Turning a 404 error page into a possitive marketing experience

Turning a 404 error page into a positive marketing experience for your customers is unlikely to top your list in terms of digital marketing priorities. However, it’s not something you should overlook or try to rush – especially if your site is frequently changing URLs.

404s (…or four zero fours if you’re in the military) are just another marketing tool – if made correctly.
◾What is a 404?
◾Impact of 404s on SEO
◾What are soft 404s?
◾Helping your user
◾Reporting 404s in Google Analytics
◾Making it fun!

What is a 404?

A 404 is the response code that should be provided by your web server when a user attempts to access a URL that no longer exists/never existed or has been moved without any form of redirection. At an HTTP level the code is also followed by the reason phrase of ‘Not Found’.
It’s important to realize that DNS errors are a totally different kettle of fish and occur when the domain has not been registered or where DNS has been misconfigured. There is no web server to provide a response –

If you’re looking to pass time or have a penchant for intellectual self-harm you may enjoy Googling this list of HTTP status codes, where you can discover the mysterious differences between a 301 and a 308…

Impact of 404s on SEO

We can’t all be blessed with the foresight to develop a well-structured and future-proof site architecture first time around. 404s will happen – whether it’s a new site being tweaked post-launch or a full-blown migration with URL changes, directory updates and a brand spanking new favicon! In themselves, 404s aren’t an issue so long as the content has in fact been removed/deleted without an adequate replacement page.

However, if a URL has links from an external site then you should always consider a redirect to the most appropriate page, both to maintain any equity being passed but also to ensure users who click the linker is not immediately confronted with a potentially negative experience on your site.

What are soft 404s?

Soft 404s occur when a non-existent page returns a response code other than 404 (not found) or the lesser known 410 (gone). They also happen when redirects are put in place that aren’t relevant such as lazily sending users to the homepage or where there is a gross content mismatch from the requested URL and the resulting redirect. These are often confusing for both users and search engines, and are reported within Google Search Console.

Helping the user

Creating a custom 404 page has been all the rage for a number of years, as they can provide users with a smile, useful links or something quite fun (more on this later). Most importantly, it’s crucial that you ensure your site’s 404s aren’t the end of the road for your users. Below are some handy tips for how to improve your 404 page.

Consistent branding

Don’t make your 404 page an orphan in terms of design. Ensure you retain any branding so that users are not shocked into thinking they may be on the wrong site altogether.

Explanation

Make sure you provide users with some potential reasons as to why they are seeing the error page. Stating that the page ‘no longer exists’ etc can help users to understand that the lovely yellow raincoat they expected to find hasn’t actually been replaced by a browser-based Pacman game…

Useful links

You should know which are the most popular pages or directories on your site. Ensure your 404 page includes obvious links to these above the fold so that (coupled with a fast site) users will find the disruption to their journey to be minimal.

Search

There’s a strong chance that a user landing on a 404 page will know why they were on your site; whether for jeans, graphic design or HR software, their intent is likely set. Providing them with a quick search box may enable them to get back on track – this can be useful if you offer a very wide range of services that can’t be covered in a few links.

Reporting

Providing users with the ability to report the inconvenience can be a great way for you to action 404s immediately, especially if the button can be linked to the most common next step in a user’s journey. For example: “Report this page and get back to the shop!”
Turn it into a positive

Providing a free giveaway of a downloadable asset (by way of an apology) is a great way to turn an otherwise-disgruntled user into a lead. By providing a clear CTA and small amount of data capture, you can help to chip away at those inbound marketing goals!

Reporting 404s in Google Analytics

Reporting on 404s in Google Analytics couldn’t be easier. While in many cases your CMS will have plugins and modules that provide this service, GA can do it without much bother. The only thing you’ll need is the page title from your 404 page. In the case of Zazzle this is ‘Page not found | Zazzle Media’.

The screenshot below contains all the information needed. Simply navigate to Customization > Custom Reports > Add New within your GA console.

Title: The name of the custom report

Name: Tabs within the report (you only need one in this case)

Type: Set to Explorer

Metric Groups: Enter ‘Site Usage’ and add in Unique Page Views (to track occurrences per page) and Bounce Rate (to measure how effective your custom 404 page is).

Dimension Drilldowns: Page > Full Referrer (to track where the visit came from if external)

Filters: Include > Page Title > Exact > (your 404 page title)

Views: Select whichever views you want this on (default to all if you’re unsure)

Save and return to Customization > Custom Reports, then click the report you just made. You’ll be presented with a list of pages that match your specified criteria. Simply alter your data range to suit and then export and start mapping any redirects required.

You may wish to use Google Search Console for reporting on 404s too. These can be found under Crawl > Crawl Errors. It’s always worth running these URLs through a tool such as Screaming Frog or Sitebulb to confirm that the live URL is still producing a 404. Exporting these errors is limited to ~1000 URLs; as such, you’ll need to Export > Mark as Fixed > Wait 24hrs > Repeat.

Making a fun 404 page

Some of the best 404 pages throw caution to the wind, ignore best practice and either leverage their brand/character to comical effect or simply go all out and create something fun and interactive. Let’s face it, there is no better way to turn a bad situation (or Monday morning) into something positive than with a quick game of Space Invaders!

The below examples are just a few popular brands that have a great ‘404 game’.

Lego

It was always going to be on the cards that Lego would have something quirky up their tiny plastic sleeves, and while the page lacks ongoing links it provides a clear visual representation of the disconnect between the content you expected and what you’re getting.

Kualo

Behind every great website, there’s a great host. Kualo have taken their very cost-focused industry and made a fun and interactive game for users who happen across a 404 page.

Bit.ly

If there’s one site that has its URLs copy and pasted more than any other (and often incorrectly) it’s bit.ly. With over 1.2 billion backlinks from over 1.8 million referring domains I believe there will be a few 404s…don’t you?

Blizzard

Ding! I’ve naturally lost count of how many times it’s given ‘Grats’ – Blizzard’s quirky 404 gives tribute to the commonly-uttered phrase seen in chat boxes across all their games.

Github

It only seems fitting that one of the geekiest corners of the internet be served with an equally geeky 404 page. Github’s page is unique because there is actually a dedicated URL for this design which has over 520 referring domains itself! Not to mention their server error page is equally as cool.

Summary

Hopefully the information detailed in this article has provided you with a great strategy to leverage your 404 page as a content marketing asset or simply to improve the experience for your user. We’d love to see any creative 404 pages you come up with.

ABCO Technology teaches a comprehensive program for web development. If you want to build high successful web pages, which users engage with, contact ABCO Technology. Reach our campus is easy. ABCO can be reached by telephone from 9 AM to 6PM Monday through Friday at (310) 216-3067.

Email your questions to info@abcotechnology.edu
Financial aid is available to all students who can qualify for federal funding.

ABCO Technology is located at 11222 South Lacienega Blvd. in STE # 588
Los Angeles, Ca. 90304.
Learn to build successful webpages today!

Should you convert your website to HTTPS?

Whether you’re a website owner or simple visitor, everyone wants to experience a fast loading website which can carry out sensitive exchanges of information securely.

In 2014, Google announced that it was beginning to use HTTPS as a ranking signal, signaling an increased emphasis on secure connections from the world’s biggest search engine.

Then, last month, the news came that Google’s Chrome browser will begin displaying a “Not Secure” warning message for unencrypted webpages. This message will be displayed in the address bar of websites not running the HTTPS protocol. Imagine a situation where your visitors withdraw from your website after seeing this warning message.

Google does check whether your site uses HTTP or HTTPS protocol. It might not be a crucial factor if you are not truly serious about your website. However, if you are an online business, this is not something to overlook – website visitors demand secure connections to the websites they are interacting with.

If you aren’t very familiar with the technicalities of SEO, working with HTTPS might seem a bit intimidating. However, it isn’t as complex as it seems to be. Also, the good thing is that you do not have to understand the behind-the-scenes work when it comes to implementing HTTPS.

So, is HTTPS important?

Yes, HTTPS is undoubtedly essential, and many websites have already made the shift.

At the time that HTTPS was announced as a ranking signal, it was only a “light” one and affected less than 1% of global searches. But Google warned that this could strengthen over time, and we have already seen with Mobilegeddon how Google can shake things up once it decides to put emphasis on a particular element of the web.

For a website that has an HTTPS protocol, the search bar in the browser will display a lock symbol, and on Google Chrome, the word “secure”. However, if it isn’t on HTTPS, you won’t see the symbol and users may consequently be more wary about what data they enter – especially if soon, they start to receive a warning about the site’s security.

Exhibit A: Search Engine Watch

Benefits of shifting to HTTPS

Makes your site secure

This is the most obvious benefit of shifting to HTTPS. When you are enforcing HTTPS on your site, you are guaranteeing that the information passed between the client and the server can neither be stolen nor intercepted. It is basically a kind of proof that the client’s data wouldn’t be tampered with in any form.

This is great for sites that need the customers to log in and accept payments through credit or debit cards.

Encryption

Okay, so if someone even does manage to intercept it, the data would be completely worthless to them. In case you are wondering why, it is because they obviously wouldn’t have the key to decrypt it. As website owners, you would have the key to do so.

Authentication

You must have heard of middleman attacks. However, with HTTPS, it is close to impossible for anyone to trick your customers and make them think that they are providing their personal information to you, when in reality they are providing this to a scammer. This is where an SSL certificate comes into light.

Good for your site’s SEO

You definitely want your site to rank higher in the search engine results and HTTPS would contribute to doing that. With your site ranking higher, you would have more customers, an increased traffic and an improvement in your overall revenue. It’s not just us saying that – Google said so itself!

Now that you know all of its benefits, let’s look into the steps that you need to follow.

Getting an SSL certificate

SSL is the protocol that HTTPS uses and is something that you need to install. The SSL certificate would have your company name, domain name, address, country, state and your city. Several details including the expiry date of the certificate would also be mentioned here. Now, there are three different kinds of certificates that you can choose from.

Organization Validation and Domain Validation are the kind of certificates that you can get if you have an e-commerce site or a site that collects personal information from users. The third type, Extended Validation Certificates, are for testifying the legal terms of a HTTPS website.

You can purchase these certificates from a lot of websites. The prices differ, so compare them and then make a purchase. Once you have purchased one, get it installed.

Create your site’s URL map and redirect

The ‘S’ in HTTPS makes a huge difference in the URL. HTTP or HTTPS before your domain name are entirely different URLs. This implies that you would have to create copies of each and every page on your site and then redirect them. This redirection would be from your old HTTP page to the new HTTPS page.

It might all sound pretty complicated, but it isn’t in reality. Your URL map can just be a simple spreadsheet. When shifting from WordPress, all of the 301 (permanent) redirects can simply be added to the .htaccess file.

Work on getting at least one page working on the front end

You also have to work on getting your front end on HTTPS. If you’re not confident with the technical side of things, this can seem a little complicated. Therefore it is best to begin with just one page.

If you are an ecommerce site, you can begin with the page that accepts payments. This is the page where customers are sharing their personal banking details and therefore it has to be secure. There are several plugins available that can help you with this, such as WP Force SSL. With such plugins, you can easily force pages to be SSL.

Update internal links, images and other links

There will be several internal links throughout your site and these might redirect to your old HTTP page. If you have been using relative links, you have been lucky. However, if not, you would have to find each of the links and then correct it with the new URL. You would also need to correct links to other resources like stylesheets, images and scripts.

Also, if you use a content delivery network (CDN), you would need to make sure that the CDN supports HTTPS too. These days most CDNs support HTTPS, but not all of them. So, make sure that you check that too.

Re-add your site to Google Search Console

After you have made all the necessary changes, get Google crawling on it as soon as possible. If you don’t do it, your traffic would be affected negatively. But why is re-adding required? Well, it’s because an HTTPS site is considered a completely different and new site.

After that, submit your new sitemap in your new listing and above that, re-submit the old sitemap as Google will notice the 301 redirects and make the necessary updates.

Once you have carried out all of the steps, you may or may not notice a slight positive change in the search rankings. Whatever you do, make sure that the first step of installing an SSL certificate has been done correctly. Alternatively, you can also use plugins like Really Simple SSL, Easy HTTPS Redirection etc. to accomplish the task.

At the end of the day, the decision of switching to HTTPS is solely yours. If you just have a blog with an email newsletter that people can subscribe to, you might not need to make the switch. However, if you are an online business, switching to HTTPS would be a wise decision.

If you see some issues, keep researching and fixing them. Even if you’re not a technical person, it’s easier than you think.
ABCO Technology teaches a comprehensive program for web development. You will learn how to use SSL and many other exciting technologies. If a web development career interests you, contact ABCO Technology. Reaching our campus by telephone is easy. Call us between 9 AM and 6 PM, Monday through Friday. Call today at: (310) 216-3067.
Please email all questions to: info@abcotechnology.edu
ABCO Technology is located at:
11222 South La Cienega Blvd. in STE #588.
Los Angeles, Ca. 90304.
Become a web developer today and join a group of people who are in demand!

Why 200,000 Apps won’t work in iOS 11

For a while now, ever since Apple introduced a 64-bit processor with the iPhone 5S in 2013 and started giving gentle warnings that developers should update their apps.

But as far back as January of this year, users started getting a message warning them that the 32-bit apps on their phone wouldn’t work at all when iOS 11 became available. By June, Gizmodo noticed that some 32-bit apps had already disappeared from the App Store, but were still available to download if you had the direct link.

The iPhone 5s has been around for nearly three years, and most well-known apps are compatible with 64-bit processors. So what does this change actually mean?

Well, it turns out that Apple may stop supporting nearly 200,000 apps.

According to Oliver Yes, cofounder of app intelligence firm Sensor Tower, there are 187,000 32-bit apps still on the App Store, which equates to about 8% all iPhone apps (Sensor Tower estimated in March that there are approximately 2.4 million apps on the App Store).

32-bit apps Business Insider

While it’s impossible to make a complete list of all the apps that will no longer be supported, both Sensor Tower and Business Insider have anecdotally noticed a handful of apps that appear to be 32-bit:
• YouTube Capture, a video recording app that got 200,000 downloads last month, according to Sensor Tower
• iSpadez, a card game app
• Neo Nectaris, a military strategy game
• Infinity Blade, a role-playing fighting game

If you’re noticing a pattern among the 32-bit apps, you’re on to something: Sensor Tower found that of the remaining 32-bit apps on the App Store, most of them were games — 38,619 to be specific. Education, entertainment, and lifestyle apps followed.

But if some of your favorite apps are only 32-bit compatible, they won’t immediately disappear when iOS 11 becomes available. According to Sensor Tower, the apps will probably stay in the App Store for a while and continue working on phones that haven’t updated to the new OS. Eventually, though, Apple will probably delete the apps from the App Store altogether.

Luckily, there’s an easy way to check if you have any 32-bit apps on your phone: Go into your settings, open “General,” tap on “About,” then click on “Applications.” That should show you which of your apps are 32-bit — if you don’t have any 32-bit apps, nothing will happen when you click.

Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

ABCO Technology offers a comprehensive set of classes for computer programming. Call our campus between 9 AM and 6 PM Monday through Friday. Call us today at: (310) 216-3067
Financial aid is available to all students who can qualify for the funding.

ABCO Technology is located at:
11222 South La Cienega Blvd in STE # 588.
Los Angeles, Ca. 90304
Become a computer programmer today!

Google Search Console updates in 2017, get on the platform and benefit.

Google Search Console has been the ultimate platform for SEOs on a daily basis.

Search Console provides invaluable insights into how your customers are finding your websites that you built, but also allows you to monitor and resolve any issues Google is having in accessing your content.

Originally known as Google Webmaster Tools, Search Console has benefited from some significant upgrades over the past decade. That said, it is still far from perfect and few would argue that it provides a complete package in its current guise. A raft of industry updates, particularly those affecting mobile rankings, has left Search Console’s list of features in need of an overhaul.

Therefore, Google’s recent announcement of some ongoing and upcoming changes to the platform was warmly received by the SEO community. These changes go beyond the cosmetic and should help site owners both identify and rectify issues that are affecting their performance. There have also been some tantalizing glimpses of exciting features that may debut before the end of the year.

So, what has changed?

Google categorizes the initial Search Console changes into the following groups: Insights, Workflow, and Feedback Loops.

Within the Insights category, Google’s new feature aims to identify common “root-cause” issues that are hampering the crawling and indexation of pages on a website. These will then be consolidated into tasks, allowing users to monitor progress and see whether any fixes they submit have been recognized by Google.

This should be extremely beneficial for site owners and developers as it will accelerate their progress in fixing the big ticket items in the platform.

analytics

On a broader level, this is in line with Google’s drive to use machine learning technologies to automate some laborious tasks and streamline the amount of time people need to spend to get the most out of their products.

The second area of development is Organizational Workflow which, although not the most glamorous part of any SEO’s work, should bring some benefits that make all of our lives a little easier.

As part of the Search Console update, users will now be able to share ticket items with various team members within the platform. Given how many people are typically involved in identifying and rectifying technical SEO issues, often based in different teams or even territories, this change should have a direct and positive impact on SEO work streams.

Historically, these workflows have existed in other software packages in parallel to what occurs directly within Search Console, so bringing everything within the platform is a logical progression.

The third announcement pertains to Feedback Loops and aims to tackle a longstanding frustration with Search Console. It can be difficult to get everyone on board with making technical fixes, but the time lag we experience in verifying whether the change was effective makes this all the more difficult. If the change does not work, it takes days to realize this and we have to go back to the drawing board.

feedback

This lag is caused by the fact that Google has historically needed to re-crawl a site before any updates to the source code are taken into account. Though this will remain true in terms of affecting performance, site owners will at least be able to see an instant preview of whether their changes will work or not.

Feedback is also provided on the proposed code changes, so developers can iterate very quickly and adjust the details until the issue is resolved.

All of the above upgrades will help bring SEO to the center of business discussions and allow teams to work together quickly to improve organic search performance.

In addition to these confirmed changes, Google has also announced some interesting BETA features that will be rolled out to a wider audience if they are received positively.

New BETA features

Google has announced two features that will be tested within a small set of users: Index Coverage report and AMP fixing flow.

Google_Search_Console_New

As Google summarized in their announcement of this new report:

“The new Index Coverage report shows the count of indexed pages, information about why some pages could not be indexed, along with example pages and tips on how to fix indexing issues. It also enables a simple sitemap submission flow, and the capability to filter all Index Coverage data to any of the submitted sitemaps.”

Once more, we see the objective of going beyond simply displaying information to go to a deeper level and explain why these issues occur. The final, most challenging step, is to automate the prescription of advice to resolve the issues.

Other platforms have stepped into this arena in the past, with mixed success. SEO is dependent on so many other contingent factors that hard and fast rules tend not to be applicable in most circumstances. Automated advice can therefore either be too vague to be of any direct use, or it can provide specific advice that is inapplicable to the site in question.

Technical SEO is more receptive to black and white rules than other industry disciplines, however, so there is cause for optimism with this new Google update.

The second BETA feature is the AMP fixing flow. AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is Google’s open source initiative to improve mobile page loading speeds by using a stripped-back version of HTML code.

With the weight of one of the world’s biggest companies behind it, AMP has taken hold with an increasing number of industries and looks set to widen its reach soon within both ecommerce and news publishers.

Google has bet on AMP to see off threats from the likes of Facebook and Snapchat, so it stands to reason that they want to help webmasters get the most out of its features. Any new coding initiative will bring with it a new set of challenges too, and some developers will find a few kinks as they translate their content to AMP HTML.

What’s next?

The one aspect of Search Console that all marketers would love to see upgraded is the lag in data processing time. As it stands, the data is typically 48 hours behind, leading to some agonizing waits as marketers hope to analyze performance on a search query level. Compared to the real-time data in many other platforms, including Google Analytics and AdWords, Search Console requires two days to source and process its data from a variety of sources.

That may change someday, however. As reported on SE Roundtable, Google’s John Mueller has stated that they are investigating ways to speed up the data processing. Although Mueller added, “Across the board, we probably at least have a one-day delay in there to make sure that we can process all of the data on time”, this still hints at a very positive development for SEO.

With so many changes focused on speed and efficiency, a significant decrease in the data lag time on Search Console would cap this round of upgrades off very nicely.

ABCO Technology Teaches a comprehensive program for the Certified Internet Webmaster. This program includes search engine optimization. If you are interested in building websites, which will generate high traffic, it’s time for you to call ABCO Technology. Reaching our campus by telephone is easy. Call us between 9 AM and 6 PM Monday through Friday at: (310) 216-3067.

Email your questions to: info@abcotechnology.edu
Financial aid is available to all students who will qualify for the funding.

ABCO Technology is located at:
11222 South La Cienega Blvd. in STE #588.
Los Angeles, Ca. 90304.
Become a successful web developer today!

The Best Cisco certifications for 2018

As we reported previously on ABCO Technology’s Facebook page,, 85% of CIOs predict that they will continue to hire new people in 2018. Anyone who has spent time in the IT industry knows that in-demand jobs and skills change rapidly—so what does 2018 have in store for the IT job market?

All the talk of hacking, cybercrime, and data theft means one thing for sure: Cybersecurity experts are going to be hot commodities. Network administrators are also predicted to be in high demand next year, and both of those fields are right up Cisco’s alley.

SEE: The Future of IT Jobs: Critical Skills and Obsolescent Roles (Tech Pro Research)

Data Center Must-Reads
Why Docker’s survival depends on money from customers, not investors
Every enterprise SDDC capacity strategy needs these 6 things
Why the biggest container lock-in threat may not be hardware or software-related
MCSE Data Platform Certification Exam Prep (ABCO Technology)

So which Cisco certifications should you get to advance or jump start a new IT career? Here are five that will get you far in 2017. Each comes in three levels (CCNA, CCNP, CCIE) but this piece is focused on CCNA, the entry level of the three.

What: CCNA/P/IE Security

Why: Security is going to be a huge topic in 2017 and beyond. Just look at the latest news headlines and you’re likely to see a variety of cybersecurity topics. From Russian hacks of the US political system to Yahoo leaking another billion account credentials, security professionals are going to be in demand for the foreseeable future.

What: CCNA Cyber Ops

Why: Cyber Ops is an entry-level security certification that focuses on working in security operations centers. It’s the first step into a cybersecurity career that focuses less on maintaining firewalls and antivirus software and more on responding to cybersecurity threats.

What: CCNA/P/IE Data Center

Why: Cisco’s Data Center certification focuses on design, implementation, and maintenance of networks. Each level of the certification adds more complexity and greater understanding of Cisco networks, allowing holders to further advance their careers.

It’s not just security that will be in demand—network administration is right up there as a hiring priority.

What: CCNA/P/IE Routing and Switching

Why: Just as network administrators are essential to the maintenance of enterprise infrastructure, network engineers are needed to understand and implement the newest technologies.
The Routing and Switching certification focuses on Cisco core network engineering skills and is designed for professionals who want careers as network engineers, support engineers, systems engineers, or network technicians.

What: CCNA/P/IE Collaboration

Why: The Collaboration certification series focuses on voice, video, and other Cisco collaboration software and hardware. Network administrators are in demand, and good ones are going to know how to manage enterprise-level collaboration equipment as well. The Collaboration certification is just one more way to diversify your skillset.

The datacenter keeps evolving, and so does the IT world. Find out how to stay afloat by going to ABCO Technology’s Facebook page.

ABCO Technology offers a comprehensive program for cyber security. Call our campus between 9 AM and 6 PM Monday through Friday. You can reach us by telephone at: (310) 216-3067.
Email your questions to: info@abcotechnology.edu

Financial aid is available to all students who can qualify for funding.

ABCO Technology is located at:
11222 South La Cienega Blvd. in STE # 588.
Los Angeles, Ca. 90304.
Learn network administration and cyber security today!

Apple’s forthcoming Face ID technology will support just one face, could this be a problem?

Apple’s new face id will identify only one face per device, at least initially. This has been reported by multiple publications who spoke to Apple at this week’s iPhone event, and confirmed separately by TechCrunch along with other publications, but it’s worth noting because it could change some user behavior regarding the device.

Face ID supporting just one face makes a lot of sense on the face of things (sorry), since unlike with Touch ID, users have only one face to use for their unlocking purposes. Touch ID ostensibly allows multiple fingers to be registered because you have quite a few digits of your own, and depending on how you’re using the device or in which pocket you keep it, one might be more convenient to use than another.

The issue is that people also often register the fingerprints of their significant others, or even kids, depending on how they use their device. The phone can store up to five fingerprints, which makes it relatively easy to keep a few of your own as well as those of a significant other on your device just in case.

A one phone, one face policy obviously won’t support that kind of arrangement: If you want to give your loved one access, you’ll need to smile for the camera, or share a backup passcode so they can get in that way. The passcode option is simply marginally more inconvenient than a registered Touch ID fingerprint, of course, but it still makes a difference, especially if someone occasionally accesses your device and might not have committed a pin to muscle memory as a result.

I think this is more of an issue if Apple ends up moving Face ID across its product line, to devices like iPads that are much more often shared gadgets. Still, depending on how your use your phone, it might be another decided factor in whether you go with iPhone 8 or iPhone X – or, of course, neither device.

ABCO Technology teaches a wide variety of courses in the field of information technology training and certification. If you are interested in having a fulfilling career in information technology, it’s time to call ABCO Technology. You can reach us by telephone Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 6 PM. Call our campus at: (310) 216-3067.

Email your questions to: info@abcotechnology.edu
Financial aid is available to all students who can qualify for the funding.

ABCO Technology is located at:
11222 South La Cienega Blvd. in STE #588
Los Angeles, Ca. 90304.
A career in information is very rewarding. Join this group of professionals who are in demand.

The Walkie-Talkie is back and its worldwide

It looks like popular walkie-talkie app Voxer is about to get some competition in the mobile voice chat space. A new app called Zello is growing like crazy, too – in fact, it’s growing faster than Voxer internationally (although it’s behind in the U.S.) and it has reached the #8 spot in the free Android social app list. The app’s position is about to change because of the large amount of publicity Zello is receiving for efficiently handling search and rescue messages during hurricane Harvey. Zello has already saved countless lives as ordinary people communicate like professionals during this time of disaster.
All you need is a smart phone and you are in business. The cross-platform mobile app just reached 1 million unique users per day, is nearing 4 million unique per month and is adding on 100,000 users daily.

But while Zello shares some similarities with Voxer, it’s not a Voxer clone by any means. Instead of approaching voice chat from the more utilitarian standpoint of a mobile push-to-talk type experience as Voxer does, Zello’s focus is on social, voice-enabled communities. Voice Twitter, if you will. Oh, and the app doesn’t spam you either, the company says.

Party line reborn for a digital era? Apparently. While some folks use Zello more walkie-talkie style, there are hundreds of thousands of “channels” in the app, which are communities that you can tune into in order to listen or chat about the subject on hand. Today, 300,000 channels have been created, and around 60,000 are active in any one day. Because of its international footprint, many of these are non-English channels. Zello CEO Bill Moore (who you may remember as the founder of TuneIn radio) says that Spanish is the most popular language, and Portuguese is popular as well.

Moore, who joined Zello’s newly relocated Austin-based team in December of 2016, knows that while the Voxer comparisons are inevitable, the two companies seem to be moving in very different directions. “Voxer is a communication utility…it’s kind of a Swiss Army knife communication tool,” he says. “That’s a tough space.”

Zello, he says, is more of a social radio or voice Twitter. The channels in Zello are more like public forums, “it’s a very different value proposition than just a simple utility. It’s much more social. It’s somewhat similar to why people listen to radio: you’re bored, you want a friend.”

The interesting thing about Zello is that it emerged from a company called LoudTalks, which used to operate in a space that’s more closely tied to what Voxer is doing now. LoudTalks was a TechCrunch 40 participant back in 2007. The older app was focused on building an enterprise push-to-talk experience – and that’s exactly where Voxer is headed now. (Maybe LoudTalks was just too early?) In any event, LoudTalks changed course, and just axed its enterprise features – including the SDK and the two-way radio gateway – which were pulled down from its website this week.

LoudTalks brought on Moore as CEO in December and officially rebranded to Zello in January. The Zello app on iPhone launched in April, joining the Android app, BlackBerry app and PC app already available. So, to be clear, the traction Zello is seeing is cross-platform, not just on iPhone. But given its recent spikes, it’s likely attributable to the iPhone launch.

Not Spammy?

And so far, so good, as they say. Zello’s one-month retention is 20%. “It’s exceptional for a utility,” says Moore, “and not bad for a social app.” It’s also not bad considering that Zello isn’t too spammy about re-engaging users, according to Moore.

“Voxer is pretty invasive…it pulls your address book in,” Moore says frankly. “You could see [Voxer] has a decent team, but I’m assuming that aggressive viral marketing has helped them get to some numbers. And I’m assuming that it’s also responsible for some of the fade, and that it gets worse.” Ouch. Zello, he says, doesn’t save your address book, you can choose to share it with contacts or not, and it doesn’t notify you as new people join the app. (That last one is a personal pet peeve. I. DO. NOT. CARE.)

But the app landscape is super competitive these days; it’s hard to stay on people’s radar, and harder still to stay on their homescreen. Viral marketing may be aggressive, but it can work. And some people really like Voxer. A lot of people, in fact. Including investors. And fortunately, it’s not a zero-sum game here.

Zello has been angel-funded until now, but is raising a VC round of $5 million in the next 60 days. The app is available for download for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and PC.

ABCO Technology offers a wide range of courses in the field of information technology. Including programs, which will show you how to create successful apps like Zello. If you are interested in creating powerful online applications, contact our campus today. You can reach ABCO Technology by phone from 9 AM to 6 PM Monday through Friday. Call us at: (310) 216-3067.

Email your questions to: info@abcotechnology.edu
Financial aid is available to all students who can qualify for funding.

ABCO Technology is located at 11222 South La Cienega Blvd. STE # 588.
Los Angeles, Ca. 90304.
Learn to build powerful apps today!

Warning! Google warns webmasters Chrome will mark HTTP sites Not Secure if they include forms.

Google has sent out a special notice to webmasters that HTTP sites containing forms and other input fields will be marked Not Secure from October 1, 2017.

Google reports that its Chrome browser will mark HTTP websites with input fields (such as contact forms or those that require login details) as not secure, starting later this year in October.

The search engine gave notice of this a few months ago but has now taken the step of formally notifying webmasters who will be affected as the change gets closer.

The notification said, “Beginning in October 2017, Chrome will show the ‘Not secure’ warning in two additional situations: when users enter data on an HTTP page, and on all HTTP pages visited in Incognito mode.”

The notifications were sent to webmasters via Google Search Console. Sites that are HTTP and have credit card fields and require passwords are already marked as not secure. The additional two scenarios represent a gradual increase of the security protocol, with Google saying in its official post that its efforts have already resulted in a 23% reduction in the “fractions of navigation to HTTP pages with passwords or credit card forms on desktop”.

When the new warning kicks in, HTTP sites will have a ‘Not Secure label displayed in the address bar as shown below:

Emily Schechter from the Google Chrome Security Team said more actions should be expected in the near future, remarking,

“Eventually, we plan to show the “Not Secure” warning for all HTTP pages, even outside Incognito mode. We will publish updates as we approach future releases, but don’t wait to get started moving to HTTPS! HTTPS is easier and cheaper than ever before, and it enables both the best performance the web offers and powerful new features that are too sensitive for HTTP.”

If your site is currently displayed as an HTTP domain, you will need to migrate to HTTPs before October to avoid your web traffic being warned off visiting your site.

The original Chrome post can be found here: https://blog.chromium.org/2017/04/next-steps-toward-more-connection.htm

ABCO Technology offers comprehensive courses for building successful websites and increasing search engine traffic. If you want to improve your skills in this field, it’s time to call our campus today. You can reach us by telephone at: (310) 216-3067 from 9 AM to 6 PM Monday through Friday. Email all questions to: info@abcotechnology.edu

Financial aid is available to all students who can qualify for the funding.

ABCO Technology is located at:
11222 South La Cienega Blvd. STE #588
Los Angeles, Ca. 90304.
Creating a successful and dynamic website is an important skill in today’s economy. Join a special group of web professionals who can build sites that attract customers today!

Using Featured snippets to get new customers

Have you thought about how to start owning Google’s featured snippets for your brand?

If you’d like to earn those coveted “position 0” spots, you need to begin by understanding what featured snippets are and how to earn them. By earning featured snippets, you can increase web traffic, boost visibility in Google SERPs, and earn the credibility you need to build your business.

The first, and most important, step in earning featured snippets is understanding how to identify “snippable” opportunities. Once you know how to find them, you can craft the rest of your strategy around maximizing these opportunities.

In this article, I’ll go over five ways to identify featured snippet opportunities.

Use Google to identify potential snippets

Start looking for snippet opportunities by putting yourself in your audience’s shoes and thinking what questions you may want answers to. Even boring industries have a large range of opportunities to answer questions in the featured snippets.

For instance, let’s say you are in the electronics industry. The very nature of this industry is filled with terminology people will search to get information about.

Doing a quick Google search like, “What is a field effect transistor ” will showcase a Google featured snippet.

Hopefully the showcased content is yours. Under the snippet you will often see a helpful note from Google, “People also ask.”

These are the pressing questions your target audience wants answers for. You can dig a little deeper and even see who has the leading content for that question based query.

Now that you see a few competitors, you can try to steal their snippet with a little more research and some snippable optimization.

Use SEMrush to snag competitor featured snippets

SEMrush is one of the most used online platforms for site analytics, and also a useful tool to identify Google Featured Snippets. You can use SEMrush to find your snippets, or use the platform to find your competitors’ snippets as well.

To check out your snippets, do an “Organic Research” search for your domain:

Next, locate “Featured Snippet” on the right side of the page.

You can also filter your snippable keywords using the “Advanced Filters” option, choosing Include – SERP Features – Featured Snippets.

Once you’d identified snippets that your competitors rank for, you can optimize for those same terms.

As for identifying your own snippets, it allows you to find variations of relevant long tail keywords that you could also own, and find keyword clusters that you already have authority in and might be able to expand upon.

Look for questions on Quora

Given that the foundation of these snippets is answering who, what, why, when, where type questions, you’ll need inspiration for finding the questions your audience is asking.

To do so, you can use Q&A platforms like Quora to find them. This will help you compile a healthy list of potential blog topics for your Featured Snippet content marketing campaign.

For instance, let’s say you were a travel site looking to compete with Kayak, Expedia, and other dominating brands.

Type in a quick question with a few of your keywords:

A nice dropdown of questions to choose from will suddenly appear right from the get-go, even before finishing your question.

You can also type in one or two keywords and find groups that may have snippet-worthy questions waiting for you to develop content around.

Once in the group, you can poke around, follow certain questions. You can also find a nice list of other groups to the right you may want to check out.

Next, you can use the on-page elements to optimize for the snippets as described here.

Did you know that certain question words have a higher likelihood of being showcased as a snippet? That’s right: the question in question matters.

According to research by SEMrush, question based queries that begin with “how” or “what” are more snippable than when, where, why, and who.

This is valuable knowledge to have, but where do you find questions segmented into those respectable question words fast? Well, Answer the Public to the rescue.

Let’s say you want to earn a few SEO content snippets.

Your search results for SEO will yield a ton of questions you can use for content. The best part is that you can focus on the “how” and “what” questions to increase your Featured Snippet chances.

Find a variety of questions on Reddit

If you are searching for a wide range of questions for your daily blog, Reddit will be very useful. This online platform offers valuable insights for what questions are trending.

First, you will need to access the “askreddit” section of the platform:

Once you are there, you can use the search feature to further segment your search based on your industry. Focus on generic keywords in order to get relevant questions.

Once you’ve identified the questions, you can then focus on optimizing for those searches.

Ready for position zero?

Identifying potential Featured Snippet opportunities is the first step towards earning those coveted position ones. Make a list of all the question based queries you find using the above strategies, and begin optimizing your snippable content today.

ABCO Technology will teach you how to optimize your site so your customers will find you. Contact ABCO Technology by telephone between 9 AM and 6 PM Monday through Friday. Call us today at: (310) 216-3067.

Email your questions to: info@abcotechnology.edu
Financial aid is available to all students who can qualify for the funding.

ABCO Technology is located at: 11222 South La Cienega Blvd. STE #588
Los Angeles, Ca. 90304.
Start building optimized websites today!

Your basic Guide to Linux certification

The CompTIA Linux+/LPIC-1 certification is designed to affirm learner’s skills and knowledge to:

•work at the Linux command line;
•perform easy maintenance tasks including assisting users, adding users to a larger system, executing backup & restore, shutdown & reboot; and,
•install and configure a workstation and connect it to a LAN, or a stand-alone PC via modem to the Internet.

The Linux+ certification is made up of two exams, each of which carries varying names/identification, depending on which vendor a learner chooses. ABCO Technology provides training that thoroughly covers the exam content:
•CompTIA Linux+: LX0-103 and LX0-104
•LPIC: 101 and 102

Typically, learners pursuing these certifications should have a basic familiarity with Linux, and the ability to create and manage virtual machines. These certifications are considered to be entry-level, so they are appropriate for learners who are fairly new to the information technology industry.

Exam Details
In order to take full advantage of the 2-in-1 certification opportunity, ABCO Technology recommends that learners register for, and complete the CompTIA Linux+ certification exams, which can then be applied to receive an equivalent LPI certification.

Time allotted for exam: 1.5 hours (90 minutes) per exam
Number of questions: 60
Passing score: 500
Question types: Multiple choice (single response); Multiple response; Fill-in-the-blank
Exam registration: Pearson Vue
ABCO Technology is a Pearson Vue testing center in Los Angeles, Ca.

Exam cost: $200 (USD) per exam
Exam objectives: Please note that exam objectives are available from ABCO Technology because we provide practice Linux certification exams. Learners can review any single vendor’s exam objectives and be prepared for the exams — there is no need to review objectives from each vendor.
•CompTIA Linux+ exam objectives: LX0-103 and LX0-104
•LPIC-1: 101-400 and 102-400

Recertification
CompTIA certifications are valid for three years from the date of certification. The CompTIA Linux+ certification is eligible for renewal through CompTIA’s continuing education (CE) program.
If you are interested in becoming certified for cyber security, the CompTIA Linux+ is for you. Companies that have valuable data to protect will use Linux as their operating system on the back end. Network administrators who are able to place a Linux certification credential on a resume stand a much stronger chance of getting hired.

ABCO Technology offers a complete program for Linux certification. You can reach our campus by telephone from 9 AM to 6 PM Monday through Friday at: (310) 216-3067.
Email your questions to: info@abcotechnology.edu

ABCO is located at:
11222 South La Cienega Blvd. in STE # 588
Los Angeles, Ca. 90304.

Financial aid is available to all students who can qualify for it.
Get Linux certified today!