stop wordpress page comment spam

Page spam (not posts, but specifically “pages”) is out of control. Usually when I see a pattern like this, I’m not the only one experiencing it. So here is how to stop the seo spammers from adding comments to pages on your wordpress site. Because even if the spam filter stops them, you still have to clean that junk out.

  1. Login to your wordpress blog
  2. Hover over “Theme” and select “Editor” from the flyout menu
  3. Look for the “page.php” template on the lower right hand side.
  4. Remove this block of code and update.
    // If comments are open or we have at least one comment, load up the comment template.
    if ( comments_open() || get_comments_number() ) {
       comments_template();
    }

Move on down the road page-spam free.

H4CK3D: Why my web site? What now?

Your web site will be hacked. It is inevitable. It’s not a technology problem, it’s a people problem. Wetware is the weakest link and it is us.

H4CK3D: Why my web site? What now?

Motivations and mitigations when your site gets owned, because there is no true prevention. And if the OPM, Chase, Target, Ashley Madison and many more have fallen, then you will too. It is no longer sufficient to consider perimeter defenses. Your only consideration is to understand why you were attacked and how to limit, but not prevent, damages.

Questions to consider for SXSW Panel, or no panel, as regardless this is a topic worth of discussion.

Q1
Why did someone bother to hack my site in particular?

Q2
Is this a vendetta?

Q3
How can I prevent this in the future? (hint: you can’t, but let’s talk)

Google “God in Houston” and you won’t find a church

In the process of explaining SEO (search engine optimization) over the years I frequently demonstrate that if you Google “God in Houston” the top results are not churches. Now I’m not talking about the local results that show the churches, but the actual search results below that that lists KSBJ as the top result for “God in Houston” when searched on Google. And the only paid search result is for “Houston Gold” – like the shiny stuff you make jewelry out of. Here is a screen shot:

From a technical perspective, this makes perfect sense. Because the largest churches in Houston do not mention the word “God” on their web sites. Yes really. Using a search engine keyword analyzer, a test of second.org shows the following.

Note the title is “Second Baptist Church, Houston, TX.” Thus they will likely rank for “Churches in Houston” but not for “God in Houston.” A simple fix would be to update the title to “Second Baptist Church, Serving God in Houston TX”.

I mention this because exactness of speech matters. It means that some of our largest churches have zero (0) possibility of being returned if a downtrodden person googles for them in the middle of the night. It means missed connections when a bible study group at a particular church might be the perfect connection for a fellow Houstonian. But we will never know because of a failure of exactness of speech.

On the flip side, a tip of the hat to Braeswood Assembly of God church which comes up for both the physical location and second natural ranking after KSBJ in the search results. And all because they mention the word “God” in their title.

So be specific. Be exact. And I’ll leave it to you to search for the ministers’ names – they rank a bit higher than God.

Viral Marketing Described as Link-Bait

While a few of our team attended Search Engine Strategies in San Jose this week, I did not. But I have been reading the newsletters that come out on the sessions.

On session that is worth review is from SEOmoz blog on a formula for creating compelling content by Randfish. Content so compelling that others link to it and therefore help your search engine rank. It is told from the perspective of the web yet it should work off line just as well from a PR perspective.

Here is the link-bait presentation with a summary below (go visit the presentation for the REAL content):

  1. Researching a Sector’s Link-Worthiness
  2. Discovery of ‘Big’ Players in Your Field – Technorati and Google Trends with your keywords
  3. Targeting YDDS (Yahoo!, Digg, Del.icio.us, Slashdot.org) (maybe also netscape.com)
  4. Targeting Offline Media – hire PR expert
  5. Selecting a Content Focus
  6. Melding Branding and Viral Elements
  7. Targeting Keywords/Search Traffic
  8. Look at Examples of ‘Brilliant Ideas’
  9. The Value of a ‘Web 2.0′ Look & Feel – "The  right "look and feel" will earn links"
  10. Elements that Encourage Linking
  11. Pre-Launch Public Relations
  12. Managing Launch Traffic – do not respond negatively
  13. Continuing to Get Value from Linkbait – "Update the content with timely information."

IABC – Demystifying Search Engine Optimization

Lookattheprettyscreen Taught a fun SEO seminar called "Demystifying Search Engine Optimization" at the Houston Technology Center for the International Association of Business Communicators Houston Chapter today.  This picture really captures it all, "look at the pretty screen!"

The reviews came in very good, so hopefully everyone got their value and will come to more great IABC events in the future.

One interesting thing about teaching SEO on a network with NAT is that we actually, as a class, got locked out of the Marketleap Linkback Calculator!  The good news is we had no problem getting the class to move on to the next slide after lockout occurred.

Google discussing financial stuff in their blog – frequent question

Blogsm When speaking on web marketing, or blogs, or rss, or podcasting, or SEO, one of the comments that comes up time and again is "well that might work for a small company, but we are a public company and can’t go discussing financial stuff online as that isn’t fair disclosure.

Having asked several lawyers over the years I get vague responses about "well, that law hasn’t really been tested fully yet".  And having suffered through discussions of nexus for web sites and tax law in the past, I can assure you these conversations suck are difficult.

So I find it significant that Google’s chief accountant is clarifying financial results in their blog.  I have no idea what he is saying, but there it is.  So I will get the question again, and I still don’t have a definite answer, but at least I have some ammo.

MSN profile data mixed with adwords

From AdAge, this is the next logical step in pay per click.  Although it is hard to tell from the article if this actually is PPC or if it is more targeted marketing based on demographics.  So here is the quote and commentary below.

MSN LINKS KEYWORD SEARCH TO DEMOGRAPHIC DATABASE
New Feature Enables Marketers to Target Search Engine Ads at Specific Groups
September 26, 2005
By Kris Oser

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — In a effort to technologically outflank Yahoo and Google, Microsoft Corp. will launch a new U.S. keyword paid-search program that enables marketers to target their keyword buys at specific consumer segments.  The new feature links keyword search techniques to MSN.com’s demographic database of 400 million registered users.

AdCenter allows advertisers to draw from MSN’s 400 million users worldwide who have registered for MSN’s Passport, Hotmail or Messenger services.

AdCenter allows advertisers to draw from MSN’s 400 million users worldwide who have registered for MSN’s Passport, Hotmail or Messenger services. Based on the demographic information those users provided, the advertiser can then target commercial messages based on geographic location, gender, age range, time of day and day of week. MSN can then also overlay additional data rented from database marketing companies, such as wealth index and psychographic information, to target more specifically.

(full article)

I added the emphasis and underlining.  Here is the deal, the web responds like direct marketing in PPC and SEO *because* the user *at that moment* typed in a specific term.  They have told you two things; first what they are interested in (dishes, BMW, etc) and second WHEN they are interested in it (RIGHT NOW!). 

The challenge with classic direct marketing is that repetition is key because there is only so much you can do to predict the timing but you can characterize that this group is likely to buy this object or service.  With direct mail you just keep hitting them with letters or cards or whatever trying to reach them WHEN they become interested buyers.  Let them buy when they are predisposed buyers.  The genius of search marketing is both questions are answered.  You know what the buyer is interested in and when they are interested.  So the program above from MSM is cool but classic DM.  It won’t be the surprise hit that search engine marketing has been with targeted buyers and a pay as you go pricing model that small business can afford.  It will be added value in the marketing mix.

B2B Marketing Trends running my article on SEO and qualified marketing leads

*self plug warning* – B2B Marketing Trends is running an article from our team:

How Much Is a Qualified, Interested Lead Worth to You?
Ed Schipul

Many organizations grow frustrated that their Web site never seems to be included among the top listings on Google or Yahoo. To help organizations move up the search engine listings, an entire industry has emerged, full of specialists who stay on top of changes made to the arcane inner workings of search engine algorithms. However, this takes time, and they may be tempted to use some of the trickery that is tainting the search engine marketing field.

    One alternative that can immediately show results is search engine advertising. (more)