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  • Sarah King 7:09 pm on January 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Say “No” to content spinners 

    Content Spinners have been around for a long time now, some are very sophisticated and some are like blunt force instruments. Put one in the hands of someone who is ESL and it all falls to pieces.

    spun-contentIn my example the “writer” is Indian – and the level of English literacy coming out of that nation is usually very good. Not in the case of ashokdhan, sadly.

    Ashok appears to have consulted a thesaurus and discovered that where the original document might say:

    I confess to spending lots of my time with purchasers fixing technical problems

    (More …)

  • Sarah King 12:19 pm on December 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , pst, transcend   

    Using Transcend to get .PST files into Gmail 

    My husband’s beloved Shuttle running Windows XP died last week and in it’s place came Windows 8 with all the changes that neither of us were expecting. Gone was the old Outlook, gone was Word and Excel. After our initial setup woes it stopped feeling so different and it does appear to be quite a nice operating system.

    We’ve managed to install Office 2007 and even PageMaker 5 and I’ve added the apps for Gimp and a few other graphics programs.

    (More …)

  • Sarah King 1:18 pm on September 27, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Alasdair Thompson uses Sri Lankan spammers to promote himself? 

    The  once hard working and high profile leader of the EMA fell from grace in 2011. It appears he’s committed to public service and is looking to be elected to a district health board.

    His blog at fairpoint.co.nz promotes him and even has a post on researching the gender pay gap – you have to admire his spirit in tackling that issue head on! Oh, and he has a book coming out.

    What astounds me, though, is that he has been suckered by the claims that comment spam is good link building and a good way to promote himself. I can’t even begin to imagine how the sales pitch went, but the post the comment was left on was written in 2008. The IP address that the comment was left from is clearly not his – it relates back to Sri Lanka.

    So, if he’s so gullible as to believe that spamming his site around NZ blogs is good practice can he be trusted as a candidate?

    And should we be checking all the candidates for similarly naive business decisions?

    Alasdair Thompson

    • Sarah King 2:39 pm on September 27, 2013 Permalink

      I took a look at mayoral candidate John Palino’s site – and on the home page it states “The website is best viewed in Fire Fox and/or Internet Explorer”

      John Palino

      You have got to be kidding me. This isn’t 1995.

  • Sarah King 12:28 pm on September 13, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    RootMetrics and Risk Assessment 

    I attended a MTB coaching course recently and one of the topics was Risk Assessment and getting medical help. I usually ride in 3 forests with cell phone coverage ranging from adequate to poor to appalling.

    I decided it would be useful to find a tool that could map out the forests and give us an indication of where the signal is strongest. I checked out the app store and found “Coverage Map” from RootMetrics (available on Android too). If there are other tools that I missed please let me know. (More …)

    • RootMetrics 10:43 am on September 18, 2013 Permalink

      Hi, Sarah. We sent you some answers to your questions via Facebook PM, but we thought we’d make it public here, too:

      -API: We don’t currently have a public API. We have considered it and may make something available in the future

      -We’re planning a number of enhancements to the map in the next few months. We’ll consider satellite view for inclusion as part of those changes.

      -We have plans to add carrier comparison into our maps. While we don’t have a specific launch date to share as yet, it is on our roadmap.

      Hope that helps! Thanks for using our app.

  • Sarah King 5:41 pm on March 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Pingbacks still being used to spam WordPress blogs 

    Lots has changed in the world of link building but it seems that some “SEO Professionals” still believe that random pingbacks will help, rather than hinder, their clients.

    Take this example, found on the website for my local Pilates class…

    I’m not sure which alternate reality makes forex, bonsai and contact lenses relevant to Pilates and Yoga but I’m betting that GoogleBot has seen and discarded these links.

    If your blog is on WordPress the cleanup is relatively simple… but potentially mindnumbing

    1. Make sure you have Akismet turned activated
    2. Go to the comments and mark as spam any pingback that looks spammy or that can’t be proven to be legit. Don’t waste time on the proving – just clean up as quickly as you can.
    3. Change the pingback permissions on any post where pingbacks aren’t appropriate (such as a Pilates timetable page). You can do this quickly using the quick edit option on the page that lists all your posts (and do the pages too!)


    • Helge Sverre 10:27 am on September 3, 2013 Permalink

      Is this option turned on by default?
      I have never seen ping-spam any of my WordPress sites before.
      Granted, i do enable Akismet on all of my sites…. Well It’s effective :D

    • Sarah King 12:01 pm on September 3, 2013 Permalink

      I think it is, and newbies don’t know what they are so they leave it unchanged. That’s fine, but they also don’t know to check for them and spam them when necessary. The unfortunate side effect is that “good sites” representing real businesses get tainted while crap sites controlled by SEO savvy people forge ahead.

  • Sarah King 1:49 pm on February 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Social Media Gaffes 

    I just bought a mountain biking magazine and was interested in a new product line from The North Face. Sat down and googled for their website and looked at their mountain biking range. Nothing came up that looked remotely like the clothes pictured.

    They did, however, have a link to their facebook account so I thought I’d ask there – had I seen some advance publicity and they weren’t due for release until later in the year perhaps?

    I wasn’t expecting the kid in charge of facebook to have never heard of their own “point of difference” ie FlashDry.

    Nor was I expecting that after posting a reply with the copy of the article for it be ignored. I can see that they get alot of comments on their facebook page but I also know how easy it is to keep track of replies through the admin panel.

    I’m sure The North Face is a big company – but it’s vital that those who are “customer facing” either through retail or online interactions (ie social media, chat support) are kept up to date with marketing initiatives.

    ref: http://www.facebook.com/thenorthface

    In the same issue of the magazine was an ad for the very excellent Gloworm lights with an email address for the local agent. I decided to sidestep the email and go straight to the local agent’s website but wasn’t surprised when they weren’t on there. I emailed for info but that email has bounced. Jeepers – I thought people were hungry to make sales!
    Their site also threw errors on my ipad and one of the links was to a flash page with no mobile alternative. This is a NZ site and NZ has an extraordinarily high tablet uptake so you’d think our local sites would be aware that if I’m reading the magazine and go to look up info I probably won’t be using a traditional desktop or laptop to do it!

  • Sarah King 12:15 am on November 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    If you spam Google will catch up with you. 

    Google changes the rules constantly… and I like that. I like that they work hard to deliver good results and they have the people on board who are smart enough to know spam when they see it.

    There are alot of people running scared after the latest round and they’ve discovered that all that comment spam they paid for last year is a penalty this year.

    Now, I can’t remember why, but I approved the comment from Simon complete with the link back to his site. Maybe I thought a Greek water filter company was genuine? Obviously not.

    Because I use a recent comments box the link back to his site appears on every page of this blog.

    Because I don’t blog frequently I don’t get a large number of comments so his blog stays as comment #2 for much longer.

    I wonder how many emails like this one are doing the rounds and how much the SEO guys are charging for sending them.

    I reckon they can stay. These guys knew last year they were employing comment spammers, and they should have known that sooner or later it would bite them in

  • Sarah King 1:09 pm on September 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Crushing It… still so very relevant… 

    Users on digitalpoint often ask “What niche is profitable right now?” and my response is always “Follow your passion. If you don’t believe in your topic then you won’t get far”. It goes without saying that, for them, my answer is the “wrong answer”. Chasing the dollar is a pretty soulless way to operate.

    I’ve been watching how people use the internet to make names for themselves ever since I first went online back in the ’90s. I’ve been frustrated by my husband’s humbleness that has stopped him from utilising his already high profile within his industry while others have done it incredibly well – however it has seemed that in his world, the loud and proud are not what they seem – something their clients only realise after its too late.

    Back in 2004 Shawn Hogan was well known in the fledgling SEO community and when users became disenfranchised by SEOChat (alot of us were still on dial up and the ads were huge) he started his own internet marketing forum which is huge. He tied it to his company and had lots of free tools which drew people in.

    By 2006 Jeremy Schoemaker was making his presence felt under the name “Shoemoney”. He decided to take it up a notch and had tshirts printed. I was envious of his ability to go to conferences in the US and of his energy. He lives and breathes his topic. By believing in his brand Shoemoney is now a huge resource for bloggers interested in monetizing their sites.

    Being a big believer in open source, blogging and sharing information freely I haven’t been big on buying books about online marketing. Back in ’99 I used to go to Tech Books in Newmarket and elbow my way through the crowds filling the aisles to the books I wanted to read, pore over them to decide which were valuable and then spend over a hundred dollars a book. Today the shop is gone and I haven’t bought a programming text book this century.

    Audio books, however, have caught my attention. They’re essentially podcasts and I like having them on my phone and being able to listen when I’m alone in the car. Audible.com had a sale on last week and they highlighted that a book that was in my wishlist was included in the sale so I hopped online and bought it.

    Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion

    Gary Vaynerchukpublished this book back in ’09 and the audio book came out in ’10 and he updates the book throughout where he thinks things have changed. By now things have moved on even more. There was no Google+ then and Orkut is now gone (not sure what the Brazilians are using now).

    Don’t let the age of the book put you off reading or listening to it – the guts of the book apply today. I’m going to summarise the key points the way I see it but Gary embelishes from his own experience and really gets the point across.

    • be passionate about your subject
    • be 100% committed
    • choose your medium
    • don’t be afraid of hard work

    Obviously his book goes into way, way more than that but I see kids in Pakistan saying they want to do a Hollywood Celebrity blog because they think adsense pays well. There is no way that that kid is going to do well because all the material is going to begged, borrowed or stolen. Now if the kid lived and breathed Hollywood Celebrity and had the knack of interpreting tweets and photo opportunities to know that a relationship was on the rocks etc and published that before anyone else, that blog would be interesting and successful no where the blogger lived. The key difference is passion!

    On a personal level, I’m wondering if my passion is actually helping others shine and coaching them on how to use the internet well. I’ve made a start in a couple of areas where the “client” is receptive the message and can see the long term benefits. I’m ready for a change so I’ll be mulling my future direction over andre-listeningto the book.

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