Saturday, July 16, 2016

Basic Shortcut keys of Computer

• F2 [Rename the selected item]
• F3 [Search for a file or folder]
• F4 [Display the address bar list in File Explorer]
• F5 [Refresh the active window]
• F6 [Cycle through screen elements in a window or on the       desktop]
• F10 [Activate the Menu bar in the active app]
• ALT + F4 [Close the active item, or exit the active app]
• ALT + ESC [Cycle through items in the order in which they were opened]
• ALT + Underlined Letter in menus and dialog box options [Perform the command for that letter]
• ALT + ENTER [Display properties for the selected item]
• ALT + SPACEBAR [Open the shortcut menu for the active window]
• ALT + RIGHT ARROW [Forward]
• ALT + PAGE UP [Move up one screen]
• ALT + PAGE DOWN [Move down one screen]
• ALT + TAB [Switch between open apps (except desktop apps)]
• CTRL + F4 [Close the active document (in apps that allow you to have multiple documents open simultaneously)]
• CTRL + A [Select all items in a document or window]
• CTRL + C or CTRL + INSERT [Copy the selected item]
• CTRL + D / DELETE [DELETE the selected item and move it to the Recycle Bin]
• CTRL + R or F5 [Refresh the active window]
• CTRL + V or SHIFT + INSERT [Paste the selected item]
• CTRL + X [Cut the selected item]
• CTRL + Y [Redo an action]
• CTRL + Z [Undo an action]
• CTRL + + or CTRL + – [Zoom in or out of a large NUMBER of items, like apps pinned to the Start screen]
• CTRL + mouse scroll wheel [Change the size of desktop icons or zoom in or out of a large NUMBER of items, like apps pinned to the Start screen]
• CTRL + RIGHT ARROW [Move the cursor to the beginning of the next word]
• CTRL + LEFT ARROW [Move the cursor to the beginning of the previous word]
• CTRL + DOWN ARROW [Move the cursor to the beginning of the next paragraph]
• CTRL + UP ARROW [Move the cursor to the beginning of the previous paragraph]
• CTRL + ALT + TAB [Use the arrow keys to switch between all open apps]
• CTRL + ARROW + SPACEBAR [Select multiple individual items in a window or on the desktop]
• CTRL + SHIFT + ARROW [Select a block of text]
• CTRL + ESC [Open the Start screen]
• CTRL + SHIFT + ESC [Open Task Manager]
• CTRL + SHIFT [Switch the keyboard layout when multiple keyboard layouts are available]
• CTRL + SPACEBAR [Turn the Chinese input method editor (IME) on or off]
• SHIFT + F10 [Display the shortcut menu for the selected item]
• SHIFT + ARROW [Select more than one item in a window or on the desktop, or select text within a document]
• SHIFT + DELETE [Delete the selected item without moving it to the Recycle Bin first]
• RIGHT ARROW [Open the next menu to the right, or open a submenu]
• LEFT ARROW [Open the next menu to the left, or close a submenu]
• ESC [Stop or leave the current task]

Windows key Shortcuts
Let’s check the keyboard shortcuts involving the Windows logo key. Most of them are introduced in Windows 8’s Metro UI, and can be used in Windows 8 and above.
• Win + F1 [Open Windows Help and support]
• Win [Display or hide the Start screen]
• Win + B [Set focus in the notification area]

Computer General Shortcuts
• Win + C [Open Charms]
• Win + D [Display and hide the desktop]
• Win + E [Open File Explorer]
• Win + F [Open the Search charm and search for files]
• Win + H [Open the Share charm]
• Win + I [Open the Settings charm]
• Win + K [Open the Devices charm]
• Win + L [Lock your PC or switch people]
• Win + M [Minimize all windows]
• Win + O [Lock device orientation]
• Win + P [Choose a presentation display mode]
• Win + Q [Open the Search charm to search everywhere or within the open app (if the app supports app search)]
• Win + R [Open the Run dialog box]
• Win + S [Open the Search charm to search Windows and the web]
• Win + T [Cycle through apps on the taskbar]
• Win + U [Open Ease of Access Center]
• Win + V [Cycle through notifications]
• Win + SHIFT + V [Cycle through notifications in reverse order]
• Win + W [Open the Search charm and search for settings]
• Win + X [Open the Quick Link menu]
• Win + Z [Show the commands available in the app]
• Win + , [Temporarily peek at the desktop]
• Win + PAUSE [Display the System Properties dialog box]
• Win + CTRL + F [Search for PCs (if you’re on a network)]
• Win + SHIFT + M [Restore minimized windows on the desktop]
• Win + (NUMBER 1-9) [Open the desktop and start the app pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number. If the app is already running, it switches to that app.]
• Win + SHIFT + (NUMBER 1-9) [Open the desktop and start a new instance of the app pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number]
• Win + CTRL + (NUMBER 1-9) [Open the desktop and switch to the last active window of the app pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number]
• Win + ALT + (NUMBER 1-9) [Open the desktop and open the Jump List for the app pinned to the taskbar in the position indicated by the number]
• Win + CTRL + SHIFT + (NUMBER 1-9) [Open the desktop and open a new instance of the app located at the given position on the taskbar as an administrator]
• Win + TAB [Cycle through recently used apps (except desktop apps)]
• Win + CTRL + TAB [Cycle through recently used apps (except desktop apps)]
• Win + SHIFT + TAB [Cycle through recently used apps (except desktop apps) in reverse order]
• Win + CTRL + B [Switch to the app that displayed a message in the notification area]
• Win + UP ARROW [Maximize the window]
• Win + DOWN ARROW [Remove current app from screen or minimize the desktop window]
• Win + LEFT ARROW [Maximize the app or desktop window to the LEFT side of the screen]
• Win + RIGHT ARROW [Maximize the app or desktop window to the RIGHT side of the screen]
• Win + HOME [Minimize all but the active desktop window (restores all windows on second stroke)]
• Win + SHIFT + UP ARROW [Stretch the desktop window to the top and bottom of the screen]
• Win + SHIFT + DOWN ARROW [Restore/minimize active desktop windows vertically, maintaining width]
• Win + SHIFT + LEFT ARROW or RIGHT ARROW [Move an app or window in the desktop from one monitor to another]
• Win + SPACEBAR [Switch input language and keyboard layout]
• Win + CTRL + SPACEBAR [Change to a previously selected input]
• Win + ENTER [Open Narrator]
• Win + SHIFT + . [Cycle through open apps]
• Win + . [Cycle through open apps]
• Win + / [Initiate IME reconversion]
• Win + ALT + ENTER [Open WindowsMedia Center]
• Win + +/- [Zoom in or out using Magnifier]
• Win + ESC [Exit Magnifier]

Dialog box Shortcuts
These are the keyboard shortcuts that can be used in dialog boxes.
• F1 [Display Help]
• F4 [Display the items in the active list]
• CTRL + TAB [Move forward through tabs]
• CTRL + SHIFT + TAB [Move back through tabs]
• CTRL + (NUMBER 1-9) [Move to nth tab]
• TAB [Move forward through options]
• SHIFT + TAB [Move back through options]
• ALT + Underlined Letter in menus and dialog box options [Perform the command (or select the option) that goes with that letter]
• SPACEBAR [Select or clear the check box if the active option is a check box]
• BACKSPACE [Open a folder one level up if a folder is selected in the Save As or Open dialog box]
• ARROW keys [Select a button if the active option is a group of option buttons]

File Explorer Shortcuts
These are the shortcuts that can be used to work with File Explorer’s windows or folders.

• ALT + D [Select the address bar]
• CTRL + E [Select the search box]
• CTRL + F [Select the search box]
• CTRL + N [Open a new window]
• CTRL + W [Close the current window]
• CTRL + mouse scroll wheel [Change the size and appearance of file and folder icons]
• CTRL + SHIFT + E [Display all folders above the selected folder]
• CTRL + SHIFT + N [Create a new folder]
• NUM LOCK + * [Display all subfolders under the selected folder]
• NUM LOCK + + [Display the contents of the selected folder]
• NUM LOCK + – [Collapse the selected folder]
• ALT + P [Display the preview pane]
• ALT + ENTER [Open the Properties dialog box for the selected item]
• ALT + RIGHT ARROW [View the next folder]
• ALT + UP ARROW [View the folder that the folder was in]
• ALT + LEFT ARROW [View the previous folder]
• BACKSPACE [View the previous folder]
• RIGHT ARROW [Display the current selection (if it’s collapsed), or select the first subfolder]
• LEFT ARROW [Collapse the current selection (if it’s expanded), or select the folder that the folder was in]
• END [Display the bottom of the active window]
• HOME [Display the top of the active window]
• F11 [Maximize or minimize the active window]

Taskbar Shortcuts
Here are the keyboard shortcuts to work with items on the Desktop’s taskbar.

• SHIFT + Click a Taskbar Button [Open an app or quickly open another instance of an app]
• CTRL + SHIFT + Click a Taskbar Button [Open an app as an administrator]
• SHIFT + Right-click a Taskbar Button [Show the window menu for the app]
• SHIFT + Right-click a Grouped Taskbar Button [Show the window menu for the groUP]
• CTRL + Click a Grouped Taskbar Button [Cycle through the windows of the groUP]

Ease of access Shortcuts
These are the keyboard shortcuts to help you use your computer easily.

Taskbar Shortcuts
• Hold RIGHT SHIFT for eight seconds [Turn Filter Keys on and off]
• LEFT ALT + LEFT SHIFT + PRINT SCREEN [Turn High Contrast on or off]
• LEFT ALT + LEFT SHIFT + NUM LOCK [Turn Mouse Keys on or off]
• Press SHIFT five times [Turn Sticky Keys on or off]
• Press NUM LOCK for five seconds [Turn Toggle Keys on or off]
• Win + U [Open the Ease of Access Center]

Magnifier Shortcuts
Here are the keyboard shortcuts to help you use Magnifier.

• Win + + [Zoom in]
• Win + – [Zoom out]
• CTRL + ALT + SPACEBAR [Preview the desktop in full-screen mode]
• CTRL + ALT + D [Switch to docked mode]
• CTRL + ALT + F [Switch to full-screen mode]
• CTRL + ALT + I [Invert colors]
• CTRL + ALT + L [Switch to lens mode]
• CTRL + ALT + R [Resize the lens]
• CTRL + ALT + ARROW keys [Pan in the direction of the ARROW keys]
• Win + ESC [Exit Magnifier]

Narrator Shortcuts
These are the keyboard shortcuts to help you use Narrator.

• SPACEBAR or ENTER [Activate current item]
• TAB + ARROW Keys [Move around on the screen]
• CTRL [Stop reading]
• CAPS LOCK + D [Read item]
• CAPS LOCK + M [Start reading]
• CAPS LOCK + H [Read document]
• CAPS LOCK + V [Repeat phrase]
• CAPS LOCK + W [Read window]
• CAPS LOCK + PAGE UP or PAGE DOWN [Increase or decrease the volume of the voice]
• CAPS LOCK + +/- [Increase or decrease the speed of the voice]
• CAPS LOCK + SPACEBAR [Do default action]
• CAPS LOCK + LEFT or RIGHT ARROW [Move to previous/next item]
• CAPS LOCK + F2 [Show commands for current item]
• Caps + ESC [Exit Narrator]

Remote desktop connection Shortcuts
These are the keyboard shortcuts to ease the use of remote desktop connection.
• ALT + PAGE UP [Move between apps, left to right]
• ALT + PAGE DOWN [Move between apps, right to left]
• ALT + INSERT [Cycle through apps in the order that they were started]
• ALT + HOME [Display the Start screen]
• CTRL + ALT + BREAK [Switch between a window and full screen]
• CTRL + ALT + END [Display the Windows Security dialog box]
• CTRL + ALT + HOME [In full-screen mode, activate the connection bar]
• ALT + DELETE [Display the system menu]
• CTRL + ALT + – [Place a copy of the active window, within the client, on the Terminal server clipboard (similar to ALT + PRINT SCREEN on a local PC)]
• CTRL + ALT + + [Place a copy of the entire client window area on the Terminal server clipboard (similar to Print Screen on a local PC)]
• CTRL + ALT + RIGHT ARROW [TAB out of the Remote Desktop controls to a control in the host app (for example, a button or a text box). Useful when the Remote Desktop controls are embedded in another (host) app.]
[TABout of the Remote Desktop controls to a control in the host app (for example, a button or a text box). Useful when the Remote Desktop controls are embedded in another (host) app.]

Help viewer Shortcuts
These are the keyboard shortcuts that can be used with the help viewer.
• F3 [Move the cursor to the search box]
• F10 [Display the Options menu]
• HOME [Move to the beginning of a topic]
• END [Move to the end of a topic]
• ALT + LEFT ARROW [Move back to the previously viewed topic]
• ALT + RIGHT ARROW [Move to the next (previously viewed) topic]
• ALT + HOME [Display the Help and support home page]
• ALT + A [Display the customer support page]
• ALT + C [Display the TABle of Contents]
• ALT + N [Display the Connection Settings menu]
• CTRL + F [Search the current topic]
• CTRL + P [Print a topic]

App rearranging Shortcuts (Metro)
Here are the keyboard shortcuts that can be used to rearrange apps on Metro screen. You should keep the Windows key pressed down continuously once you enter in the rearrange mode, then use the various commands. When you’re done rearranging apps, then release the Windows key.
• Win + . [Enter Rearrange mode and select apps or dividers across monitors]
• Win + LEFT ARROW [Move app divider left]
• Win + RIGHT ARROW [Move app divider right]
• Win + UP ARROW [Maximize app]
• Win + DOWN ARROW [Close app]
• Win + ESC [Exit Rearrange mode]

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year 2016

A New Year is like a blank Book. The Pen is in your Hands. It is your chance to write a Beautiful Story for yourself. Happy New Year 2016

Friday, December 18, 2015

3 Reasons why SEO is one of the Best Investments for your Business

Over the past few years many misconceptions have emerged concerning Search Engine Optimization. But which are some of the most misleading thoughts we have heard about SEO during the last year or so?

SEO is dead; the social media guru proclaimed.”

“I don’t want SEO. I just want a good looking website similar to my competitor’s one.”

“Just built it and they will come.”

Such misconceptions still reside inside the heads of online marketing experts, business owners and business executives as a part of an overall digital mindset.

While I don’t feel sorry for the online marketing gurus that are just parroting the latest buzz words, tactics and magnify the above plus 100 more misconceptions, I do feel strong about my mission; My duty to inform the well-intended businesses that SEO still stands in 2015 at the forefront of investments for businesses that wish to increase their online presence.

SEO is an Investment

We can define SEO as an investment as it takes time and money to attract quality organic traffic through search engines. If money and time are properly invested then SEO will increase ROI due to the following three critical factors:


If you are building a new website from scratch the initial organic traffic will be zero.

Even with websites that have been in existence for years, the organic traffic can remain quite low if no or improper SEO strategy has been implemented. 

And even though this may sound very discouraging, in reality it is a very positive thing for small businesses that are willing to implement a long term SEO strategy.

The reason for this is the compound rate effect and how it relates to SEO. For the websites of small businesses it is not uncommon to experience a 30%, 50% or even 100% growth in organic traffic per year.

So, imagine that even if the website that you are working on has only 100 unique visitors from organic (SEO) traffic per month, it is quite realistic to expect that in 3-5 years this same website can have 500, 700 or even over 1.000 visitors per month. This can be achieved with the implementation of continuous “white-hat” SEO actions due to the compound rate effect that helps websites accumulate increasingly higher levels of organic traffic over time with the same amount of SEO efforts.


As users we tend to perform our research through search engines by using many different keyword combinations so as to fulfill our needs.

While there is no sure-fire way to know beforehand the exact queries (search terms) that each user will enter into a search engine; what you can do is take advantage of the multiplier effect and essentially rank your website for thousands of search terms while targeting only a much smaller subset of these phrases.

In order to achieve that you have to exploit search engine algorithms to your advantage. While this sounds quite illegal and black-hat all it actually means is to invest in a long term “white-hat” SEO plan.

A well SEO optimized website for a certain subset of keyword terms that are relevant to the website’s niche is going to automatically reproduce 100s of different keyword terms that your website will rank for.


Anyone that has active paid campaigns, like a Google Adwords campaign, knows that in the moment that the campaigns are off, the paid traffic that flows to the website dries up as well.

In contrast, an investment on SEO produces long term traffic that can be retained, after it has been built, even with minimal efforts in certain niches.

Even in competitive niches the most difficult part is to grow the SEO traffic for early stage websites or for websites that haven’t performed any SEO actions for years.

On the other hand well optimized websites with active SEO management can dominate the SERPs rankings much easier for the long haul with a certain level of SEO actions.

In conclusion, the accumulation factor through the compound rate effect will allow organic (SEO) traffic to pile up as the time progresses. The multiplication factor will allow the keyword terms to multiple automatically and as a result your website’s “keyword terms army” will grow and dominate the SERPs as time unfolds. Finally, the longevity factor will enable SEO traffic to produce (pay) dividends in the form of future – long term – organic traffic.

This trifecta of factors proves that SEO is rightfully considered as one of best investments for your business…and is still very much alive!

For More Info about Why SEO is Best for your Business

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Google Panda 4.2 Is Here; Slowly Rolling Out After Waiting Almost 10 Months

Google says a Panda refresh began this weekend but will take months to fully roll out.

Google tells Search Engine Land that it pushed out a Google Panda refresh this weekend.

Many of you may not have noticed because this rollout is happening incredibly slowly. In fact, Google says the update can take months to fully roll out. That means that although the Panda algorithm is still site-wide, some of your Web pages might not see a change immediately.

The last time we had an official Panda refresh was almost 10 months ago: Panda 4.1 happened on September 25, 2014. That was the 28th update, but I would coin this the 29th or 30th update, since we saw small fluctuations in October 2014.

As far as I know, very few webmasters noticed a Google update this weekend. That is how it should be, since this Panda refresh is rolling out very slowly.

Google said this affected about 2%–3% of English language queries.

New Chance For Some, New Penalty For Others

The rollout means anyone who was penalized by Panda in the last update has a chance to emerge if they made the right changes. So if you were hit by Panda, you unfortunately won’t notice the full impact immediately but you should see changes in your organic rankings gradually over time.

This is not how many of the past Panda updates rolled out, where typically you’d see a significant increase or decline in your Google traffic more quickly.

Panda Update 30 AKA Panda 4.2, July 18, 2015 (2–3% of queries were affected; confirmed, announced)

For More Info about Google Panda 4.2

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Penalised by Google? Here are 11 reasons why and how to recover

Search engines become smarter all the time. Google is constantly improving its algorithms in order to give users the highest quality content and the most accurate information.

Algorithms follow rules. Uncovering those rules – and taking advantage of them – has been the goal of anyone who wants their website to rank highly. But when Google finds out that websites owners have been manipulating the rules, they take action, by issuing those websites with a penalty. The penalty usually means a drop in rankings, or even an exclusion from Google’s index.

As a website owner you sometimes know which rule you’ve broken. But for many it’s hard to work out. Read our guide below to find out where you’ve gone wrong and what you can do about it.

Table of contents

  1. Buying or selling links that pass PageRank
  2. Excessive link exchange
  3. Large-scale article marketing or guest posting campaigns
  4. Using automated programs or services to create links
  5. Text advertisements that pass PageRank
  6. Advertorials or native advertising where payment is received for articles that include links
  7. Links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases
  8. Low-quality directory or bookmark site links
  9. Keyword-rich, hidden or low-quality links embedded in widgets
  10. Widely distributed links in the footers or templates of various sites
  11. Forum comments with optimised links in the post or signature

What is a Google penalty?

Google has been tweaking and improving its ranking algorithms since end of year 2000. That’s when it released its toolbar extension and when PageRank was released in a usable form.

Since then, Google continued to work on the quality of search results it showed to users as a result of their search queries. With time, the search engine giant began to remove poor quality content in favour of high quality, relevant information which it would move to the top of the SERPs. And this is when penalties started rolling in.

Next was the Penguin update which was rolled out in 2012 and hit more than 1 in 10 search results. These algorithm changes have forced site owners to rethink their SEO and content strategies to comply with Google’s quality requirements.

How to tell if you’ve been penalised

To discover the reasons you might have been penalised, you can watch this video and skip to the next section, or just keep reading.

A penalty can be either automatic or manual. With manual penalties, you’ll probably be notified that you’ve been doing something wrong that needs to be fixed as soon as possible.

However, if the cause is a change of the algorithm, you may not always know you’ve been targeted. 

Here are some clues you’ve been penalised by Google:
  • Your site isn’t ranking well not even for your brand name. That’s the most obvious clue as your site should always rank well on that one keyword.
  • If you’ve been on page one of Google’s search results and are dropping to page two or three without having made any changes.
  • Your site has been removed from Google’s cached search results from one day to another.
  • You get no results when you run a site search (eg: keyword).
  • You notice a big drop in organic traffic in your Google Analytics (or any other monitoring tool you’re using) especially a few days after a big Google update.

If you don’t have access to Webmaster Tools or Analytics, you can determine if you’ve been penalised by using one of the following tools:
  • SEMRush – Check if your search engine traffic is decreasing every day and also if the total number of keywords ranking top 20 is starting to decrease quickly:

  • SearchMetrics – If your organic visibility has disappeared, then you’ve probably been penalised.

If you notice one or more of the above factors, then you can be sure that Google has penalised your site and you need to do something about it quickly.

What caused the penalty?

When dealing with a penalty, the first thing you need to do is try to figure out what caused it – spammy links, over-optimising your content, etc. Only then can you follow the steps to try to fix it.

The most common issue is having bad, low quality backlinks pointing to your site. To find out what links Google considers to be “bad backlinks”, check out Google’s Webmaster Guidelines on Link Schemes.

1. Buying or selling links that pass PageRank

These backlinks are considered one of the worst type of links and they’re the main reason why many large websites have received a penalty.

Although money doesn’t necessarily have to exchange hands, a paid backlink can also refer to offering goods or services in return for a link back and even sending free products without specifically asking the customers for a link back to your site.

A good example of that is the Interflora incident.

The flower company sent out bouquets to make their customers feel better after a hard day’s work. Happy to receive the surprise, some of the customers wrote about the gesture on their own blogs/websites and linked back to the flower company. While you’d think this was just a very nice way of strengthening the relationship with their customers, Google tagged it as a marketing technique of buying links and penalised Interflora as a result.

2. Excessive link exchange

It’s common for company websites that are part of the same group to link to each other. This is why Google declared war only on link exchange done in excess. This is an old technique of getting backlinks as a webmaster would get a backlink easier from a site owner if they also returned the favour.

3. Large-scale article marketing or guest posting campaigns

There are numerous websites out there that are accepting article submissions. So webmasters took advantage and started getting backlinks by writing random articles and finding a way to add their own link.

However these articles were of very low quality which is why Google decided to take action against those sites that were publishing articles just for the sake of the backlinks.

Guest blogging was recently added on the list of don’ts mainly because it has quickly become a form of spam. Webmasters keep sending emails to all sorts of websites asking to submit their articles in exchange for a link. Sounds a lot like all the other spam email you never asked for but keep receiving, doesn’t it? And it works the other way around too. Webmasters that manage many blogs found guest blogging to be a good way to make money:

4. Using automated programs or services to create links

There are many tools used by black hat SEOs to create automated links, such as ScrapeBox and Traffic Booster, but the most common tool is the article spinner. In order to get content to add links, the spinner helped webmasters get various pieces of content on the same subject without having to pay someone to write them.

With such poor quality content around a link, it’s easy for Google to realise this cannot in any way be considered a natural and earned backlink.

5. Text advertisements that pass PageRank

These types of links are created by matching a word to an advertisement. In the example below, the article is about banks in general but when you hoover over the word “bank” you get an ad to a specific business.

Since the presence of that business link is unnatural, this is one of the types of links that Google doesn’t like.

6. Advertorials or native advertising where payment is received for articles that include links

There are many websites out there filled with articles about various products and each article has at least one link pointing to an e-commerce website. The quality of the articles is rather low because the sole purpose is to just create enough content around a link.

7. Links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases

Similar to the previous one with the exception that instead of contacting someone who has a website dedicated to building backlinks in exchange for money, these links are added to articles and press releases that get distributed over the internet through PR websites and free article submission websites.

There are many wedding rings on the market. If you want to have a wedding, you will have to pick the best ring. You will also need to buy flowers and a wedding dress.

8. Low-quality directory or bookmark site links

Directories used to play an important role and represented an online phonebook for websites. It was easier to find a website searching for it by category. As search engine advanced, the need for these structured directories decreased to the point where these are now being used for link building purposes only.

9. Keyword-rich, hidden or low-quality links embedded in widgets

The best example is Halifax, the first bank that Google has hit. They had these mortgage calculators embedded on various irrelevant websites just for the backlink.

10. Widely distributed links in the footers or templates of various sites

Sitewide backlinks are to be avoided at all costs especially if the links are on websites that are in no way related to your linked website.

If you place a link in the header, footer or sidebar of a website, that link will be visible on all its web pages so don’t link to a website that you don’t consider to be relevant for your entire content.

Most common footer links are either a web developer credit or a “Powered by” link where you mention your CMS or hosting provider (see the example below). There are also free templates out there that have a link in the footer and most people never get that link out.

Sidebar links are usually Partner links or blogrolls. Since the word “Partner” usually means that goods or services have been exchanged, this can be considered a paid link so make sure to always use nofollow. As for other related blogs, if they are indeed related, there should be no issue but if your list has links to ecommerce websites or you’re using affiliate links, you might want to nofollow those.

11. Forum comments with optimised links in the post or signature

Adding a signature link is an old link building technique and one of the easiest ways of getting a link. It has also been done through blog commenting. If you leave a comment on a forum or blog, make sure the answer is not only helpful and informative but also relevant to the discussion. If you add a link, it should point to a page that is also relevant to your answer and the discussion.

Collecting the necessary data

Now that you know how to identify those bad links, let’s see how you can go about finding each and every one of them:

This is where Google shows you details on the backlinks it has indexed. It should be your starting point in cleaning up your backlink profile as it shows you how many backlinks each website is sending your way. This is how you can find most of your site wide links – mark them down as such.

Depending on how many backlinks you have, you will probably need to pay for a good backlink checker tool.

Of course there are also free tools such as BackLinkWatch and AnalyzeBacklinks that you can use if you don’t have millions of backlinks in your profile.

The idea is to gather links from as many sources as possible as each tool has its own crawler and can discover different backlinks. So, to ensure you find as many as possible, it is indicated that you use various tools.

Next get all the reports in one file, remove the duplicates and see how many links you’re left with. You can sort the remaining links by URL (coming from the same domain) to find the ones that are sitewide, by anchor text (to find the exact-match anchors or “money keywords”) or by any other type of data that those tools provide such as discovery date, on-page placement and link type.

If you paid for links in the past or engaged in any of the link schemes Google frowns upon, try to find all the websites that still have your links by using a footprint. For instance, if you created website templates that you’ve distributed for free but have added a “Created by MyCompany” link in the footer, use the link’s anchor to find all the websites out there that have used your template.

If you’ve got a penalty but haven’t paid for links or engaged in any of the link schemes, check if your links might be considered spammy because of the websites they’re found on.

Not sure what spammy links are? Well, there’s no better classifier than your own eye so if you want to check a potential bad site your link is on, ask yourself:
  • Does the site look like spam – low quality or duplicate content, no structure, no contact page, loads of outbound links?
  • Does your link and anchor text look like it belongs on the site?
  • Are there toxic links on the site – Gambling, Viagra etc.?
  • Does the site look like it sells links – e.g. loads of anchor text rich sidebars and site-wide links?
If the answer is yes to any of the above questions, then your link should not be there.

When you go through the links, try to take notes and write down as much information as possible for each bad backlink.

Contacting webmasters

When you’ve checked every bad link and have all the information you need, start contacting every webmaster and ask them to remove or nofollow your links. Keep a copy of the email threads for each website as you will need to show proof that you have tried to clean up the bad links.

If a contact email is not present on their site, look for a contact form. If that is not available, try a WHOIS for that domain. If they’re using private registration then just mark it down as a no contact.

To make the process easier and save some time, here are a couple of automated email tools you could use:
  • rmoov (Free to $99/month) – This tool helps you identify contacts, created and sends emails, follows up with reminders and reports on results.
  • Link Cleanup and Contact from SEOGadget (free) – Download the bad links from Google Webmaster Tools and upload them into the tool. SEOGadget then shows you the anchor text and site contact details (email, Twitter, LinkedIn).
  • Remove’em ($249 per domain) – This solution combines suspicious link discovery with comprehensive email and tracking tools.
Be very persistent. If you’ve sent out emails and didn’t get a response, send follow-up emails after a couple of days. Even if you’re desperate to get the penalty lifted, keep in mind that those webmasters don’t owe you a thing and unless you’re polite and patient, you’re not going to get what you’re after.

Be organised. Create an online Google spreadsheet where you add your Excel list and also new columns to show:
  • The date of the first email
  • Response to first email
  • Links Status after first email
  • The date of the second email
  • Response to second email
  • Link Status after second email
  • The date of the third email
  • Response to third email
  • Link status after third email
If you don’t get a reply from a webmaster after three emails, they’ll probably never reply so it might be time to give up.

Add a column for the email threads. Copy/Paste the entire email discussion between you and a webmaster in an online Google doc and use its link in your main worksheet. Make sure to set the Sharing options to “Anyone with the link” so the Google Webspam team members can access these documents.

When you’re done, your online document should look something like this:

The disavow file

After you’ve finished contacting all the websites, you’re now left with the ones that haven’t replied, asked for money to remove the link or with no contact details.

You should take these websites and add them to the disavow file.

You can add individual pages from a domain or the entire domain itself. Since it’s not likely that a webmaster would create a bad link from one page and a good link from another page pointing to your site, you’re safer just disavowing the entire domain.

Use hashtags if you want to add comments such as:

# The owners of the following websites asked for money in order to remove my link.

# These are websites that automatically scrape content and they’ve also scraped my website with links and all.

# The webmasters of these websites never replied to my repeated emails.

URLs are added as they are and domains are added by using “” to specify that you’re disavowing all the links that come from a specific domain.

This should be a simple .txt file (you can use Notepad). When you’re done, go to Webmaster Tools and upload it.

If you need to add more sites to an already submitted disavow file, you will need to upload a new file which will overwrite the existing one – so make sure the disavowed domains from your first list are also copied in your second list.

Be very careful when using the disavow file. Don’t add full domains such as WordPress or just because you had links from a subdomain created on one of these platforms.

Also, add a domain to the disavow file only after you have tried your very best to remove the link (and can show proof you’ve tried). Google isn’t happy for you to renounce the link juice from certain websites, it wants to see that you’ve also tried your best to clean up the internet of all of your spammy links.

The Reconsideration Request

When you have the final status for every website that sent a bad link to you and have also submitted your disavow file, it’s time to send Google an apology letter also known as a Reconsideration Request.

You can do this from Webmaster Tools:

There is a 500 word and 2.850 character (including spaces) limit so use this space wisely to explain what actions you’ve taken to try and clean up your site.

Things that you should include:
  • If you paid for links, then name the SEO agency you worked with to acquire links or any other similar information.
  • What type of bad links you found in your profile such as sitewide links, comment spam and so on.
  • What actions you’ve taken to make sure no more bad links will be created such as training employees to not buy or build links, retracting any free templates that had links in them, adding nofollow to the links in the widgets you provide.
  • Link to the Google Online Spreadsheet where you’ve documented your efforts of contacting webmasters and taking down links. Make sure these documents are shared with anyone that has the link.
  • Link to an online spreadsheet where you have a copy of the disavow file you’ve submitted.
  • Confirmation of reading the Webmaster Guidelines, understanding them and following them from now on.
If you haven’t managed to clean up all your bad links, Google will reply and give you examples of other bad links. You will then have to go through the remaining links again using all the tools available and see what other websites there are now after you’ve cleaned up most of the other bad links.

Every month more than 400,000 manual actions are applied by Google and every month the search engine giant processes 20,000 reconsideration requests. Some of these reconsiderations are not the first ones sent out by webmasters.

Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get your penalty removed on your first try. Not many manage to do so. Just go back and repeat the process until you manage to remove all the bad links from your profile.

How to avoid a future Google penalty

Even if your site hasn’t been penalised, don’t take a chance – go through the guide and identify your bad links. You can follow every step down to sending the Reconsideration Request. Since there’s no penalty message, there is no need for this.

You can disavow the domains that are sending bad links to your site. You should try to contact these websites first and always save every form of communication you had with the webmasters.

If a penalty follows, you’ll already have proof that you’ve started to clean up your site.

Google Penguin 3.0 is coming and here’s what to do to prepare

Update: Google Penguin 3.0 was launched on October 17th. As predicted, the company confirmed the update would help sites that have cleaned up bad link profiles in response to previous versions of Penguin. Owners of sites that haven’t recovered or have been adversely affected by Penguin 3.0 should follow the steps outlined below.

There is rarely a dull moment in the world of search engine optimisation (SEO). Haven’t you heard? A huge Google algorithm change is on the way. Scary.
Last month, Google said a new Penguin update would likely be launched before the end of the year, and now it looks like it may be here this week.

Google’s Gary Illyes, Webmaster Trends Analyst and Search Quality Engineer, said at Search Marketing Expo East that Google “may” be launching a Penguin algorithm refresh sometime this week, which he described as “a large rewrite of the algorithm”. Also, Barry Schwartz from Search Engine Land believes that this next update will be all good news and that it could make webmaster’s life a bit easier.

Understanding the major implications of these updates is critical to search performance, so today we’ll talk you through the upcoming release of Google’s Penguin 3.0 update, what it is, how it can affect your website and rankings and what you can do to prepare for its release.

What is Penguin 3.0 all about?

Over the past few weeks, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller has been actively discussing:
  • The imminent and long-anticipated Penguin update
  • Google’s efforts to make its algorithm refreshes rollout quicker
  • Helping websites to recover faster from ranking penalties
In a Google Webmaster Central hangout on September 12th, Mueller confirmed that the new Penguin update would roll out in 2014. In the video he said:
  • Google is working on a “solution that generally refreshes faster” specifically talking about Penguin.
  • He mentioned that “we are trying to speed things up” around Penguin.
  • He also admitted that “our algorithms don’t reflect that in a reasonable time”, referring to webmasters’ efforts to clean up the issues around their sites being impacted by Penguin.

As you can probably tell from all the buzz on the web, Penguin 3.0 is expected to be a major update that will hopefully enable Google to run the algorithm more frequently. This would mean that those impacted by an update won’t have to wait too long before seeing a refresh.

In other words, those who have taken measures to clean up their backlink profiles should (in theory) be able to recover more quickly than in the past.

Here’s what Mueller said in a previous Google hangout on September 8:

“That’s something where we’re trying to kind of speed things up because we see that this is a bit of a problem when webmasters want to fix their problems, they actually go and fix these issues but our algorithms don’t reflect that in a reasonable time, so that’s something where it makes sense to try to improve the speed of our algorithms overall.”

Can a site recover from ranking penalties without an algorithm refresh?

A day after the September 8 Google+ Hangout, Mueller replied to a post in the Webmaster Central Help Forum, stating that while a Penguin refresh is required for an affected site to recover, it is possible for webmasters to improve their site rankings without a Penguin update.

With Google using over 200 factors in crawling, indexing and ranking, Mueller said that if webmasters do their best to clean up site issues and focus on having a high-quality site rather than on individual factors of individual algorithms they may see changes even before that algorithm or its data is refreshed.

“I know it can be frustrating to not see changes after spending a lot of time to improve things. In the meantime, I’d really recommend not focusing on any specific aspect of an algorithm, and instead making sure that your site is (or becomes) the absolute best of its kind by far,” Mueller recommended.

In the thread, Has Google ever definitively stated that it is possible to recover from Penguin? Mueller replied: “Yes, assuming the issues are resolved in the meantime, with an update of our algorithm or its data, it will no longer be affecting your site.”

That’s also all the more reason for webmasters to welcome this next update with open arms.

The history of Penguin

Google launched the Penguin update in April 2012 and Penguin 3.0 would be the 6th refresh. The purpose of Penguin is to uncover spammy backlink profiles and punish sites that are violating Google’s quality guidelines by lowering their rankings in its search engine results.

Google launched the Penguin update in April 2012 and Penguin 3.0 would be the 6th refresh. The purpose of Penguin is to uncover spammy backlink profiles and punish sites that are violating Google’s quality guidelines by lowering their rankings in its search engine results.

Overall, what Google is trying to do is to catch and penalise websites that are trying to rank higher in its search results through:
  • Keyword stuffing meaning loading a webpage with the same words or phrases so much that is sounds unnatural
  • Low quality backlinks, often generated using automated software
  • A large numbers of links optimised using the exact same anchor text
  • Excessive link exchange
  • Forum comments with links added in the signature
  • And various other link schemes.
Penguin focuses on the link-related aspects of this list.

Here’s a timeline of the previous Penguin updates:
  • Penguin 1.0 – April 24 2012 (affected 3.1% of searches)
  • Penguin 1.2 – May 26 2012 (affected 0.1% of searches)
  • Penguin 1.3 – October 5, 2012 (affected 0.3% of searches)
  • Penguin 2.0 – May 22, 2013 (affected 2.3% of searches)
  • Penguin 2.1  – October 4, 2013 (affected 1% of searches)
  • Penguin 3 – October 2014? 
What can you do to clean up your link profile for future updates?

Google’s Gary Illyes, Webmaster Trends Analyst and Search Quality Engineer, said that if you disavow bad links now or as of about two weeks ago, it may be too late for this next Penguin refresh. However, he added that since the Penguin refreshes will be more frequent you should never stop working on removing bad links.

Google’s Gary Illyes, Webmaster Trends Analyst and Search Quality Engineer, said that if you disavow bad links now or as of about two weeks ago, it may be too late for this next Penguin refresh. However, he added that since the Penguin refreshes will be more frequent you should never stop working on removing bad links.

So, here are a few things you can do to prevent your site from getting penalised by a future Penguin update:
  • Do a thorough link clean-up and remove all unnatural links pointing to your site. When it comes to Penguin, bad links are usually the cause of the penalty so make sure you remove as many bad links as you possibly can and then disavow the rest. Here’s a good article with steps to find and remove unnatural links.

  • Make sure your disavow file is correct. Find out more about disavowing backlinks.

  • Assess the remaining “good” links. Do you still have enough valuable links for your site to rank well or do you need to build some more links? Don’t shy away from link building campaigns, just make sure that this time you build links on high-quality, relevant, authority sites.

  • Other common sense actions to ensure that you have a healthy website. Read this excellent article from Moz with some great advice on how to ensure your site is healthy and how to handle life after an algorithm update, whether it’s Penguin, Panda or any other Google update.

  • Don’t treat an algorithmic penalty as a manual penalty. Keep in mind that there may be other factors that might be preventing your site from ranking well, which may not be linked to an algorithmic penalty like Penguin or Panda. Check out this useful article with the complete list of reasons that may be causing your traffic to drop.
But if you do get hit, what are the signs?

Since this is an algorithmic penalty, if your site has been hit by Penguin, Google will never notify you which means that you will need to check your site’s traffic, among other things including:
  • You’re no longer ranking well for that one keyword you should always rank well for – your brand name. When this happens, it’s a clear sing you’ve been hit.
  • Your site is dropping from page one to page two or three in Google’s search results although you’ve made no changes whatsoever.
  • Your site has been removed from Google’s cached search results overnight.
  • You get no results when you run a site search (eg: keyword).
  • Google Analytics (or any other analytics tool you’re using) is showing a significant drop in organic traffic a few days after a big Google update.
Check out our YouTube video on how to tell if you’ve been penalised by Google:

So, what we recommend is that you monitor your organic traffic closely for at least two weeks after a Penguin update. If your traffic dramatically drops during this time, it’s likely due to the update. Also make sure you keep an eye on Google Webmaster Tools notifications to see if you have any manual penalties applied to your website.

If you do discover your site has been penalised, stop what you’re doing and go fix whatever it is that has caused your site to get hit.

What can you do to recover?

If you’ve been penalised by a previous Google update, we’ve got you covered with an in-depth guide on why your site may have been hit and what you can do to recover. This guide walks you through 11 reasons that might have caused your site to get penalised as well as specific steps to follow to help you recover after you’ve been hit.

Penalised by Google?

Check out our comprehensive guide on reasons why you got penalised and ways to recover. Make sure you bookmark it and use it in the event your site gets hit by a future Google penalty.

Meanwhile, keep in mind that there are over 200 factors that influence rankings for a site. It’s not enough to focus on one algorithm and fix those specific issues but instead look at the bigger picture. Search engines reward sites that provide searchers with the most informative, interesting and relevant content for their search queries and with the best user experience.

So while it’s ok to prioritise site optimisation and quickly fix certain issues that may arise, it’s even more important to put your users first and provide them with the best information and website experience they can ask for.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Panda 4.1-Google’s 27th Panda Update-Is Rolling Out

Google has announced that the latest version of its Panda Update — a filter designed to penalize “thin” or poor content from ranking well — has been released.

Google said in a post on Google+ that a “slow rollout” began earlier this week and will continue into next week, before being complete. Google said that depending on location, about 3%-to-5% of search queries will be affected.

Anything different about this latest release? Google says it’s supposed to be more precise and will allow more high-quality small and medium-sized sites to rank better. From the post:

Based on user (and webmaster!) feedback, we’ve been able to discover a few more signals to help Panda identify low-quality content more precisely. This results in a greater diversity of high-quality small- and medium-sized sites ranking higher, which is nice.

New Chance For Some; New Penalty For Others

The rollout means anyone who was penalized by Panda in the last update has a chance to emerge, if they made the right changes. So if you were hit by Panda, made alterations to your site, you’ll know by the end of next week if those were good enough, if you see an increase in traffic.

The rollout also means that new sites not previously hit by Panda might get impacted. If you’ve seen a sudden traffic drop from Google this week, or note one in the coming days, then this latest Panda Update is likely to blame.

About That Number

Why are we calling it Panda 4.1? Well, Google itself called the last one Panda 4.0 and deemed it a major update. This isn’t as big of a change, so we’re going with Panda 4.1. 

We actually prefer to number these updates in the order that they’ve happened, because trying to determine if something is a “major” or “minor” Panda Update is imprecise and lead to numbering absurdities like having a Panda 3.92 Update.

But since Google called the last one Panda 4.0, we went with that name — and we’ll continue on with the old-fashioned numbering system unless it gets absurd again.

For the record, here’s the list of confirmed Panda Updates, with some of the major changes called out with their AKA (also known as) names:

  1. Panda Update 1, AKA
    Panda 1.0, Feb. 24, 2011 (11.8% of queries; announced; English in US only)
  2. Panda Update 2, AKA
    Panda 2.0, April 11, 2011 (2% of queries; announced; rolled out in English internationally)
  3. Panda Update 3, May 10, 2011 (no change given; confirmed, not announced)
  4. Panda Update 4, June 16, 2011 (no change given; confirmed, not announced)
  5. Panda Update 5, July 23, 2011 (no change given; confirmed, not announced)
  6. Panda Update 6, Aug. 12, 2011 (6-9% of queries in many non-English languages; announced)
  7. Panda Update 7, Sept. 28, 2011 (no change given; confirmed, not announced)
  8. Panda Update 8 AKA
    Panda 3.0, Oct. 19, 2011 (about 2% of queries; belatedly confirmed)
  9. Panda Update 9, Nov. 18, 2011: (less than 1% of queries; announced)
  10. Panda Update 10, Jan. 18, 2012 (no change given; confirmed, not announced)
  11. Panda Update 11, Feb. 27, 2012 (no change given; announced)
  12. Panda Update 12, March 23, 2012 (about 1.6% of queries impacted; announced)
  13. Panda Update 13, April 19, 2012 (no change given; belatedly revealed)
  14. Panda Update 14, April 27, 2012: (no change given; confirmed; first update within days of another)
  15. Panda Update 15, June 9, 2012: (1% of queries; belatedly announced)
  16. Panda Update 16, June 25, 2012: (about 1% of queries; announced)
  17. Panda Update 17, July 24, 2012:(about 1% of queries; announced)
  18. Panda Update 18, Aug. 20, 2012: (about 1% of queries; belatedly announced)
  19. Panda Update 19, Sept. 18, 2012: (less than 0.7% of queries; announced)
  20. Panda Update 20 , Sept. 27, 2012 (2.4% English queries, impacted, belatedly announced
  21. Panda Update 21, Nov. 5, 2012 (1.1% of English-language queries in US; 0.4% worldwide; confirmed, not announced)
  22. Panda Update 22, Nov. 21, 2012 (0.8% of English queries were affected; confirmed, not announced)
  23. Panda Update 23, Dec. 21, 2012 (1.3% of English queries were affected; confirmed, announced)
  24. Panda Update 24, Jan. 22, 2013 (1.2% of English queries were affected; confirmed, announced)
  25. Panda Update 25, March 15, 2013 (confirmed as coming; not confirmed as having happened)
  26. Panda Update 26 AKA
    Panda 4.0, May 20, 2014 (7.5% of English queries were affected; confirmed, announced)
  27. Panda Update 27 AKA
    Panda 4.1, Sept. 25, 2014 (3-5% of queries were affected; confirmed, announced)

The latest update comes four months after the last, which suggests that this might be a new quarterly cycle that we’re on. Panda had been updated on a roughly monthly basis during 2012. In 2013, most of the year saw no update at all.

Of course, there could have been unannounced releases of Panda that have happened. The list above is only for those that have been confirmed by Google.