All posts in “Technology”

6 Q&A SitesTo answer that

5 Q&A Sites To Answer That Burning Questions

“How do I do that again” Trust me we have all been there

Hello

Have you every been hard at work and thought “how do I do that again” Trust me we have all been there. When this happens I normally do what a lot of us do which is google it. If it’s a specific question 9 times out of 10 you will find a Q&A site in the results. I find learning is the key to fixing a lot of problems and I love finding out about new things, from how they work to people’s opinions of them.

I have found in recent years Q&A sites have become increasing more popular and a lot more people are reading and posting.

What’s a Q&A Site

it’s important to understand what a Q&A site is. The simplest definition can be found in Wikipedia:

“A Q&A website is a website where the site creators use the images of pop culture icons to answer input from the site’s visitors, usually in question/answer format.”

While this definition mainly refers to the traditional type of Q&A sites, the whole concept is still the same.

Throughout my years of searching for knowledge and answers, I’ve come across some great sites. There are a lot of them so I thought I’ll share my 6 favourite Q&A sites.

Here are 6 great sites that will bring you that answer to that burning questions:

1. Quora

quora-logo-Q&A

Quora is a site where people answer questions posted. It allows you to follow Topics, People, and Questions, which is great for keeping up with trends and questions that you never ran into yet. The advantage is in its community of reputable experts. it covers a wide variety of topics and interests and is bound to have something for your curiosity. You can also choose to search for answers to specific questions right in the search bar on every page.


 

 

2. Yahoo! Answers

Yahoo-Q&A

Yahoo! Answers may sometimes offer poor quality, but it makes up for all of that in quantity. You can find a good answer although you may have to look through a few series and threads of questions before you run into something you find credible.


 

3. Stack Overflow

stackoverflow-Q&A
Looking for Coding answers? Stack Overflow is just the place. It’s a Q&A site dedicated to answering coding based questions, there are specific questions about code. Users can vote questions up or down.


 

4. Answers.com

Answers.com_Q&A
Answers.com has clearly been inspired by Wikipedia. You’ll be surprised at how similar it looks to Wikipedia. Answers.com has the highest domain authority in the list which means it ranks very high in google.


 

5. LawPivot

Q&A

Need legal questions answered? LawPivot is a site that offers crowdsourced advice for businesses and startups. If you’ve got any questions about the law take a look.


 

So there you have it 5 Q&A sites to answer that questions you need answering.

All of the sites above have very high domain authority and are great for building SEO backlinks to increase your page rank. but remember to be respectful and more importantly aim to help people with your answer, not just post an answer. If you would like to know more about SEO Tips & Tactics check out our other blog posts in the SEO section.

Please leave a comment if you have another Q&A site that I didn’t cover and be sure to share if you found this helpful

removing-referral

The Beginners Guide To Removing Referral Spam In Google Analytics

Welcome to a Beginners Guide to Removing Referral Spam in Google Analytics.

In this guide, I will be teaching you how to remove or block referrer spam.
First, we will start with the basics

 

What is Referrer Spam?

Referrer spam occurs when your site gets fake referral traffic from bots and this fake traffic is then recorded by Google Analytics (GA).

 

What is a bot and What do they do?

A bot is a program called a crawler which is developed to perform repetitive tasks with a high degree of accuracy and speed.

Bots are used for indexing web pages mostly (reading contents of web pages).

 

Good Bots:

Google Bot is an example of a good-bot. A Googlebot is used by Google to crawl and index pages on the internet. They use their crawl bots every day to crawl web pages of all types. This is how Google has so many up to date site results across the internet.

Good bots obey a file called “robots.txt” but bad bots don’t. Bad bots can create fake user accounts, send spam emails, steal email addresses and can get around CAPTCHAs codes.

 

Bad Bots:

Bad bots are mostly used in black hat techniques such as:

 

  • artificially increase website traffic
  • click fraud
  • scrape websites
  • spread malware (virus)
  • harvest email addresses

 

Bad bots use many methods to hide so that they can’t be detected by security. They can pretend to a web browser (like chrome) or traffic coming from a legitimate website.

They send out HTTP requests to the websites with a fake referrer header and create and send fake referrer headers to avoid being detected as bots.

The fake referrer header has the website URL which the spammer wants to promote and/or build backlink to.

When they do this, it is recorded in your server logs. Google treats this referrer value as a back-link which influences the search engine ranking of the link being promoted.

They can hide from bot filtering used by Google Analytics (GA) and because of this, you can then see spam Traffic in your GA ‘Referrals’ reports.

Most bots don’t use Javascript but some do. Bots that do use Javascript show up as hits in GA reports and mess up the traffic data and any metric based on sessions like bounce and conversion rate.

Bots that don’t use Javascript

Bots that don’t use Javascript on the other hand, (like Googlebot) do not mess up your data. However, their visits are still recorded in your server logs file. They still consume your server resources and still eat your bandwidth. They can even negatively affect your website performance.

If you can’t see a problem in your GA reports but your sites still acting funny check out another article we have written on bots that don’t use javascript and how to defend from them.

 

Can It Get Any Worst? YES! It Can.

Botnets:

Botnets are a network of infected computers that come from different IPs and countries at different rates and are all being controlled by one source. The computers act like zombies if you will, to a leader computer (the spammer). The bigger the network the more IPs which means you can’t just block IPs and limit the rate.

Botnets can also create dozens of fake referrer headers and if they are using a VPN then IP blocking is useless. This means if you block a spam referral by a GA filter or by using .htaccess file there is no guarantee that you have completely blocked it.

 

Infection Bots

Botnets get new computers onto their network by infecting them with malware. They become zombies of that Botnet with the end user not even realising it most of the time.

 

Sad Truth:

If you decide to block botnets, you will most likely block the traffic coming from real people. Whatever you do, though don’t click on the links in your ‘Referrals’ reports as they might be trying to infect your computer.

 

What You Can Do About it

Check Your Reports

Go to your Referrals report and sort the report by bounce rate in descending order. You can also download it if you prefer. Look at referrers with a bounce rate of 100% and 40+ sessions. They are probably spam.

Bot Filtering

It’s definitely not foolproof but try Using GA’s “Bot filtering” feature which excludes hits from known bots.

If You Can’t Identify It

If you still can’t identify it then you might have to visit the site (to make sure it is legitimate). You must have anti-virus/malware software installed on your site and computer before you visit any website that you can’t identify.

List of Known Domains

I have put together a list of suspicious sites referred below. If it’s on the list below then chances are, it is a spam referrer and you don’t need to check the website to make sure

Click Here To View The List (LINKs on this list are updated every so often)

Block them from appearing in your reports.

You can do this by adding a custom advanced filter on GA as shown below.

Use a WAF

Web Application Firewall acts as a line of defence between your web server and the internet. This is probably the fastest way to sort the problem. Also, most services cache your site so if the site on the server goes down your site will still function and be viewable.

Use Google Chrome

The best option to surf the internet is to use Google Chrome. Chrome detects malware deploying websites faster than any other web browser.

 

Block referrer used by a bot

Go to your .htaccess file and add the following:

Example Below:

 

"RewriteEngine On Options +FollowSymlinks RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ^https?://([^.]+\.)*luxup\.ru\ [NC,OR] RewriteRule .* – [F]"

 

This will block the HTTP and HTTPS referrals from luxup.ru and subdomains.

 

Block the IP address used by the spam bot

 

To block IPs in your .htaccess file and add write code below:

 

CODE:
"RewriteEngine On Options +FollowSymlinks Order Deny,Allow Deny from 234.45.12.33"
CODE END:

 

Block the IP address range

 

If you are sure that a range of IPs is bad, then you can block the whole IP range.

 

CODE:
"RewriteEngine On Options +FollowSymlinks Deny from 86.239.34.0/44 Allow from all"
CODE END

 

CIDR is a method for representing a range of IPs.

 

Blocking by CIDR better than blocking individual IP and it takes less space on a server.

 

86.239.34.0/44 is the CIDR range.

 

Use custom alerts to monitor unusual spikes.

If you are using GA, you can use custom alerts this way you can quickly detect and fix issues and minimise their impact.

 

Little Tips:

 

  • Do not exclude the referrer spam from the referral traffic using the ‘Referral exclusion list’ this will not do anything.
  • Create a note/annotation on your charts in G.A and explain what the unusual spike is for.

 

Important Note For PC’s

Without the right protection (anti-virus/anti-malware) your machine could be in danger.

Important Note For Mac’s

Bots are less likely to happen on Macs but you will still need to be aware as there are a few emerging (i-warm)

 

Keep updated with latest OS X and maybe invest in some protection (anti-virus/anti-malware) to be safe.

 

time-social-media

How To Make The Most Of Your Time On Social Media

This post talks about setting time boundaries for social media and how to find out when your audiences online.

Have you ever felt like you are wasting valuable time on social media or maybe you get distracted quickly? We have all done it at some point. We’ll have seen a video click on the link and then before you know it you’ll have gone down the rabbit hole that is the click bait universe of the internet.

Here are a few ways you can boost your productivity to make the most out of your time.

 

  • Set Yourself Goals:

If you don’t have an aim in mind when doing social media then you will likely not get much done. Set yourself goals for the overall project you are working on. This gives you a better understanding of what you are trying to achieve and allows your team to focus in the same direction.

 

  • Time Limits:

My approach to this is to set a time for everything and give yourself timeslots to do different tasks. Make a schedule and break down your goal into tasks and estimate the time it will take you. Making a schedule for your marketing efforts can double productivity and stop you losing sight of your goals.

 

Below is an example of breaking down your tasks with time limits.

Tasks Time
Social Media Check 1 Hours
Check Forums and reply 3 Hours
Social Scheduling 2 Hour
Sharing 1 Hour
PPC and Ads 3 Hours

 

There are some Software options that can help

 

 

  • Find Out when your followers are online:

Social networks have a lot of active users – the number of users goes into the billions. Chances are, your target market is not going to be online all of the time. You could post around the clock and just keep pushing out messages or you can do a little research to find out when they’re online. You can do this by analysing your views, mentions, likes and clicks. However, if you are quite new to this there are programmes available.

 

  • Tweriod is an effective tool to find the best time to use Twitter

 

  • Audiense is the best tool to find the best time to use Twitter and I use it a fair bit.

 

Both have free and paid versions, the free version lets you analyse your profile to find the right time to tweet to get maximum traction.

Give these tips a go and see how they work for you.

 

Let me know how you guys get on in the comments or if you need more in-depth help try our live chat box on the right and one of our team will be able to help you!

 

Cymbal

Cymbal The new music sharing app and how your brand can use it

Ever wondered what the next social media platform would be, would it be an app or online. Well, I can’t say I know yet but I am always on the lookout for new ones.

 

Cymbal Team

Do you remember when twitter started or when Instagram first launched its app?  Like most of us, you’re probably always Wondering the next social media platform and you want to be some of the first because you get to grow with it and you can build a following easier. Cymbal is growing and fairly quickly and I love the concept. It might be new but if you are a music focused brand it might be worth starting an account.

How it works:

how cymbal

It works similar to Instagram with a main feed of followers and you share music instead of images using SoundCloud and Spotify and allows users to share songs and have access to a feed it also allows you to play your complete feed like a playlist. You can follow hashtags, like and comment on songs which they call a Cymbal. You have your own profile of songs this combined with a way to discover new music from lots of sources, you really do have a solid all-around platform.

Marketing cymbal

Using it in your marketing:

How can you use it to market or reach your prospects? You can use to promote your brand and add a bit of personality to your brand outreach. For example, if you have a brand in the music industry like a Label, artist or manager you could use it to promote music with exclusive content, share songs they like and found new music. Venues could also take advantage as well by posting the acts music that our performing and stuff the venues are listening to. There’re lots of ways to market on this platform especially as it’s still a young growing app.

Give it a try it’s free and you can share it to your other social networks if you are a music based business this could be the next one to watch.

https://cymbal.fm/

Copy of Copy of Starbucks & Spotify (1)

Pokémon Go and How Marketers Are Using It

The Pokémon GO craze that has got kids and adults our playing?

Unless you have been living under a rock you surely must have heard about the latest Pokémon GO craze that has got kids and adults alike playing?

Pokémon GO is a location-based augmented reality mobile game which was released in July 2016. The game gets you to capture, battle and train virtual Pokémon, which comes up on the screen as though in the real world using GPS and the camera. It’s been the biggest selling game in U.S history according to surveymonkey.com

Within 24 hours Pokémon GO beat Supercell’s Clash Royale to become the biggest game of 2016 (measured by daily active users). Within three days of its release, Pokémon GO attracted more users than Twitter, and topped the App Store revenue charts, earning millions of dollars a day for its publisher, Niantic.

Niantic is an American software development company based in San Francisco and surprisingly it’s not the first time Nintendo, Pokémon or Niantic have released revolutionary games.

Nintendo brought us titles such as Super Mario Bros, Zelda, Tetris and Donkey Kong. The Pokémon Company had booming popularity in the late ’90s with their trading card game.

Niantic was known for developing the augmented reality mobile game Ingress so this was always going to be a good partnership.

Pokemon Card Game

 

How Bussiness could use IT to market their businesses.

Since the release, there have been a lot of posts about the app, my favourite one talks about a marketing test that a coffee shop owned by Ad agency Huge’s took to get people to come to the store.

They placed “lure modules” around the store on to make Pokémon spawn more often in the area (each module costs as much as $1 for 30 minutes). The Coffee shop was also between two PokéStops (places where players can collect special in-game items).

Derek Fridman, Huge Atlanta’s group creative said:

“It created great impromptu conversations where people were coming in and just hanging out,”

On the second day of its experiment, after finding out that the game drained battery, they added 25 phone charging stations with the aim to increase the number of coffee they would sell. They hoped to make people stay longer and buy a cup of coffee while they were waiting to battle and top up their battery. They also offered a promotion where it gave a free steamed bun to who ever caught a Pokémon in the store.

Other businesses have also used Pokémon GO including New York pizzeria L’inizio Pizza Bar. According to CNBC its sales went up 75 percent over the weekend after they spent $10 on “lure modules”

Another idea in the pipeline is an optional companion Bluetooth wearable device called the Pokémon GO Plus which is planned for future release. The device will alert users when Pokémon are nearby.

A button on the front of the Pokémon GO Plus also lets you perform simple actions such as throwing a Poké Ball and catching Pokémon. It connects to your phone via Bluetooth and alerts you when Pokémon are nearby as well as events within the game.

5jpg-9b270c_765w

 

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We here at MPH love the way people are using Pokémon GO to market their businesses.

Have you tried anything for your business or have an idea to test something like this? Leave us a comment.