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Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Common SEO Mistakes to Avoid

Search engine optimization (SEO) is really important to any successful blogging campaign, and it is only logical that it be approached in the right manner. SEO is quite intricate for many reasons, but mainly for the purpose of Google, which takes into several factors even right now as new features are being added in. There are a ton of advice on SEO out there and I thought that I could compile some of the data that is already out there and give some truth and variety to help you out with your SEO. 

Hey I am no means a pro myself, but everyone is trying to make it and I thought these mistakes are something I would do if no one actually told me not to do it!

1. Duplication

Duplication in SEO terms, means the same thing appearing on the same webpage;url within the same or different domain. The problem with all of this is that search engines find it tough to filter through what is right and which to actually show on searches!

Different URLS:

www.example.com/about-us & www.example.com/About-Us are different and the webpage would have a really really tough time to decipher just which to show; which is actually the real thing, and you will want to just make sure all the links that point to your URL are all fixed so that your website will rank highest in the search engines.

Go through all of your content now and run up-keeping. Fix up all those loose ends and tie together only the webpages you want people to find, give search engines an easier way to decipher what is "real" and you should see much improved results.

2. Sacrificing looks for content

While most bloggers depend on rich content to grow, there are some that are very extremely obsessed with the way their blog looks. Appealing design does get customers attracted to your website, but too much of something is never good! Some websites opt for fancy graphics instead of speed, something that isn't a worthy trade off, considering most customers can't wait for things to load.

3. Forgotten content marketing

Yay! You just hired a SEO team, and you are all pumped up for it, but don't expect your newly hired team to suddenly take off significantly with onsite optimization, link building without any real content strategy in place.

What is content strategy? Your blogs should be a place for valuable resource and shouldn't be used as a sales page where you tell people about your "awesome" product, it should be a place where people come to for resources (relating to your business directly or indirectly). It should be a place where people can come to have a companionship if you would like.

Even if you rank number one in some keywords, your maximum traffic doesn't necessarily grow, and with constant updates from Google, it also mean that your existing high ranking will remain to be the same.

4. Poor website structure

Now you just got this great new idea and want to build a website for it, but often your web developer doesn't integrate the best SEO practices into the website infrastructure, and this is totally understandable because after all your web developer isn't an SEO specialist. Therefore an often overlooked facet of site architecture is extremely common.

In general your home page is going to command the most authority because, well it is the very first thing everyone sees, and having a lot of authority is in somewhat good, but it is going to make the homepage continue to worsen in ranking.

A flat structure often satisfies most requirements, and it would get you more users to your site through search engines.

5. Keyword stuffing

The most common SEO mistake is keyword stuffing. Not just is it unethical but it really hurts search rankings. Imagine the poor search bot trying to decipher all of those keywords, it would confuse the poor thing, and manipulating Google's search engine is a sin.

6. Unreasonable expectations

SEO, shouldn't be thought of as a cheap, fast, or easy method of advertising. Loopholes in algorithms are long gone, and as with anything good, it requires time, money, and effort to nurture it to become what you expect it to be.

Now with the new Hummingbird search functionality by Google, Short-tail searches like "finance book" doesn't seem to ring a good bell, but Long-tail searches like "What is the best personal financing book?" rings a better sound to it, as Google hopes to create an organic search that would eventually tailor to individual specific needs.

7. Using free hosting blogs

Free blogging services do offer a decent amount of value, but they do not give enough flexibility to install plugins, themes, and other extensions for the ultimate SEO results.

All it takes is to register your own domain, and purchase an inexpensive hosting plan. With the right plan you could get something on the cheap, and with that little bit more control and power it could reap you a ton of benefits. 

8. Forgetting the ALT tag

Google doesn't place an emphasis on ALT tags, but other search engines like AOL, Bing, and Yahoo do. You just don't want to miss out on other traffic as well! Rather than just putting your image as DSC_00001.jpg consider putting a name to it hosting-comparison.jpg would be much better, because the first one just doesn't do you any good whatsoever.

9. Hiring the wrong SEO consultant

Hiring the wrong personnel, or consultant is already logically a crime, and hiring the wrong SEO consultant is just a crime. A total useless SEO consultant would have

  • missed any of the items listed here in this posting, 
  • and would actually build large numbers of stupid links that would make your blog spammy, 
  • and claim that they can't show you the links to how they do it, because it would reveal their "secret" formulas.
The conclusion to it is, hire a credible SEO consultant, it may cost you more, but in future it would be a worth investment when the returns start to flow in.

10. Buying links

Short-term boosts are great, but you would want your website to be constantly popular, and this would be in any case taking a big risk. Paid links are sometimes flagged by Google's search engine experts, and there is a specially dedicated team that search for questionable linking patterns every day!

It is recommended that the old fashioned method of comment linking, manually will grow your blog slowly but surely!

11. Leaving Title Tags Automated

The title tag is the most important aspect for search engine rankings and beginner bloggers normally write long title that describes the topic in too many words, Keep your title shorts, and it should focus on what you want to express in your post.

12. Not mobile ready

Google is taking heavy consideration for mobile, and how they are important in searches.

61% of customers who visit a mobile unfriendly site is more likely to jump to a competitor's website (Tesmani 2012). With such a great buzz on usability, don't miss out on it. Google has already made this a clear point, so take mobile seriously or Google won't take your websites seriously. 

13. Not doing it correctly

Do your SEO right, because when you optimize every posting, search engines love you and in general there are some proven methods you can use. Links shouldn't just be home pages, but also popular posts/pages, and keep an open mind because there are always new things to learn about SEO.


There are a ton of SEO advice out there and if you have more to add or things to correct from this post please share! SEO is a diverse topic and do consider the points above as you are evaluating your blog, and just make sure everything is in a spiffy condition. Don't just flush your readers with a bunch of text, and making it easier for their overall experience with the right spacing, and text separation. Fix broken 404 pages and grammatical errors all across and your readers will be eternally grateful.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Google's Hummingbird Impact on Malaysian Social Marketers

Recently Google has been answering questions; literally answering questions. It suddenly seems like we can finally talk to the machine by asking it questions just like how a normal human would. There is a reason to this. Google recently, "silently", switched over to their new search algorithm they call the "Hummingbird".

1. Improve mobile's web search experience

Mobile is obviously a major focus for Google, and Hummingbird is a way for Google to announce itself that Google takes mobile seriously. Google wants mobile users to in a way interact with search in a more streamlined approach, by overhauling their entire search algorithm, to better serve mobile results. Something social media marketers should really pay attention to.

Stuff that make your mobile website that bit better:

  • Make your website responsive
  • Optimize your site for speed
  • Fix smartphone only errors!
2. Connect your blog to your Google+ profile

According to Google,

“Using authorship helps searchers discover great information by highlighting content from authors who they might find interesting. If you’re an author, signing up for authorship will help users recognize content that you’ve written. Additionally, searchers can click the byline to see more articles you’ve authored or to follow you on Google+”.

3. Create and publish to your Google+ profile

Hummingbird was tailored as an algorithm for providing better answers to your "organic" queries and Google Plus was created to have a greater social presence. That being said, Google is heavily focusing on Plus, for trends towards social search. Google Plus should be at the foundation of these future social trend searches.

Hummingbird is important, and why you should pay attention to it.

Mobile keyboard. While many may continue to type with their phones when searching, however awkward it may seem to be typing with a mobile keyboard however efficient it may be designed to be it still takes quite some bit of effort to make sure you stop tapping on the wrong alphabets! Over time, people are going to naturally float to more organic search methods like voice, and voice queries are far more likely to happen as compared to magically reading your brains, which could be an intrusion of privacy. With all things search Google tends to want to be number 1, that means Google wants to dominate mobile search.

"Real" speech patterns. Google Hummingbird learns, this two year-old child has just learned a few very basic concepts, but it represents the fundamental learning blocks for it to go forward, and a lot of its learning is derived from a huge amount of information in the Google atmosphere. Imagine as it continues to learn and understand what is truly organic.

Knowledge Graph. Natural language is just another piece of the puzzle, as Google Hummingbird seeks to maybe do the latter, understanding complex types of user intent.

Hummingbird. How will it affect you?

Is keyword still important or will it disappear?

Well essentially it won't go away totally, as keywords are important to language, and it is necessary for the existence of keywords, because without it not much accuracy can be translated even in day-to-day speech!

You need to understand your prospects intents!

This is what Google is trying to get you to do, find out what it is that users really want instead of just keywords. As a publisher, you should focus more attention on building pages for different needs and intentions of the potential customers for your products and services. Start thinking, because you wouldn't want to miss this train!

Semantic is the new king

Content used to be King, and in some sense that holds some truth, but consider content to have become slightly more complex as the human race matures, and as semantic meaning becomes easy, maybe in the future Google would implement something new that would be on the tips of our tongues all over again!

Everything is a journey. What is Hummingbird to you?

What else is there about Hummingbird that you know that you could share with all of us?

With the world growing at a rapid pace, it seems to be that knowledge is the key to any future. (please if you feel this statement is wayward in anyway, feel free to challenge it!)

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Multi-site Colocation - How it helps you.

Just how does the structure of a multi-site colocation help you?

You need robust or custom hardware and/or a lot of bandwidth. Managed hosting doesn't give you the flexibility that you need, because the provider would have already specified the hardware that they will use and you only get what 'class' to choose from the list that they have already pre-specified. With colocation you are in total control and can implement anything that would give you the most bang for your buck.

You need to set up server clusters, load balancing, redundant hardware, etc. These are beyond the realms of managed hosting and will never be managed hosting.

You need to host content or services not allowed by most managed hosting providers. Managed Hosting providers place restrictions on their service and it can be difficult to do something, but Colocation service providers provide no restrictions normally as long as it's legal. The sky's the limit!

You want freedom from arbitrary or costly limits. Managed hosting providers will typically impose a range of limits and things can get frustrating - and for these limits to be lifted you would be required to pay for such a privilege. With colocation it imposes no such limits and you will pay more if your power/cabinet space or bandwidth usage increases but you will enjoy the bulk of everything more cost-effectively as you grow.

You want/need to be in control. There could be a thousand reasons why, but the bottom line is that YOU need to be in the driver's seat of your Internet project, and Colocation puts you there.

Escalating costs, and greater volatility represents a large representation of today's economy. Costs are a big problem, but it shouldn't weigh down your more important revenue activities.

Hassles in hosting, can be a tedious mess. Cabling coupled with troublesome hardware engineering just doesn't help with freeing up your time so that you can focus on making money.

What if you could move everything to a place that has everything? An ISP-level Internet Connection, uninterruptible power supply, fire detection systems, and accredited managed security.

The EVERWORKS Multi-site Colocation is backed with SLA Guarantees to give you peace of mind, and much more so that you can concentrate on what is most important.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Is SMS in Malaysia Still Relevant Today?

With the dawn of the age of technology everything changes at rapid pace. The lifespan of hardware used to be 10 years, but now it is dwindling down to 2 to 3 years. Technology is growing, it has become apparent in our day to day lives. The way we interact with technology has also changed with the introduction of the internet as a medium to our everyday lives. With that in mind, does the growing industry of Instant Messaging and Smartphone diminish the SMS industry all together?

Malaysia Mobile Statistics

Report claims that Malaysia will have 41.9 million mobile subscribers in 2013 with Maxis taking subscriber market share of 41.4%. Total wireless subscribers in Malaysia to reach 41.9 million in 2013
Given the latest quarter numbers, the publisher forecast that total subscribers in Malaysia will increase from 27.1 million in 2008 to 41.9 million in 2013.
Let’s look at the data, the one thing that doesn’t tell a lie or twist a tale.

Statistic show that there is a large amount of mobile users in Malaysia. It isn't rocket science to determine that there is a large following of people that are actually using mobile. A good number Malaysians still use SMS, because not everyone is using the same device, let alone the same application. (Even though WhatsApp has drawn a strong following in the Malaysian environment) The SMS is still apparent to send ‘sure’ message that are not subjected to failure of sending due to 3G network issues or slow connectivity.

Penetrating mobile users to a greater extent can be achieved through a SMS Marketing Campaign that penetrates deep into the depths of users, and could prove to be invaluable in future.

Not sure how to give your customer a sense of security? Sometimes giving back to the community shouldn't necessarily be a tough ask. Offer discount & deal to generate a strong customer relationship. A way to inhibit deeper psychological advantages, especially toward most customers that are cost savvy.

Mobile has taken a storm in recent years, don’t miss out on it and get started now. It is tough to enter any industry and find out how can start easily now.

Photo by 男渋谷区

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

How to Develop Better Topics for Malaysian Business Blogs?

As business to consumer relationship changes, companies have looked for key factors that would help them evolve to meet new consumer demands; giving their customers the value that they are seeking for. One method and the method that I am using right now to write to you that has taken off over the past several years is the business blog, and it shows no signs of slowing down! 60% of business have a business or a company blog, a staggering statistic if you ask me, and it is a credible potent secret weapon that can impact your company's marketing strategies. News websites have people cornered on information, while culture websites are distracting everyone and that leaves businesses with a unique position to engage, inform, and build a solid relationship with users!

Business blogs are now the human face of a modern company, to try to create a sense of trust with potential customers, giving value to your readers while at the same time shaping your product and aims in the process.

Delivering true value

Case Study: IBM Blog. Notably missing from IBM's blog is recommendations for personal computing, because the organization knows its audience.

Knowing your audience takes more then demographic information, it should also include trends and evolution. There are two ways of achieving this. One is through Technorati's blog directory and another through RSS feeds.

Don't try putting on a mask. Be true. Be real.

Intention should be the key to everything here. Are you blogging to give valuable information, or just blogging for the sake of blogging? Customers and consumers are well informed. Make blog topics substantial and deliver information of value to your readers. Take time to understand that superficial content is going to hurt your image just as much as just not publishing any content on your blog at all (if not even worse).

Digital is the future, but listen to real humans.

It doesn't take a lot to get wrapped up with all the digital research, but more often than not the real case that needs to be looked into is what your customers actually want. Lend a listening ear to your concerned customers and stay true to what they actually need. Pay attention to titles that do well on social media so you can leverage on what your users want to read and this should be of the very highest priority. Incorporating user voting through SurveyMonkeys or GoogleDocs should help shape the content of your blog in a very interesting manner. 

With the right mix of technical expertise, community interaction and feedback, and the right etiquette your blog can be very much be part of your marketing efforts, with the added bonus to strike an invaluable relationship with your customers. 

Make posts scannable

Once upon a time we used to be boggled down by the endless amount of text in textbooks and for the most of us dread looking at so much text. You don't want to do that to your readers. Make your posts scannable (to a certain extent, because some parts do require further elaboration). Include points, sub-points, numbers, short paragraphs etc. This helps readers go through the content quicker, and grasp parts that is most relevant to them.


Nothing beats free stuff, period. You can give away your latest product, or a new iPad or computer that would make your customers excited. Oh, don't forget you could also giveaway stuff that guest bloggers post, like e-books, books, or similar merchandize.

Guest posting

Get an interview with an industry expert, someone that could give super valuable information that would empower your readers with even more knowledge!

Remember your blog shouldn't be a place for you to have your sales pitch, but rather it should be a place where your customers can come to gain valuable information, and to have a real relationship.

Don't forget to keep up to date with the latest trends to service customers that are up to date with the latest bits of information.

Please share with us what you think:

  1. Do you agree that blogs should deliver true value and not be a place to sell?
  2. How do you find the right topics for your business blog?

Infographic Source: blogging.org | photo by John Sutton

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Good or bad? Malaysia & eCommerce

Digital media in Malaysia has seen a gradual increase. 60% of the population of Malaysia is an Internet user. That is a staggering amount of users! There has been much speculation and a lot of doubt surrounding the Internet and its viability. The dot com era still leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of the majority and the lingering fear isn't helping Malaysians come to realize just how powerful the Internet can be.

Malaysia is the 2nd highest country in South East Asia for social media penetration. Social media has taken to Malaysia by storm. It represents a part of the lives of the people of Malaysia, and proves to be integral in everything that they do. From interaction, to communication, to business dealings, and much more.

E-commerce revenue alone is at a staggering $30, 000, 000, 000 and that is a large market to tap into; that could prove to be profitable for most. Has the Internet revolution reached its peak in Malaysia? It is believed to be that there will be an expected growth of an additional 20% of revenues in the coming time. That makes a $6 000, 000, 000 in potential revenue to be earned.

Imagine reaping a portion of those profits. That would make any bottomline a happy one. Penetrate the Internet market through the quickest, easiest method right now. Don't wait any longer and consider the options immediately.

To start an online business you require the basic fundamentals from simple hosting, to business email, and the right business plan.

5 things to watch out before starting an e-commerce business

1. Note down your idea, and niche it down

You have a great idea, but there are millions of other people in the world out there that are thinking of the same thing, and probably have already started implementing their ideas before you have. Let's say you want to start a business selling laptop computer covers for all brands! Well it is a huge market, but it is very saturated and competitive.

Consider niching it all the way down to just maybe do MacBooks. Concentrating on the new launch of MacBooks coming out rather than stretching resources to fulfill other brands that have yet to launch new models would prove to be something very profitable.

2. Test before you invest

Have that great idea? Set up an online store immediately, and splashed tons of cash to only find out later that actually nobody really cares about anything?

Problem, but not a big one. Consider actually testing out your amazing idea first, through a blog.

3. Manufacturing is a headache

Language barrier, quality control, difference in business practices all get in the way of manufacturing, and why bother with all of the headache when you can outsource to reliable companies that are willing to get things done for you for a reasonable price, with a lot less worry and headaches.

4. Don't underestimate the power of SEO (Consider the future; Hummingbird)

Most successful niche sites have 80-90% of their traffic organically from search engines. The tip would be to create likable content, find industry related people and comment or rate their product, and get active in user forums.

5. Put careful thought into the platform you choose

With so many varied options in the market today, making a choice seems difficult especially when there are a ton of services out there that provide a considerable amount of services to run an e-commerce store, but bare in mind that when you choose one you might want to stick to it for a good amount of time. Considering that migration from one place to another may seem straightforward, but it produces 10 times the amount of headaches.

Photo by Robin Wilson | Referenced from SMU University

Friday, 15 November 2013

Discounts & Deals don't "bite"

With festivities coming as the year draws to a close, there are business owners who question the practicality of offering either discounts or deals. There is a fear that giving such would devalue the brand, or give off a negative impression that the company isn't doing well.

According to a survey conducted by eAccountable and market research partner Clear Vision Research, "Of 1500 people surveyed the majority of them use cashback, deals, and coupons when making online purchases; this research highlights just how much customers value cashback, deals, and coupons."

Using discounts & deals should not be viewed as devaluing a brand, but should be viewed in a more positive manner. Psychologically shifting perspective from whether a cup is either half empty or half full. Customers greatly appreciate deals that help them to purchase the things that they need or want.

One way to give deals could be to divert marketing promotion budgets to giving back to customers as privileges for saving money.

Offering deals, often benefit both the customer and you. Customers get more value, while you get customers to purchase more of your products; developing a sense of customer loyalty. Once customers get accustomed to using your product eventually developing a habitual response and familiarity, it will turn out to be difficult for them to use "unfamiliar brands". This develops a response where customers are comfortable with the products you offer and this gives them a sense that they are within control (well within their comfort zone), and without much prompting there would already be a transparent barrier for a customer using your products to shift to something they are not accustomed to using. With a psychological advantage such as this it helps to develop a priceless customer and business relationship, that most marketing promotion, advertising, find hard to achieve.

An Extra for Malaysian Businesses

An example of a win-win situation is where deal offering service businesses promotes business deals to customers. The benefit is great where customers get better deals for the things that they want, and businesses get to close a larger rate of sale while at the same time creating greater brand awareness

Here are a few notable deal business services:

  1. Groupon (Malaysia)
  2. Livingsocial
  3. Dealmates
*If you are a business offering deals as a service and would love to be listed in this post please drop us an email here. We would be more than happy to include you in this list!

Deals are powerful, it appeals largely to price conscious consumers, which generally means a large population of this earth, will find it to be of great help, that a business is considering their needs and fulfilling it in a manner that can have an added personal touch.

So as you prepare for the year end holiday shopping season, consider allocating a special landing page, as you promote your products. This could be just as jolly as a season for shoppers, as for your 4th quarter bottom-line.

Please share with us your experiences with offering discounts & deals:

  1. How has discounts and deals helped your business?
  2. Would you greatly appreciate a discount or deal if given one?
Image "Crunch" photographed by Je Hyung Lee | Article Info resourced from Hostgator

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Google's Secret Search Algorithm "Hummingbird"

Recently Google has been answering questions; literally answering questions. It suddenly seems like we can finally talk to the machine by asking it questions just like how a normal human would. There is a reason to this. Google recently, "silently", switched over to their new search algorithm they call the "Hummingbird".

Google announced this, Thursday 26th September 2013, hosted in a garage that both founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin back then when Google just started to grow to become more successful.

The main focus, repeated many times, was that the new Hummingbird algorithm allows Google to parse full questions quicker and to identify and rank answers to those questions from the content that they have indexed.

The big question.

As for how it'll affect search results (the main concern of every SEO following) the new search algorithm was implemented silently over the past few weeks! Right under our noses, and if it hasn't affected any of your search engine placements (mainly drops in ranking), I believe that people should start shifting their focus to addressing more human questions. Solving day to day needs and that could prop to be the future of search and could be greatly influential in determining whether or not what you offer would provide for the needs of the searcher.

Organic understanding of human cognitive behavior? Perhaps the future isn't too far away anymore, with the rapid growth in technology, and the growing popularity for hardware to embrace a more human touch.

  1. Where do you think Google is going with their search?
  2. Will you think Google Hummingbird would affect search rankings?

Photograph of Hummingbird by Dan Ripplinger  | Referenced from TechCrunch

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

DDoS Attack Report & Infographic for Q3 2013

Prolexic observed many interesting metrics that illustrate significant changes in DDoS attack methodologies, most notably a shift away from SYN floods to UDP-based attacks, and the rapid adoption of Distributed Reflection Denial of Service (DrDoS) attacks.

In previous reports, Prolexic has focused on the use of the BroDoS toolkit to generate high-bandwidth attacks using misconfigured servers. Reflection attacks use a different kind of bot and require a different type of server to spoof the target IP. Prolexic believes the adoption of DrDoS attacks is likely to continue, as fewer bots are required to generate high volumes of attack traffic due to reflection and amplification techniques. Another advantage, which may contribute to the increasing adoption of DrDoS attacks, is the anonymity provided by spoofing IP addresses.

We, at EVERWORKS has been working very closely with Prolexic for our DDoS protection solution to protect our critical clients. Recently, Prolexic has just shared with us some interesting report of their Q3 global DDoS attack report for 2013.

To have the full copy of this report, please download the report like below: 

  1. Prolexic Quarterly Global DDoS Attack Report - Q3 2013
  2. Attack Report Infographic Q3 2013