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Dan Keating has been a member since March 26th 2010, and has created 11 posts from scratch.

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WordPress Sites Being Attacked

wordpress logoThis article is to let you know about an ongoing attack on WordPress sites. We wanted to explain what this means,and what is being done to keep keep site safe and also what you can do and what you can do to ensure and help protect your site. Unknown hackers are said to have have launched a large-scale attack against WordPress blogs on and unknown number of servers.

Almost all of the large server services such as Go Daddy, Hostgator, 1 and 1, CloudFlare and Host Excellence and many more have been attacked. These attacks are what is called brute-force attacks where a Bot tries to hack the WordPress login pages by trying to guess your username and password. The Bots being used are now relatively small. CloudFlare said on Friday last that, “One of the concerns of an attack like this is that the attacker is using a relatively weak botnet of home PCs in order to build a much larger botnet of beefy servers in preparation for a future attack.”

Security firms are seeing an escalating number of “brute force” attacks against WordPress installations, which have been trying out logins such as “admin” and then running through thousands of commonly-used passwords to try to break in. One of the problem here is that WordPress does not yet allow a user to change their username but does allow users to change their passwords.

Security firm Incapsula announced that infected sites are seeded with a backdoor that gives the attackers remote control of the WordPress site. “The infected sites then are conscripted into the attacking server botnet, and forced to launch password-guessing attacks against other sites running WordPress,” Incapsula reported.

HostGator in their blog warned of this attack by saying, “As I type these words, there is an on-going and highly-distributed, global attack on WordPress installations across virtually every web host in existence,” HostGator said in a post. “This attack is well organized and again very, very distributed; we have seen over 90,000 IP addresses involved in this attack,” it said. HostGator is a prime supplier to the internet marketing community who uses WordPress sites more than any other style.

Symptoms of an attack are slow back-end performance or an inability to log in. In some cases sites may be inaccessible for a short time.

Security experts are advising anyone with WordPress installation to update their password immediately to one that meets the requirements on the WordPress website. In other words use longer and more complicated password. You can do this by adding Capital letters, numbers and symbols like ?,+,#,% etc.

I know a programmer and security consultant in my home town who advises nothing shorter than 14 characters and he uses over 20 in his installations. He further stated doing this will keep a site safe for many years to come.

In addition the web hosting companies have introduced hurried new security measures of their own. Host Excellence one of my web hosting companies announced in an email that they began blocking all attempted connections to the wp-login.php file. This block stopped the malicious connections from breaking in, but unfortunately, it also stopped legitimate users from logging in as well. This was a temporary, but necessary solution as we continued to work on a remedy for this situation. They further stated that they have now rolled out a new fix which blocks the malicious connections, but allows users to access their wp-login file. This means that if you have a WordPress site, you should now be able to login and make changes. Personally, I saw no disruption during the attacks on their servers. However, I did change and beef up my passwords to at least 14 characters.

If you are a proud owner of a wordpress site you can find instructions on how to change your password here:

Internet Search Is Just A Marketing Tool

It is important to remember that internet marketing is just a category in the overall marketing strategy of any small business. Everyone is very excited about the internet and all it may be able to do. Recently in my discussions with small business people I have found that many small business owners have forgotten that search engine marketing, Facebook, Twitter and other internet tools are just that, TOOLS.

Internet marketing tools for small business are just tools in the overall strategy of advertising, sales promotion and public relations for a business. Just because we now have the internet and thousands of people are using it does not mean that media advertising, direct response and other media sources are no longer effective. The internet has added an effective tool but at the same time it should not be the only tool. For to do that can be very dangerous to a businesses success.

As I have tried to point out a business needs to be on the first page of search results regardless of the search engine you are using. Not being on the first page in search result gives your web site no traffic so for you the internet is very ineffective. Further one must remember that the organic (free) search has one very large disadvantage. There can only be 10 to 12 businesses on the first page which are not paid ads. Therefore, in medium to large cities there is just no room for all those businesses on page one of the search engines.

Since not everyone can be on page one that means small business must use other techniques to keep and increase their business. It is here where most small business fail to utilize old and proven methods to get, keep and maintain their customers. For example because of the internet everyone wants to use email to stay in touch which is a good idea as far as it goes. Many business people I talk to do not have any method in place to gather customer names and they do not have the programs in place to capitalize on this technology. The reputation of email has lost it’s luster because so many people have mis-treated it. The consumer is inundated with direct email to the tune of hundreds of messages a day. No one wants to wade through all that. It is much worse than the regular direct mail people receive. However, if done correctly both regular “snail mail” and email can be done effectively.

There is one old fashioned customer retention program that still works but few if any business people utilize it. This program is the greeting card programs. These programs when done correctly can be the most effective customer referral and customer retention methods available.

The latest and the greatest now is social media. It is being yelled about and promoted every where. If you go to Facebook for example you will see that there are now 800,000,000 million users and still growing. And with all the publicity very few businesses use it at all and those with pages do not use them at all. Since Facebook is free anyone can p[ut up a page and it is easy to do. Doing it effectively is the key.

If you would like a free consultation to review your small business marketing strategy give me a call and I will give you my 35 years of experience of both old school and new school marketing ideas. Ideas of course are a dime a dozen. Good ones are also plentiful. A good idea is only as good as the action taken to implement it. Without action nothing is ever accomplished. We also having a small business action coaching service that is inexpensive and can increase effectiveness by 200 to 300%.

Give me a call at 970-481-7733.

Mobile Business Opportunity

Google Places Small Business Service

Google places is a free service offered by Google to all businesses. It is especially helpful to small business and it is necessary if you wish to have a page one listing in Google.

Almost 80% of Coloradoan’s are internet users and this number is growing daily. 60% of US shoppers have researched products and services on line. 21% of all adults research for products and services on line daily. There are 240,00 internet users in Larimer County and 202,00 users in Weld County. All of these people may be searching for your product or service.

Google Places National Case Studies

Google Places allows you to get information about your product or service in front of customers at an extremely low price. If you do it yourself it is free. You can display information like the following:

  • Business Description
  • Maps
  • Directions
  • Hours
  • Payment Types
  • Download pictures of products, services, your location and your staff.
  • Download Videos You can actually show your product or service in action.
  • Testimonials and Reviews

It allows you to give your present and future customers information you do not get to do in other advertising media.

Google Places is another tool which you can use to reach for the large number of people searching for local products and services everyday.

We can set up an account for you for an extremely low price and you can let us service it every month or you or one of your staff can take it over yourselves. Why wait I can guarantee you your competetion is doing it or will very shortly.

In the world of web marketing there is nothing more important than being on the first page of Google.

We can help with:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Bing Business
  • Linkin
  • SEO
  • Call Us Today 481-7733

Google Page One

Google Local Search Being on page one of Google local search gets your web site exposure to 65% of all web searches. Your web site on page one of Bing/Yahoo will get you exposure to 34% more searches. That figures up to be 99% of all web search.

In the graphic at the left you will notice that the first three results get 79% of all click through’s and the first five get 88% of all clicks. Where do you want to be.

I can get your web site onto page one of local search.

To get the full statistical story see the slide show below.

Small Business Web Marketing— Social Media Gets More Traffic

It has come to my attention that small businesses who update their sites regularly tend to rank higher than those who do not update. Local business web sites are usually fairly static. Once a web site is built the web site on average becomes static and the business uses it to tell people through other channels about their web site.

Statistics tell us that only the top ten web sites for a given keyword phrase (consumer search query) get any traffic to their web site through search engines. Further using google anaylitics will tell you that this is true. It takes only 20 to 30 days to see the results. Further these same statistics tell us that the top three get as high as 84% of all click throughs and the top site can get as high as 40% or more of all search click throughs.

A large web site builder named SiteKreator released the results of a study they did on February of 2011. Their study analyzed 5,000 random websites through 2010. The study revealed that small businesses who add and update their site content more often receive more traffic on a monthly basis vs sites who make less frequent updates. They also found that sites which used social media in their online strategies also received more traffic than sites not using social media.

In the study the businesses who updated their website more than five times per month have +300% more website traffic than those who do not. 300% is a significant number. Even more significant however is the number of web sites who update 5 or more times a month. Only 2% while 54% hardly ever update less than 1/2 of 1% per month. 21% of web sites update 1 times per month. Added together that is 75% update very little. The small business owner who wants to stand above the rest needs to update and the competition for rankings is very low and therefor easily achievable.

Small businesses who use and engage with social networks see a +400% increase in the visitors to their website as a direct result of using a social networking platform. That too is a significant number. Site owners who so not use social media get little or no increased ranking while if you are an adwords user you get a 150% boost in traffic. There goes the theory that Google does not reward adwords users just for using the service.

The 400% increase in traffic is the average gained by incorporating social networking. Sites with Facebook integration and usage get over 500% and if you use both facebook and twitter you get nearly 600% increase in traffic over non-users.

So if you are a small business it appears to significantly pay to become involved in social media. It can be the difference of getting to page one in the search results and if you are already on page one it will help get you there.

There is another secret to getting to page one and if you are already there the secret is the same. The secret is, get the right kind of inbound and on site links.

Also it is important to have a Google Places listing that has been verified and it is very important to have on page seo. If you would like a free analysis of your local small business website give me a call.

Dan Keating

Internet Small Business Opportunity

E Book Publishing Systems