Month: May 2015

Google’s Latest Algorithm Update

Being hailed as Mobilegeddon by the SEO Community

This shift in Mobile delivery in the Google Algorithm this time has a number of people scurrying to figure out what to do. Desktop results are not overtly affected by this update. Luckily for our clients, we either have been working on new mobile ready-platforms to rollout with this change or we were already there. A primary pleaser for Google in this change is a responsive website. They clearly laid out the ground rules in advance and even have provided Webmaster Tools to verify how they are reading you.

There are a few approaches to mobile. You can serve a separate mobile version of your website using coding and scripts, or you can develop an application on-web or downloadable on device. Or you can utilize Responsive design. Apps and other content take other plans like content management and app proliferation. Often these approaches require resources to maintain and promote.

Responsive Design

Google has been abundantly kind to responsive websites in this shift. So let’s examine. A responsive website is one that changes or adapts based on the screen that is reading the page. HTML 5 and CSS3 allows for media queries to identify page delivery based on the size of the screen the content is being served to. Therefore, good responsive design anticipates and adjusts content to fit the user’s device. If on a desktop, the page has three columns of content, but in the mobile version the columns stack organizing the content down the page instead of in columns. The content adapts to the screen.

This is not an update to be ignored. With a growing migration of web users to smaller screens, your web presentation there becomes important. And if your architecture is getting in the way of you being seen in Google’s mobile universe, it is now officially time to update your web presence.

For more on this, read Search Engine Land’s Article



Web Maintenance – Security

The maintenance of a website in 2015 must include protections from dubious users who seek to gain access to your site. Hacking and cracking are real and the perpetrators are usually better equipped and more tech savvy than the average business owner in the U.S. Hackers and crackers have varying motivations and objectives when trying to get into your framework and few are as blatant as to reveal their presence, unless that is their objective.

Since Edward Snowden revealed that the U.S. has been and continues to hack objectives in the world, the world is hacking back. And never forget, that our children are the ones that like to do it just for kicks. So what are the motivations of a hacker? Sometimes they are trying to take over your website to visibly say something. This is rare, because the user will notice it and take action to remove the hacker from the system. I have only seen one instance of this, and it was an Iranian, who published a message on the site’s homepage.

More likely the hacker wants to gain access to your system. They may just be whetting their chops trying to hack you in preparation for a bigger hack on a bigger system. Sometimes this includes their testing of their automated cracking software on your gateway.

And many times there is a serious objective. They want to link farm off of your backend and make your site serve links that you would never approve of. Or even worse, they use your servers to send out SPAM and get your domain shut down for serving it. Typically a hack is never as bad as your last clean backup. So taking measures is important to the standard practices your should incorporate as a website owner.

Hackers will continue to find vulnerabilities in web programming, it’s pretty much what they live to do. You just have to be aware and ahead of the game. Keeping your website up to date, backed up and monitored is nothing short of what you would do to protect your home or your business property. It’s becoming an important part of basic website maintenance.

WordPress 4.3 update

Last week WordPress posted a major security release and update to their systems and their vendors were encouraged to immediately update their programming.

WordPress Major Security Update

If you have WordPress running your website, then this is one update you cannot ignore. Your web security could depend upon it. Due to an inaccuracy in the WordPress documentation there became a widespread mis-usage of a common code tag. This led to a deep vulnerability that needed to be addressed in the major update 4.2 “Powell”. Subsequent update 4.2.2 closed the remaining gaps and publishers scrambled to update their plugins and themes.

If you know you are running WordPress, you need to update your site immediately. Contact your webmaster to make sure this gets done. All of our clients updates were done upon release of the new updates.

For more information, here are some additional articles.

Security Updates for Our Plugins – SEO by Yoast

WordPress 4.2.2 Release – WordPress

Original Cross-scripting issue identified (XSS) 4.0.1 – WordPress