Website Defacement:  Attack of Reputation Online

Before the widespread use of the Internet, vandals who wished to make a point—or just make a name for themselves—were limited to physical vandalization. They might grab a can of spray paint and throw their logo on the side of a store or take some other similar action. Today, however, vandals are increasingly moving online, and the resulting activity is known as website defacement. This can come in many forms, including ransomware or hackers hacking, and it could lead your website being marked as dangerous for consumers. Are you prepared for anything like that?

What is Website Defacement?

Website defacement is any activity that changes the appearance or operation of a website without the consent of the owner. It can take any number of forms, such as placing unauthorized images on the website or removing items that the owner wants to have included. Sometimes, website defacement does not change the appearance of the website, but it may alter its functionality through the placement of a malicious line of code on the site. Ransomware is a great example of this, and isn’t something that most website owners are ever aware of until it’s too late.

Don’t forget if google thinks your website has been compromised it will put a note on your website when searching saying “this site may be hacked”, and a message like this is bound to make your customers click on the competitor next in line and not trust what you are selling.

Sometimes it can be down to a poor plugins installed on a website by a user, or the website just not being secure enough.

Still other forms of website defacement take the form of an attack on reputation: hackers may, for example, put up derogatory information about an entity on the entity’s own website. For some, hackers hacking into a website and posting unsavory facts or allegations about the website’s owner is simply the way they operate.

People who engage in website defacement do so for a number of reasons. For some people, it’s just fun to cause chaos and havoc. For others, it may be a form of protest, particularly if they put up their own message on the website of a business or entity that engages in activities with which they disagree. People who engage in website defacement as a form of attack on reputation frequently have a grudge against the owner of the site—and, deserved or not, they feel that hacking into the site is the way to get even.

What Can You Do About Website Defacement?

The best thing to do to protect yourself is to use an established business that specializes in protecting websites like Graphedia.com. Get your Website built properly free from nasty plugins installed with themed websites.  We can monitor your site for you and alert you to any website defacement. This frees you to focus on other things, such as running your business or focusing on your cause.

Website defacement can be a disaster, but it doesn’t have to be. Take steps to protect yourself today, contact graphedia.com 053 9144835

 

You have just done a search on google for your name, and look there is a competitor paying for top position for your name.  A.K.A: They are being parasites (or maybe they don’t know this is happening). Following are some tips to let you know your rights.

A competitor bidding on your company’s name as a search term is frustrating, but it is entirely acceptable by Google.

What can you do if your competitor’s Google ad appears whenever a customer does a Google search for your company’s name?

It depends on the situation. Are they paying for bids using your name as a search term for their ad, or are they paying for your name AND using your business name in their ad?  These are two very different things and clarifying which they’re doing will show you what you can do to rectify the situation.

If your competitor is not actually using your name in an ad, but is only bidding on a search term using your name, Google will do nothing. Google’s position is stated on the AdWords website. It reads, “Google will not investigate or restrict the use of trademark terms in keywords, even if a trademark complaint is received.” However, if your company’s name is trademarked, and your competitor is using it in their actual advertising, there are things you can do to rectify the situation.

 

What can you do if they are using your name in their ad?

The first thing you can do is to complete a complaint form with Google, at this link:

https://services.google.com/inquiry/aw_tmcomplaint?hl=en-GB

Google are very responsive and will deal with your issue very quickly.

Before you do that, however, make sure you have a valid case to file a complaint. You’ll want to read through the rest of this article, and then take a look at Google’s trademark policies at this link:

https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/6118

 

Paying for your Name / Keyword

Competitors are allowed to bid on your company’s name and/or brand, but they shouldn’t be using it in their ad copy, pretending to be you. The only time they can use it is when they are a reseller of your services or goods.  This is called “pawning off” (to get rid of or pass off, usually by deception) and is a parasitic thing to do. In this case, you can submit a complaint to Google (they will sort it out very quickly) or you can take legal action (not so quick, but pawning off is a serious issue, so you may want to take more decisive action).

In some cases, your competitor may not aware they are doing it. This can happen if they have “broad match” switched on in their ad campaign. For example, if your company’s name ends with a generic word, like solicitor or gardener, it simply means they are paying for anything with the word solicitor or gardener in it (like Graphedia Solicitors). They are probably just paying for everything containing the word, solicitor. They are probably not aware they are doing it, unless they check all searched words in their adwords account. Most companies don’t know all the ins and outs of AdWords. In this case, a courtesy email asking them to add your name as a negative keyphrase would stop this from happening.

On the other hand, if they are paying for your business name, and your name is quite unique, like Graphedia, for example, then, you are most likely dealing with a parasite. Your competitor is looking to take business from you. This happens to many and, yes, it has happened to us.  It doesn’t just happen to big businesses either. It happens to small business owners, as well. In an odd way, it’s kind of a compliment. It means your competitor sees you as a threat. Should you be honoured? Not really. It took hard word to get where you are!

 

When you are dealing with a parasite, there are four things you can do to halt their actions.

  1. Send a letter or make a phone call
  2. Pay for your own name on Google
  3. Pay for their name
  4. Start a war

Now, wait just a minute. There is no need to jump to number four just yet. We want to avoid starting a war right away, no need to go Al Capone on them! (Enjoy video below please note they use bad language :)) but keep reading below

 

1. Send a letter or make a phone call
This should be your first option. Either telephone them or send a letter asking if they are aware of what they are doing. This is always the best approach, but it isn’t always done. Why would you do this? They obviously know what they are doing. It’s called professional courtesy and is a good place to start.

2. Pay for your own name on Google
Unfortunately, to stop it instantly you should start bidding on your own name, because it is your name, after all, and your website references your name. You will have a higher quality score and, in turn, not have to pay as much as your competitor for the word.  We have done it ourselves, and have put some entertaining ads there.

3. Pay for their name
You can approach this tit-for-tat, but, to be honest. I really see it only causing a higher bounce rate in your analytics. If someone is looking for you they will normally jump out of a site that doesn’t have your branding on it. On the other hand, however, some marketers might recommend you should be doing this. To be honest, the logic behind this trend seems sound. After all, if someone is typing in a competitor’s business name, they are interested in what your competitor has to offer, right? That means they are probably interested in what you have to offer, as well. While we’re not necessarily advising you to sink to the pathetic depths your competitor did when purchasing your name, we’re also not telling you NOT to. That’s more an ethical issue than a marketing issue. And by “ethical,” we mean, if you don’t use their name as a search term, you can claim to be taking the moral high ground to anyone who asks–or those who don’t ask, but you just happen to tell!

4. Start a war

One serious downside to bidding on a competitor’s brand name is that you are basically starting a war. They and/or you are openly inviting your competition to bid on their and/or your brand name to start poaching some of your potential sales. While bidding on their brand name will make it more expensive for them to bid on their own name, the same thing applies the other way around. Their bidding on your brand name makes it more expensive for you to convert on your own brand. We know of one funny story where two advertisig agencies were going at it with each other for a while. It even got to the stage where one of the companies created an adult orientated site based around the other company name, so when you searched for “so and so”, you got “ooh la la”.  As funny as this sounds, it ended up messy and the two companies reverted to option one, making a phone call to each other.

If this has happened to you, hopefully this article helps. It’s a good idea to do a regular search of your business and domain names on Google every now and then. You might be surprised to see who is paying for your name.

Costs for advertising on google can be as little as 10 cent per click

Graphedia is an authorised Google partner. We’re experts at helping our clients rise to (and stay at) the top of Google search results.
We’ll be happy to help build your Google AdWord campaign. Contact us today.

 

When you think of major holidays for eCommerce websites, you probably think of Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s Day. Most people wouldn’t think of St. Patrick’s Day as a holiday people spend a lot of money on. However, according to the History Channel, more than $4.14 billion dollars are spent on St. Patrick’s Day in the U.S. alone. With some 80 million people around the world with Irish ancestry, this holiday is one online retailers simply can’t afford to ignore. Sure isn’t it great to be Irish.

But what can you do to make sure you don’t miss out on your pot of gold?

Here are a few tips for getting your eCommerce site (and customer base) in the St. Patrick’s Day spirit.

Be Creative

While millions of pints of Guinness are consumed between St. Patrick’s Day and the night that follows, it doesn’t mean you need to focus solely on a few aspects of the celebration to create a hit.  What would customers outside of Ireland like to buy, some authentic Irish item, novelty items, Irish Gift Hampers, Handmade Irish Goods etc etc. Advertise anything you can that works with the celebration, from fun hats and shirts, to gadgets

Think about how many people are going to be buying clothes, gadgets, and party favors to celebrate the night, before the celebration even begins. Use this as inspiration to bring people to your eCommerce site.

Green is Good, but Don’t Overdo it

What do you think of when you think of St. Patrick’s Day? For most, the color green comes to mind immediately. Of course every business out there is going to be going green in early March to show that they’re embracing the Irish. While adding green accents is certainly a good idea, don’t overdo it. Changing your website’s entire color scheme is probably a bit too much (I know we do it, but we are different ). Instead, add splashes of green here and there where it fits. Likewise, you don’t need leprechauns or pots of gold all over the place (Unless you are doing something really clever & Creative with them, like what we do, we convert all staff images into Leprechauns, and then use these as part of the marketing message).

Use Words and Numbers Related to Luck

Being lucky is associated with St. Patrick’s Day, so try to work that in somewhere. Luck is considered a positive attribute, and connecting that to your brand can help increase sales. Use the keyword “Lucky” for your discount code or work in the number seven, which is considered a lucky number. Offer seven percent off or put some products on sale for €7.  Four Leaf Clover, Buy three items get the Fourth for Free

Run a Sale

While people may not buy as many gifts on St. Patrick’s Day as they do for Christmas or Valentine’s Day, a sale is still going to bring in extra revenue. Have a weekend sale featuring anything related to St. Patrick’s Day. Remember to advertise that sale on all of your social media, too.

These are just a few ways you can increase your sales on St. Patrick’s Day.

Don’t be afraid to get creative and come up with unique ways of celebrating this holiday!

Some of our St Patrick’s Day Marketing we ran on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram, Don’t forget to follow us to see all our shenanigans

 

Some top tips to help you promote your business Online for the lovers out there

Do you Know Shoppers are surfing for cards, chocolates, flowers and jewellery for their loved ones.
Don’t forget to check what is trending among hotel breaks and candlelit meals.

Searches for romantic gifts soar by 427% in February as people get ready for valentines day

Source Google

 

Think about it

What do we all order, Flowers, cards, gifts and Chocolates.  Some of those lucky couples even go out for a meal (romantic meal for two, maybe an expensive meal for two) in a location close to home and the luckier ones get to stay over night in a “5 Star Hotel”, or “Luxury Hotel” in a location not so close to home. Is your business targeting any of these Key Phrases, enticing couples to your store, or your town or your country.

 

What would you type in to find your service.

Think what would a man type in to google lying off on the sofa and maybe 1 or 2 nights before Valentines (possibly on the day) searching on his mobile phone last minute.

Then Think what a woman would type in 1 week before valentines (it is true, women are better prepared at these things )

 

Top Tips for AdWords for this month

Keep Budget uncapped and increase mobile bid adjustments by at least 30% between 5pm and 10pm.

As we are authorised Google AdWords Partners, Sign up for a new Google AdWord campaigns for the month of February and we will give you a €120 spend on google AdWords to match your existing spend. Contact us today

 

If you are looking for Gift Ideas, we have put together a few sites that might help

Flowers

Dining Out

Gift Ideas

 

Holidays

 

 

 

 

All of us here at Graphedia are conscious of security when it comes to using the Internet. They say that practice makes perfect, and we completely agree. That is why we are constantly improving on our techniques to practices to be bets at what we do. That’s how we can spot a dodgy site from a mile away. Yet, we understand that some of our customers and even our customer’s customers may not have the time to keep up with all the security changes that are going on.

We are not the only company who think this way, Google are also very proactive in protecting their customers from threats on the Internet. One of their latest protection ideas revolve around their web browser – Google Chrome. Beginning January 31st, they are making some subtle changes to the way Chrome recognises websites and how secure they are.

 

What Is An SSL?

SSL stands for “secure sockets layer” and is a form of security for sites that handle sensitive information such as customer names, phone numbers, addresses and credit card numbers. It creates a secure connection between a customer’s web browser and the server of the company they’re interacting with. Here’s an example. Let’s say you need to talk to your friend about some personal conflicts going on within your life. Would you rather talk to them in public where you run the risk of people overhearing you or would you rather have your conversation in private? An SSL gives the company and the customer the ability to communication and share information, in private.

 

What Changes Are Going To Be Made To Chrome?

On current versions of Chrome, when you visit a website without an SSL certificate you will see a very discrete exclamation mark beside the website address (picture below).

Current version of Chrome

This is not overly obvious to the end user, but changes being rolled out in version 56 are a little more obvious. As you can see from the below picture, the basic exclamation mark has morphed into a more obvious “Not Secure” message.

Proposed Version 56 of Chrome

Google are not stopping there, in future versions, they plan on making more changes to Chrome. One of those changes will see the new “Non Secure” message being made even more prominent by making it a bright red font to grab your attention.

Full warning in red font is planned for future upgrades

Will This Have Any Implications For My Website?

Yes, I’m afraid so – it will have implications for all websites that do not have an SSL certificate (only when users are using Google Chrome 56+). While your sites will continue to function normally, your users will see these security notices in their browser. Some users may choose to ignore them, but the fact of the matter is, everyone is concerned about security. This means that as time goes by, users will start to get uneasy when visiting your site and eventually avoid your site altogether.

 

Are There Any Major Benefits To Having An SSL Certificate?

Loads – absolutely loads.

  • End to End encryption
  • Prevents eavesdropping on user data (ISP’s, Not Nice Governments etc.)
  • Prevents man in the middle attacks and phishing attacks.
  • Should always be used when accepting credit cards.
  • Improves your SEO rankings in Google.
  • Improves customer trust.

 

Is There Anything I Can Do?

There sure is, but it will involve the obvious – purchasing an SSL certificate for your website.

Contact Niall here in Graphedia and he will fill you in on how to go about getting one for your website.

 

Source: Google Security Blog

Other Links of Interest

8 Awesome Tips For Entrepreneurs to Keep You Movin’ This Week!

 

For most of us in business, entrepreneurship could be defined like this:  “I don’t have a 9-5. I have a when I open my eyes to when I close my eyes”…

Or like this…

“I am the maker of my products & services, the marketer, the accountant, the head of HR, the tax guy and the lunch lady!”

Running your own business ain’t for the faint hearted, that’s for sure. It takes graft, determination, business smarts, stubbornness and definitely a little madness!

There are, however, some awesome pearls of wisdom that have been passed down by the entrepreneurial greats along the way. And taking heed of those pearly words, could just make that path a little less crazy and complicated!

Here are some words from the greats to keep us motivated this week…..Gather round entrepreneurs!

Steve Jobs: “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become”

Richard Branson: “If someone offers you a great opportunity and you’re not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later”

James Dyson: “While Developing my vacuum, I went through 5126 failed prototypes and my life’s savings over 15 years. But the 5127th prototype worked, and the Dyson brand became the best-selling bagless vacuum brand in the United States”

Henry Ford: “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”

Timothy Ferriss: “Focus on being productive, instead of busy”

Yoda: “Do or do not. There is no try!” …(Yes, yes, we know Yoda is technically not an entrepreneur but he is one of the greats, so he had to make an appearance in our opinion!)

Mark Zuckerberg: “If you just work on stuff that you like and you’re passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out.”

Bill Gates: “The first rule of any technology applied in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency”

 

Well, we feel inspired – we hope you do too!

google-adwordsAnd we also wanted to add our own note on the great Bill Gate’s words on automation. You see, at Graphedia, getting our clients more online leads and sales is our business and let’s just say that business is gooooood! 😉

We believe that if you are following the sage advice above and you are working on something you are passionate about, you have a great product or service and an efficient business, then automation of your business is a step that can take your business to the next level and beyond.

What do we mean by automation? Well, its simple really, we mean driving warm/interested leads to your website and turning those leads into sales for your business through the use of online sales funnels, SEO, paid traffic and more.

…Essentially making sales while you sleep!!

If you would like to chat to us about automating your business and making more sales online while you sleep (!) then, why not give us a shout today.

P.S. We have a great summer offer running right now – sign up to 6 months of Google Adwords with us and receive a FREE €90 google adwords voucher! (We’re nice like that!!) Grab ‘em while they last.

Adwords-Free-Voucher-Google-Partners-Gameon

3 Easy to Use Formulae for Creating Killer Headlines For Your Content

You’ve created an amazing vlog. Your hair looked great, your script was superlative and your content is groundbreaking!

You’re ready to send it out into the world and you’re hoping that a few hours from now, you’ll be sitting back with a mojito and watching as your content goes viral and takes the world by storm!

#OMG!

HOWEVER, before you send your precious work out there, be warned;

Without a great headline that attracts attention and drives people to click through and watch, your content may be dead in the water!

Take a look at this little explainer video to see how we like to craft a great headline using 3 handy ‘plug in and go’ formulae (you’re welcome!!)