Author Archives: SEO Company

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Why it's Important to Secure Your WordPress Site JA Publications, Inc. 2

Why it’s Important to Secure Your WordPress Site

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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 noticed it.

wordpress security

There is no such thing as a completely secure website. Your website will get hacked. It’s not a matter of if, but when.

 

 

 

 

So, if you can’t be 100% safe, what 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.

Always Have a Backup Ready

76% of WordPress users don’t use backups. That same survey found out that over 67% of WordPress users would pay $100+ to get their website back online in the case of a hack. This is the kind of insane shortsightedness we 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 puck hitting him in the face, right?

Even the biggest bad 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 built a backup plugin that’s easily controlled from the WordPress dashboard, no matter how many websites you have. 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 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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How to Spot and Address Negative SEO Attempts JA Publications, Inc. 9

How to Spot and Address Negative SEO Attempts

Post Feature Image – As the image shows, our competition in Michigan is attempting to use negative SEO to affect our position in search. Negative SEO is very common in this industry.  This post does not go into how we defend our sites against these morons, as we don’t want to give them any information or ideas. If you are dealing with negative SEO from mediocre competitors trying to outrank you with negative SEO – give us a call at 866-504-7774. We will help you win.

 

 

 

Here’s How to Spot Negative SEO and What You Should Do About it

Matt Cutts was quoted in a Forbes article on negative SEO: “Matt Cutts, a senior software engineer for Google, says that piling links onto a competitor’s site to reduce its search rank isn’t impossible, but it’s extremely difficult. “We try to be mindful of when a technique can be abused and make our algorithm robust against it,” he says. “I won’t go out on a limb and say it’s impossible. But Google bowling is much more inviting as an idea than it is in practice.”

 

 

 

Introduction

SEO can be very competitive. As an SEO consultant, I have taken many self-proclaimed SEO experts off of the first page of search engines by simply being better than they are at SEO. When I say many, I mean over 100 at least. People start SEO agencies constantly, so 100 would actually be low balling it. With that said, negative SEO is something that we deal with every day. Usually, when one mediocre SEO company that can’t outrank us gives up, there’s another in their place immediately.

 

 

The Morally Questionable and Negative SEO

The types of people that attempt to harm their competitors rank with negative SEO are usually the same morally questionable folks that pretty much suck as SEOs to begin with. Basically. you’re dealing with all the people that are not skilled enough at White Hat SEO (or Black Hat for that matter) and must resort to negative SEO. Don’t worry, these people are incompetent 99% of the time.  The good thing is these folks never last long in the SEO game. Call it darwinism if you want.

 

 

Dealing with The C Students of the Internet Marketing Industry

In this post,  I’m going to tell you how I thwart off the many SEO companies that have attempted negative SEO against this site, JA Publications. Never once, were these dim wits successful. Not even for a single keyword. Usually, when you suck at SEO, the word you put in front of it doesn’t really matter much. If you’re not good at organic search engine optimization, you’re not going to be good at negative SEO either.

 

 

Here’s How to Assure Your Site’s Rank Is Not Affected by the C Students of the Internet Marketing Industry

 

Step 1 – Go into the Search Console (or Google Webmaster Tools as it was once called) and look for all the inbound links to your site.

 

 

 

Step 2 – Go to each site and ask yourself, “Is this site relevant to my website? Even if it looks the least bit SPAMMY, add it to a .txt file called disavowed-links.txt. Any domain that looks fishy or spammy, be sure to disavow it. I have a file saved on my desktop solely for this purpose. I add domains to it every day. Being #1 is a lot of work.

 

 

Step 3 – Submit your text file with all of the irrelevant or spammy domains to Bing and Google via the Disavow Links tool.

 

 

Step 4 – If any of the domains redirect to your site, create a 301 redirect in your .htaccess file that points back to the spam site. This will cause an infinite loop and break the redirect at the very least. Creating infinite loops whenever someone attempts to negatively affect your SEO with redirects is a great way to block the attacks. In htaccess, add a 301 that redirects all traffic to your site from the spam domain back to the origin or spam site. The loops that we are talking about are usually more than the average cheap-o third world, oversees, shared web server can handle, which will break the redirect. We like that.

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^spamsite.com/$ [NC]
RewriteRule .* http://spamsite.com/ [R,L]

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^www.spamsite.com/$ [NC]
RewriteRule .* http://www.spamsite.com/ [R,L]

Step 5 –  Report the spammy domains to ICANN. More often than not, this will get the domain removed completely.

 

 

Step 6  – You should block the HTTP referrers & hosts of the Spam or irrelevant sites that are redirecting and/or linking to you. Out of all the steps, this is the most important. This entails blocking the referrer in your htaccess file. Every server OS has the equivalent of this file. The syntax is different based on the server OS.

 

 

Example:

RewriteEngine on
#Options +FollowSymlinks
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} spammysite\.com [NC,OR]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} anotherspammysite\.com
RewriteRule .* – [F]

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^spammysite.com [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} ^anotherspammysite.com [NC]
RewriteRule ^ – [F]

The above lines tell the Apache web server to block by host and referrer from the URL ‘spammysite.com’ and ‘anotherspammysite.com.”

 

 

And, that’s about it. Pretty easy, huh?

 

Google Bowling is however, not easy. It’s actually pretty difficult these days since Google and most search engines can identify the attempts from real factors that would penalize your site.

Since JA Publications went live about 4 years ago, negative SEOs have never once been successful and we continue to climb in rank at a steady pace.

 

 

 

Negative SEO Failed Attempts – Coming Soon

 

 

How to Spot Negative SEO

 

 

 


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Keyword Density Percentage and Google SEO JA Publications, Inc. 10

Keyword Density Percentage and Google SEO

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What Exactly is Keyword Density?

 

If you are writing a 600 word article on Google AdWords tips, and you place the 3 word keyword phrase, “Google AdWords tips” in the article 10 times, you would have a keyword density of 0.6% for that article or page meaning that out of 600 words, 0.6% of those words are the focus keyword. The title tag, description tag, and content are all considered when determining the keyword density. You can say the entire page is considered. The focus keyword for this article is “keyword density percentage.” As of January 31, 2014, it is the second result of the organic results on page 1 of Google. The keyword density percentage is 0.4% and my SEO plugin for WordPress is telling me it’s too low. The keyword is found 3 times. If you are not familiar with the Yoast SEO plugin , check it out. It’s a great tool. To rank this article on Page 1 nationally, I did nothing more than write the article and make the Yoast dots turn green. There was nothing “Black Hat” done in order to get to #2 of page 1.

(Nkr * Nwp / Tkn) * 100

The formula for keyword density is: (3*3/739)*100 or 0.4 percent

In this post, there are 739 words. The focus keyword contains 3 words and it’s found 3 times throughout the entire page including the URL. The meta description, content, headings, and alt tags are all included.   Here’s the SEO analysis for this post. Notice the keyword density and the fact that I did not use the focus keyword in any subheading.

Overdoing Keywords Is Bad for SEO

Recently a friend of mine’s rank in the Google SERP dropped dramatically (from page 1 to page 13) and he called me and asked my opinion of his SEO. The first thing I did was crawl his site so I could take a look at his site’s SEO as a whole. Besides having several broken links and images with un-optimized titles and alt tags, and just generally poorly written meta tags, I notice he used the word “shuttle” 6 times just in the homepage’s title tag alone. In this case, this would be considered “keyword stuffing,” and wasn’t the only reason that Google removed his website from the search results. But, I’m willing to bet it contributed heavily. There were lots of different problems with this particular site. Either way, his site’s keyword density as a whole was well over what it should have been and he paid the price for it in the Google SERP.

What is the Ideal SEO Keyword Density for Google SEO?

There is really no such thing as “ideal keyword density.” On different occasions, webmasters have contacted me and asked what I felt the ideal keyword density is for their particular site or webpage. This question can only be answered on a site by site basis, however more times than not, keywords usually only have to be used a few times per page. When I optimize a website, I usually place the page’s focus keyword in the title tag once, in the page content 3-5 times (depending on the subject), and 1 time in the meta description. If you have good, solid content this is usually enough. Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s WebSpam Team, has said that good content will trump SEO every time, so the smart thing to do would be to focus on your copy and on creating good content instead of keyword density percentages.

Here’s Matt Cutts of Google Explaining Keyword Density & How it Pertains to Google SEO

 

 

 

 

 

It’s always best to create good content with descriptive titles and tags and throw your page’s keywords in wisely and well placed. “Grey/Black Hat” SEO techniques like “keyword stuffing” worked years ago but are now obsolete after Google released their latest algorithm updates like Penguin and Hummingbird.

 


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google hummingbird

How Google Search Works

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Here’s a Video by Google that Explains How Google Search Works