Category Archives: Cool Tools & Tricks

Online Security 101, passwords and luggage


There was a great subtle joke in the classic movie Spaceballs in which Dick Van Patton’s character King Roland is being forced by Mel Brook’s character President Skroob to give up the combination to his planet’s atmosphere lock and after agonizing over the decision, King Roland reveals that his combination is….1….2….3…4….5 and then Mel Brooks shriek’s, that’s the combination to my luggage!

Well, that is what most of us still do with our password and login information with all of our online accounts. In fact, in a recent article I read, it stated that when popular site rootkit.com was hacked recently, the hackers used the same login information on a very unrelated site gawker.com and of the 456 users that used both sites, 77% had used the exact same e-mail address and passwords at both sites. Therefore, but the hackers infiltrating an unassuming site like rootkit, they had access to vital information on other sites like gawker.com and if you used the same login on other sites like your bank and credit card company as well. And many studies have shown that the average internet user follows this pattern.

With so many great and easy to use and in many cases free password manager programs available like Roboform, DataVault or Belio, there is no reason to continue using the same login information on each site. And these programs make it possible to have passwords that are 12 to 16 random characters which is what is truly recommended to ensure online security.

Now, I am off to change the combination to my luggage!

So,

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Filed under Computer Safety, Cool Tools & Tricks

Syndication great, syndication with Google, not so great


I have been trying to warn anyone who will listen to me in the real estate industry that with the proliferation of listing syndication with vendors like ListHub and Point2Agent that are setting up feed partnerships with just about every MLS in the country which then feed  into sites like Google could potentially be a really bad thing.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a big proponent of syndication at the agent level as syndication is great as it gets more eyeballs on listings, but the recent trend that syndication is being done so frequently at the association level is potentially that pretty soon Google will have a nationwide MLS database completely for free!

For some time now you were able to access those listings via the search, on Google Base or overlay those listings on Google Maps. Well earlier this week, Google decided to remove the listings from the map as they claimed the usage of this feature wasn’t high and the market already has a mature market of competitors (see article http://tinyurl.com/5rzmp25).

In my opinion, this is a smoke screen and they are probably planning on removing this info from the maps for a short period of time and later come back with a fully functional real estate portal site to rival Realtor.com.  I guess we will have to wait and see if Google really is not interested in using all this data and participating in the real estate sector (unlikely) or if they are planning something totally different for the future.

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Filed under Cool Tools & Tricks, Online Marketing, Search Engine Optimization

What newest change to Google’s Algorithm means to your SEO


In this article from CNET News, Google algorithm change tackles content copying –  http://t.co/1oAJJXL via @cnetMatt Cutt’s the chief architect of Google’s algorithm mentioned in an interview recently that Google is making a fundamental change that they will start assessing and penalizing sites for duplicate or copied content.

So what does this mean to you the site owner?

The saying has always been that content is king, well now that needs to be changed to Original Content is King!

While provided content is great to get a site up and going quickly and fill a site up with necessary content, don’t expect provided content to get you to the top of the search engines.  To do so, the content needs to be original and custom.  So, no more cutting corners, a site owner really has to make the commitment or investment to add a lot of custom content to their site and consider modifying any content that is provided to you by your site host.

Of course content is only one small piece in your sites page rank which we will cover in other blog posts along with other factors including meta data, backlinking, social media presence, use of bloggs, etc., but as highlighted by this big change by Google, content is still an important factor.

 

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Filed under Cool Tools & Tricks, Real Estate Website General, Search Engine Optimization, Website Design

Real Estate Website Guru’s Blog Mission


Welcome to the Real Estate Website Guru’s Blog.

Starting today I am going to share some of my vast knowledge on what works and more importantly doesn’t work in today’s online landscape for real estate website.

From elements of design, to page layout, to increasing your site’s user-ability, stickiness, lead conversion, online marketing, new cutting edge tools & more. Plus I’ll probably throw in some cool websites, services, video clips and more that I stumble on in my ventures online and most importantly I will do it in a fun easy to follow and fun way.

So, lets get to blogging shall we!

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Filed under Cool Tools & Tricks, Online Marketing, Real Estate Website General, Search Engine Optimization, Website Design