Archive for the 'Internet' Category

Quick Twitter SEO Observation

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

Here’s a quick Twitter SEO observation. For the longest time, I had my about.me profile URL in my Twitter bio. It was ok (the analytics for the free version are less than optimal), so I decided to see if switching up the URL would improve SEO for Joy Larkin, as there are a few women named Joy Larkin on the Web, and of course, I wanted to rank first.

Last week, I added my LinkedIn URL to my Twitter profile. After a few days, my LinkedIn profile ranked first.

Joy Larkin SEO

Being ever curious, tonight I added my cleverhack about page to my Twitter bio. Now I’ll watch to see if that gets ranked first for my name.

Twitter Status Page

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

In light of today’s partial Twitter outage, the official Twitter Status Page is at http://status.twitter.com.

However, there may be situations where Twitter DNS is disrupted and you are unable to visit the official status page. In this case, you can visit http://twitterstatus.tumblr.com/.

It appears that status.twitter.com is just embedding the posts from twitterstatus.tumblr.com anyway. For example, if you click on a post link on twitter.status.com it redirects you to the tumblr.

TwitterStatus.png

HubSpot Webcrawler

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

Apparently, SMB Internet Marketing services firm HubSpot has a webcrawler. This bot hit cleverhack over the weekend, crawling multiple pages of the site from 6 different IP addresses within the 54.174.#.# IP block (HubSpot AWS-HUBSPOT (NET-54-174-56-0-1) 54.174.56.0 - 54.174.59.255), which is HubSpot using Amazon Web Services.

HubSpot Webcrawler

Are 2015 E-Commerce Sales Slowing?

Thursday, November 19th, 2015

There’s been some rumblings in the news lately that e-commerce - especially for traditional retailers - is in a slowdown. Witness the following headlines…

Target’s Digital Sales Slowdown Disappoints Investors - Forbes

Target, Wal-Mart See Online Sales Growth Ebb in Ominous Sign - Bloomberg

Macy’s and Nordstrom Struggle to Adapt to Changing Retail Trends - 24/7 Wall Street

Weak sales trend hits Dick’s Sporting Goods - Chain Store Age

So why are these traditional retailers having problems? The economy going soft? Buyers willing to use no-name or smaller e-commerce sites? The ubiquity of Amazon? Google traffic directed elsewhere?

Schrödinger’s Cat Email Marketing

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

If you’re a Web-based service which requires your users to log in to unsubscribe or to change email preferences, I think you deserve your place in the spam folder.

Even moreso when your service fails to send password reset emails due to email deliverability issues and you require users to log in to use your Web site’s help functionality.

Oof.

Adbeat bot

Monday, September 7th, 2015

Some Web bots are cool, others not so much.

If you take a look at the screenshot below, this adbeat bot (a competitive research tool for online advertisers) hit 108 pages on cleverhack in nearly 40 minutes. Hrm…

Not cool bot, not cool

Time goes by

Monday, August 24th, 2015

Upon the news that Rutgers University is spending millions on cyber security.

I’ll just sit here on my (virtual) rocking chair and muse about the fact that about 20 years ago, abuse of the the Unix ‘wall’ command caused minor havoc on eden.rutgers.edu, especially during heavy use in the evening.

And yes, the ability to use ‘wall’ was quickly removed by the admins.

Carry on.

Chrome Error Message

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Below is a screenshot of the error message Chrome provides when a Web site refuses to load because there is no needed redirect from the non-www to the needed www version.

A) Why doesn’t Chrome automatically try to redirect like modern Firefox does?

B) Not like anyone but a Web developer would even recognize what DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN even means.

C) Yeah, I know the fault is technically on the Webmaster’s side on this one, but still, a browser should try to correct.

Chrome Error Message

Google + LinkedIn = Sales Intelligence

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

One of my favorite sales operations hacks is using Google as a search engine for LinkedIn. There’s a few good use cases for this type of profile search, including prospect or competitive business research or even social media verification — especially if the searcher typically allows their name and headline to be seen in the “Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile” section.

For this exercise, it is best to use a browser where you are *not* logged into LinkedIn.

The basic LinkedIn query I use on Google is: “First Name” Linkedin.com City

For a deeper search, you can also use full or partial secondary keywords such as “Last Name”, “Title”, “Company”, “School”, “Company Description or Industry”. (The more information you know about a person, the easier it is to find their public LinkedIn profile.) Example queries:

“David” LinkedIn.com “Chicago”

“Joy” LinkedIn.com “Philadelphia” Internet

“Obama” LinkedIn.com “Washington” Government

As you know, quotation marks are important in Google searches as you’re searching on a particular word or phrase.

Bonus Tip: If you’re going to share a profile URL with others, the best bet is to share the public URL in the Google result. (See highlighted example below.)

Google Search Snippet for LinkedIn Public Profile

Why share the public profile URL? Because LinkedIn personalizes the experience for each user - not only via purchased service tiers but also by the relationship (or degrees of relationship) you have with someone. Therefore, if you share a URL from within the service, your end user may (or may not) be able to see the profile.

Do you have any good LinkedIn search hacks to share?

Healthcare.gov 3rd Party URL Referrer Real Talk

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

So yesterday, just before the State of the Union speech, a poorly detailed story was released about how Healthcare.gov is sharing visitor data with various 3rd party services.

What is happening is that Healthcare.gov uses a quick and dirty parameter search (age, zip code, certain status) for the initial search for health insurance plans. That URL with the personalized parameters can be passed as a referrer URL to the external services (analytics, testing, image serving, etc.) the Web site uses.

I looked at Healthcare.gov last night and saw the same behavior. As a long time online marketer, I can confirm this behavior is NOT unique to healthcare.gov and THIS URL REFERRING BEHAVIOR CAN AND DOES happen elsewhere on nearly every modern Web site. In fact, I’ve written about it extensively on this very site.

Aside from the status parameters used in the particular site search, any webmaster can see what you searched for on a Web site site, and what your IP address is and other client information.

Healthcare.gov 3rd Party Services as of January 20 2015
Full Size View

Where the pearl clutching should happen (Note to journalists: There are places to look *hint* *hint*) as there are some legitimate questions as to why certain 3rd party services are being used on the site or why the search is executed the way it is and/or URL parameters aren’t obscured (I’d have to think the site creators were afraid of a site performance hit on the latter).

Update: A few days after the brouhaha, Healthcare.gov started obscuring the URL parameters. As of this writing, Zip Code is still intact in the URL, but your IP address gives webmasters that information anyway. Here’s a screenshot of the new URL.

healthcaregov obscured url

Quick Facebook Non-Public Profile Setting

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

If you’re a Facebook user, at some point, you’ll want to evaluate how public your individual Facebook profile is. There are three types of settings you can choose - Public (default), Hide Your Profile From Search Engines and Hide Certain Parts of Your Public Profile*.

Here’s the official Facebook instructions to hide your profile from search engines: What should I do if I don’t want search engines to link to my profile?

And this is how your profile will appear if you’ve chosen NO (Hide Your Profile From Search Engines).

No Public Facebook Profile

*These section settings are configurable by editing individual sections of your Facebook profile.

Unlink a LinkedIn Connection or two

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

So, you’ve been going through your virtual rolodex only to find that some people have moved on, changed jobs or why the heck did I ever connect to this guy?

Here’s a quick and easy shortcut to clean up your LinkedIn connections…
1) Make sure you’re logged into the LinkedIn service - this shortcut apparently works on Web and Mobile.
2) Click this link: https://www.linkedin.com/people/conn-break-selection
3) Choose the connections you wish to break and click the Close Connection button.
4) Profit!