Password Protection for Social Networking

Do you have multiple logins all over the web? Worried that you are giving away the crown jewels with the widgets? Here’s a way to easily get and remember unique passwords for any domain login without having to wrte them down. Great for social networking.

Here is a neat way to better password protect your profiles on all those social networks. Most people tend to use the same password again and again because they can’t remember hundreds. They still need somewhere to store them all as well.

This tool, though, lets you remember ONE password. You then combine it with the domain you are logging into. So “password” combined with “” will always generate “3d46176a”. So something nice and unique, and retrievable when you are sitting in a Las Vegas hotel lobby thinking “sod it, he’s on my Linked In network… and I don’t have my master password file”.

Why is this good? Well one password is intrinsicly unsafe, as are generic ones. But this becomes even more problematic when you combine widgets and gadgets between social networks. You end up giving out passwords to gadgets all over the place. If you layer this… use your generic password with the gadget URL, then use the result with each social profile that the gadget uses, then you might just start protecting yourself… a bit.

The Google Gadget coding should be credited to Zsolt Molnar – Helsinki, Finland and I got the original idea from here.

Google Adwords Goes Wrong

Google Adwords occassionally sends messages to account managers which – I would have thought – will ruin the confidence of the not so savvy adwords manager if the advice was taken at face value. Here is just one short example of Google getting WAY too clever… and way too wrong.

Interesting email from Google Adwords:

You currently have 2 pending proposals for 2 client accounts. You can view a complete analysis for these accounts by clicking the ‘Want more clicks?’ links on your My Client Center page:

For example, according to our analysis, the following campaigns would benefit from budget adjustments:

This campaign met its daily budget of GBP £64.50 on 10 of the last 15 days. Increasing the budget to GBP £143.28 would allow the ads to show more often and get approximately 11% more clicks per month.

So let’s look at that advice from Google… Increase the spend by 122% in order to increase the clicks by 11%.

Am I missing something – or does Google think I am a complete plank?

Google’s Glass Ceiling

There is some evidence that Google may be throttling traffic to some sites on purpose, thereby creating a Google glass ceiling for your site. Is it happening to you? Are you getting more or less the same number of visitors every day from the world’s favourite search engine?

A small “Google awakening” happened on Tuesday night. There seems to to be a “Google Glass Ceiling” in the serps for certain types of sites. Mileage might vary, but if your site is pulling more weight than Google thinks it should, there is mounting evidence that Google is throttling your organic SERPS traffic. It has been something that has nagged at me for sometime, but I was a little reluctant to risk the collective derision and laughter of the SEO community for bringing it up. But now I seem to be finding followers to the theory.

The awakening happened on a boat on the Thames. Maybe the Glass capsules of the London Eye provided the trigger? Maybe not. But there were 500 people on the boat – and pretty well every one of them is affected on a daily basis by Google… because A4U is by far the largest affiliate conference in the UK and – if Mathew Wood‘s peformance was anything to go by, will soon be the largest affiliate conference on the planet. These guys are good!

So I heard a person say “I can’t seem to break through a glass ceiling of XXX visitors a day from Google”. I then asked another well known affiliate, Loquax, who also admitted that even though his major site had dropped to 10th for his big one phrase keyword recently, his traffic had remained static from Google for nearly a year. Plot it weekly… flatline!

I talked to Jo Conner – with his inspired Can’, a man who does far too much Tai Chi and far too little “real” work as I understand it. He said the same. I look at one of my own sites, Murder Mystery Games and I see the same. It seems to be that sites are “flatlining” on Google and although everyone seems to be settling at a different number, that number represents Google’s Glass Ceiling for the domain. You can push through it, but you’ll need to do something just a bit more… or at least a bit different.. to break the ceiling and take it to the next level.


Now I’m happy enough for Matt Cutts or Brian White or Adam Lasnik or John Mu to jump right in here and say “no, no, no Dixon – you must be dreaming” – but then it’s only going to take a few people to say “hey – yeh – that’s happening to me” for the idea to stick. At that point… if their really is a Glass Ceiling for some if not all sites, then one has to ask if Google are being fully transparent here? (Pun intended… an affiliate suggested I use it… I won’t name him).


It doesn’t – on the surface – seem to make sense. Google is all about pushing the best result to the users… aren’t they? But when your site is in that twilight zone of being well enough established in Google to stop looking at the daily rankings with fear and intrepidation, but not established enough to start getting “One Box” results (the ones where you get several links in poition one) on your almost generic brand name, then these are the kinds of sites that seem to be getting the Google throttle. Google knows there are several sites that may offer similar value to the user and it is in everyone’s interest (conveniently including Google’s) to give each of these sites a slice of the proverbial free action… in the spirit of “competition is good as long as it’s all done on Google”.


Not all styles of site face this ceiling. WordPress and the general blogosphere really wouldn’t notice this, as the blog content tends to work on link baiting and social network seeding rather than the traditional index to succeed. The result for bloggers is a far more volatile existence. There should be a saying – if there isn’t already – you are only as good as you last blog.


What worries me the most, is that if this hunch is correct, why has it taken so long to be “outed”? surely most of us look at traffic not rankings as a better key performance indicator don’t we? Maybe we jumped straight from looking at rankings before the Florida update many years ago all the way to looking at conversions from organic without stopping to look at the obvious middle statistic of the good old fashioned click?

WordPress Blog Promotion – Joost Style

At A4U Joost is presenting on WordPress Optimisation. He has some great tips – so much that I am in danger of missing my own talk by watching his!

Joost is speaking at the A4U expo on Blog Promotion. Specifically: “Optimising for WordPress”. He started with a load of tips for plugins, but to make sure you go to see his site, you’ll have to go and find the presentation in full from his blog.

He gave some promotion tips and some conversion tips.

Promotion tips:

  • Go where the readers go. Sphinn, LinkedIN, Reddit, Digg. Social Networks.
  • Don’t bait with bad content, because users unsubscribe and never return.
  • Do Guest posts on bigger blogs. Saves the big guys writing posts, and you get the promotion for your own blog.
  • Turn visitors into fans, by getting the users to subscribe. The subscribe button just can’t be big enough! (I’ll make mine bigger soon).
  • Most readers don’t know what RSS is – so give users a chance to subscribe by email as well.
  • Remind people to subscribe after each post.
  • Comment Redirect or Comment relish helps new commenters by redirecting them through to a subscriber message.

Improving conversion on your blog:

  • Ask for comments
  • Thank people for commenting
  • Get to know your readers. Follow the links they leave and see why they like you
  • Answer all questions and respond to all feedback
  • Reward Good remarks, by giving them credit for their comments by way of another blog post
  • Keep people involved, by commenting on others’ comments and maybe getting a plugin to receive comments by email when they are posted.
  • Don’t distract users. Get the Track-backs pushed to the bottom.
  • Always fight spam in the comments (at least by enabling Akismet)
  • Keep it simple to comment
  • Measure, Improve and Repeat
Some great tips – and I certainly haven’t done most of them. Especially turning users into subscribers. So – feel free to hot the very small subscribe button!
Right – I have to go and prepare my own presentation next, on Internet Marketing Howlers.

Pubcon discount code

Shh… well OK – until I get shouted at by Brett, don’t shh… but here’s a 20% off Pubcon discount code: jo-55220. I think I am only supposed to use it for my clients… but hey – you read the site, so I’m going to argue you count! If you plan to go to Pubcon, it’s probably the largest “proper” webmaster convention in the world. That is to say, it’s where the real tech-heads and geeks hang out. It’s in Las Vegas, in November and I’ll be staying at the Treasure Islannd. Let me know if the voucher works. If it doesn’t, I got caught out.

So to use the Pubcon discount code, type in jo-55220 at checkout when you register at


WordPress For 8 Year Olds

Blogging really isn’t hard. My 8 year old daughter is on the other computer as I write, typing her first WordPress page up. Favourite colour, age, etc. To be fair I set up the installaton for her, but now she’s pretty much on her own.

I have to say it’s not with a little intrepidation  that I am letting her loose on the Interweb. It’s far too unregulated, she’s going to post things she’s going to regret, and quite frankly an 8 year old going anywhere near my web server makes me keen not to show her how to install plug-ins for a fair few years. But in the end – what am I going to do? When both my kids were born, I bought the versions of their names, with the intention of somehow giving them the domains as presents when they were old enough. At the time I thought “old enough” would be 14-16 or so. But kids today need different skills to the ones their parents needed. They need to start young and I can’t teach things that haven’t been invented yet. So I guess all I can do is show her how WordPress and a website gives you the tools to talk to the world.

She’s been asking for me to have a web page for ages now. What scares me is just how quickly she has stopped asking questions and just started using it.

I don’t think I’ll add her site to my blogroll JUST yet though.

(Added…) I guess that to make this post useful, I should give a few ideas on how to protect an 8 year old blogger. I’d appreciate any other ideas. So far:

  1. The family computer is in a family room. Keeping an eye out is easier if she’s not locked away in a bedroom.
  2. I did not give her admin access – just set her up as an editor for now.
  3. No FTP access!
Now… are there any good plugins I can use to tie the system down?

Number 1 for “Search Engine Optimisation”

Back in 2001, who was number 1 for “search engine optimisation” on Google? Yes! and here’s the proof.

Ah! Memory lane. Look at THIS search result:


Unfortunately, it’s based on Google’s first ever Index in 2001, which they have brought back for their 10th birthday. We were number 1-3 for about a year on Google, Lycos and Yahoo, generally sharing the results with Mark Garwell from Webplacing and Barry Lloyd from MakeMeTop.

Then after a year two things happened. The first was that our site at number one got booted from DMOZ by a zealous editor and we found out that the customers with the money weren’t looking for “search engine optimisation”, they were looking for “internet marketing consultancy” or some other term.

So where was your site ranking in 2001 on Google Matt Cutts? Go and check it out.