hostmds review

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HostMDS took on new life when it was acquired by Canadian hosting giant Cirrus Tech in 2016. Today, the company powers web apps from enterprise-class datacenters strategically located in downtown Toronto and Vaughan to serve the bustling regional market and ensure compliance with stringent Canadian privacy regulations. Over the past decade, HostMDS has transformed its line of shared, virtual, and dedicated server plans and colocation solutions to deliver infrastructure optimized for performance and security. As a result, the host is able to keep pace with the likes of Azure, Google, and Amazon in the competitive mass-market hosting space while serving up the hands-on approach and personal feel of a smaller provider.


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Posted by randfish

Buenos Dias, marketers!

Today's an exciting day! We're thrilled to announce the launch of the 2012 SEOmoz Industry Survey. It's been 2 long years since our last survey, which had more than 10,000 respondents from around the world and produced some of the most detailed public information ever assembled about the growing fields of SEO, social media, content, and organic/inbound marketing.

Take the 2012 SEOmoz Industry Survey

This year's survey is projected to take about 20 minutes to complete (I took it twice and the first time took me ~18 minutes), and it's slightly more detailed than 2010's. We know this means a little extra work on your part, but we hope it will be worth it as we make the data available to all. The survey's available now in SurveyMonkey and will run for 5 weeks to collect data (but early participation's greatly appreciated):

SEOmoz Industry Survey 2012

The following sections contain the 54 total questions (49 if you're not an agency/consultant):

  • Your Work in the Industry
  • Questions for Consultants, Freelancers, and Agencies
  • Learning and Improving Internet Marketing Skills
  • Internet and Inbound Marketing Scope and Process
  • Inbound Marketing Tools and Tactics
  • SEO Tools and Tactics
  • Social Media Tools and Tactics
  • Predictions/Opinions for Internet/Inbound Marketing 

As an added incentive for the survey, we are offering the following excellent prizes to some lucky participants: One Grand Prize Winner will get a 16GB Wifi iPad 3. Three First Prize Winners will each get a $75 ThinkGeek gift certificate. Ten Second Prize Winners will each get a $25 gift certificate to the SEOmoz Zazzle Store. To see the full sweepstakes terms and rules, check out our sweepstakes rules page. The winners will be announced by June 4th.

We'd also like to thank our partners who are helping to encourage marketers around the world to participate in the survey, including Outspoken Media, Search Engine Land, Distilled, Hubspot, Search Engine Journal, Techipedia, AimClear, Blueglass, Marketing Pilgrim and Search Engine Watch.

Thanks to Supporting Organizations

If you're able, a tweet, Google+ share, Facebook share, or blog post of your own would be incredibly appreciated. It's our goal to reach as many professionals as possible and share something truly remarkable from the data.

Take the 2012 SEOmoz Industry Survey

Thanks for your help and participation!

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

During the beta period, Adobe will preview the app and its many new features as it readies a fresh update of the rest of the suite, as well as its Creative Cloud, for debut.

Posted by Dr. Pete

Since the Panda update, more and more people are trying to control their Google index and prune out low-quality pages. I’m a firm believer in aggressively managing your own index, but it’s not always easy, and I’m seeing a couple of common mistakes pop up. One mistake is thinking that to de-index a page, you should block the crawl paths. Makes sense, right? If you don’t want a page indexed, why would you want it crawled? Unfortunately, while it sounds logical, it’s also completely wrong. Let’s look at an example…

Scenario: Product Reviews

Let’s pretend we have a decent-sized e-commerce site with 1,000 unique product pages. Those pages look something like this:

1000 product pages (diagram)

Each product page has its own URL, of course, and those URLs are structured as follows:


Now let’s say that each of these product pages links to a review page for that product:

Product pages linking to review pages

These review pages also have their own, unique URLs (tied to the product ID), like so:


Unfortunately, we’ve just spun out 1,000 duplicate pages, as every review page is really only a form and has no unique content. Those review pages have no search value and are just diluting our index. So, we decide it’s time to take action…

The “Fix”, Part 1

We want these pages gone, so we decide to use the META NOINDEX (Meta Robots) tag. Since we really, really want the pages out completely, we also decide to nofollow the review links. Our first attempt at a fix ends up looking something like this:

Product pages with blocked links and NOINDEX'ed review pages

On the surface, it makes sense. Here’s the problem, though – those red arrows are now cut paths, potentially blocking the spiders. If the spiders never go back to the review pages, they’ll never read the NOINDEX and they won’t de-index the pages. Best case, it’ll take a lot longer (and de-indexation already takes too long on large sites).

The Fix, Part 2

Instead, let’s leave the path open (let the link be followed). That way, crawlers will continue to visit the pages, and the duplicate review URLs should gradually disappear:

Product pages with followed links

Keep in mind, this process can still take a while (weeks, in most cases). Monitor your index (with the “site:” operator) daily – you’re looking for a gradual decrease over time. If that’s happening, you’re in good shape. Pro tip: Don’t take any single day’s “site:” count too seriously – it can be unreliable from time to time. Look at the trend over time.

New vs. Existing Sites

I think it’s important to note that this problem only applies to existing sites, where the duplicate URLs have already been indexed. If you’re launching a new site, then putting nofollows on the review links is perfectly reasonable. You may also want to put the nofollows in place down the road, after the bad URLs have been de-indexed. The key is not to do it right away – give the crawlers time to do their job.

301, Rel-canonical, etc.

Although my example used nofollow and META NOINDEX, it applies to any method of blocking an internal link (including outright removal) and any page-based or header-based indexation cue. That includes 301-redirects and canonical tags (rel-canonical). To process those signals, Google has to crawl the pages – if you cut the path before Google can re-crawl, then those signals are never going to do their job.

Don’t Get Ahead of Yourself

It’s natural to want to solve problems quickly (especially when you’re facing  lost traffic and lost revenue), and indexation issues can be very frustrating, but plan well and give the process time. When you block crawl paths before de-indexation signals are processed or try to throw everything but the kitchen sink at a problem (NOINDEX + 301 + canonical + ?), you often create more problems than you solve. Pick the best tool for the job, and give it time to work.

Update: A couple of commenters pointed out that you can use XML sitemaps to encourage Google to recrawl pages with no internal links. That's a good point and one I honestly forgot to mention. While internal links are still more powerful, an XML sitemap with the nofollow'ed (or removed) URLs can help speed the process. This is especially effective when it's not possible to put the URLs back in place (a total redesign, for example).

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Google reveals how it’s working on new and better ways to measure ad performance.

“At weekends, when people are free to choose what browser to use, many of them are selecting Chrome in preference to IE.”

Posted by Colby Almond

When I was first introduced to Digg in 2007 I didn’t leave the computer until I absorbed every piece of information that Kevin Rose made available to me. When I switched over to Reddit in 2008, I found the content even more enthralling and gave out upvotes until my fingers bled on nearly ever subreddit. A little over two months ago my girlfriend, Alaina was on her laptop on the couch totally enchanted by some type of site I had never seen before. However, I knew the passion and attention she was giving the site was all too familiar. There she was pinning and repinning content onto her boards like it was her job. As a marketer of nearly seven years, I absolutely knew this “Pinterest” thing was going to be huge. I never would have expected, however, that it would change the world of viral marketing so quickly.

It was during that month of January that Pinterest exploded from a casual social network to an absolute powerhouse of over 10 million users. By this point, it was driving more referral traffic than Google+, Youtube, and LinkedIn. For a social network remaining under the radar for the marketing industry, these are numbers that can’t be ignored.

The Power behind Pinterest

The best way to understand the power behind Pinterest is to compare it to the last ruler of viral traffic: The Front Page of Digg. We all remember the stunning days of 2007-2008 when reaching the front page of Digg was considered a milestone in your career. When developing content specifically for Digg was fun and actually reaching the front page was cause for celebration . . . and panic as your servers soon overloaded with traffic and eventually crashed. Those were fun times, indeed, and I have missed them ever since Digg’s mishap that resulted in a mass migration to other social networks.

I still remember my first Digg front page in 2008; I even printed it out and thought about framing it at that point in my career. Below is the actual data from my first three “Front Pagers” and what I thought would be the best traffic that I could ever drive to a website in a 24 hour time-frame.

Digg Front Page

In 2008 on a good day the front page of Digg could drive around 30-50 thousand visitors in a 24 hour time span. After the content was off the front page, it often disappeared into oblivion to never be seen again. That was the life of viral marketing back then and a lot of people have said since Digg’s demise that it would never be possible to reach those levels again.

However, I’m here to tell you that in the past two months I have not only reached those levels again, I have completely obliterated the old “Digg Effect”.

Below are the analytics from a single piece of content created for my personal site nearly over two weeks ago geared specifically towards Pinterest. As you can see, there’s a HUGE difference between the two.

Pinterest Marketing

Not only did this one piece of content nearly triple the traffic that was produced by the old Digg, but the average time spent on site is nearly 2 minutes and 43 seconds. This is exponentially better than the 12-13 seconds regular content is awarded from going viral on other social networks. The best part about going viral on Pinterest, however, is that once it hits its peak the traffic simply doesn’t stop. With the site’s growth in unique users and ability to “repin” and share, viral content will continue to bring in thousands of daily visitors for up to 3-4 weeks.

Pinterst Marketing

So how did I go about getting 46 thousand repins from one piece of content on my personal site? It’s all about the content, baby.

Understanding the Pinterest Community

Pinterest Maerkting Colby AlmondWhen I started researching how to better understand the Pinterest community and its users I was met with some criticism. Being told “I’m revoking your man-card” or “you’re wasting your time” were the most frequent. However, as I soon began seeing results my peers began to ask me if I was casting some type of voodoo magic over the Pinterest users. I have played D&D before and I do have a set of dice, however, I am no magic user when it comes to Pinterest.It's not about knowing what women want, it's about knowing what the community wants.

The real secret to understanding the Pinterest community is this: IT’S JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER SOCIAL NETWORK. Just like Digg, Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter . . . pictures of cute animals and memes run rampant. While there are some exceptions to this rule, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t see something from Reddit hit the popular page of Pinterest. Yes it’s true that throwing up a picture of Ryan Reynolds shirtless or of Ryan Gosling “Hey Girl-ing” a kitten will probably get you thousands of repins, it will never result in any traffic through to your site. The most important thing to remember is that the users of Pinterest are looking to share and repin creative ideas and advice.

There are thousands of infographics being submitted to Pinterest on a daily basis. However, I can count on my hand how many infographics I’ve ever seen make it to the popular page of Pinterest. When it comes to going viral, making the popular page is an absolute necessity in the effectiveness of your content. While infographics might work on every other social network, they just aren’t what the Pinterest users are looking to share. The whole point of infographics is to visually interpret data in a way that’s appealing to the users. While information and knowledge is extremely convenient, it just doesn’t fit in well with the ideals of Pinterest. Every few years there is a change in the trends associated with the design of content for social sites. While infographics have been a hot item for years, they just aren't working at the level I've seen with other content on Pinterest.

That’s why the team at 97th Floor and I are proud to share with you what we believe is the first of a new type of visual content: Instructographics.

Instructographics for Pinterest:

Pinterest Marketing Colby Almond

Since the term of “instructographics” has never been used before, I guess I should provide a formal definition. Instructographics are a vertical representation of creative ideas or steps that guides the user to a specific deliverable. It doesn’t matter if it’s a recipe, hairstyle, do-it-yourself project . . . instructographics work on nearly any level. Why do these graphics work better than infographics on Pinterest? It’s simply because the instructographic walks the user through a series of instructions that will result in something useful in real life.

Pinterest is all about the sharing of ideas and the instructographic is the perfect type of content for doing such.

So how does one go about constructing an instructographic? At 97th Floor we use the following methods when setting up one of our many Pinterest marketing campaigns:

Step 1: Find an Idea

For this step it’s pretty simple, just find an idea of a cool concept or creation that you think would go over well in the Pinterest community. The possibilities are endless; however, make sure the idea is something that you’ve never seen before.

Do you have an idea that is just so brilliant that it’s never been seen before? Good, that’s what you’ll need. After you’ve determined exactly what you want to share with the community, get your team together and start brainstorming the processes you’ll need to take to get to a final product. While you could probably make a monster instructographic outlining every single detail, I believe in K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple, Stupid).

Step 2: Begin the Design

After you’ve determined exactly what content your instructographic will contain, begin designing a basic step by step vertical guide. It is important to remember to keep the title of your instructographic as visible as possible as it will be the first thing viewed by the users of Pinterest.

Step 3: Upload to your Client Site

Unlike other social networks that give major notice to the URL that the image is uploaded on, Pinterest gives very little attention to this element. As long as the content is remotely similar to the site and looks like it fits it will be just find with Pinterest.

Step 4: Size it Correctly

What’s the difference between 40 visitors to your site from an instructographic and 40,000? The size of your content. As long as your content is longer than 2,500 pixels it will be unreadable by the Pinterest users. Anything smaller and Pinterest will magnify the image so that it's readable on the site (meaning there's no reason to click through to your page). This forces them to click on your submission, through to your page to view the content. If it’s something that’s worth reading and creative, this is a necessity. If it’s longer than 5,000 pixels, then create a simple 300×300 pixel button outlining your graphic. The reason for this is because the “like” and “repin” buttons are at the top of the submission. If they have to scroll too far town to view the entire piece, chances are they aren’t going to scroll up to click on those buttons. For me the ideal image is 600×3000 pixels.

Step 5: Submit and Pin!

When your instructographic is ready to be shared, there are several important elements that you should keep in mind before submitting to Pinterest.

If you're still having troubles understanding the intricacies of the instructographic below is one 97th Floor recently designed for a client which received 14,000+ repins:

The Pinterest Popularity Algorithm

Like every other social network in the realm of the internets, there is a science behind going popular on Pinterest. This is no way considered gaming the Pinterest site, however, it will give your content the best chance possible to make it to the popular board.

Once every piece of content is submitted it is placed onto the top of the specific category pages. Getting to the top of these pages is essential to going viral on Pinterest. Consider these category pages your springboard to the popular page. You do not need an established or aged account to get to the top, however, there are some elements that will block your attempts. Every piece of content is placed onto the top of the category pages barring it doesn’t break any of the following guidelines:

  • You’ve submitted within the past hour

    • It seems that in an effort to combat spam, Pinterest has limited every user account to ONE piece of content on the category pages per hour. We tell all our clients to hold off on the pinning up to three hours before we’re ready for a content push.
  • You’ve hosted your content on Imgur

    • I have no idea why Pinterest has done so, but any piece of content hosted on Imgur will not make it to the top of the category pages. I’m guessing this is a maneuver to differentiate themselves from Reddit, however, no one has explained the reasoning quite yet. Just beware if you plan on rehosting content on your site.

Timing the Submission

As with every social network, there is a specific time that you can submit that will give you the best chance of reaching the front or popular pages. Pinterest is no different as their users tend to be more active during different points of the day. The goal as a content creator is to get your content onto the site when it is least competitive yet most effective. With Pinterest this time tends to be between 5-7AM and 5-7PM EST. The reason for this is because the majority of users are either waking up or getting off work to check their Pinterest boards. Since this is the case, you want to submit your content at least one hour beforehand to ensure that it will be visible to the most people at the right time.

Pinterest Marketing Colby Almond

Monitoring Your Content

After your content has been submitted to Pinterest and gone viral, it is important that you check the popular boards routinely to see if your content has been rehosted on any different sites or blogs. As the creators of the content you are entitled to every visitor that it receives. Unfortunately sites such as 9Gag have included the “Pin It” button allowing the users to direct 100% of the traffic to their site. I have found that if you ask the user that pinned your content from a site like this to nicely to change the URL, they will abide. While it might seem tedious and time consuming, this is essentially thousands of visitors that your client will be missing out on if you do not follow through.


Pinterest is here to stay and if it’s not in your marketing plans yet, it very well should be. I expect Pinterest to double in size and traffic potential in the coming months. It’s important to remember that while the majority of Pinterest users are women, more men are starting to migrate over due to its easy usability and creative content. Don’t be one of those companies kicking themselves in a few months because you didn’t get in on the trend. They said Facebook would never take over Myspace and Twitter would be useless to social marketing. Experts are saying the same thing about Pinterest right now. I’m here to tell you they’re wrong.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

Small business owners who have just begun their SEO campaign will find that there is no end to the depth and complexity inherent in search engine optimization. Many companies try to take a do-it-yourself mentality to SEO implementation that ends with them sloppily stringing together popular search terms or stuffing keywords on contextually irrelevant web […]

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Starting in April, for browsers with the appropriate support, we will be using the “referrer” meta tag to automatically simplify the referring URL that is sent by the browser when visiting a page linked from an organic search result.

Posted by Erica McGillivray

It's MozCon time! At SEOmoz, we're proud to announce that tickets for this year's MozCon are on sale now, and our planning is going full-steam ahead. You'll want to put this event on your calendar now.
Join us for a three day deep-dive into advanced search engine optimization, social media, conversion rate optimization, content marketing, analytics, and more.  

MozCon 2012 July 25th – July 27th, 2012 at the Westin in Seattle

$899 $699 PRO Members
$1,499 $1,299 Non-PRO
Register for MozCon Today!

Amazing Content from Industry Leaders

Want to learn something that will blow your mind with awesome? MozCon is the place for you. 

"MozCon is like Disneyland for SEOs, jampacked with super-geeky SEO Magic Tricks, and great chances to meet and say hello to others in the search industry." — Pete Campbell

Richard Baxter at MozCon 2011

Actionable Tips and Deep Insights

"MozCon is the best online marketing conference I have ever attended. The content is well-rounded and advanced." — Bekka Palmer, Thunder SEO

Wil Reynolds and the audience at MozCon 2011
We're working hard with our speakers to craft incredible talks just for you. Some of the topics we've been bouncing around, include:
  • SEO and Google+
  • Community as an Inbound Marketing Channel
  • Cutting Edge Web Spam Research
  • New Forms of Conversion Rate Optimization
  • Link Analysis through APIs
  • SEO Project Management
Roger Mozbot's busy making the schedule and checking it twice. We'll have our full agenda up soon, and you'll find it here.

Three Days and One Amazing Experience

"MozCon 2011 in Seattle was excellent! The new knowledge was plentiful, the planning was primo, and the food was incredible – tons of vegetarian options and lots of snack times! Frequent breaks were necessary to refresh our brains every few hours so we could cram more giant piles of information in." — Heather Physioc

Besides our programming, MozCon 2012 will give you the chance to meet face-to-face all the Mozzers you've been chatting with in the comments on this blog, in the answers on q&a, by email, customer service questions, or over Twitter. 
Grab an engineer and get a hint at a new SEOmoz product. Rickroll Jen in person, or ask Shelly about why someone drew her riding a unicorn on a whiteboard. 
And don't forget to hug Roger!
Roger makes friends!Roger and Rand high-five
Roger loves HillariRoger smiles
Roger's only set to Hugs
For those of you wondering about the food, have no fear! We'll provide you with breakfast and lunch all three days, appetizers/light meal Wednesday night, and food and drinks at our Thursday night party. Plus, plenty of snackage. You won't go hungry or have to fret about a meal budget.

Celebrate, Moz-Style

After a day of digesting knowledge, put down your laptop and enjoy being in the fabulous city of Seattle and getting to know those who share your passion for organic marketing. We'll be hosting a casual meet-up Wednesday night and a full-on party at the Garage Thursday night. Make some new friends and show off your bowling or pool skills.
Casey and Chris at MozCon 2011

Relax at the Westin Hotel in Downtown Seattle

MozCon goers get a discount for the Westin Hotel. And wow, do I have some awesome news for you, the Westin did a big remodel this past winter just for us! (Kidding about that last part.) All their rooms have been refreshed and upgraded. Swanky.
Plus, if you're coming from the airport, the Westin is an easy-peasy 30 minute LinkLight Rail ride away. Learn more and ditch that rental car.
What's also amazing is that you're within walking distance of Seattle's legendary Pike Place Market, Elliot Bay Waterfront, and… the Mozplex!

"I've been passionately involved in SEO/SEM for nearly a decade, and I can honestly say that MozCon was the most educational 3 days that I've ever experienced in that amount of time. There was a wealth of tangible information and insight that I'm going to be able to utilize in all aspects of SEO. MozCon was simply inspiring." — Greg Bebezas, OpenText Corporation

Don't Delay as the Early Bird Gets the Best Priced Worm

We listened to your feedback. This year, we're selling early bird priced tickets for 30 days. (Until Wednesday, April 20th at 11:59pm PDT.) 
Our early bird pricing will be the largest discount on any ticket to MozCon 2012. If you're looking to save a dime or $200, in this case, purchase your ticket now.
Register for MozCon Today!
But you don't have to take my word for it…
Would your recommend MozCon? Overwhelmingly, YES.

"I walked into MozCon a great SEO and walked out a thought leader." — Mike King, iPullRank

Photos by Rudy Lopez

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!