Keep An Eye Open On BBB Claim Scams

I just got this in my email and it is enough to shake up any business owner. My email stated that a William Jackson had filed a complaint against me with the Better Business Bureau.

First I have never had a customer by this name and so I figured it was a scam or virus hoax, but the note sure looked legitimate, but I did not open the PDF attachment. I sent the BBB a note for clarification and then did a search on the Web.

This is what I found. First PDFs can now be exploited for virus attacks. Second the BBB has posted a notice that this is a scam and a new way to embed VB Script using their name. The link in our blog post title will take you to the Better Business Bureau site so you can read all about it and make sure that you are not a victim.

For me, I was a bit shaken up. I really pride myself on offering total customer satisfaction and work really hard to assure it, so to think that there was a customer who had a problem I did not know about threw me for a loop. Until I realized I had no customer by this name.

In fact one of the triggers to identify this may be a hoax was the messages headers were masked and the PDF file had a funny name.

Make sure you are not a victim, just delete the message if it comes from the fictitious address operations@bbb.org .

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Google Supplemental Index

Just what is that? Find out if your site is included in Google’s supplemental index by using this to do a Google search

site:www.yoursite.com *** –sjpked of course insert your correct domain name.

I have a few sites that we have designed and not provided content for (the client sent us content) that just have not placed well. I have really struggled to understand why those sites were not well placed as typically we have great success in moving a client in or up. Well now I have the answer and can help future clients. When a client simply snatches content from other sites and passes it off to you, the webmaster, as original content, they are cutting their own throat. The site will typically go right into the Google’s supplemental index as Google is too smart to simply let the duplicate content go right into the main index.

There are some times when content across the Web for a specific topic may be similar. Let’s say for example you are a merchandise broker and you and others are promoting a set of the same products to the world. This may happen in the franchise business or if you are an affiliate marketeer. The information may be similar. Be careful to take time to make your site’s content interesting and create unique features. Consider introducing a questions and answer section on the product or top tips or special reasons for consideration. Do not simply copy content and pass it off as your own. One it is wrong to do this and can cause a copyright issue and two Google will catch you and your new site will end up in the supplemental index. Sometimes we, the webmaster, simply do not know where you have gotten your content. If you have copied it, please let us know so we can rework it (for an extra fee unfortunately) and keep you out of the supplemental index.

Once you are in the supplemental index, it is a hard thing to move out. Some webmasters recommend abandoning the page URL completely and re-creating content under a new URL. This requires one a full revamping of content and typically a rework of the navigation, plus 301 redirects. Kaching. Why not help your webmaster and web designer by being up front initially and investing in unique content. The remediation to repair a problem can be expensive!

Google is really cracking down on duplicate content. So for me, I will have a more frank talk about this specific topic with all new clients and if you are a site owner, please don’t take the easy way out and snatch content and just change a few words and pass it off to your web designer as your own. Invest time in making your site unique by creating interesting content that is not a match for what is already out there.

We offer inexpensive content creation charges when we design your website. Invest in your placement on the Web with content that will win with Google, bring you new customers, and keep you out of the supplemental index!

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Swickis and Buzz Clouds

You’ve seen them, but may not know what they are called. You know the block of content on a site that is just keywords and some words are big and some are small. They are called Buzz Clouds or Swickis. I don’t have one on this blog, but you can visit Web-World Watch and see one on the right side bar near the bottom.

Whatever they are, they are interactive and allow your site visitors to actively participate in adding more keywords, letting you know the keywords they think are important and to search for more information on your site and the web on the keywords included in your buzz cloud.

If you want to start one, and by the way set up is FREE. Just click the post title to go to my favorite Swicki from Eurekster. It is super easy to set up and you can add the HTML that is generated in your blog template or add it to your new Blogger layout if you are using it in the add custom HTML widget.

Swicki even automatically lets you know when you’ve had click activity on your Swicki. I think that you will find what others think is interesting and adding one is just another way to create interactivity and make your site more interesting and of value to readers.

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MFA Sites to be Banned From AdWords June 1

MFAs or sites Made For AdSense, also known as AdSense Arbitrage sites are being banned from the Google Content Network effective Juan 1, 2007. Personally I think that this is good news, but in the professionals forums you should hear the squawking.

Made for AdSense or AdSense Arbitrage sites are somewhat shady sites that play on the misspellings of popular domains and exist for one reason to entice people who really land there by accident to click an ad and generate click income for the site owner. A whole cottage industry has been developed catering to this particular strategy with huge AdWord’s spend budgets being used to actually drive traffic to an arbitrage site. Typically the site owner moves in and out of domains quickly, sometimes even using the three day domain period and then returning the domain to ICANN at no charge to work the traffic. What you should know is that this is not a legitimate business making opportunity and shaded in gray.

There are many involved in the field who would hotly contest my comments and say that this is free enterprise at its best, but I have long felt that these were not legitimate business efforts and finally Google has recognized that and is actively shutting down these account. Webmasters involved in this “industry” will now have to look for another avenue to scam people into clicking their links and inflating their profits at the expense of “real advertisers”. I say thanks Google for getting rid of this blot in the AdSense program.

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New Blogger Labels

If you are using the new beta Blogger, well not beta anymore, then you know that you can add the widget that adds labels to your template with nearly one click. How very nice!

If you are using FTP and the Blogger platform, then you know just what a headache it is especially if you are using a custom designed template to add labels to your own blog template.

I tried over the weekend to do this dynamically on my blog Web-World Watch. I followed three different sets of instructions struggling to find a way that would work to dynamically create the label list. I tried adding the new mime type to the .htaccess file, adding a PHP include and several versions of scripts. At the end of several hours, I just had to simply give up. I added the “popular labels” using plain HTML manually to my template so that users can access my labels. I won’t be able to add more dynamically, but at least I have tried out several approaches that I have found on the Web.

If you find an easy work around to add labels to an FTP blog, let me know, I am all ears.

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Sending Large Files

I just spent quite a bit of time trying to send a client photos for their printer. The files were large. Even zipped, the file got bounced. Even sent one at a time the files got bounced.

Enter in YouSentIt to the rescue. I was able to upload my one zip file with the 15 300 dpi photos for the printer and load it and send the client a link. How very convenient. I won’t waste time trying any other way next time.

Oh I know I forgot to say it was FREE for the Lite version. Click my post title and check it out yourself, you may want to book mark the site for when you get in a jam.

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