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This article was originally posted on SearchEngineLand.com

Google often provides useful information to the SEO community, but columnist Nate Dame argues that ultimately, the company's advice is in their best interest, not yours -- so make sure you understand the nuances.

Last month, Google released a video detailing best practices for hiring an SEO company, and it is positioned to become the go-to guide for hiring an SEO. After all, who better to tell companies what they should look for in an SEO than the operators of the world’s most popular search engine?

Starting in January 2017, any website with a "login" form visible (e.g. Client Logins, Shopping Carts, etc) will show an "insecure" message in the browser's address bar if the site does not have an SSL certificate properly installed and configured.

Particularly for my clients that are security-minded, it's important to consider how to proceed with this information.  Some of my clients already have SSL certificates running on their sites, even ones that don't process credit cards.  For clients who already process credit cards, their sites already have the necessary SSL encryption certificate (https), so this is a non-issue. 

This "insecure" message will also pop up when you are trying to access your CMS login panel, like:

  • /wp-login.php for your Wordpress,
  • /administrator for Joomla, and
  • /user for Drupal sites.

 c2-insecure

Possible Solutions:

I had been researching this issue for a client and wanted to share it with everyone.  My client and I had been discussing the ability to collect recurring payments via PayPal WITHOUT requiring the user to have an actual PayPal account. 

Greetings from the beautiful Pocono Mountains!  As we get ready for winter, we want to share a few of our recent projects, along with some ways to make your website more effective.  

In this issue:
Another very happy client (recent testimonial)
Sites that generate ad revenue
Sites that build communities
PDF Form Submissions

As always, I appreciate referrals!  

Thanks,
-Nate

Solution after finding myself unable to print multiple lines on my Quickbooks Invoices.  Seems like there are a lot of other people who posted similar problems and Intuit was fairly unresponsive.  (Here's a similar one)  Hopefully this video will help shed some light on the issue.  I almost wound up typing an amount and hourly rate for EVERY line on my invoices, even though only 1 line per invoice was actually required.  Yikes! 

I noticed that after installing the Joomla 3.6.4 security patch, the background color of the /administrator control panel login screen changed.  It seems that with today's release of Joomla 3.6.4, and ease of which the exploit can be executed, it's really bad timing to make it so easy for hackers to see whether or not a site has been patched.  This latest Joomla exploit allows for a person to do two things:

  1. create an account for themselves in your Joomla user manager, even if you've turned this option OFF in the settings
  2. when creating that account in step one, they are able to assign it "administrator" rights

Meaning... once they sign in with it, they have full access to your admin panel.  I have already reached out to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it about this issue and will report back with any response.

[edit]
Their Response:
The login page was refreshed at 3.5.0, it is also configurable via the admin interface.  This alone wouldn't be a giveaway.
Joomla! Security Strike Team
[/edit]

I just encountered an issue after upgrading a client's site to Joomla 3.6.4.  I was presented with the following error message on both the front end and back end of the site:

Error displaying the error page: Illegal mix of collations (utf8_unicode_ci,IMPLICIT) and (utf8_general_ci,IMPLICIT) for operation '=' SQL=SELECT id, home, template, s.params FROM #__template_styles as s LEFT JOIN #__extensions as e ON e.element=s.template AND e.type='template' AND e.client_id=s.client_id WHERE s.client_id = 0 AND e.enabled = 1: Illegal mix of collations (utf8_unicode_ci,IMPLICIT) and (utf8_general_ci,IMPLICIT) for operation '=' SQL=SELECT id, home, template, s.params FROM #__template_styles as s LEFT JOIN #__extensions as e ON e.element=s.template AND e.type='template' AND e.client_id=s.client_id WHERE s.client_id = 0 AND e.enabled = 1

I received another "Is this legit?" questions from a client today, and wanted to share so that others can also avoid this.

These people are combining “SEO” with “Registration” in their tactics, which is total shenanigans… it’s like a mechanic telling you that your car needs a new muffler bearing.  There is no such thing. 

To clarify:

  • Domain Registration is the legal ownership of your domain name.  I've written about this topic, previously, in a blog post titled "How to maintain control of your web site.
  • SEO is the art of writing good website content (and title tags) so that search engines give good "snippets" of your website when people are doing various searches.

There is no need to pay for "monthly SEO" (ongoing submissions, etc).  You may choose to pay someone monthly to go in and improve the actual text and title tags in your site, but I prefer to teach my clients how to do this on their own.  I've found that there are too many snake oil salesman in the SEO area.  Once your s ite is built and indexed by the search engines, they come back and "crawl" your site regularly, scanning for updates.  You do not need to re-submit your site every month.  And you certainly don't need to pay someone else for "search engine submission" services.  Yikes!

I was recently frustrated when trying to find a freely available, open source responsive slider / slideshow plugin for Joomla K2 items.  It seems there are plenty available if you are willing to pay, but for something this simple, I figured I would roll my own and share. 

Notes:

  • This particular example is for using the K2 Joomla component, but the same overall concept will apply to any type of module that supports the standard Joomla template override structure.
  • Since it's hand-coded, it will apply to all versions / platforms of Joomla: 1.5.x, 2.5.x, 3.x
  • See "attachments" area for downloads, including the flexslider library, readme, template override, and new CSS.
  • Click here for demo

Directions:

=============

1.  Add the following jQuery and FlexSlider script to your template’s index.php file:

Background:

From the dawn of time, Google has provided you the exact keyword queries people have used to find your site. So, anybody that goes to Google, types in a keyword combination and winds up at your website, Google has told you the keywords they’ve used to find that. And that’s highly valuable information because you can use those keyword combinations to optimize your site around to get even more people to your site.

Well recently, they stopped doing that, and this was a big hit to a lot of people. But today, I’m going to show you three reports that Google has started including inside of their analytics dashboard, that can help you get around this, to identify what keywords people are using to find you, and to optimize your site around those keywords. So, let’s get going.

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