WordPress Security 3.5.2 Update Released – Update

wordpress logoWordPress released a new update today that is important for the security of your website or blog.

It is strongly suggested you update your WordPress CMS  immediately to make sure it is secure and unauthorized users can’t get into the back end.

 

The security fixes included:

  • Blocking server-side request forgery attacks, which could potentially enable an attacker to gain access to a site.
  • Disallow contributors from improperly publishing posts, reported by Konstantin Kovshenin, or reassigning the post’s authorship, reported by Luke Bryan.
  • An update to the SWFUpload external library to fix cross-site scripting vulnerabilities. Reported by mala and Szymon Gruszecki.
  • Prevention of a denial of service attack, affecting sites using password-protected posts.
  • An update to an external TinyMCE library to fix a cross-site scripting vulnerability. Reported by Wan Ikram.
  • Multiple fixes for cross-site scripting. Reported by Andrea Santese and Rodrigo.
  • Avoid disclosing a full file path when a upload fails. Reported by Jakub Galczyk.

Source: WordPress 3.5.2 Maintenance and Security Release

 

Need help updating your WordPress website?  Give us a call or fill out our Contact Form

 

 

 

Top 10 Things You Need to Know about the New Facebook Timeline for Pages [Infographic]

There is a huge change coming to Facebook Fan Pages.  Facebook is changing the format of Pages to the Timeline format used in person profiles.  You opt to change to the Timeline format now or  you will be forced to switch to the new Timeline layout on March 30th, 2012.  While many things are changing and new the most controversial of them is the disappearance of the default landing tab.

While the landing tab has gone away, the the landing pages used for default landing pages have not.  Facebook is still giving page owners the ability to create the landing pages but you will need use a differnt method to get visitors to the page.

One solution is Facebook Ads which you will have to pay Facebook or you can use your creativity to get them to your Custom Landing Page.  Before we worry about getting visitors to the page, we first need to build the Landing Page.

Below you will find a terrific infographic detailing all the changes to the layout and gives you a quick guide on what you need to do to get ready.

 

Google Maps Adds Indoor Maps to Android Phones

Google is now mapping your indoors.  Google Maps for Android 6.0 is going to start showing interior maps of airports, select malls and retail stores in the US and Japan.   Sorry iPhone users, there isn’t an app for that yet.

Additional details are also displayed by  Google Maps, such as places, landmarks and geographical features, to give you context about what’s nearby. Now with the new Indoor feature Google Maps for Android enables you to know  where you are and figure out where you want to go even when you’re indoors.

 

 

Some retailers already participating are Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Home Depots and all US IKEA stores.  IAH and HOU airports are also on the list, a full list can be found below.

 

 

Google-provided screenshot of the Mall of America before interior maps and after:

 

 

US Launch Partners (full list):

  • Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL)
  • Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC)
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
  • Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW)
  • George Bush Houston International Airport (IAH)
  • William P. Hobby Airport (HOU)
  • Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS)
  • San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
  • Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT)
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP)
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
  • Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)
  • Portland International Airport (PDX)
  • Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (STL)
  • Kansas City International Airport (MCI)
  • Indianapolis International Airport (IND)
  • Boise International Airport (BOI)
  • Akron-Canton Airport (CAK)
  • Macy’s
  • Bloomingdales
  • Home Depot
  • IKEA
  • Mall of America
  • DDR Corp malls, including Times Square Mall in Mt. Vernon, Illinois and Liberty Fair Mall in Martinsville, VA
  • Brixmor Property Group including Eagle Rock Plaza in Los Angeles, CA

 

 

Google Indoor Maps look like a really helpful tool especially for those of us always getting lost in Houston Intercontinental Airport.  A presentation about the features can also be found on the Google Maps site.

One day all the interiors of Victoria, Texas could be mapped out for us.  For the time being you will have to get your fix at Home Depot and the Houston Airports.

How J.C. Penney Gamed Google to Make a Ton of Money and Why YOU Should NOT Do It

Black Hat Search Engine Optimization

Since I started talking to local business owners about improving their search ranking in Google, I have been asked one question more than any other:  “How do I get to the top of Google?”

 

While the answer to the question is both simple and complex, lets take a look at the what happened this week.  It gives us some real world proof about the positive effects of off page optimization. Off page optimization involves creating links to our sites from other websites.  This process is called backlinking.

In a terrific article Vanessa Fox, author and former product manager of Google Webmaster Tools, discusses how J.C. Penney got to the top of Google for keywords in almost every category they sell products in.  And by top, I mean the #1 ranking on the first page of Google!

The only problem is they did it the wrong way and violated Google’s Webmaster guidelines.  In doing so however, they provided evidence that building a lot of backlinks works.  They also show us that Black Hat SEO (search engine optimization) tactics will get you in trouble with Google and rightly so.

After this link spamming campaign surfaced, J.C. Penney promptly fired their SEO firm, according to the article.

Vanessa also tells us why backlinks make our website rank better in the short term.  Once you get caught using the techniques that violate Google’s Webmaster guidelines your website will either be removed from Google completely or be buried several pages deep where you will never be found.  Most searchers don’t make it past the first few pages of results and many don’t make it past the first page of Google search results.

The main take away is you should be very, very careful when hiring a company to promote you online.  Whether it be with Google AdWords, other forms of online advertising or in organic search rankings, don’t allow just anyone to optimize your search engine rankings.  Many methods get very fast results but they could also get you banned by Google very quickly as well.

Here is a link to the full article about J.C. Penney’s backlinking mistake.  If you are a local business owner, it might be a real eye opener to you.

If you want to learn about marketing your business online I highly recommend Vanessa Fox’s book, it is a must read.

 

How To Rapidly Increase Facebook Fan Page Likes

Do you want to increase your Facebook Fans in  a hurry, take a note from Taco Bell.

That’s right, they aren’t just good at making tacos from a “little bit” of beef. :-)

This is how a Reveal Tab can help you generate more ‘likes’ for on your Facebook fan page too.

Facebook Reveal Landing Page Taco Bell

  • When you visit the Fan Page, you land on this custom page.
  • The instructions are very clear!
    • Title of the Tab: FREE Taco
    • Reveal Tab message: Click the ‘like’ button!  So you click Like, then…

Facebook Reveal Landing Page Free Taco Bell

  • Once fans click the ‘like’ button, the coupon for their FREE taco is revealed.
  • Result: It’s a win-win, more likes for Taco Bell’s fan page and very happy customers.

Creating a reveal landing page for your Facebook fan page is an effective way to get more ‘likes’.  When creating a reveal lander, you can include as much or as little information as you want, but keep the following suggestions in mind:

  • Make the reveal tab your ‘default landing tab’
  • Keep the design simple and use clean graphics
  • Include the phrase, “Click the ‘like’ button”
  • Offer potential fans something of value for Liking your fan page

Claim your free Taco Bell Taco

Facebook Places and Facebook Deals

Facebook Places Setup

What is a Facebook Place?

There has been a lot of confusion about Facebook Places.  Isn’t a Facebook Place the same as a Facebook Fan Page?  The short answer to this no, they are two different things.  Facebook Places, similar to Google Places, are noted by a physical location.

A Facebook Fan Page is a page which allow your customers and/or fans to connect with the business or organization through a ‘Like’ of the page.  When updated, Facebook will  post your update to your  Fan Page Wall as well as your Fans’ personal Walls.  There has been some speculation that Fan Pages and Place will be merged eventually.

What is the objective of Facebook Places?

The objective of Facebook Places is to let you socially share what you are doing and geo-tag your location.  It also lets friends know if you are nearby or if you will be meeting up with them.  You can also tag your friends in Places which shows on both Facebook Walls as well.

How does my customer use Facebook Places?

Facebookers use their cell phones to check into Places.  Since cell phones have GPS location capabilities, it make perfect sense to use them. The easiest way to use Places is through the Facebook App.  If an app is not available for your phone you  can connect  to Places on touch.facebook.com

If you don’t have it yet, here are the links to the Facebook App for iPhoneBlackBerryAndroid,HP webOS or Windows Phone 7

Why is Facebook Place important to my business?

Facebook Places is important to your business for 2 reasons.

The first reason is pretty obvious.  As friends see other customers checking into your Facebook Place (business) you are building social proof and free advertising the same way that word of mouth has done to help businesses for years.

The second reason Facebook Place is important to local businesses is Facebook Deals.  Businesses can offer Deals to potential customers.  Customers simply check into your Place to claim the deal and let friends know about the Deal.  A really great deal can cause a viral effect and customer traffic.

From Facebook:

There are four types of deals you can create.

  1. Individual Deal: You can offer this type of deal to both new and existing customers. You may create Individual Deals when you want to launch a new product, get rid of excess inventory, offer seasonal incentives, or simply get more people into your store.
  2. Friend Deal: Friend Deals allow you to offer discounts to groups of up to 8 people, when they check in together. Friend Deals are a great way to build even more exposure for your business because more stories are generated when multiple people check-in.
  3. Loyalty Deal: To focus on rewarding your most loyal customers, create a Loyalty Deal. These deals may be claimed by customers only after a certain number of check-ins. Depending on your business, the number of check-ins may vary. Please note that you must create a deal that is redeemable after no fewer than two and no more than 20 check-ins.
  4. Charity Deal: Create a Charity Deal to make a donation to the charity of your choice. This is a great way for your business to give back to the community while adding a human touch to your business.

How do I set up a Facebook Place or Facebook Fan Page?

We provide a Facebook Places as well as Facebook Fan Page setup.  Please drop us a line if you would like more information.