Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Google warning: is your site abused through redirects

Google recently wrote in one of its official blogs that it is possible for spammers to take advantage of your website without ever setting a virtual foot in your server. Spammers can do this by abusing open redirects.

What are open redirects?

Many websites use links that redirect their website visitors to another page. Some redirects are left open to any arbitrary destination. These redirects can be abused by spammers to trick web surfers and search engines into following links that seem to be pointing to your website although they redirect to a spammy website.

That means that people who think that they visit your website will be redirected to highly questionable web pages that might contain adult content, viruses, malware or phishing attempts.

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Which redirects on your website could be abused?

Spammers are very inventive. According to Google, they have managed to use the redirect spam on a wide range of websites, including the websites of large well-known companies and the websites of small local government agencies.

For example, the following redirection types can be abused:

  1. Scripts that redirect users to a file on the server can be abused by spammers. The links on your website could look like this:


  2. Site search result pages with automatic redirect options. If the result pages of your internal site search feature contain an URL variable that sends your website visitors to other pages, spammers might be able to exploit them:


  3. Affiliate tracking links. Affiliate tracking links often allow people to direct website visitors to other pages. Spammers might enter their own URLs in the tracking links. Example:


  4. Proxy pages. Proxy sites send people through to other websites and they can be abused by spammers:


  5. Interstitial pages. Some websites show an interstitial page when users leave a website to let users know that the information found on the link is not under their control. These URLs usually look like this:


How to find out if your website is abused

Even if you find none of the URLs above on your website, your site still may have open redirects. Do the following to check if your website is abused by spammers:

  1. Make a site search on Google

    Go to Google.com and search for "site:yourdomain.com". Replace yourdomain.com with your own domain name. If you see web pages that have nothing to do with your website then it's likely that someone exploits a security hole on your website.

  2. Check your web server logs for URL parameters like "=http:" or "=//". If your redirection URLs get a lot of traffic, this could also be caused by spammers.

  3. If you get user complaints about content or malware that you know cannot be found on your website then your website users might have seen your URL before they were redirected to the malware site.

What you can do to protect your website

It's not easy to to make sure that your redirects aren't exploited. The reason for that is that an open redirect is not a bug or a security flaw. There are some things that you can do to protect your website:

  1. Check the referrer. Your redirect scripts should only work if they area accessed from another web page of your website. The redirect script should not work if the user accesses the script directly or from a search engine.

  2. If possible, make sure that the script can only redirect to web pages and files that are on your own websites. You could use a whitelist of allowed destination domains.

  3. Use the robots.txt file of your website to exclude search engines from the redirect scripts on your website. That will make your website less attractive for hackers.

  4. Add a signature or a checksum to your redirect links so that only you can use the script.

Open redirect abuse is a big issue for Google right now. If you secure your scripts, spammers will move over to other websites and leave your website alone.

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Why India is best for SEO Services

Every corporate body wants to increase their sales and visitors to their websites. To attract visitors you must have a good website. To let it visit by every visitor sure it must be ranked in top of search engine result. The procedure to take your website in top rank of results is called search engine optimization and the services provided by them are SEO services. With the help of SEO services you can make your website unique and with high quality of content and other requirements of websites. SEO India creates blogs to promote the website. Blog marketing enhances traffic and website sale. In SEO services, link building is considered to be very useful. It takes care of the website design, graphics etc. SEO services USA has created boom in online marketing because it makes the products available to the users. Online marketing is dependent on SEO services. It is the simplest way to gain large numbers of clients through internet.

You can either update your site yourself or hire a SEO company to outsource your work. If you don’t want any mistake on the websites with good results prefer SEO service. All firms need to have SEO service to make their websites highly ranked in search engine result. The website promotion is done by the search engine optimization and marketing. SEO Company will make your work websites ranking high, optimization and marketing. Professional can only do their work best in their field same as SEO experts. SEO Company costs low for their service and gives quality services. Hiring a SEO company is the best option for website promotion. Indian SEO companies have the capability of handling large and small business houses SEO projects. They can also work at a time on many projects. They satisfy their client’s requirements and demands. SEO Company in India is easily located and you can contact then for the service you need.

For SEO services, India has become a best opted place for outsourcing. Different countries like Australia, USA, Canada and UK outsource their large business to India. Companies outsource their SEO work to India. In India they get services at most affordable rates. India offers many options related to this service .There are many SEO professional experts in India. If you hire a SEO company from India you needn’t to worry about your website. SEO London is equipped with latest web development and high-end graphics software. To write content for websites you need good English and that is surely possible in India. So you can have nice content on your website. Moreover you will have no loss, if you have right people for the work with right technical knowledge at affordable rates. This will increase your business to more heights and bring you on the top. The business of SEO is divided into two main type organic and algorithmic SEO. In organic type, it becomes easy for consumers to search you in search engine pages. In algorithmic type, SEO increases search engine relevance by using keywords and Meta tags.

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Friday, February 6, 2009

24 Essential Pages to include on Your Website

Wondering what pages to include on your website and why? Here is a list of important information that should be included on your site.

Before you start thinking about what to write, it is important that you create a plan, which outlines what each page will contain. That way you won't repeat yourself or forget vital information. The most common pages on successful websites include:

1. Home Page (First Page)

This is your "sales" page and should provide information about what you can do for your customers. It should also give your visitors a brief overview of what they can find on your site.

2. Products / Services

It is useful to have a separate page for each product/service and write as much detail about each as possible. Start each page with a brief summary of the product/service, then provide whatever information you can. When people are searching for information on the internet, they want to know it NOW. They don't want to wait until tomorrow when they can speak to you on the phone.

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3. Contact Us

Place contact details in as many places as possible. Make it easy for your customers to contact you. Create a special "Contact Us" page and include your details in the "About Us" page and also at the bottom of each page. Information to include: business name, physical address, mailing address, telephone, fax, email, emergency number, website address.

4. Pricing

Whenever possible include the price of your products/services. Even if you can't be specific. It is helpful to put at least a range of prices, eg. Carpet cleaning ranges between $40 - $60 per room.

5. Testimonials / Product Reviews / Before & After

Include testimonials from your current customers to show your potential clients that you are trustworthy, reliable and that you provide great service and/or products. Make sure the testimonials are real and if possible provide contact details of the person who supplied you with the testimonial. If you don't have any right now, get them! Simply email your customers and ask for their feedback on your business and service.

You could also include before and after photos. Show the problem picture and beside it show the picture of resolution, with an explanation of your product's benefits.

6. Frequently Asked Questions

This has proven to be a great time saver for many companies. Instead of having to answer the same questions over and over again, place them on your website and keep adding to them. The more information you have on your website, the less time you will need to spend answering questions by email or phone.

Frequently Asked Questions should address your customer's concerns that may otherwise be an obstacle to making a sale.

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7. Response form such as "Subscribe" or "Enquiry" form

An absolute must if you want to build a mailing list. Most people don't like giving out too much information, so ask only the basics, such as Name and Email Address. Then keep in touch with your customers on a regular basis by sending out information that may be of interest to them. You may even wish to develop an on-line magazine (ezine). There are many fantastic free or inexpensive programs that can handle this for you.

8. On-line Magazine or Newsletter

This is a great marketing tool. Not only does it help you keep in touch with your customers, but provides your website with fresh content. You can set up your Ezine in 2 different ways:

(a) Email subscribers on a regular basis, or
(b) Publish it on your website.

Or both. Include information about your business, industry or anything that may be of interest to your customers.

9. Resources/Articles

Add value to your business. Provide information that is complementary to what you do. For example, if you sell wedding dresses include information about reception venues, wedding planners, wedding cakes, flowers. By adding extra information you encourage more hits.

10. About Us

This is a very important page as it tells your customer about who you are and why they should buy your products, services and/or trust your organization. It can also feature your business hours (if you have a bricks and mortar store) or when they can speak to someone on the phone. Many companies also include their mission, details of their staff (photos, biographies, qualifications), recently completed projects, ACN or ABN, logo, directions to your store/office. It is also useful to include details of trade associations you belong to, trade and Ă­nsurance certificates and any awards you may have won.

11. Guarantee

Provide a monëy back policy. The longer the policy period, the more effective it will be. It could be 30 days, 60 days, 1 year or lifetime.

12. Survey

Find out what customers think about your website, business or product.

13. Events Calendar

This can relate to your business or industry. If you are an artist, you can feature dates where and when your art will be displayed or if you are a singer, where you will be performing.

14. Search My Website Feature

Some visitors to your site may not know exactly what they want, but if you include a search function on your site, they can look for it very easily. Like search engines, this feature will allow your visitors to type in a word or phrase and then search for it on your site. It's like having a mini search engine, only instead of it searching the world wide web, it just searches your website.

15. Return/Refund Policy

To make your customers feel more comfortable when making a transaction at your website, you should provide them with your return/refund policy. Ensure it is easy to understand and spelled out step by step.

16. Privacy Policy

Privacy continues to be a major issue for customers shopping online. Concerns about how their information is going to be used is a major barrier when making a sale. Internet shopping experience is built on trust and privacy is the number one ingredient in trust.

17. Site Map

A site map shows visitors how the site is laid out and which sections are where.

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18. Copyright Information

Your website should carry a copyright notice to protect its intellectual property. It is generally in the form of "Copyright (c) 2004, Your Company Name".

19. Links

Here you can place links to the manufacturers of your products, trade associations or complementary services. When you place links to other businesses, you can request they do the same for you. This will not only bring you more visitors, but may improve your search engine ranking.

20. Media Information

Include any information, articles, photos of your products, staff etc that have appeared in the media - print, TV, radio or internet.

21. News

This can include news about your products/services or about your industry.

22. On-line store

An on-line store allows you sell products directly on the internet 24 hours a day/7 days a week. When building an online store it is important to take in a number of key concepts.

  • Make sure that when visitors arrive at your store the navigational mechanisms are simple and effective.

  • The actual process of placing the order must be simple.

  • Make sure you accept common and convenient methods of payment.

  • Continually test your store so you understand your customer's shopping experience.

23. Blog

A blog is a journal that is available on the web. The activity of updating a blog is "blogging" and someone who keeps a blog is a "blogger." Blogs are typically updated daily or weekly using software that allows people with little or no technical background to update and maintain the blog. Blogs are a great tool because they help with:

(a) Communicating with your customers. Blogs provide a way for you to communicate with your customers directly. And it is a two-way communication. You can post a message on your blog and your visitors can easily respond.

(b) Search Engine Marketing Blogs give you an increased presence on search engines, like Yahoo! and Google. If you use Blogger (Google's Blogging Tool), every message you post creates a new page on Google so in a very short time you could have lots of pages pointing to your website.

(c) Stay Ahead of Your Competition Blogs are relatively new and chances are your competition does not yet use them. So you will be seen as an expert in your industry when you post your knowledge and expertise.

(d) Media & Public Relations Blogs are excellent PR tools. You can post your Media Releases and articles and have them picked up by the media.

(e) Free or Low Cost

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24. Photo Gallery

Even if you do not wish to sell your products on-line, you may wish to showcase your goods or services in a special photo gallery - show how your products or services are being used by your customers. They say "pictures speak a thousand words" and on your website it is particularly important.

Don't give your customers a reason to visit your competitor's website and provide them with all the information they may possibly need or want.

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source: sitepronews