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Related:
Google Is Rolling Out Quote Request Buttons on GMB for Branded Searches

 

1.  Sign into your Google My Business management area here and confirm your Google account is properly managing the business on Google Maps:

https://www.google.com/business/

 

2.  Install the Google My Business app one your smart phone.

Out of the box, Drupal can email you notifications whenever there are security patches available.  These are some common questions that I receive from my clients about installing these patches: 

 

Should I go ahead and click update?

If the security updates are for Drupal "Modules" then yes, you can install the updates right through the Drupal admin panel.  For updating the Drupal Core software, this needs to be done at the server-level (hosting account). 

Since Google has phased out old recaptcha (v1), some of our clients reported that their old Joomla 1.5 installs are suffering - getting spammed, now that they no longer have a decent captcha available.  While we realize that Joomla 1.5 sites should be upgraded to the latest version, not all clients are willing, or able to afford this.  

Here’s how to submit a Google My Business spam complaint:

  1. Click here to head to the form (you’ll want to bookmark it as it’ll soon become your best friend)
  2. Read the guidelines linked to in the form’s introduction carefully. This is what the Google staffer reading your form will judge your complaint against, so you need to make sure what you’re claiming is misleading or fraudulent is specifically at odds with something in these guidelines.
  3. Enter your information. Even if you’re a local marketing consultant or agency representing another business, you’ll need to enter your name and email address.
  4. If you’re submitting just one complaint, select the fraudulent content in question (Title, Address, Phone number, or Website) and add the public GMB URL in the field below. (More than one type of content to complain about? Sorry to say this, but it appears that you’ll have to submit multiple forms).
  5. If you’re submitting more 1-10 complaints about different businesses but the same content type, select the content in question and then add multiple URLs by clicking ‘Add additional’ after you’ve added the first.
  6. If you’re submitting more than 10 complaints about different businesses but the same content type, you can use the form’s bulk CSV upload feature to submit a spreadsheet of all URLs (up to 100).
  7. Now for the fun part: write, in detail, why the content is malicious or fraudulent. I can’t stress enough how important the level of detail is. Google Gold Product Expert Ben Fisher championed those who gave great amounts of detail when submitting spam to the GMB forum in a recent webinar, and we can only assume that Google’s own team require a similar level of detail. Write clearly, professionally and respectfully, and be make sure to refer to how the subject of your complaint is contravening the aforementioned Google guidelineswhere possible, to make the Google staffer’s job a little easier. If you’re reporting multiple incidents of spam, it makes sense to have those exhibiting the same bogus characteristics (e.g. keyword stuffing in business name) grouped together in one complaint to save you having to submit multiple reports.
  8. Take one last look through the completed form.
  9. Rub a lucky rabbit’s foot.
  10. Click ‘Submit’.

I recently started using Gusto payroll processing service and wanted to share a quick review.  I think it's a great system.

For $45 + $6/employee / month it gets you weekly direct deposit, it keeps track of vacation time, overtime, bonuses, tips, deductions, AND all of the employer / employee taxes.  Plus it integrates with my Quickbooks software, I can download a simple IIF file each payroll and Gusto plugs all of the data into Quickbooks.  Plus, Gusto handles all of our W2 and employee data, so I don't have to worry about it.  

You may have noticed a red warning message in your Joomla admin panel saying something like this:

Error
We have detected that your server is using PHP 5.6.x (or PHP 5.4.x or PHP 7.0.x) which is obsolete and no longer receives official security updates by its developers. The Joomla! Project recommends upgrading your site to PHP 7.1 or later which will receive security updates at least until 2019-12-01. Please ask your host to make PHP 7.1 or a later version the default version for your site. If your host is already PHP 7.1 ready please enable PHP 7.1 on your site's root and 'administrator' directories – typically you can do this yourself through a tool in your hosting control panel, but it's best to ask your host if you are unsure.

I recently heard a story of a business that got caught with fake reviews on Yelp. They were also an advertiser spending thousands of dollars a month on ads. When they got caught, Yelp canceled their ad account and told them they would be demoting the listing’s ranking for 6 months. After that time, they would re-evaluate, but there was no guarantee that things would go back to how they were before. Yelp’s stance on fake reviews couldn’t be more completely opposite of Google’s. Here are a few ways they differ when it comes to approaching businesses caught with fake reviews:

1. Yelp issues a ranking penalty, Google does not.

2. Yelp stops the business from advertising, Google does not.

This is a free "K2 Content Module" template override for the Joomla component K2 that can be used with any Joomla 1.5, 2.5, or 3.x site. 

Download the template override files attached to this post and upload them into your Joomla template here:

/templates/your-template/html/mod_k2_content/

So the full path will look like this:
/templates/your-template/html/mod_k2_content/C2-Optimized/default.php

This video demonstrates how to use Joomla and K2 to deliver email notifications to your contact list using Mailchimp - you can specify in Mailchimp how frequently (monthly, weekly, etc) and on which day and time you want the emails to be delivered. 

 

The video below will demonstrate how I used Joomla + K2 to build an advanced, custom home page layout using regular Joomla modules.  This customization and technique will work on any Joomla 1.5.x, 2.5.x or 3.x site.  

Download the template override files attached to this post and upload them into your Joomla template here:

/templates/your-template/html/com_k2/

So the full path will look like this:
/templates/your-template/html/com_k2/home-override/category.php

Now would be a good time to remove the "Google+" profile link from your website, if you haven't already.

Original Article:

Google is about to have its Cambridge Analytica moment. A security bug allowed third-party developers to access Google+ user profile data since 2015 until Google discovered and patched it in March, but decided not to inform the world. When a user gave permission to an app to access their public profile data, the bug also let those developers pull their and their friends’ non-public profile fields. Indeed, 496,951 users’ full names, email addresses, birth dates, gender, profile photos, places lived, occupation and relationship status were potentially exposed, though Google says it has no evidence the data was misused by the 438 apps that could have had access.

The company decided against informing the public because it would lead to “us coming into the spotlight alongside or even instead of Facebook despite having stayed under the radar throughout the Cambridge Analytica scandal,” according to an internal memo. Now Google+, which was already a ghost town largely abandoned or never inhabited by users, has become a massive liability for the company.

[Full Article]

 

See Also:

(Do ADA (or Section 508) Accessibility Standards Apply to My Website?)

I've had a few clients ask me recently about ensuring that their website is ADA accessible, mainly referring to visually impaired users and their ability to navigate and interact with your site. 

I've also spoken to business owners who have already been targeted with litigation because their website was not ADA compliant.

I've inquired with a client of mine (who happens to be an attorney) and asked them for any guidance they could offer on the issue. 

Introducing...

Carly Jane Covington
8 lbs 4 oz — 21.5 inches
Born June 14, 2018 at 9:03am

TL;DR

  • On August 1st, 2018, Google released a broad core algorithm update that seems to have had an impact on both local and organic rankings.
  • One of the functions of the update has been to demote advice pages with questionable expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) in rankings.
  • YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) websites and pages seem to have been a particular focus.

You’ll no doubt have noticed, whether from reading the news or experiencing its effects yourself, that on August 1st, Google released what it’s called a ‘broad core algorithm’ update. This is the same way it referred to the updates in March and April, perhaps in an effort to move away from the irregular, major updates like Possum, Pigeon, Panda, etc. which inevitably send shockwaves throughout the SEO and content industry.

[Full Article]

GMB has a handful of new features and some best-practice confusion. Contributor Sherry Bonelli clears things up and answers five frequently asked questions on fake reviews, random people changing your listing and more.

Not only does your Google My Business listing increase your chances of showing up in the Google Local 3-pack, but when your business is searched for by name, Google often shows a Knowledge Panel that displays detailed information about your company.

These details are pulled directly from your GMB listing, as well as from information Google finds from other online sources and user-generated content (like third-party reviews, Q&As, user-suggested information and so on).

When it comes to building a website, the biggest problem that people generally face with software like Wordpress, Drupal, and Joomla is there is so many different ways of building a particular ‘section’ of a site.  

You could build your “Meet the Staff” page using one “Article” in the CMS and list out all of the staff member’s head shots, names, titles, and descriptions in one big long page… or, you could create a custom content form for staff members that allows you to enter each bio as a separate article with fields for their image and each piece of information about them.  This type of decision makes a huge difference once you add a few dozen bio’s into the site and then decide to change something.  It’s not fun going back through them all, one by one.  

I just switched from the regular Apple Mail app, which I had been using daily since 2008, to Thunderbird.  I had been having problems with Apple Mail's program's "message tagging" feature, which I used for marking which emails I had to respond to.  This feature became a daily nuisance, and after repeatedly calling Apple's tech support and jumping through all sorts of hoops, I finally decided to try Thunderbird.  What a breath of fresh air!  And yes, Thunderbird is Open Source software.

I've got the following Thunderbird plugins / extensions installed:

  • ImportExportTools (for importing messages from Mail.app)
  • Send Later
  • Manually sort folders

I also disabled the "Lightning" plugin because I don't want to use Thunderbird for managing my calendar.  For this, I'll continue using Google Calendar (via Apple's Calendar.app).  

Historically, I've recommended GoDaddy for domain registration services to my clients because they were the cheapest. However, GoDaddy's hosting plans were a general pain to work with: they provided limited resources like CPU and memory, the database servers were isolated and slow, and they didn't include my preferred hosting account control panel software, cPanel.  This is now included with GoDaddy's economy hosting plans, which is the main reason that I decided to give them another look.  I actually intended on making this switch - I had GoDaddy provision 3 separate hosting plans at a rate of 3 years for $89.64...

I recently started receiving these email notifications from Google about certain sites becoming indexed as "mobile first" - and wanted to write a quick post for those who are curious and want more information.

Basically, this is a non-issue and something you can essentially ignore if your site is built using latest, common practices.  This mainly becomes an issue only for sites that are not mobile friendly (e.g. desktop only) - or, for sites that have both a desktop and a mobile site.  For my clients, I've never built a "mobile only" site - I always build proper, responsive websites that are inherently mobile friendly.  For some of my older clients, this may be the push that finally drives you into a modern, responsive (mobile friendly) website.

I have been accepting payment via PayPal for over 5 years through my website.  I recently decided to start offering “real” credit card processing options and want to share my findings.