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Recovering From A Google Penguin Attack

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It’s tough but it can be done. I have known many blog and website owners simply giving up after the Google Penguin attack. Panda was bearable in comparison. This post is about how you can survive and recover from this massive web-cardiac failure.

Google Penguin Update - Web Spam Algorithm

Cleaning up your act

Google Penguin is about spammy stuff – both content and inbound links. Recently, a friend of mine had to undergo the surgical operation of cutting out spammy content. Let me tell you that it’s painful. In some cases you have to rebuild the entire lot.

To begin with, it’s necessary to understand what spammy actually means. But here lies the paradox. No one really knows what’s spammy. Is putting your keyword in title spammy? If the keyword is both in web page and title, does it mean spammy? No one really knows and therefore it’s better to tread on the cautious side.

This means drumming down your SEO to a level that it’s no longer SEO – it’s pure content. Don’t ask me what happens to keyword density and stuff we have been learning till now. Simply forget the past and unlearn quickly. Read this article to find out if your site has been hit by Google web spam algorithm update.

Delink all your spammy backlinks

This is easier said than done. I have tried this and let me assure you that it’s almost impossible to get rid of backlinks. I tried writing to the website and blog owners, begging them to remove my blog from their hugely popular sites but to no avail. What do these guys gain anyway? Nothing.

Meanwhile there are rumors floating around that creating dubious backlinks for your competitors has been an SEO strategy. Simply put a few backlinks of your closest competitors and watch them sink down the search pages. Frankly what can you do if someone else adds backlinks of your blog on spammy  sites?

There is nothing stopping anyone from doing it.

But there are some things you can do about bad backlinks. First of all, you must get out of directories and article submission sites. They are the most dangerous as far as Google Penguin is concerned. Even this can prove to be tough but can be done. For someone starting a new blog, it would be advisable to avoid directories totally.

In our hurry to start hitting the first page of Google search results we forget one cardinal principle – nothing happens in a jiffy. A fruit has to come from a flower and this takes time. Don’t rush things. Even if you are planting backlinks, do it at a reasonable pace. Don’t put a hundred backlinks in a month. You are putting out red flag for Google.

Got very serious? Never mind, check out this funny take on Hitler’s reaction to Google Penguin.

Conclusion

Google Penguin carries a mean bite. Once you get bitten, you are mauled. Recovering from its dreaded bite is tough and a long process. It takes time and effort to get back on your feet.  But it has been done and you too can do it. Best of luck!

This is a guest post by Victor. Victor is an avid blogger and likes to talk about blogging,  SEO and other related issues.

Common Mistakes Made In Website Designing

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Nowadays, it has become quite easy for one and all to grab expertise in any field. One needs to make just few searches and watch some ‘How-to’ videos to do anything.

However, it is not that simple. One of the most common breed of people growing by reading self-help eBooks are those claiming themselves to be web designers. Web developers think that a domain, web space and knowledge on HTML are what one would require to develop a website. They are bound to make mistakes. Following is a list of few mistakes that these developers tend to make when they work on web design.

Common Mistakes Made by Web Designers

#1. Missing Search Box – Visitors find a search box placed on the top of the page to be user friendly. They immediately rush for help to find the exact information they are looking on the website. A search box adds interactivity to the site and lets the user stay on the page rather than getting annoyed not getting the data he or she is looking for.

Posts you may find useful:

#2. Missing dates on articles – One of the other important factors that convince the visitors about fresh content is placing date along with all your blogs and articles. That makes sure that everyone finds your text and website up to date. Dates play a very crucial role and make the visitor compel to visit the site again daily or at least in next few days.

#3. Never have “Coming Soon” pages – Mark this as a golden rule. Never try to add pages that have ‘under construction” label or are displaying “coming soon” text. This is the most irritating thing on the part of user. He or she clicks on a page expecting some valuable information and what they get is ‘nothing’. It creates a very negative impression. It is better not to have that page altogether than having such incomplete pages.

#4. Do not try mix and match of fonts: Make the site legible by using 2 or 3 fonts at the most. Use simple and universal fonts. Use those that are expected to be present in all the types of computers, be it Mac or Windows. It is never recommended to use both Sans serif types of fonts with Serif series of fonts on the same page.

#5. Avoid bulky Flash introductions: There is no doubt that Flash animation is fantastic. However, try to avoid that in the welcome or introduction part. Nobody has that much of time to sit and see animation to get loaded. User wants the information as quickly as they can. Statistics say that Flash introduction have lower results in retaining first time visitors. An alternative is to keep animations in inner pages where users take interest to see the animated story line.

Web design mistakes

Therefore, it is a well-understood fact that web designing is not just a task that needs to be done in a hurry. Take enough time to design the layout, plan well and try to use all the important elements that make an appealing website.

A little extra time is sure to pay off by increased number of footfall on the web pages. After all, that is why all the effort is being done. Try to implement the above-mentioned points, and you are sure to get a classy website with good result.

This is not an exhaustive list of common mistakes web designers make and should try avoiding them. There are a lot more which could be added to the list – do share with us if you know of one 🙂

Best Hostgator Alternatives After Its Acquisition By EIG

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Hostgator acquisition is undoubtedly a big news for the webmasters as it is one of the most used and admired web hosting companies. The entire web-hosting forums are discussing this news and moreover everyone is thinking about the precautionary measures to be taken after this acquisition.

Well, the only thing we all can do is to take frequent backup of our websites because the data now will be migrated to a new data center which may result in some of our data loss.

According to the statements made by the CEO of Hostgator, Mr. Brent, the deal would be completed in next 2-3 weeks, so are you guys planning to shift your websites from Hostgator to other webhosting companies?

Well, if you ask me I won’t be doing so until and unless I face any problems with the hosting services. Hostagtor has been providing excellent hosting services and as EIG has paid a grand amount to take over the company, I don’t think they will take any risk with brand by worsening the services.

Best Hostgator Alternatives

Anyways, I am here today to discuss about the Hostgator Alternatives in the present situation. There are numerous web hosting companies spread all over but most of us are using some of the best ones.

Popular Hostgator Webhosting Alternatives

Below I have listed some of the most popular and trusted web hosting companies.

Bluehost – This is one of the most popular webhosting companies around. EIG acquired this company in 2010. Bluehost is providing its services from individuals to the business owners. It actually provides a complete web solution for webmasters who are looking for an affordable web hosting service.

WpWebhost – This is again a very well admired web hosting company being used by the bloggers and webmasters. WpWebhost is brilliantly compatible with the WordPress blogs and websites.

GoDaddy – In spite of being a well known hosting company, GoDaddy is not preferred by many of the bloggers and webmasters including me. The company however provides good web hosting solutions but the technical support tem here is quite ignorant.

If you are a GoDaddy fan, you might find this post useful

DreamHost  DH is a domain name registrar and web hosting provider based in Los Angeles. It is a widely used web hosting company and it currently hosts on it more than 500,000 sites. Most of them are the core WordPress sites.

I have used Bluehost, Hostgator, and Dreamhost and to be honest enough, Hostgator is my favorite one. But at the same time, if I have to shift my websites from Hostgator to a different host, I will choose Dreamhost for sure.

Also Read:

Do you agree with me? Let me tell you my reasons to go with Dreamhost.

  • I find it very easy to manage and the best thing is its instinctive control panel. I can manage my shared account easily with this intuitive control panel of Dreamhost.
  • Dreamhost provides unlimited possibilities including unlimited data transfer bandwidth website storage, hosted domains and emails.
  • One of the best features of Dreamhost is that I found it extremely easy to host any of my WordPress blogs. I can host any of my blog in just a few minutes using the incredible one click software installer.
  • The functionalities in Dreamhost are highly advanced and are equipped with various code languages. You can create your own web app using various code languages which include some popular ones like PHP5, Python and Perl.
  • Dreamhost is excellent at customer care and their 97 days money back guarantee proves that. The customers can get their money back if not satisfied with the hosting services.
  • You can have live chats with them anytime to solve any of your queries related to hosting and its problems. Dreamhost team also responds spontaneously to the emails.
  • Dreamhost gives 100% uptime guarantee to the users and this is enough to understand their excellent browsing features.

So, are you going to move away from Hostgator services? Personally, I don’t think there is anything to worry about but still if you want to take precautionary measures do take regular backups or move your websites to some other host, Dreamhost preferably (my personal choice!).

Hostgator Acquisition By EIG – Good Or Bad For Customers ?

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One of the biggest news circulating over the internet from last three days, most especially the webmasters, is the acquisition of Hostgator by Endurance International Group. EIG acquired Hostgator at $225 million USD. This was the rate offered by Mr. Hari Ravichandran, CEO of EIG which was hand on accepted by the CEO of Hostgator Brent Oxley.

Hostgator acquisition by Endurance International Group

This being one of the biggest news is spread all over the webhosting forums and most the webmasters today are discussing on this topic. You might know that most of the leading websites today are hosted on Hostgator and to tell you the fact Technolism is also hosted on Hostgator. Amandeep Singh, the founder of Technolism moved it just a few months ago on Hostgator.

If you have already purchased Hostgator Webhosting services, below are some posts which you might find helpful.

Not much people knew about EIG (Endurance International Group) before this news. This big business group has become grand after acquiring one of the most popular domain registrar and web hosting company. EIG is a very big business group which includes some big companies like VPSLink, Bluehost, iPage, and Fatcow. After cracking this grand deal, EIG would likely get a firm hold in the webhosting market as well.

Although EIG run quite a few webhosting companies but only Bluehost is leading well in the market, rest all are just burgeoning presently. But now after acquiring Hostgator, EIG has gained worldwide publicity.

Is This Acquisition Good or Bad for Hostgator customers?

How do you think will this acquisition turn up for the Hostgator customers? I feel it might bring some good as well as some bad points for us. Good point is that being a financially strong company EIG may provide better and improved web hosting services and support. EIG is already known for its great support and facilities.

Bad news is that future of all our websites hosted on Hostgator is uncertain. What I understand by this acquisition is that all our data hosted on Hostgator will now be moved on a different location and some unlucky webmasters among us will definitely lose their websites in this migration.

I read somewhere the CEO of Hostgator Brent Oxley stated that complete acquisition including the data center migration will be executed in some 3-4 weeks. The statement by Mr. Oxley further said that Hostgator will sign a lease agreement for Texas and Houston data center.

These announcements actually show that the companies are planning to expand the infrastructure magnificently once the Hostgator is sold completely to EIG.

What I would suggest to my blogger friends is to have a daily backup of their websites as they might face any disaster during the data center migration by the companies. There are quite a few trustworthy ways to get the backup. I, myself am using the cPanel backup of Hostgator. Check out the one which suits and have your blog backed up.

Let’s see what this deal brings next for the webmasters using Hostgator for their websites. What is your take on this huge acquisition – do voice your opinion via comments below.

5 Excellent Tips – How To Keep Your “Kindle Fire” Safe

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Developed by Amazon.com, Kindle Fire is a multi-purpose device which is manufactured by Quanta Computers and it is considered as the ‘tablet computer’ version of Amazon’s Kindle e-book.

It has a 7- inch multi- touch Gorilla Glass display with IPS technology, 600 X 1024 pixel resolution and capacitive touch sensitivity. Released by Amazon on the 15th November 2011, it was wholeheartedly welcomed by the e-book users’ community all over the world.

Amazon Kindle Fire - Full Color 7" Multi-Touch Display

Today, it is a serious competitor of Apple’s iOS devices and Google’s Android and is set on the track of becoming one of the best hand carrying sophisticated gadgets in use worldwide.

Available in the market at the price tag of $199, Kindle Fire is very handy as it provides the user with many facilities such as streaming movies, music, games, e- books and various other entertaining apps in such a handy device weighing approximately 413 grams.

However, it also shares the same vulnerabilities as any other gadgets; it is prone to hacking. The user must keep in mind that this device is very sensitive hence, it is important to protect it.

In order to protect Kindle Fire from hacking and misuse, the user must take certain precautionary measures which I have tried to list below.

#1. Keep Your Account and Profile Password Protected

The worst possible thing that can happen to the owner of the device if it gets lost or stolen is that the thief can abuse the actual owner by misusing his or her account to do undesirable things. Keeping everything password-protect can prevent the thief from taking advantage of the device in any manner.

Kindle Fire Safety - Keep it Password Protected

#2. Keep Your Account Closed While Not Operating on Kindle Fire

The user must never forget to log out from the device. It is imperative the user gives special attention to this matter because most of the online harassment originates from gadget hacking.

This is because gadgets such as Kindle Fire can provide only limited protection to hacking hence making it highly vulnerable for misuse. The user is also advised to disable all features that keeps him or her logged in such as the ‘remember your password’ for an account.

#3. Always Lock your Wi- Fi

Wi- Fi is another medium for hacking. However, it has a straightforward method of prevention. It is very well understood that it is not physically possible for the owner to carry this device everywhere he or she goes. Therefore, the owner might forget to disable the Wi-Fi before leaving the device.

This gives misusers a perfect opportunity to take advantage of the Wi-Fi facility at your expense. Certainly, no one wants that to happen. Therefore, the user must always remember to switch off their Wi- Fi before parting with their device.

#4. Avoid Downloading External Apps

Kindle Fire, by default, contains Amazon apps but the user is free to download and install other external apps onto their device. Installing external apps on your device can be a very risky business because it allows infected apps to enter and damage the device.

For this reason, the user is advised not to change the settings to “Allow Installation for Applications” from unknown resources. If it becomes extremely necessary, it is advised to download known apps from trustworthy sources.

#5. Clean Your Browser Regularly

Last but not the least, the user should clean out their cache, cookies and browsing history from the tabs and delete all saved passwords for obvious reasons. If the owner ever loses the device, then he or she can be rest assured that his personal information and accounts are safe.

Although, the makers provide a warranty for the Kindle Fire Device which includes the defect in workmanship and material used (If your Kindle fire faces any such defect you may get it replaced or repaired free of cost). Following the above mentioned tips, you can keep your gadget safe and functional.

What do you think about the above listed 5 ways to keep your Kindle Fire safe. Which one do you like the most? If you have some more tips to enhance the security of your Kindle device, do share it with us in the comments section below.

Nokia 808 PureView to be Released in US, Priced at $699

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Nokia 808 PureView

We’ve all heard about the famous Nokia 808 PureView, which is expected to make a revolution in the world of mobile phones and cameras with its 41MP sensor. Nokia’s new cameraphone was announced a couple of months ago, and soon it’ll start arriving in different markets. The US, for example, is going to get it very soon via Amazon Wireless, and the price for its unlocked version is already set at $699.

Nokia 808 PureView

Actually, the Nokia 808 PureView wasn’t planned to be brought to the US at all, but then Nokia and some American carriers changed their minds – thanks to the “popular demand” of the phone, even though it runs an almost dead platform – Symbian.

Also Read: Samsung Galaxy S3 vs HTC One X vs iPhone 4S

The 808 PureVew is one of the best Nokia phones at the moment, even cooler than the Lumia 900 in some sense, and thought it can’t beat the giants like the Samsung Galaxy S3, iPhone 4S or the LG Optimus LTE2, it can easily stand against some cameras… Surprised? Just have a look at these pics taken with the PureView and Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Olympus E-PL2 and the Apple iPhone 4S.

Well, as you can see from the pics above, the photos by the iPhone 4S are rather weak and blurry and can’t really be compared with the others. The Olimpus camera did a bit better than Apple’s smartphone, but still its photos can’t be compared with those taken with the other two.

As for the 808 PureView and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, there was a tie, which is fantastic, since the Mark III is a professional camera that costs around $3,499, and Nokia’s cameraphone for only $699 can shoot similar photos… Not bad, right?

Technolism Giveaway #2 – Apple iPod Shuffle Winner Announced

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Technolism Giveaway #2 Winner

And, the Winner is Out 😉

Technolism turned 2 this June and as a part of our 2nd Birthday Celebrations, we organised a cool giveaway with Apple iPod Shuffle at stake.

I am quite excited and happy to share the cordial response and feedback you readers have given us in the past 3 weeks! Well, it has been overwhelming.

In total, we had 2,776 entries into the raffle out of which the lucky would get this flashy and stunning Apple iPod Shuffle 2GB.

Its been quite a busy weekend with the sun finally coming out in the British Summers (well, this summer hasn’t turned out really well!!) and now that I am back, here is a quick post to announce the lucky winner.

The winner of Technolism Giveaway # 2 – iPod Shuffle 2GB is Diana Cotter (Entry Number: 2257).

Technolism Giveaway #2 Winner

Diana – Congratulations!! We will soon be contacting you for details about sending your brand new iPod Shuffle. Enjoy 🙂

All our readers, thank you so much for joining the celebrations and for your continued support. This time, Diana got lucky – wish and hope you to be The Next One. 😉

We will come up with more such giveaways and offers in the future.

Stay tuned for more!!

WordPress 3.4 “Green” is Out With Theme Customizer, Custom Headers and Twitter Embeds [Intro Video]

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Wordpress 3.4 - Green -

WordPress Team just now announced the next major upgrade of the leading blogging CMS – WordPress 3.4 dubbed as “Green” in honor of guitarist Grant Green.

Wordpress 3.4 "Green" - Theme Customizer, Custom Headers, HTML support to image captions, Embed individual tweets in posts

WordPress 3.4 “Green” includes significant improvements to theme customizations, custom headers, Twitter embeds, and image captions. For the first time, WordPress team has put up a a short clip which introduces you to the top features you’ll want to know about.

Main Features of WordPress 3.4 “Green”

Theme Customizer – The main highlight of WP 3.4 is the theme customizer which allows you to play around with various looks and settings for your current theme or one you’re thinking about switching to without publishing those changes to the whole world.

For WordPress themes that support it, you can change colors, backgrounds, and of course custom image headers. Technolism is powered by Thesis and currently there are not many options available to customize Thesis – maybe they will plan something for future release to take the most advantage of this new wordpress feature.

Custom Headers – This feature allows you to use images from your media library to populate custom headers, and choose the height and width of your header images.

HTML support to image captions – WP 3.4 adds basic HTML support to the caption field in the image uploader. This allows you to add links — great for photo credits or licensing details — and basic formatting such as bold and italicized text.

Embed individual tweets in posts – With this feature, WordPress extends its embed support to include tweets: Just paste a tweet URL on its own line in the post editor and it turns into a beautiful embedded Tweet. The embedded Tweet includes action links that allow readers to reply to, retweet, and favorite the tweet without leaving your site.

Not only Twitter, this feature works with some more sites as well. Here is a list of few more sites on which WP 3.4 emebedding works.

Some Dev specific upgrader – There are also 100s of dev specific under-the-hood that WordPress 3.4 comes with. Some of the main features are faster WP_Query, custom content types and taxonomies support for XML-RPC, themes, and custom header APIs, and significant performance improvements in WP_Query and faster translation system.

WordPress 3.4 “Green” upgrade seems quite exciting to me – do share with me  your thought on this upgrade and which feature do you like the most.

How to Remove or Disable Timeline Profile Feature on Facebook

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Facebook added a new feature, the Facebook Timeline back in September 2011 when it was made available to only a limited number of user. We had written a quick hack to get instant access to Facebook Timeline profile feature.

It was later, opened to the public on December 15, 2011 and became available to all. This new feature was said to be the first step for a massive change on upcoming Facebook.

Facebook Timeline Covers

This new kind of profile lets the user highlight images and events which can give a much clearer image of the user’s life and personality. At the same time, the user is completely free to display whatever he or she feels is suitable for public, which means that he or she is free to hide any event of his or her life from specific group of people.

Timeline was created by Facebook to make it easier for users to interact, share and bring like-minded users together. In other words, it makes the user’s profile look more like the user’s CV listing down all your lifetime events like your personal diary.

Also Read: Getting Started with Facebook Timeline

However, recently strong protests have been made against this new Facebook Timeline Feature and many people are trying to disable it. A possible reason for this is that it if very complicated to use and make it difficult to work with. However, disabling this feature has also proved to be slightly tenuous. In this post, I am going to walk you through the step by step process of disabling the Facebook Timeline Feature.

Step by Step Guide to Remove Facebook Timeline

In order to remove or disable Facebook timeline, the user must use the following steps:

Step 1: First, log in to their Facebook account.

Step 2: Then, go to the Facebook developer page. This page is actually created to enable Facebook Timeline.

Step 3: Next, select the new app and click on “Edit Application” button on the right hand side.

Edit the Facebook Timeline App

Step 4: A new window should appear in which an option will be given to “Delete App” on the left sidebar – you need to click on that. (Please note that if you are a real developer then you will be unable to delete this app.)

Delete the Facebook Timeline App

Step 5: Then, you need to confirm the deletion and go back to your Facebook profile after the deletion is done.

Remove Timeline Feature On Facebook

Voila, your Facebook Timeline has now been deactivated and your Facebook profile page should return to the way it was before.

Please note that this is not an official way of removing this app but only a workaround to get rid of Facebook Timeline feature. By following these easy steps, you can deactivate Facebook timeline on your profile.

For Google Chrome and Firefox users, there is an add-on / extension available to remove this feature which you can install in your browser and switch back to old Facebook profile.

However, if you are planning to use Facebook a lot, it would be a better to get used to this new feature. And if you don’t, feel free to remove it using this quick tip 😉

Do let us know if you like the Facebook Timeline feature and if you don’t like it, which trick are you using to get rid of it?

Technolism Turns Two – Join The Celebrations!

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Technolism Second Anniversary

It is a great pleasure to announce that Technolism has just turned 2. Started on the 6th June, 2010 when I wrote the first post on Technolism, it has been an exciting and interesting journey so far. As I am quite excited about this, I thought of doing a quick post here.

Technolism Second Anniversary

Technolism – The Journey So Far

The last 2 years have been very productive and we have reached a few milestones on the way. We have added a few more blogs to our network and have a few planned for release during later part of the year.

Technolism is now a Google PR 3 blog. Overall, below are the current stats for Technolism.

Google PageRank: 3

Alexa Rank: 1,09,600

Monthly PVs: 40,000

Killer Posts

Like I did for the last year, I am sharing some of our killer posts (the one with largest traffic on top) which continue to get good amount of traffic month over month.

How to copy contacts from Nokia to iPhone

How to to download entire Facebook Photo Albums to your computer

How to invite all your friends to Facebook Page or Group

How to tag friends on your Facebook Status Message

Second Anniversary Celebrations

We, at Technolism are very excited on our second birthday and to celebrate the occasion, we have planned some giveaways to show our love to you, our worthy readers.

If it wasn’t for you, our readers, we wouldn’t be there. Hence, we are organising the first giveaway where in we are giving you a chance to win an iPod Shuffle 2GB totally free (no strings attached). If you already haven’t participated, go to this link and take part now as you can win an Apple iPod for free.

This giveaway closes on 16 June 2012 and we will be announcing the winner on 17 June 2012. Best of Luck!

There are a few more to come to mark the occasion, so stay tuned. The best way to stay updated is to subscribe to our newsletter or join our Technolism Facebook fan page.

I would like to thank each one of you for being there and making this journey possible. Thank you all for being a part of Technolism throughout our journey.

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