iOS Naughtiness and Tweets for the Week

Another slap bang week in technology and the usual security tom-foolery in the technology world as well, let’s see what wild and wooly things have been going on with help of my twitter feed.

The naughty engineers at Apple introduced a new feature in iOS 9.1, which (I suspect) is causing Wireless Data Providers to do the “happy dance”. The feature? Surely you have read about Wi-Fi Assist? The feature sounds nice, having your data plan help your WiFi connection, but the fact that it is installed as a default of ON is the diabolical part of the story. Someone at Apple has got to be getting an incentive payment from the Big Cell firms for this, surely?

Not to continue to pile on Apple, however, Elon Musk made a naughty comment of his own about his competitors at Apple with the following tweet, I do enjoy it when technology folk get all “Alpha Male” about their stuff

Wait a minute, you are thinking, are you turning this into an Apple shaming site? No, in fact it is time to get back on target with security, but let’s stay on theme for one more simple tweet, that should cause those Apple owners to start thinking about security (since Apple seems to be ignoring things).

Hold on you Android folks out there, feeling smug after all that iOS bashing? A song can hack your device, so don’t get too complacent about security, that is for sure.

Feeling safe because you use your tapping chip payment card? Maybe don’t get too complacent

I note that this site has been noticed by a few nasty folks as well, as I was hit with a DOS attack and an attempt to hijack the site as well, guess it is good that I have some rudimentary security in place. I have no doubt this site can be hacked, I am simply kibitzing, I am no security expert, but good to see that I can slow down the “script kiddies” at least.

NoFollow Attribute on Sponsored Links 3

My main sponsor on The Canadian Financial Place, informed me last week that they wanted me to change how I linked to their site, and that they wanted me to add:


to the HREF tag that I had to their site. This struck me as very odd, since they were paying for the link in their ad, but they informed me that due to Google’s new rules, they (and I) could get into deep trouble with Google if I did not do this.

The explanation given was:

Why do we have to do this?

If you do not follow this guideline you will likely lose your ranking in Google.

Advertisements are sometimes also known as “paid links” because someone is paying you (the website owner) to place a link on your page that points to another page. That link might be an image ad or a text ad, but it will virtually always be something on your page that links to another page. These links that someone bought were not put there for editorial or natural reasons, they were put there because someone paid for it.

This was excerpted from the FeedTheBot post linked to above. I have since gone through other posts and added a great deal more rel=”nofollow” attributes to links that might be construed as being “paid for” and such.

I am hoping this should:

  • Stop me from losing my Page Rank (which is currently 4)
  • OR may help me get a higher page rank, we shall see

It seems odd to me to add the NoFollow attribute to the paid link, but I suppose upon reflection, it is showing Google what links are genuine informational links and which are more commercial in nature.

Back to Page Rank 4 (for now) 2

In the good old days of Google, Page Rank was an actual number, and it was a fluid number, which changed often. The higher the number the better, and Zero was a page rank for a site that Google didn’t like.

So I have managed to get back my Page Rank after a lot of work on my part (and some pleading with Google as well).  Previously my rank was 4 and it is now back to 4, so I am not really complaining, however I did do a fair amount of changes on my site which I outlined in my posts:

The final steps that I took that seem to have fixed the final issues were to:

  1. Disassociate myself with Text Link Ads, which is painful, because they actually paid more than Adsense ever did, but to get Page Rank I will sacrifice this income stream in hopes of creating other income streams.
  2. Changing my site theme to The Thesis Theme for WordPress which is very flexible and just great for THE Canadian Personal Finance Site, and I am still learning what I can do with it.

The new Theme ideas are still percolating in my mind, however, it was dead simple to make the site look very similar to what the site was previously.

Now I have a good Page Rank, I guess it’s time to start a marketing campaign for the site, and have a real advertising page as well!

Don’t Follow or You Will Be in Trouble 5

So the root of most of the issues Google is having with THE Canadian Personal Finance Site seems to be failing Google’s Quality Guidelines , seems to be too many links on my home page and on my site so it looks to them like I am a link farm. I feel I am not, but I also realize I do have a lot of links all over my site with Carnivals and such but I am also taking steps to clean up some of the link mess as well.

  1. I have a bunch of things on my page template which linked to sites directly, but I have added Rel=NoFollow tags to many of those (since these links are really courtesy links to friends of mine).
  2. I have told TextLinkAds that I will be removing them in 30 days (I told them that a while ago), so that may be a big fix, but I might be mistaken.
  3. Hacking the Commenters plug-in to create links with Rel=NoFollow was also kind of fun, and that should cut down on the spurious looking links too.
  4. I have gone through many of my older carnival links and done bulk changes to the links there to Rel=NoFollow as well, which should make my site look less like a “link whore” site.

I continue cleaning up the broken links, since they keep coming up, but I will also be changing my page theme, and I may kick some more things out when that happens too.

The last reconsider request I sent to Google took only two days to get a response of NO! so I will wait a while before asking for a reconsideration (maybe after I have a new theme in place as well).

Another Page Rank Slap Down from Google 2

Yup, our amigos at Google have decided that The Canadian Personal Finance Blog is contravening their rules, and thus it has been slapped back down to Page Rank 0 (Zero), and all of the entailing crap that goes with that.

What caused this BCM? I have no frigging idea, but I at least did get a nice note from them telling me of this fact (and I quote):

Dear site owner or webmaster of,

We’ve detected that some of your site’s pages may be using techniques that are outside Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Specifically, look for possibly artificial or unnatural links on your site pointing to other sites that could be intended to manipulate PageRank. Examples of unnatural linking could include selling links to pass PageRank or participating in link schemes.

We encourage you to make changes to your site so that it meets our quality guidelines. Once you’ve made these changes, please submit your site for reconsideration in Google’s search results.
If you have any questions about how to resolve this issue, please see our Webmaster Help Forum for support.

Artificial or unnatural linking? Anyone knows what that actually might mean? Selling links? OK I have one paid for link on my page, and I used Text-Link-Ads, so guilty there, but not sure what link schemes I am using (I don’t actually have that many folks that have linked to my site lately).

Oh well, I have looked around and will try to clean up some of my links, and I have asked for an appeal on this, but I am not overly confident this will happen in the next little while. For the longest time I was at ZERO and then I jumped back to PR: 5, but now I am back where I started from. Life is never dull when you run a Financial Blog.

One Character and Entire RSS Feed Dead 2

So for the past two days my Feedburner RSS feed has been dead, which means I am missing my 1000 per day hits there for Google (so a very bad thing). I only realized that this was dead at the end of the first day, and then madly tried to figure out why there were no hits.

At first I thought it was due to me cleaning up my Google accounts, and maybe I had turned off my Feedburner access, but that turned out to be only a Red Herring. Feedburner was working fine, however, it did lead me to their Feed verification program.

I ran the feed verification and it BARFED at a specific line in Here Comes 2011 a post I did on Thursday (on my Mac). The error output was a little cryptic, but it seemed there was a character it didn’t like, so after I had backed up the HTML for the post in Notepad, I started removing characters, but nothing seemed to fix the issue. I finally lost my patience and deleted the entire post contents, and then the Feed went back to normal.

From this I figured that something in the post was wrong, but I couldn’t figure out what. This morning I remembered that I was experimenting with an Old Mac a friend had given me and tried to write a post on it, and for some reason this may well have inserted an odd character, and sure enough I found it, after looking closely at the Notepad backup that I had. I have no idea what keystroke combinations on the mac created this, but after removing the bad character, I ran the Feedburner Feed Tester and it passed no problem, so my RSS feed is now back up and alive.

Social Media

Other than that, I am finding Social media stuff helping, but it is a slow process. My Twitter and Digg readership slowly increases and I have not posted my own stuff onto Stumbleupon for over a week, so those goals are being met, but there does not seem to be a magic bullet for increasing readership (and thus revenues) just yet. Maybe there is a Tipping Point here that once I cross things will get better, who knows?