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Google’s Ranking Factors

Google employee Matt Cutts gave a lengthy interview in which he discussed some things that will help webmasters better optimize their websites.

1. The more relevant links you have, the more pages Google will index.
The amount of relevant links your site has directly affects your PageRank. The better your page rank, the more pages Google will index from your site.

2. Slow servers will cause indexing problems
If your site is on a slow server, Google will cap how many pages it will fetch from that server. To counteract this, get a dedicated server or virtual private server for your site.

3. Duplicate content issues
Google will automatically discard duplicate content from your site. Also PageRank can be messed up if you link to duplicate pages. If you are using a rel=canonical tag on your site for duplicate content, Google has no problem

4. Affiliate pages don't get high rankings
If Google detects that a link is from an affiliate site, then the link will not help your PageRank.

5. 301 redirects don't have the same PageRank power
When you use redirects from old pages, only some of the PageRank is transferred from that link. 301 redirects does not pass on the full PageRank.

6. Low quality pages get low quality results
Actual products with lots of text are more helpful than little content. Google will either crawl less of the pages on your site, or stop crawling it altogether.

7. Navigation over PageRank sculpting
Google doesn't like you sculpting your site for PageRank. Matt says that good site architecture and navigation is a better approach.

"“Site architecture, how you make links and structure appear on a page in a way to get the most people to the products that you want them to see, is really a better way to approach it then trying to do individual sculpting of PageRank on links.”
“You can distribute that PageRank very carefully between related products, and use related links straight to your product pages rather than into your navigation. I think there are ways to do that without necessarily going towards trying to sculpt PageRank.”

8. Don't use JavaScript links for website navigation
Google can't execute all JavaScript so some of your links maybe not be counted if you are using JavaScript.

9. Don't use paid links
Google doesn't want advertisements to affect search engine ranking. Matt Cutts said that Google “does a lot of stuff” to try to detect ads and make sure that they don’t unduly affect search engines.

Here is the original interview:

Kevin Liang
CTO / SEO Guru
Canadian Web Hosting

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How safe is your browser saved passwords?

There is a misconception people have that the saved password feature is pretty safe to use. After all, you can't see where passwords are saved("It is being put in a safe place by the computer."), then no one else can either.. and you are the only one that have a login, "So its for your eyes only", right? WRONG!

Just the other day, I caught one of my best friend using a saved password for one of his logins, so I jumped on him :)

"I bet you $5 bucks I can see all your saved password just by using your browser.. without hacking into the registry or anything of that nature :)"  He was pretty confident that I can't and that I need to load some special software and do some low level hacks, so the bet was on!  It took me about 30 seconds to show him all the saved passwords in a formatted table, in alphabetical order, just by using his favorite browser, Firefox!

"Well you work at a web hosting company so you can do this kind of stuff.", he rebuffed.  Here is the interesting thing, you don't need to be a computer wiz to pull this off. It can be done with your browser and a handy add-on.

It really is simple, unlike the olden days where you need a floppy to get that kind of info. Here is how I did it:

Install it and restart your Firefox. In the Tools menu you will see a new link, "Saved passwords..." Click it and voila!

Don't freak out yet.. There is a simple step you can take to protect yourself from these type of add-on/programs. In Firefox, there is a setting called "Master Password".  It is under preferences >> Security >> "Use a Master Password". When setting this make sure you do not forget it. Otherwise you will have to do a full reset and will lose all your saved passwords...  it might be a good thing :P.  This will encrypt your passwords and you need to enter the Master password every time to show or use the saved passwords.  It is not 100% and can be brute forced with programs like Firemaster but better than being naked.

You can also opt to use password programs that store your password in encrypted form. For Windows, Roboform is a popular choice. For Mac, I personally use 1password. These are still not 100% but it does offer you another layer of security.

Stay safe!

Tony Chu
Canadian Web Hosting

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