Archive for April, 2014

How To Avoid Buying A Bad Domain Name Used By Spammers

April 30, 2014

Buying a new domain can be a challenging task for anyone who is looking to have credible presence in the virtual world through a website. As there is no way of determining whether the domain was previously in the bad books of search engine giant Google, many people are wary when it comes to buying domains. Many of the domain names are such that they have already been destroyed by spammers.

In this context, Google’s head of web spam, Matt Cutts has offered some tips that will make the task of buying a new domain simpler. Read on to know more.

  • The first step Cutts recommends is doing a site-colon search with the domain name that you are looking to buy. It would look something like this- site: domain_name. In case no results show up for that domain, it is an indicator that you should avoid buying it. Even if that domain has content, it is still advisable to avoid buying it.
  • An added step to the site-colon search would be applying the same on Bing. If results show up there and not on Google, it is a very obvious sign that the domain name in question is a bad one. So it is in your best interest to avoid a domain name that shows up in Bing but not on Google.
  • A simple search with the domain name, sans dot com or any other extension can also be pretty helpful. This will help the prospective buyer of that domain name to have a fair idea about the site’s reputation.
  • Another resource that could be pretty useful to those who are looking to buy domain names is Archive.org, wherein previous versions for a particular domain can be seen. Going through these versions will show whether the domain contained spammy or auto-generated content before. This again will help in making a decision whether to buy the domain or not.
  • Next recommendation offered by Matt is for those looking to buy a domain name from a current website owner. In such a situation, going through the site’s traffic analytics can provide useful insights into unusual trends, if any. In case something different or out of context is observed, you can forego that domain name and look for another one.

Buying domain names that are clean can be tricky. ‘Buyer’s beware’ is the watchword here. Trying some of the methods recommended by Matt Cutts as mentioned above, could simplify your task; you will be aware of what you are up against.

We at Centex Technologies provide Web Development, SEO and Internet Marketing Services to our clients. For more information, call us at (855) 375-9654

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Facebook Launches “Friends Nearby” Feature

April 25, 2014

Social networking giant Facebook has never been the one to rest on past laurels. New features and improvements are a frequent part of the offerings on the website. Among the latest addition to the Facebook stable is a new feature called ‘friends nearby feature’.

What is “Friends Nearby Feature”:

  • This feature works by letting you know how far away you are from your friends in a particular location. This information can be shared for a limited period of time, but will definitely allow people to spend more time with one another in the ‘real’ world than they do ‘online’.
  • The ‘friends nearby feature’ was developed by an app team that Facebook acquired in the year 2012. The feature displays a list of nearby friends on all Facebook applications that work on IOS or Android systems. Moreover, if one of your friends has shared his exact location on Facebook and is very close to where you are, it will also display a map for the same.
  • The development of this new feature is primarily aimed at answering critics who believe that the social networking giant is isolating people from one another in the real world. By sharing the nearby locations, people can actually meet up with their friends for a hangout or dinner, thus validating Facebook’s basic premise which is to connect people.
  • Though certain privacy issues float around this feature, if people can manage those effectively, then there is bound to be room for plenty of meetings and hangouts with those who are close to them. For this, the Facebook apps on Android and IOS systems allow you to turn on the feature for a specific group of friends or everybody on your friend list. The choice is entirely yours.
  • Once you have decided on the list, the next step is to tap the ‘location’ icon next to the name of your friend. This will allow you to share your exact location with them. You can also key in a 40-character message stating what you are doing or that you intend to catch up.
  • If your friend is also using this feature, you can expect a response and hence plan your meeting. The feature also allows you the option of deciding on how much time you want to share your location with your friends.

What sets this latest offering from Facebook apart from others in the market is that it is based on broadcast proximity than location. This implies that you can share how close you are to someone without sharing the exact details. The feature will work through GPS on your mobile device and can be a great way to get back in touch with the people who matter in your life.

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Heartbleed Bug

April 19, 2014

The Heartbleed bug has taken the world of web users by storm. A major vulnerability in the open SSL cryptographic software library, Heartbleed threatens to compromise the security of passwords on millions of servers running across the globe. The bug infringes on secret information and data by encroaching upon and reading the memory of systems that are protected by the vulnerable versions of the open cryptographic software library. As a result, attackers gain illegitimate access to user communication and secret data, thus creating a major security loophole.

The Heartbleed bug was discovered independently by two parties – Google, and a cyber security firm “Codenomicon”. A hacker can use Heartbleed bug to get important data like passwords, session cookies, server private keys, user login information etc  from portals

Open SSL or open secure sockets layer is one of the most basic means for encrypting important information over the internet. It helps to protect users from any potential eavesdropping over communications or compromise of sensitive and confidential data. The vulnerability in the open SSL software allows hackers to access 64KB of server memory at one time.

How Heartbleed Bug Allows information to be hacked:

While exploiting Heartbleed bug, the hacker sends in a request with small payload and large length field to the server, which returns upto 64 kilobytes of server memory. For example, a hacker may send in a request to server to “send back 500-letter word cat”. This would cause server to return “cat” followed by 497 characters of whatever was stored in the server’s active memory. This way hacker can get sensitive data from servers.

The problem confronting many companies today is that not all of them have implemented measures that counter Heartbleed vulnerability. Barring tech giants like Google and Facebook, and a few others, many companies have not yet incorporated appropriate technological measures into their systems. This leaves them all the more vulnerable to damage through Heartbleed.

With major portals quickly shifting on to better systems, many android based mobiles, tablets are still vulnerable to Heartbleed bug security vulnerability.

As a precautionary measure, you could get in touch with your bank and other portals where you store important information to know if their website is still secure and what measures you should take. You could also go in for changing passwords so as to possibly avert the threat posed by Heartbleed.

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Generating Sales Through Twitter

April 13, 2014

Social media has helped brands and businesses in creating value for customers and generating significant sales as well. Social media marketing, if leveraged well, can lead to great returns for any business. Many of the existing and upcoming business ventures have incorporated the social networking platform, Twitter, into their marketing plans. Read on to know more on how you can generate sales effectively through Twitter.

  • First and foremost thing to be borne in mind is sharing the right kind of information with customers. Many businesses today are lured into the prospect of offering discounts and coupons on Twitter so as to bring in more customers. But this does not work for every category of products and services. Information has to be shared as transparently as possible. Also, do not go overboard with selling your product or service; the catch is to just try and engage your prospective customer through tweets and re-tweets.
  • Recently Twitter has started “Twitter Ads”, an advertizement platform that can be effectively used to promote product or services through paid promotions. A business can use options of “Promoted Accounts”, “Promoted Tweets” and “Promoted Trends” to market and reach out to potential customers.
  • A business can also create special purpose filters on Twitter, which are aligned to its specific needs. This enables you to get the maximum leads for people who are looking for the kinds of products that you offer. For instance, people could be looking for help to solve problems on a particular product or service, that your company is adept at handling. In such a scenario, having a prospecting stream filter in place will save you a lot of time in hunting for leads.
  • Coming to the messages part of Twitter, it has been observed that after a certain time period, the customer complaints and questions start repeating themselves. A smart business will know the content and introductions that work best in particular situations. So instead of drafting a new message every time or customizing it, you can reuse the content that is relevant to that particular business situation.
  • Sending out messages is only one side of the story; there are innumerable messages coming from the people as well. For a business, it is important to know what messages should be responded to and which are the ones that need to be overlooked. If people hashtag your products or services or are talking about your company, you should definitely respond to those messages. For people who are not a part of your business location, the messages can be ignored.
  • The job does not end by sending a message. For a business to acquire and sustain prospective customers through Twitter, it is important to understand that conversations should be regularly monitored, and replies must be given where required. At the end of the day, your customer wants to know that you are there. For this, accounts can be actively managed by the social media team of the company.

These are some of the pointers which if followed could help a business in generating leads and sales through Twitter. For more information on how to market your your business online, call Centex Technologies at (855) 375-9654

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