Posts Tagged ‘google’

Using Google to protect your site

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Is your website error free?

My site ┬áhas grown over the years and uses a lot of PHP code. It’s difficult to test each and every aspect of it. Here are 3 simple tricks that can help you test your website. They don’t replace a real test (that you should do after a each change), but they’re a nice addition.

Trick 1:

Use Google to search your website for “error” or “warning”. You can use the format:
site:yourdomain.com (warning or error )

This of course has a terrible lag, since Google crawls your website only every few days or weeks, but on the other hand Google may use different parameters or aspects that you use in your own tests.

The real fun comes with combination of trick 2.

Trick 2:

Use Google alerts to automatically search your website for problems. You can create a free Google alerts account and use the search mentioned above to have Google automatically check your site every day. If something breaks, Google will send you an e-mail.

Trick 3:

Same as above, but use your Google to watch your site for hacked pages. A hacker might have exploited a weakness in your server and created a new page for whatever product he promotes with his spam mails. You probably don’t want to become involved with this. So instead of using “warning or error” in the search. use a list of the usual phrases and medical products that the spam mails usually contain.

It’s a one-time work of a few minutes. The rest of the work is done automatically by Google and can save you a lot of trouble.

Website monitoring against hacking

Friday, February 20th, 2009

A brilliant idea codes from Google’s “Official Google Webmaster Central Blog“. If your site gets hacked you might not notice it until it’s to late. And it can be a lot of work to check your site each day.

So Google suggests to use Google Alerts to scan your site on a regular base for common malware terms by searching for something like “site:example.com viagra OR casino OR porn OR ringtones”.

It’s not a 100% solution but I’d say it’s pretty good and quick to set up.

Is “nofollow” killing Google?

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

The nofollow attribute was introduced by Google to cope with the problem of spam links, for example comment spam in blogs. Links in comments should be marked as nofollow, thus won’t count for Google’s rating and thus would be worthless for the spammer. ┬áThat was the idea.

But it might backfire for Google. Nowadays you can find the nofollow attribute not only in blog comments, but also social networks, forum postings and in Wikipedia articles. (It’s ironic: With Web 2.0 finally everybody could have his say – Too bad that it doesn’t count any more.) And with the spammers focusing on the sites that don’t use nofollow yet, these sites are likely to use it, too, soon.

So what’s the consequence?

By effectively abolishing the opinions of the small users only the website owners and journalists remain. Most website owners have their very own ideas about links: Their own products & services. And considering the journalists an interesting trend has evolved: Whenever they want to spice up their text with a few links for credibility, they link to Wikipedia. That’s easy and safe because they don’t have to check their sources for spam, fraud, etc.

The result?

Less diversity and less competition probably. The big fishes in the pond are bound to be the winners under these conditions. And Google is going to loose, too, because they’re missing the small, upcoming sites and trends. And just linking to Wikipedia instead.