iPage has kick-started a flash sale on hosting packages starting today and lasting through till Friday this week. This new sale brings down the iPage $1.99 plan to just $1.68/month – which for unlimited space & bandwidth, plus over $175 in free advertising credit – is a steal.
Take note that iPage only supports yearly payment options, and with that said the only way to get the $1.68/mo price is to pay for at-least two years up-front. This is still a pretty awesome deal since that means you only pay $40.28 for 24- months worth of hosting.
If you choose to only pay for the first year the price becomes $3.33/mo or $40/year. Considering that the difference in a 1-year and a 2-year contract is about a quarter – it kinda makes sense to just go for a 2-year contract.
All plans will renew at the regular rate after the initial contract term has expired. Don’t miss out on this iPage flash sale!
Eleven2 has launched their Double Double VPS Sale which doubles the RAM and Storage Space on all Eleven2 VPS packages! This means that the starter VS-100 package will now include 2 GB RAM and 240 GB Storage for only $49/m. That is $40 in free upgrades!
Take note that all Eleven2 Virtual Premium Servers come with:
- Free cPanel and WHM
- Free 24/7/365 Management
- Guaranteed Resources
- Acceleron Caching Technology on SSD drives
- Multiple Backups
- Instant Scalability
- Redundant Power and Premium Bandwidth Providers
- 99.9% Uptime Guarantee
No coupon code is required for this sale. Simply head on over to the Eleven2 VPS page and the new pricing will be automatically applied.
The Rapid Purple free counter hosting service originally came around due to the popularity it held back during the times of Next Designs. It requires, literally, about 30 seconds to sign up for a counter – and the best part is that we offer a hidden counter option – so you can keep track of your hits without having to maintain a visible counter on your website. For those of you who do wish to show the counter – we offer a slew of different visual styles for your free counter.
Furthermore we track simple statistics with our free counters as-well. These include the total amount of hits and the unique hits your counter has served. Head on over to our Free Counter Hosting page and login to the demo account with the username demo and the password canada. This will allow you to view the statistics of the demo counter and get a feel for just how simple our platform is.
These counters work within eBay page listings, WordPress pages & posts, HTML websites, and almost anywhere else you can think of putting them. Furthermore each free account has the capability of creating up to 100 counters.
Get A Free Counter
Googlebots are an essential part of the Google search engine. Constantly crawling the world wide web looking for new links and websites to ensure that you get the latest and most relevant search results. However a recent study has revealed that for every 25 genuine Googlebot visits you’re site gets you’ll also be visited by a fake Googlebot — more than 23 percent of which are used for DDoS attacks, hacking, scraping and spamming. This is among the findings of security company Incapsula’s 2014 Search Engine Study.
The study is based on over 400 million search engine visits to 10,000 sites over 30 days and shows Google is the most active search engine. Googlebots are responsible for more than 60 percent of all page crawls, the second in line the MSN/Bing bot notches up only 24.5 percent. What’s also interesting is that there’s no correlation between the number of human visits to a site and how often it’s crawled by Googlebots. Google pays just as much attention to the backwaters of the web as it does to popular sites.
Most interesting and concerning though is the number of fake Googlebots. The study shows that over 4 percent of bots using Google’s HTTPS user agent aren’t what they claim to be. The benefit of this to hackers is that site owners generally allow unhindered access to Google’s crawlers in order to protect their search results.
Incapsula’s logs reveal that fake Googlebots are used mainly for DDoS attacks but also in spamming and hacking activity. Security solutions that don’t use case-by-case traffic inspection are unable to spot the real bots from the fakes.
Feel free to read the entire report, in detail, here. Otherwise I will leave you with the following infographic:
Google announced over the weekend the introduction of dynamic sitelinks that appear below a Google Adwords advertisement. These dynamic sitelinks are automatically generated and can send customers to a page on your website that’s highly relevant based on recent search activities. They look like this on desktop and mobile:
Often times when people are searching on Google in an attempt to complete a task, such as buying a new applicance, electronic gadget, or vehicle, they often times perform several different searches and click on multiple results. Based on this activity, AdWords is able to determine which pages on your site are highly relevant to someones search and annotate your ads with a link to those pages.
Searcher clicks on dynamic sitelinks are completely free however you will still be charged for clicks on the headline of your ad and other ad extensions. The new Google Adwords Dynamic Sitelinks have been rolling out globally through the weekend and should be live for everyone by now.
Google has released yet another new algorithm, this one attempts to provide more useful, relevant, and accurate local search results. The new algorithm changes will be visible within the Google Maps search results and Google Web search results.
The main set of changes are primarily behind the scenes, but it does impact local search results rankings and some local businesses may notice an increase or decrease in web site referrals, leads and business from the change.
Google has said that the new local search algorithm ties deeper into their web search capabilities, including the hundreds of ranking signals they use in web search along with search features such as Knowledge Graph, spelling correction, synonyms and more.
In addition, Google said that this new algorithm improves their distance and location ranking parameters.
The new algorithm is currently rolling out for US English results only and no comment has been made as to when and if the update would roll out more widely in other countries and languages.
Google has not commented on the percent of queries impacted by this algorithm update, nor if certain web spam algorithms were deployed in this update.
Part of my job in looking for the latest and best new hosting and domain name deals for everyone is to also keep a look out for failing hosting companies and as such avoid advertising or recommending their services. YucatecHost seems to have only been around since 2013, with the original domain name registration date set as October 2012. Late Friday afternoon a fellow WHT forum member reported the following:
I bought their service around July 1 and now they are down for almost a week. There is no way of contacting them since their servers are not accessable.
What to do in such a situation?
Looking into it today it seems their servers and main website are still down, and with private whois information it’s pretty difficult to obtain any direct contact information to verify with them. Regardless there is never any reason for a hosting company to hold a private domain name registration.
The IP address registered to Yucatechost.com seems to be owned by VADS, one of Malaysia’s leading Integrated Managed ICT/BPO Service providers. They don’t seem to be reporting any maintenance or server issues at the moment – so I doubt this has anything to do with them. Regardless they MAY be able to assist with obtaining your data if the servers that YucatecHost was utilizing for their clients happened to be leased from VADS.
Use this a reminder to do your due diligence when choosing a hosting provider. Lack of a listed phone number and private whois details should set off some alarm bells.
Alas sometimes the life of a sysadmin runs significantly later than the usual 9-5 of some people – and as such I almost missed this post myself. So, without further ado, Happy Sysadmin Day to all the IT guys and system administrators out there. Enjoy what is left of the one day a year when you finally get some appreciation. Luckily the weekend is right around the corner fellas, unplug and enjoy it.
A forum administrator, Basak Kayik, posted a few questions in the Google Webmaster Help forum wondering how to improve his forum in the eyes of Google. Luckily the topic was picked up by Google’s John Mueller who responded to it in great detail. Now I have touched upon managing forums before in a slew of articles such as: Generating Traffic & Sales from Forums, and Advertising Your New Forums. Furthermore Google has also touched based upon forums in a previous thread in the Google Webmaster Help forum where John Mueller discussed how forum links can be viewed as spam.
In the recent thread Basak asks the following questions:
- Breadcrumbs: Is it possible to change the way breadcrumbs are displayed in the search results? Should it be always in the way that how users navigate to the forums?
- Description: Is it possible to change the description in the snippet? For example if the questions is answered, it’s possible to mark it as answered in my forum. Can we change the description by the answer or what the forum is about?
- Vertical bar- Title:
- Is it possible to add “Solved” to the title in the search result if the question is answered and marked as solved?
- Is it possible to do some editing in the title? Can we change the order of things shown in results? First the name of the forum and title of the question maybe?
John Mueller responds to him with the following:
- Breadcrumbs: yes, breadcrumbs can make sense, they can give the user a bit of guidance in the search results. It doesn’t need to mirror the absolute structure within your forum, but it should be similar to what users see on the forum when they visit the thread. If you choose to implement them, make sure you’re using a format specified in our help center ( https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/185417?hl=en
) — the generic schema.org
breadcrumbs aren’t supported on our side.
- The description is automatically generated based on the description meta tag, the content, and the user’s query. While you can specify more in the description meta tag (such as your information on the status of an answer), but it’s not guaranteed that the algorithms will choose to show that in search.
- Title: As with the description, our algorithms sometimes rewrite the title tag on the page, sometimes even depending on the query the user made ( https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/35624?hl=en
). While it’s possible to add something like “solved” to the title, it’s also not guaranteed that we’ll show it in all search results.
Depending on your forum, it might make sense to allow the admins to rewrite the title or description. For example, if your forum provides product support, then instead of just taking a user’s question 1:1, maybe it could be transformed into something more generic, or easier to understand, for the title or description.
Another thing you didn’t mention, but which is common with forums is low-quality user-generated content. If you have ways of recognizing this kind of content, and blocking it from indexing, it can make it much easier for algorithms to review the overall quality of your website. The same methods can be used to block forum spam from being indexed for your forum. Depending on the forum, there might be different ways of recognizing that automatically, but it’s generally worth finding automated ways to help you keep things clean & high-quality, especially when a site consists of mostly user-generated content.
It seems pretty clear that Google is heavily focused on protecting forums from low-quality user-generated content; however that aside there are some good bits of information mentioned here that any forum administrator should be aware of.
Media Temple announced on Monday this week that it has added Parallels Plesk 12 to its VPS control panel offering. As such all VPS customers currently on Plesk 10 and Plesk 11.5 are encouraged to upgrade for free to Plesk 12 by the end of the year.
As part of the new features of Plesk 12, Parallels introduced tools for managed WordPress hosting providers in order to simplify daily tasks of WordPress management, including security and plugin updates. Parallels Plesk 12 also offers a new level of server-to-site security with third-party apps like Fail2Ban and WAF ModSecurity.
“Media Temple’s philosophy is to constantly improve our products and stay current with the latest versions and technology available. Our customers should expect no less than a premium user experience,” Brian Kuhn, VP of Product at Media Temple said. “To sharpen our control panel offering with the most current version of Parallels Plesk was the next logical step after recently adding cPanel to our VPS product.”