Backlinks – Are They Really Helpful?

Backlinks are important to any website; however, the actual return on investment may be questionable. First and foremost, backlinks are more useful if they are coming from a site with a higher page rank or more authority than the page they are linking to. Obtaining backlinks from websites with less page rank will have little to no effect on SEO. And, obtaining backlinks from higher page rank sites is very difficult, and the actual benefits from those links are now in question.

Tomas Vaitulevicius from MOZ posted an article entitled The SEO Myth of Going Viral in which he references studies over a long period of time which definitely call into doubt the benefits vs the costs for a linking campaign. The gist of the article is that sites with strong linking campaigns do report improvements in traffic and visibility that dissipate over time, but the improvements seem to stem from the general visibility of the website itself and not the linking campaign.

In his article What Link Building Success Really Looks Like, but Mark Johnstone of MOZ, the premise is that link building campaigns do work, but only over a long period of time and when coupled with other visibility campaigns. That coupling, of course, makes it very difficult to determine whether the linking campaign or the supporting campaigns caused the actual increase in traffic.

In our experience, link building is a valuable part of any SEO campaign, however, it needs to be noted that the positive effects can only be seen in years and not months, the cost over those years can become increasingly prohibitive for companies to manage, and, additional SEO visibility campaigns must be continued throughout the link building period. Backlink campaigns are not for clients seeking instant results, and, if done improperly, can be extremely expensive with little to no results.

A.F.T. Associates Joins the CourseVector Family

A.F.T. AssociatesA.F.T. Associates, LLC is a full-service lobbying and business strategies consulting firm with offices in Trenton, New Jersey. A.F.T. Associates, LLC is a full-service lobbying and business strategies consulting firm with offices in Trenton, New Jersey. CourseVector converted from HTML to WordPress.

Gmail Hack

Gmail hack results from Android phone vulnerability. An Android phone vulnerability allowing access to private information stored on Android phones resulted in over 1 million Gmail accounts being hacked. The actors are using the hacked email accounts to send out potentially damaging malware using the names and email addresses stolen from the compromised devices.

Read more . . .

Exact Match Domains Can Lead to SEO Penalties

An Exact Match Domain is a domain name that precisely matches a search query that will likely drive traffic to your website. Back in 2012, Google implemented a filter to prevent poor quality sites using Exact Match Domains from ranking well. As of this writing, Exact Match Domains are discouraged by White Hat SEO experts. However, if an Exact Match Domain is to be used, the only way to attempt to avoid penalties is to make sure the website is legitimate and not a copy or duplicate of a site or page on another website. The Exact Match Domain website needs to have unique content, pictures, at least 300 words but preferably 1100 or more, and it should follow current SEO procedures. This does not guarantee the domain/site will gain any SEO ranking, but it can help to avoid penalties to the Exact Match website and the main website to which you are trying to drive traffic.

For more information about Exact Match Domains, see the links below:
What is an exact match domain (EMD) and how can you safely use one?

Domain Abuse Scam

The following notice is a Domain Abuse Scam and could result in malware being downloaded to your computer. Do not open anything that resembles the following. If you are a spam and/or security client of CourseVector, we have taken steps to block these notices. If you are interested in CourseVector’s Spam Filter, please feel free to Contact Us.

Dear Domain Owner,

Our system has detected that your domain: is being used for spamming and spreading malware recently.
You can download the detailed abuse report of your domain along with date/time of incidents. Click Here

We have also provided detailed instruction on how to delist your domain from our blacklisting.

Please download the report immediately and take proper action within 24 hours otherwise your domain will be suspended permanently.

There is also possibility of legal action depend on severity and persistence of your abuse case.

Three Simple Steps:
1. Download your abuse report.
2. Check your domain abuse incidents along with date and time.
3. Take few simple steps for prevention and to avoid domain suspension.

Click Here to Download your Report

Please look into it and contact us.

Best Regards,
Domain Abuse Admin
DomainCop Inc.

Website Design Firms Benefit from Professional Partnerships

Common Values and Complementary Strengths

The Basis for Effective Professional Collaborations

website design partnerships with CourseVector

Website design firms are not exempt from Murphy’s law. It seems the minute you hit the road for that much-needed vacation, clients decide it’s the perfect time to need updates, new websites, or worse yet, emergency support! Instead of enjoying the R&R you planned on, you are stuck in a hotel business center or coffee shop on your phone or laptop trying to keep your business afloat. Such is life for the independent designer – until now.

Larry Zevon’s story is a little bit different. Zevon Media, a Rhode Island-based design firm, has earned a solid reputation for designing websites that deliver aesthetic beauty while maintaining functionality for both the site owner and the user alike. He started off by designing and hosting his clients’ websites. But as the business grew, it became too much for him to give enough attention to his design clients and maintain his work-life balance. Rather than calling it quits, a resourceful Zevon found a partner.

When looking for someone to host his clients, Zevon needed personalized support and secure hosting options. Enter CourseVector. Through strategic partnership, the companies have been able to leverage the strengths of the other to produce better quality WordPress websites and results for clients. The pairing of Zevon’s talents for building and designing websites with CourseVector’s knowledge and experience in hosting and security wasn’t a mere marriage of convenience, but rather a union of equals wherein each enterprise complements and enhances the efficiencies of the other.

More about Zevon Media

The combination of Larry’s design sensibility with his comprehensive knowledge of WordPress has allowed his company to consistently produce good-looking, functional websites designed for seamless performance between mobile platforms and traditional browsers. Since its founding in 2006, a steady flow of referrals from satisfied clients and positive word-of-mouth press has yielded consistent growth for Zevon Media, providing Larry with clients throughout the United States and Europe.

Like Zevon Media, CourseVector has emphasized industry knowledge, transparency, reliability, and customer care as core values integral to the mission of its business. Their partnership allows Zevon Media to focus on website design and development; CourseVector’s strength and experience in hosting and security has made it a natural counterpoint and obvious collaborator with Zevon. Larry points out that “teaming with CourseVector to handle the backend requirements of my clients’ websites has freed me to focus on what I do best: website design and development.”

Having a trustworthy, competent, and likeminded partner in CourseVector to manage website essentials such as hosting, maintenance, updates, backups, and security has proven indispensable for both Zevon and his clients. Their partnership has also afforded him the time to volunteer as coach for a local youth sports team. This type of partnership would benefit the freelance web designer, graphic designer, and small design shop alike.

Website Design Partnerships

Tailored To Your Needs

Connecting with partners that put clients first with competence and professionalism is no small request. However, the success of the ZevonMedia/CourseVector partnership illustrates the possibilities. Word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied clients is cited as a top source for the companies’ collaborative success. CourseVector is proud to partner with like-minded businesses to offer technical expertise and secure hosting platforms to individuals and design firms across all industries.

Contact CourseVector today for information more on services and pricing.

Web Design, Hosting, SEO
Serving Harrisburg, Camp Hill, and all of Central PA

This Site May Be Hacked – How Hackers Hurt Your SEO

This Site May Be Hacked

“This Site May Be Hacked” are words no webmaster or SEO manager wants to hear. As if a breach to an enterprise’s website (and the financial cost and public relations fallout associated with it) is not bad enough, a website hacked with malware or spam can cause an entity’s organic search engine rankings to take a nosedive. As one of the objectives of an effective SEO plan is to obtain and then maintain a presence on the first page of a web search query, compromised websites that feature viral links to a hacker’s site, or hacks that result in the quarantining of a website, can have a devastating effect on an enterprise’s SEO.

This Site May Be Hacked - How Hackers Hurt Your SEOTo understand how hacking can damage an enterprise’s SEO efforts, it is helpful to first understand what a website hack is, and how it most commonly occurs. Simply put, unauthorized hacking is defined as obtaining access to a website or computer network without the permission of its owner. Illegal hacks are typically initiated for the purpose of accessing protected information, or for using a legitimate website as a conduit to redirect users to a hacker’s website. The two primary tools used by hackers to compromise a website are malware and spam.

Malicious software, or malware, is designed to damage, disable, or otherwise grant an unauthorized user access to a computer, system, or network. Malware is most often used to covertly siphon sensitive information, resulting in a data breach. The ramifications of a malware hack on an enterprise’s website can be serious and far reaching.

Illegal hackers are computer programmers or engineers who use their knowledge of software and operating systems for nefarious purposes rather than for good. These hackers dissect computer programs to identify vulnerabilities within existing software, and then create a new program (malware) with the sole purpose of exploiting those weaknesses. A hacker will distribute this malicious software across the internet, where it will automatically search the web for sites using the vulnerable software. If a site is running the targeted software, the site is attacked by the malware, which discreetly embeds itself into the operating code, giving the hacker access to the system. With control of the system, the hacker has the potential to harvest sensitive data critical to an enterprise’s operations, or to begin spamming from website.

Website hacked with a Padlocked Keyboard Website spamming occurs when a hacker inserts hypertext on a webpage that, when selected by a site user, links to the hacker’s desired destination. Embedding spammy links on highly trafficked websites to redirect users to a hacker’s site increases the hacker’s search engine rankings, without having to do the honest, expensive, and time-consuming work of marketing and brand-building. Essentially, website spammers are the bad guys who use the good guy’s hard-earned SEO rankings and positive reputation to shortcut the system as a way to increase the perceived value of their own site, while diminishing the ranking value of the guy who has played fair.

Consequences of a hacked website

At the end of the day, whether a website has been hijacked by malware, spam, or a combination of both, the results are never good. If a malware infection targets data base files containing the personal or financial information of the enterprise or its clients, the resulting security breach can be devastating. Spammers that leech traffic and customers from a legitimate website can exact a high cost on an entity’s search rankings, which in turn means fewer organic visitors to a site, potentially reducing revenue for an enterprise.

Google and other major search engines construct algorithms to automatically recognize sites infected with malware. While this proactive approach to identifying viral websites is great for the search engine user, the result for an unwitting entity whose site has been hacked is that the search engine will quarantine a website that the algorithm deems as compromised. Quarantined websites come with a warning to search engine users to avoid clicking-through to the blacklisted site, as it contains content from a known malware distributor. As a result of the malware infection warnings, blacklisted websites are estimated to see a drop in traffic on the order of 95%.

Malware infections can not only be time consuming to repair, but can also prove very costly to an enterprise, in ways both tangible and intangible. Each day that a website is quarantined or offline in order to trace and remove malware, translates to another day of losses for the enterprise with respect to customers, revenue, and the public’s trust. Further delays can occur after malware and spammy links have been cleaned from a site. Search engines must verify that a website is no longer compromised before rescinding its quarantine status, a process which can take up to a couple of weeks depending on the size and complexity of the website in question.

Prevention is the best medicine

Benjamin Franklin is attributed with saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” And while the quotable Mr. Franklin never knew of websites, hackers, malware, or spam, his idiom on the importance of being proactive can certainly be applied to the digital age. So, what is the formula for preventing a website hack from occurring in the first place?


Install Updates

Running outdated software is consistently the number one reason that website hacks occur. Hackers focus on creating malware that will hit the greatest possible number of targets. Further, hackers are keenly aware that human nature is such that installing software updates tends to be a low priority for most people. If a hacker writes malware or spam code for a popular software to exploit a fault that an update is designed to fix, a hacker will gain access to countless computers, due simply to the statistically high number of users that fail to install updates in a timely manner.

Consider the example of WordPress. WordPress is an open-source software that is widely used for building websites. Its popularity is attributable to its stability, reliability, and ease of use. WordPress aggressively tests its software for vulnerabilities, and regularly releases updates to repair for shortcomings. But because WordPress is open-source, these faults become public knowledge when updates are released. Playing to the human propensity to procrastinate, hackers will then design attacks that target the core software loopholes that the updates are designed to repair. When an enterprise that is running WordPress is lax in installing updates, they are as good as hacked.

Create Backups

Not unlike installing software updates, creating backups on a regular basis is another mundane but important task that is too often overlooked. In the same way that is it important to backup one’s local, desktop files, creating a periodic backup of a website is of equal urgency. For websites using WordPress, backups are made easy with plugins that work with major cloud-based storage services. Key to having a clean, securely stored copy of a website is to ensure that backups are regular, automatic, stored off-site (not on the same server as the operating version of the website), and redundant (multiple copies maintained simultaneously).

Monitor Activity

While the importance of installing updates and running regularly scheduled backups for a website cannot be understated, it remains essential to supplement updates and backups with real-time monitoring of website activity. Investing in a reputable and reliable monitoring service that will watch website traffic, recognize questionable activity, and proactively repair issues before they become real problems represents resources well spent.

Security Solution

At times, it can seem as if hackers have the upper hand in the never ending struggle to protect and maintain the integrity of one’s website. Having a knowledgeable IT team to skillfully manage your enterprise’s website is the essential component for both protecting your website, as well as utilizing it as the tool that it is to maximize the exposure of your entity, increase the value of your brand, and grow your enterprise.

CourseVector is a web design, SEO, and hosting company that addresses all the pieces of the web marketing puzzle. With an experienced staff that has been designing, creating, and fixing websites since 1989, CourseVector brings a wealth of internet knowledge and experience to bear on the operation of a successful website. CourseVector takes the time to get to know you, your entity, and your enterprise’s needs and goals, and then works within your budget to create, implement, and service your website, balancing the requirements of security with the goals of effective SEO.

CourseVector can design a website from scratch or convert a non-WordPress website into one that uses the WordPress Content Management System. CourseVector hosting services focus on proactive website management and security, providing essential and timely software, and security updates and backups that are supplemented with 24/7 monitoring.

If your enterprise is struggling with how to maximize its online presence, CourseVector has an impressive SEO track record. Rather than pursuing a quick-fix path that falls short of producing effective SEO results, CourseVector focuses on long-term web marketing strategies that return real SEO improvements that are maintained over time.

Whether your enterprise has a website or needs one, if your website has been hacked or your finding it hard to keep pace with site security demands, or if you are new to SEO or have an SEO program that is not returning results, CourseVector is ready to help. Contact CourseVector for a complimentary SEO Marketing Analysis, and see the difference a website that is designed, hosted, and optimized by CourseVector can make for your enterprise.

Web Design, Hosting, SEO
Serving Harrisburg, Camp Hill, and all of Central PA

CourseVector Associate Cory Boyd Now SEO Certified

Camp Hill, PA, January 12, 2016 CourseVector announced today that Cory Boyd graduated from Yoast’s SEO training program. Cory Boyd successfully completed the Yoast Basic SEO course!This accomplishment affords him the ability to better serve CourseVector’s SEO clients with his up-to-date knowledge of on-page optimization, search engine requirements, backlinks, and more! His accomplishment is the perfect compliment to the SEO team’s collective marketing, sales, and design experience.

Yoast is a leader in SEO plugins for WordPress. In addition to plugins, they offer expert advice and training via their blog, ebooks, and training programs.

About CourseVector

CourseVector LLC is a full-service web development company, offering hosting, web design, and SEO. The CourseVector team boasts nearly 30 years of experience with hosting, web design, and IT. The company offers customized SEO services for prices almost any business can afford. Contact one of our SEO specialists today for a free marketing analysis.

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