners know about manually applied penalties.This information is easily available now through the Google Webmaster Tools site at http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools under ‘Search Traffic->Manual Actions’.  Apparently 2% of sites have a manual action against them.

For background Google has two types of penalties, algorithmic penalties are in their ranking algorithm and are automatically applied and removed as necessary – this includes the Panda and Penguin updates along with a whole host of other penalties. Manual penalties are applied by someone in Google after they have reviewed your site, and can only be removed by someone at Google.… Read the rest

19 Jul

The Future of SEO?

The latest Google update has come and gone. That must mean that it is time to start debating the future of SEO — or rather, what new thing is going to mean the death of SEO this year. Anyone who has been in the industry for more than a year can recall the cyclical arguments of how SEO is dying and in the process of being replaced by something else. What that something else is changes from directories to portals to mobile to social media to some other factor.

For those out of the loop, SEO stands for search engine optimization.… Read the rest

06 Jul

Penguin 4 – What to Expect

penguinWhile there is confusion about whether the upcoming update to Penguin is 4 or 2.0, there is no doubt that a major update is around the corner.  Matt Cutts, head of Google’s web spam team, announced that it was coming back in March and, if rumors are to believed, it is still on schedule to go live any day.

Penguin 1 rolled out on April 24, 2012 and affected 3.1% of search queries. By any measure this had a significant impact on various websites and specific industries.  Cutts has gone on record saying that this update to Penguin (which they refer to internally as Penguin 2.0 but the SEO community counts as Penguin 4) will be “more comprehensive and go deeper” than the original Penguin.… Read the rest

03 Jan

Coolhandle.com Hosting Suck

They just suspended one of our sites without warning. It’s paid until June. It has very little traffic so can’t be overusing resources. Seriously, CoolHandle.com, if there’s something wrong on the site (used as spam gateway), a warning email first would allow the issue to be addressed. As it is if there is something going on then I can’t fix it as the site is down.

Another host on my ‘don’t use’ list.

08 Oct

WordPress Comments Getting 403 Error on /wp-comments-post.php

A user reported they couldn’t leave comments and got this error:

Error 403

We’re sorry, but we could not fulfill your request for /wp-comments-post.php on this server.

You do not have permission to access this server. Before trying again, close your browser, run anti-virus and anti-spyware software and remove any viruses and spyware from your computer.

Your technical support key is: 446e-6a26-b40c-8ddc

You can use this key to fix this problem yourself.

If you are unable to fix the problem yourself, please contact >webmaster at sitename and be sure to provide the technical support key shown above.

This looks related to Bad Behavior plugin as the technical support link goes to ioerror.us.… Read the rest

07 Sep

Google Analytics Experiments Not Collecting Data

Had an issue with one site these past couple of weeks where a Google Analytics experiment was not collecting data even though Google Analytics was saying it was set up correctly.

One of the issues noted elsewhere was that the site set up for cross-domain tracking. For instance if the main site was www.topsemtips.com and the completion (sales) page was on secure.topsemtips.com then you have to set up analytics to know the two sites are interrelated using code similar to:

pageTracker._setDomainName(“topsemtips.com”);

Which some one else mentioned needed the additional code

Added above the experiment code. However this didn’t work.… Read the rest