June 2016 Newsletter

In This Issue:

Random Free Hosting Site

We'd like to congratulate REMAX Town & Country for being the winner of this month's free site hosting. At the beginning of each month we will call up our own site's homepage. Whomever's site is the featured site when the page loads will get FREE hosting of one domain for one month. It's just our way of saying thank you.

Local Ranking Algorithm

Google uses different factors to determine local rankings. Local results are based primarily on relevance, distance, and prominence. These factors are combined to help find the best match for your search:

  • Relevance refers to how well a local listing matches what someone is searching for. Adding complete and detailed business information can help Google better understand your business and match your listing to relevant searches.

  • Distance is another factor. How far is each potential search result from the location term used in a search? If a user doesn't specify a location in their search, Google will calculate distance based on what’s known about their location.

  • Prominence refers to how well-known a business is. Some places are more prominent in the offline world, and search results try to reflect this in local ranking. For example, famous museums, landmark hotels, or well-known store brands that are familiar to many people are also likely to be prominent in local search results.

So the big question is, have you signed up for the FREE Google Local directory? If not you need to do it to stay competitive. Sign up here.

The Problem of Ransomware

Many companies have been hit with ransomware and the problem is increasing. It is very difficult to stay ahead of this problem and be proactive about it. Companies invest a lot of money on security products, but still ransomware find its way into client computers. I have seen a lot of different approaches on how to be prepared for the next wave of ransomware. But in order to prevent something, you will need to understand it first.

How ransomware normally works - A user normally gets infected either through mail with a malicious attachment or links that they click on. The attachment will normally either contain a PDF with an exploit or if it is an Office document it can contain macro code that executes something evil. When the user opens the attachment the attackers code starts to run and ransomware gets executed.

When the ransomware gets executed on the machine it will normally contact a server controlled by the Cyber Criminals to get a key to start encrypting files. After the ransomware is done encrypting the files it will make sure that the user gets notified about how to get the files unencrypted again by paying. Now that we understand the basics of typical ransomware, let us go over some mitigations we can implement.

Enhanced Mitigation Toolkit (EMET) - This tool is free from Microsoft and its goal is to prevent exploit code from running. EMET injects a DLL into the processes you want to check for exploit code. Typically, you want to protect Adobe Reader, Java runtime and Internet Explorer and so on. When an exploit is executed EMET will immediately detect if it is a known exploit technique in use and then prevent the execution. The user will then see a warning that EMET has prevented code from executing. EMET 5.5 may be downloaded here: http://www.wservernews.com/go/wjltn8e3/

Old Article Worth Seeing Again

Non-Mobile Friendly Sites Seeing Ranking Decrease

Google released an algorithm update on April 21, 2015 that began taking the mobile-friendliness of a site into account when ranking that site in search results. It’s still just one of many signals Google uses, and it’s not as significant as relevance or quality, but it is clearly a factor Google is taking very seriously as more searches are performed from mobile devices than on desktop now.

The update was largely known as “Mobilegeddon” before it actually launched, but that name has been heavily questioned since then as the severity of its effects have been debated.

As Google’s John Mueller put it, “While it’s had a fairly big impact across all the search results, it doesn’t mean that in every search result you will see very big changes.”

Overall, a study found a 1.3% increase in mobile-friendly URLs in search results. While this does not approach the impact of Panda or Penguin algorithm updates, this is the first such change by Google, and we expect more changes and an increased impact over time favoring mobile-friendly sites.

You can test your site just like Google does at the Mobile Friendly Test.. If you site fails the test this may be when you should contact us about making your site, or at least the important pages, mobile friendly.

New Sites Joining Us Or Completed Recently

Help these folks by visiting their site. All ya'll will remember how hard it is to get those initial "hits" so the search engines notice your site. So take a minute and visit their site.