Recent Posts

  • Latest Twitter Spam DM’s

    Posted September 3, 2012 By in Photographers SEO With | 5 Comments

    Back in June, we wrote a blog post with help and advise if your Twitter had been hacked. It can be found here – My Twitter Account Has Been Hacked. Since then, many of the spam DM’s that give the nasty hackers access to your account have changed.

    They now seem to have moved on from wanting control of your Twitter account, to wanting to control your Facebook account. It was inevitable that this would happen. The old spam DM’s were low in number, and once people had been bitten once, it was very unlucky that they would have it happen to them again.

    Here are some of the latest Spam DM’s that are doing the rounds:

    hey this person is making up offensive things that are about you
    what are you doing in this viddeoo ROFL 
    hey this user is making up shocking things that are about you
    what are you doing with him n this video
    wat r u doing with him in this vidd  ROFL 
    you didnt tell me you had a video
    the link i sent before was messed up!
    wow your busted in this video!
    whatt are you doing in this fb vid ?
    precisely what could you be doing on this video clip omg weird 
    hey this user is making up dreadful posts that are about you 
    lol ur famous now
    hey someone is writing cruel things that are about you  

    We’ve removed the links form them, to protect you from clicking on them inadvertently.

    All of the above, were received to our accounts between Friday 31 August 2012 and Monday 3rd September 2012. There were a few more, but they were very similar to those above.

    Needless to say, never click any links in DM’s like this. Its always best to contact the person that you think sent them, and ask them if they did. If they didn’t, then just delete the DM, and forget all about it.

    If you have clicked the link, and then entered your login details for either Facebook or Twitter, then please see our previous post, Help My Twitter Account Has Been Hacked.

    We will try to keep this list updated, to let you know of the latest Twitter DM spam. If you know of any more, please comment below.

     

  • Google Changes – Copyright Material

    Posted August 14, 2012 By in SEO Hints and Tips With | No Comments

    Google has this week announced that it will be changing it algorithm that ranks sites in the listing to include a factor  covering copyright infringement. This will apply to any sites that have been reported through Googles own copyright removal requests, and sites that get reported will be moved lower down the search engine rankings.

    Everyone should know that copying someone else’s work and trying to pass it of as your own is a bad thing to do. Yet there are still many people who feel they need to do this. We at Badges Patches have been affected by people who seem to think its OK to copy entire blog posts, or images to pass of as their own. We don’t like it as we put alot of time and effort into these.

    In the past, we would email the offending party directly, and say ‘take it down immediately, or we will invoice you for it’. This would be OK if they are based in the same country as us, but for foreign websites, it starts getting a bit tricky. Our only way is to apply for a Google DMCA request, to get the offending page removed from the Google search results. This is ok, but what about persistent offenders who steal from lots of websites? Or who have big websites? there was no real effect placed on them, other than the removal of certain pages from the search engine results.

    Until now……

    What Google are proposing to do, is to take all these complaints it receives from the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act), and use these as another factor in the rankings. So, if for example a website receives a high number of DMCA requests, ALL it pages will be pushed lower down the rankings.

    Google likes to use words such as ‘Trust’, and feels that the sites that are copying data from elsewhere on the web, are not trustworthy enough for the web user to view.

    Many people did feel that reporting such infringements was a waste of time as Google did nothing really about it. But with this change, its worth while reporting websites that infringe on your copyright now. Here are a few simple steps to find out if you have been copied, and how to report them:

    • Use a service such as Plagium to check your text, to see if its been copied. Services such as TinEye can check for images.
    • If you have been copied, and have a Google Webmasters account, you can complete the form here.
    • Google will email you throughout the process, and let you know whats happening.

    Don’t be afraid of reporting offending content, it really is a simple process.

    Some people may now be concerned that your competitors can report your website, to try and get you lower down in the rankings. Whilst they can report it, anyone who is reported has the option to be able to prove that any report was malicious, and Google will take no further action.

  • Custom QR Codes

    Posted August 13, 2012 By in Photographers SEO With | 1 Comment

    Here at Badges Patches we like to keep up with the ever changing technology, and understand that now mobile marketing is becoming a big part of the market. This is where QR codes come into it. But who wants a boring black one, when you can have your own custom QR Code.

    Just in case you don’t know, we’ll briefly explain what a QR code is, and how it can be used to help your business. A QR code is a square image, that has lots of weird shapes in it. When scanned by a compatable mobile phone, the code tells the mobile to do something. That may be to visit a website, call a phone number, get ready to send an email to an address enter, give you a money of voucher, the list is long and extensive as to what a QR code can do.
    The code needs to be scanned by a mobile phone, that has one of the many QR code reader apps installed. As these codes become more popular, more people are downloading the apps and know what these codes are all about.

    A plain QR Code

    This is a normal QR code.

    But, the problem with QR codes is that they are a bit……. well……. Boring. Almost all the QR codes you see are black, and may have some text round them saying ‘scan this’ or something similar. But they never get away from being black – until now!

    Badges Patches are pleased to announce that we have a method of making custom, funky, interesting, vibrant and enticing QR codes that will amaze your customers and encourage that scan to take place.

    Custom QR Code From Badges Patches

    Any colour is possible, and gradient, and almost any pattern.

    • Pick a colour, any colour and that can be your QR code colour! Darker colours do work best, but it gets away from the constant black.
    • Insert YOUR logo in the middle of it! Make that QR code truly yours by having your logo in there.
    • Have QR codes that link to all your social networks, with icons that people recognise and understand! Currently supported is Dribbble, Facebook, Facebook Like, FourSquare, Google Place, Google+, Linkedin, Pinterest, RSS, Twitter, Yelp and YouTube.
    • Stand out from your competitors, and have something on your business card that will be the first talking point when people take your business card!
    Get Funky with custom colour QR codes

    Get some funky colours, and have your logo in the middle!

     

    Qr codes can be used in many different areas. Business cards, Labels, Mailings, Packaging are just a few ideas. Basically, think of somewhere you can put one, and they can go there, even on Bottles of wine, or a label on the back of photograph prints (linking to your web gallery).

    Custom QR Code

    Custom QR Code

    Currently we are offering 5 different styles for the QR codes, and in any colour you desire! All these designs with our logo in the middle are slightly different. Some have hard edges, some have smooth edges, some have rounded corners.

    Custom QR Code

    Custom QR Code

    All codes start from just £19.99 so contact us today with your needs, and we can provide a detailed quotation for you.

    A custom QR code with Polka Dots. Different colours available.

    Polka Dots!

     

    PS. If you are a developer, and would like to offer these to your clients, contact us for an extra special rate.

    Some for the Social Networks:

    Starting of with 2 choices for Facebook. Although we have done these 2 in blue, they can come in any colour you wish. Also, the style can be changed like those above, to have hard square edges, rounded edges, smooth edges etc.

    A QR code that links to your Facebook account or Facebook page for business.

    Facebook Like Logo – Goes to Our Facebook Page

    A Facebook QR code, that can be used to link to anywhere on Facebook.

    Facebook Logo – Goes to our Facebook Page

    FourSquare. We don’t have a foursquare account, so this just points to the main homepage for foursquare. Imagine ahving this at the entrance to any premises, so customers can just scan it, and then their logged as visiting you?

    A FourSquare QR code allows people to register at your location.

    Foursquare Logo

    Google+. This links direct to our Google+ page. We decided to go a bit funky with the colours here. But try scanning it, it still works! Feel free to add us to your circles.

    Google + QR Code that could link to your circle, or business page.

    Google+ QR code

    And finally for now, Twitter. this links right to our Twitter account, so people can follow us, if they wish.

    A Custom QR code just for Twitter, with the Twitter logo in the middle.

    Links to our twitter account

    Remember to read above to see all the other social networks that we can include as well!

    Contact us today to get your own custom QR codes. Email admin@badgespatches.com

  • Content For Your Blog

    Posted August 9, 2012 By in Photographers SEO With | 1 Comment

    When many photographers start a blog, they wonder as to what should be included in it, and how they go about creating content for it. Do they simply post about tasks they have completed, or do they write about anything and everything? There are 3 main things to remember are: Uniqueness, Relevance and Recent. That is to say that what you write should be unique (not copied form someone else), Relevant to your website (if a photogrphy site, keep it photography related as no one reading a photography blog wants to read about your washing machine breaking down), Recent, if its news, post it ASAP don’t wait.

    The most essential component of a blog is not only its keywords, but also the timeliness of its content. It is timely content that is going to attract the search engine and also readers. This means that you must have content that is unique, expert and original. When your readers add their own comments and links to your blog this expands the search ability of your content. It should also be content that is focused on one topic and that seems specialised, fresh and new.

    Another essential component of Blog content is that it must be up to date, just as any news article is. This is also what marketing and advertising experts call “hot content.” Cutting and pasting articles from other sites simply won’t work because the search engine sites will simply ignore what you come up with. Nobody wants to read yesterday’s news. Or you will get a complaint if the page is indexed in the search engines and the content belongs to someone else. When it comes to hot content, originality is key!

    Another crucial reason why your content must be original and fresh is because on the blogging page, your content is arranged in reverse chronological order. The most recent content is presented at the top of the visible page and provides immediate access to topics that are most timely (meaning the blogs you have just written.)

    Another great thing about a blog is that it is of a viral nature. It can be distributed for free through an RSS, Atom or XML feed that allow readers to subscribe to your entries just like they would a magazine or newsletter. This means that users can subscribe to blog content. This brings repeat business to your site and business.

  • Not all backlinks are good

    Posted By in Photographers SEO With | No Comments

    If you have too many bad links for your site can not only lower your site’s importance in the page rankings of search engines it can also encourage some search engines like Lycos, Yahoo and Google to permanently remove your site from their search engine ranking pages. This is something you do not want to happen.

    Normally the more links you have on your web page, the more Google and other search engines will love you and try to boost your search engine rankings. Part of most search engine algorithms has been to raise the ranking of a site that has a great deal of link popularity. This is why it is always essential to monitor the people who are linking to you. If their links are broken they will be damaging your site. Google, the grand master of this ranking methodology, often penalizes sites that provide links to links that serve no purpose or that is broken. This leads to a potentially very dangerous situation because you have no real control over what sites choose to link to yours unless your website is a blog in which case you can banish links from being attached to your site (Trackbacks and Pingbacks).
    The drag is that the more popular your site is the more links you are going to have and the more time you are going to be spending checking to make sure that the links are operative.

    There is a quick way to see if sites that are linked to your site are active. On Google download the Google toolbar and do a search on the site. If the site’s link is broken it will not be green in color on a sliding green scale that is pictured on the toolbar. If they are gray get rid of them, as these sites are just dead weight in terms of links and probably already affecting your searchability on the Internet.

    A few tips:

    • Have no more than 100 links on each page of your site (Internal and external links)
    • Do not link from your website to ‘Bad Neighbourhoods’ (Link Farms, Porn etc).
    • Check your outgoing links once a month to make sure they still work.
    • Have a Google webmasters account to check incoming links.
    • If you have incoming links from somewhere you don’t want, email the website owner and ask them to remove.
    • Avoid incoming links from Porn sites, Link Farms etc.

    Building links is something many photographers struggle with. For the best in Photographers SEO, contact us today, and we can help build and implement a strategic link building programme that is search engine friendly and tried and tested.

  • Five Big SEO Do’s

    Posted July 31, 2012 By in Photographers SEO With | No Comments

    We recently published an article called ‘Five Big Seo Don’ts‘ so here is the five things you should do to help your photography website.

    Whether your web site is big or small there are five basic things that are must do’s when it comes to optimising your website for the search engines.

    Number 1:

    The first key thing is to take the time to do a careful search of all of your keywords and key phrases and make sure that they really do relate to what you are selling. Use a good program like Google Adwords Keyword Tools or hire us to do professional keyword research as not knowing your keywords is like driving blind in the dark. There is also no point in targeting keywords that no one is searching for.

    Number 2:

    Make sure you write a short descriptive title tag of what each page of your site is all about before you submit it to the search engines. This information can also help the users that are searching for you locate you easily. Avoid the temptation of creating title tags that are longer than 30 characters, since they might have a dilution effect in your rankings of certain search engines.

    Number 3:

    Make sure that the main text on your web page has the same as the keywords contained in your title tag. This is so that the search engines have something to hook into when they search your site. Try and repeat these keywords two to three times in the main body of the text without sounding repetitive. You should try to keep your keyword density to around 5% of the article total.

    Number 4:

    Add a sitemap to your site as that assists both the search engines and users in assessing your pages. It also helps Google properly index your site. This sitemap can be submitted to Google using the Webmaster Tools interface. The sitemap helps search engines find all the pages on your site.

    Number 5:

    Another tip is to build links to your site, from a variety of different sources. Increasing the number of links that point to your site will boost you in the results pages. You should only link from pages that have similar themes to your site, and stay away from bad “neighborhoods” or from so-called link farms or FFA sites. Make sure you have links from Forums, articles, social networks, other blogs, bookmarking sites etc.

    For help and assistance with any of this, to make your photography site go up through the rankings, please contact us. If you know of anymore Big SEO Do’s, please comment below.

  • Five Big Seo Don’ts

    Posted By in Photographers SEO With | No Comments

    When search engine optimising your web pages there are five basic things you should avoid doing or all of your hard work trying to achieve rankings will go to waste.

    Number 1:

    First of all avoid using cloaking mechanisms. This is automated software that doesn’t work unless it knows the IP address of a search engine spider. Cloaking is a form of SEO deception that serves a unique, optimized page to the search engines, while presenting a completely different page to people visiting your website. Most major search engines will penalise or ban you altogether if you use this tempting black hat SEO technique that often backfires.

    Number 2:

    Avoid using professionals that guarantee you a number one position or first page rankings. There is no such thing as this guarantee. To be safe always ask what techniques your would-be SEO firm uses to achieve a good positioning for your site.

    Number 3:

    Don’t use software that automatically submits your sites on a weekly or monthly basis, since it might penalise you in the long run. You can be considered a spammer so you if you submit URLS too often so you don’t really need to submit more than once.

    Number 4:

    Don’t entrust your site to people that will submit it to “thousands of engines.” There isn’t that many search engines in the first place. You will be submitted to link farms.

    Number 5:

    Keep Flash technology out of your site. As far as your rankings in the search engines go, the best way to develop a site is in using standard technology, such as HTML. Text written in the HTML format is proven technology that all search engines have long recognized and approved, since the beginning of the Internet. Using the right technology will always help your site attain a good position in the search engine ranking pages.

    We hope these help. For more advise on how to correctly SEO your website, please contact us.

    The Moo Moo Website Directory
    Human Edited Website Directory with strong one way links with options for free or paid reviews

  • How to get more Twitter followers (Real one’s that is)

    Posted July 16, 2012 By in Photographers SEO With | No Comments

    Twitter is one of the great social media sites, and is a brilliant way to let people know what your doing, where you doing it, and to interact with friends, colleagues, customers and potential customers. However, many people join, follow Stephen Fry, Justin Bieber and a few other celebs, posts a few tweets and then wonder why no one is following them.

    Other people spend hours following others, and wonder why no one is following them back. There are a few things you can do to increase your number of followers, that work and that help improve your social network reach. So here’s a few tips that should help:

    • Follower sanity is better than follower vanity. What does this mean? Well, it’s easy to go to fiverr.com, and pay $5 for someone to give you 5000 followers in a matter of hours. However, all these followers will be accounts that are made just for following people, not real people who will read and interact with your Tweets. There is also a risk that Twitter will close these accounts over time, and your follower count will drop. This is good if you just want to overtake your friends in follower numbers, but no good for business.
    • Use it, or lose it. Twitter is all about interacting with people. If you don’t interact, its a bit like standing in the corner of a room at a function, not talking to anyone, and hoping someone will come over and speak to you. You need to get out there, start Tweeting relevant tweets, interact with people, and don’t be afraid to join the conversation.
    • Start Local and Branch out. Depending on who you want to target on Twitter, start by targeting one area. Many Photographers work mainly in one town / area. So go to Twitter and use their search facility and enter your town or area. On the results page, you can choose to view the Tweets containing that name, or the people who have listed this as their location as well, or its in their bio.

    That’s the basic tips to start with. Use Twitter, interact, post relevant Tweets and find people in your local area. These are the ground rules which you should always follow. Now we know this, we can move on a bit and follow some do’s and don’ts.

    • Do Follow people in the hope they will follow you back. This may sound obvious, but someone may never know you existed until you start following them. Many people follow back their followers (we @BadgesPatches do). Others will want you to interact with them before they follow you back.
    • Don’t follow inactive users. When you view someone’s profile on Twitter, you can see when they last Tweeted. If they haven’t tweeted in the last few months, is it worth following them?
    • Don’t be afraid to unfollow people who don’t follow you. If you’ve followed someone, and interacted with them, but they haven’t followed you back, don’t be afraid to unfollow them. It may be worth just asking them to follow you, as they may have overlooked it. Unless their Tweets really appeal to you, is it worth following them?
    • Do ask people to ReTweet for you. There is nothing wrong with Tweeting ‘We have an amazing offer 20% of everything, Please RT’. The more people that RT for you, the more exposure you get.
    • Don’t use Twitter just for business. OK, we may get shot down for this, but people deal with people, so use your personality, and talk. If your account is just 100% business, you may put of some followers.
    • Do put your twitter username in your email signature, your business cards, your Facebook profile, your website, your advertising, basically anywhere anyone can see it!
    • Do use the Twitter search. I know we mentioned this above, but the search is a great way to find new people to interact with. Try searching your profession, your area, even yourself!
    • Don’t expect overnight miracles. Some people may jump a few hundred followers overnight if their Tweet goes Viral, but this is rare. Expect it to take some time, but don’t worry, you’ll get there in the end 🙂

    That’s just a basic overview for now, we will be doing more, to help you get more Twitter followers. This will include using Hashtags, and going over the numerous websites that can help you manage your followers and Tweets.

    If your really keen to get more relevant Twitter followers, we can do it for you. It does cost, so please do contact us if your interested.

  • My Twitter Account Has Been Hacked

    Posted July 12, 2012 By in Photographers SEO With | No Comments
    Don't let spammers ruin your Twitter experience

    Follow these steps to regain control of your account.

    When your Twitter account gets hacked, many things could happen. One of the most common things to happen is that all your followers (who you’re also following) will receive a DM (Direct Message). The message normally takes a standard format, and is along the lines of:

    • Hello some person is making very bad rumors about you…
    • Hello this user is making really bad things about you…
    • Hello some person is posting nasty things about you…
    • Hi someone is saying horrible things about you…
    • Hey somebody is posting terrible rumors about you…
    • Hi someone is posting really bad things about you..
    • Hello somebody is posting horrible things about you…
    • rofl…OMG I’m laughing so hard at this picture of u someone uploaded

    Followed by a shortened link for you to click. Most people would think ‘Oh My Goodness’ and click the link without hesitation, to see what these terrible rumours are, or what the picture is of. The link goes to a page that looks like Twitter, and asks you to log in. Once you enter your log in details, you’ve then given the hackers access to your account.

    Following on from this, the hackers will start to post tweets to your account. Normally these are spam Tweets, along the lines of ‘Lose 20lbs with this amazing weight loss plan’ or something similar. These are all spam, and more than likely something that your followers don’t need.

    We know of lots of people, who have had this happen to them, and then closed their Twitter account, never to return to one of the best Social Marketing sites again. There is no need for this to happen. Just follow the steps below:

    1. If your account has been hacked, log in via the proper twitter page at https://twitter.com/ Check the padlock is there, and it shows Twitter Inc US as the certificate holder.
    2. Change your password. Don’t make it similar or near your last password. Make sure it is a different length and contains a mixture of letters and numbers.
    3. If you have allowed 3rd party apps access to your Twitter account, revoke this by visiting the ‘applications’ tab in account settings.

    These steps should hopefully stop the hackers from accessing your account with almost immediate effect.

    Then we need to think about how to protect ourselves again in the future. Here at BadgesPatches we manage about 15 different Twitter accounts, totally about 120k followers across them all. We receive these DM’s every day, and every day we ignore them.

    • If you receive a DM, and are a little bit unsure if its real or spam, send a DM back to the sender asking them. Most people don’t mind this.
    • Never enter your Twitter password on a site, unless you are 100% sure it is the real Twitter site. If you click the link in a DM whilst logged into Twitter, and it goes to a page asking for your Twitter login credentials, you can be fairly sure its a hackers page you’ve gone to.
    • If you do receive a DM, and know its spam, refer the sender to this page, so they can stop them being sent any more.

    Twitter has a really helpful Help Center, that contains many tips on how to protect your account once its been compromised. It can be found at http://support.twitter.com/articles/31796

  • Meta Tags Explained

    Posted July 9, 2012 By in Photographers SEO With | No Comments

    Meta Tags are little pieces of information, that you can enter into most websites, to explain to the search engines what your site or page is all about. They shouldn’t be the same across your whole site, with the Meta Tags being tailored to each and every page of your website.

    When a search engine views your website, it doesn’t see all the fancy pictures or layout, instead it sees lots of code. Go to any webpage, right click with your mouse, and then select ‘View Source’. The result you get, is what the search engines see.

    Meta Tags are a great way to control what the search engines think of your site. There are 3 main types of Meta Tags for the main body of your site (images are slightly different, and we will cover these in another post):

    Title: This is what your page is about. Like a book title. It appears at the top of your browser, and may be the words within the tab. When you click to view source, it is contained within 2 <title> tags, like this:
    <title>Badges Patches | SEO and Websites For Photographers</title>

    Description: A quick and brief summary of what this page is about. Normally no more than 160 or so characters. When viewed in source, it will look like this:
    <meta name=”description” content=”Providing SEO services to photographers and websites for photographers..” />

    Keywords: The keywords for you page, and what you would like to rank well for. Google openly admits that it dosen’t use the Keywords Meta anymore (and hasn’t done so for many years), so this part is up to you. The content on your page should be enough to let the search engines know what your main keywords are. When viewed in source, it will look like this:
    <meta name=”keywords” content=”SEO for photographers, Photographers SEO, Websites for photographers, Websites for photographers” />

    Of the 3 items listed above, the only one that will be visible to anyone who views your website normally would be the title tag. The others they would need to view the source to see what is there.

    Although Meta Tags are incredibly important, it is important to remember not to stuff them full of just a couple of keywords. Entering to much of the same words can have a detrimental effect on your listings within the search engines.

    If this all sounds terribly complicated, and you have no idea about where to enter this information in your website, there are many ways you can get help. Many Photographers now have websites that run on WordPress, and there are plugins such as ‘All In One SEO’ and ‘Platinum SEO’ that will insert and extra box at the bottom of your add post or add page page, and let you enter the title, description and keywords without having to worry about the coding involved.

    Please feel free to enter any comments below.

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