Category: Web help

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Cybersquatting… what to do if someone tries to offer you your company’s domain name

By Dave Haygarth   October 16, 2018  
What is domain squatting or cybersquatting? Domain squatting / cybersquatting is where someone registers domains a domain that are closely related to a trademark or brand, with the intention of selling them – not using them. For example, a registrant might register “yourcompany.uk” in hopes that your company, using the names “yourcompany.co.uk” and also owning “yourcompany.com” would want to ensure that nobody starts trying to act as you. That’s got to be worth something to you, yes? This type of Bad faith domain squatting is illegal, but can still be expensive to resolve through legal channels.What is the difference between domain speculation and squatting? There’s no single, definitive (i.e. legally binding) definition, but generally squatting implies “bad faith” intent on the part of the person or company that has registered the domain. That means they have no interest in or intentions of creating a website for the domain or otherwise using it (like it becoming the main web presence for their business). That person just bought it to sell it for more than they paid for it. Domain speculation, on the other hand, involves registering domains that might be useful or of interest, but which don’t block an existing trademark or brand. For example, instead of registering a variant of an existing company’s domain, a domain speculator would register something more general, like “londonlawrecruitment.com”, in hopes that some domain registrar might want it. Speculators are often more open about the fact that the domains in their portfolio are for sale, as well. Whereas squatters might set up a basic page to make it marginally look like the domain is in use, or create a parking page (a temporary page, usually used to as a placeholder until a real site is ready) full of ads to try to get click traffic for extra revenue until they can sell the domain. Domain squatting, if a person’s or company’s actions are deemed to be that, is illegal. Some countries have specific laws against squatting that are more specific than standard trademark law. However, since the internet is a global entity, issues of jurisdiction can arise.Is it actually for sale? It’s always worth checking if the domain you’re being offered is actually for sale on the open market. We see a lot approaches along the lines of “We’ve been asked to register DOMAIN-XYZ.COM for a client but I wanted to offer it to you first, as it’s similar to your current domain. We can offer it to you for $200.”You probably don’t need the new domain but if you do go direct… often the domain is unregistered and freely available on the open market for less than $15. Check on https://www.whois.com/whois/What do I do if someone has registered a domain with my trademark? Follow the instructions outlined in ICANN’s Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP). Consulting your solicitor lawyer may also be useful in ensuring your case is as strong as possible. Note, however, that even though you own the trademark, a domain squatter will still likely fight to keep the domain, since it was purchased in the first place to make money. Getting the domain name may be expensive, but if you own the trademark, you have a good chance of getting the domain from the squatter. Really, it comes down to whether it’s worth the trouble.
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How do you write a great job ad title?

By Steve Riley   June 7, 2016  
Recruiters are busy people and anxious to spread the word about new roles. But resist the temptation to be too hasty getting jobs online. A bit of care up front writing the right job title and description will pay dividends down the line. Whether you have a complete brief from the client or are writing the ad from scratch there are some simple rules to keep the search engines interested and help candidates find your jobs. Think about your keywords.You'll already have your own ideas about what works for your market and probably follow house style, but here's a few thoughts around search, usability and readability that might help newer recruiter colleagues. Set expectations Include terminology that helps the candidate before they click. Terms like 'part-time' or 'night shift' can help save you paying for clicks from unqualified or disinterested candidates. Abbreviations Include common abbreviations in your job title. If a job is well-known by a particular abbreviation, job seekers will often include those abbreviations in their searches, so use both. For example, for a registered nurse, consider using 'Registered Nurse, RN'. Don't rely on the abbreviation alone. Write like a humanBe careful with buzzwords like 'ninja' or 'wizard'. They lack clarity and are harder to search for. Candidates will search for 'social media marketing' rather than 'social media ninja' Use relevant job titles that current job seekers will be searching for. For example, candidates are likely to search for 'flight attendant' than the more dated 'stewardess' Use the candidate's language not yours. So: client = employer candidate = job seeker vacancy/career/opportunity = job! Avoid industry jargon the average job seeker might not use. You can always hedge  your bets with a combination of 'insider' and plain English, eg 'Vehicle Restoration Engineer – Panel Beater' Be specific. For example include experience level or specialism if relevant, eg 'Senior biomedical scientist - Histology' rather than just 'Histologist' Make it look like a real job, even if you're continuously looking for people. Generic long-running job ads are for your own convenience, not the candidate's and won't attract the best applications...and finally Check and check again. Mistakes don't look good. You look sloppy and introduce doubt in the candidate's mind. If your job title is misspelled, it'll never show up in search. More on writing great Job Descriptions in the future. This post borrows heavily from two sources:the excellent advice at the Recruitment SEO Blog An article on Writing Effective Job Titles from the splendid people at RecruiticsLet us know if we can help with anything!

New Chrome browser (version 32) causing many users much pain!

By Dave Haygarth   January 23, 2014  
So Google has now taken it upon itself to adopt the Microsoft software release method. You know the one I mean... "We don't care what the customer wants or needs, you get what we want you to get..." Why?  Well it seems that in the version 32 release of the Chrome Browser that happened last week, Google has decided to make some rather unilateral decision about how your browser should operate and look. Firstly, have you noticed that the scroll bars are different.  Thinner, not the same as other applications on your system?  Well that's because Google feels that we should be in line with their Chrome OS look and feel.  That'll be the reason the up and down "stepper" arrows in the scrollbar have also disapeared.  Don't fit into the new 50% thinner, sleek design.  Not great wth mouse control or have accesibiltiy problems?   Tough. Many people have taken to the Google Product Groups to "congratulate" Google on this move and : http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/chrome/KCvRExwNxdE%5B1-25-true%5DSo is all the fuss just about a little bit of the UI change?  Unfortunately not. Seems Google has broken Chrome in other ways too, mostly stemming from the scroll changes. The most alarming problem for public users is the 'known issue' of the inability to highlight the lower most option of a dropdown list. You can select it still, but it isn't highlighted to show you're selecting the right one.  Sure you have the pointer in the right location? Just click and Hope! http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/chrome/xiJuwZWXcj4 Oh and if you're dropdown is a large one, it won't scroll either using the scroll bar, only with the mouse wheel (if you have one). The cursed "Microsoft blue screen of death" also now has it's Google equivalent: the "Page(s) unresponsive" popup.  A much more frequent visitor these days, affecting users in their day to day browsing.  Gmail users who do this will suffer greatly as will developers using Developer tools.   (http://frankcode.wordpress.com/2014/01/21/chrome-32-broke-the-internet/) So after all this has been said, can't we simply turn off these Updates? Well unless you like hacking around in the Windows Registry (NOT recommended) or you are able to set some permissions in the Group Policies Console to stop this happening, then the short answer is NO.Our advice is to use a different browser while Google sorts out this mess.  Don't email your poor IT support people  and expect them to resolve this, you'll find that they are also struggling with this mess themselves, just like you!

Cookie Compliance and Implied Consent

By Dave Bancroft   September 4, 2012  
More sites are starting to add functionality in order to become compliant with the "Cookie Law" that is now in effect.  Early solutions that sought "Explicit Consent" (as per compliance with original ICO guidelines) are now being overtaken by "Implied Consent" solutions, due to an 11th hour change by the ICO in the guidelines, (download) . They say "Implied consent is certainly a valid form of consent but those who seek to rely on it should not see it as an easy way out or use the term as a euphemism for “doing nothing......it would still be necessary to follow the steps set out in the Information Commissioner’s existing guidance. ...For implied consent to work there has to be some action taken by the consenting individual from which their consent can be inferred. This might for example be visiting a website, moving from one page to another or clicking on a particular button. The key point, however, is that when taking this action the individual has to have a reasonable understanding that by doing so they are agreeing to cookies being set." With this in mind, we now have developed an alternate to our "explicit consent" solutions, to cater for clients who want an "implied consent" solutions. Fingers crossed that the ICO don't have any more changes of interpretation in the pipeline.

Lost internet connections a reality for some 300,000 people

By Dave Haygarth   July 9, 2012  
Today, the FBI will shut down a number of Internet servers which may cause  300,000 people to lose their ability to connect to the internet. The servers in question are DNS servers which act like an address book for the internet, telling computers where to find the sites that users are looking for. These servers where being controlled by a criminal gang and misdirecting internet connections, netting the cyber-criminals money for doing so. This was achieved using "malware"(malicious programmes) downloaded by unsuspecting users, changing the internet settings to use the rogue DNS servers, rather than normal DNS servers. The rogue servers were seized by the FBI and altered to run 'correctly' so that people could have time to repair the damage to their PCs before the servers were dis-connected, as this malware is still on peoples machines, and still trying to use the Rogue servers.  The date for this disconnection is today. More details on the story and links for a tool to check if you are infected is here.            

Getting meaningful traffic from Local Results in Google

By Dave Haygarth   June 15, 2012  
A couple of clients have asked me lately what's the best strategy for getting local search traffic for terms like [service] and [location] ... i.e. "Painter in Watford" or "Recruiter in Manchester".  The simple answer is that there isn't a simple answer.  Of course.Early in 2011 Google introduced what it termed "Blended Place Search", which merged "organic" results with "Google Places" results. Remember that Google Places is a Directory and although Google tries to deliver relevance, you can make varying levels of effort to ensure that you are 'listed' in the Google Places directory Again, I hope I don't need to remind you that Google offers no 'silver bullet' to get good results.  Instead, you need to work on being the "best" service provider.  Sorry. I'm not going to piggy back on anyone else's great, original content any more - there is a rich background here on a blog bringing together loads of great resources on David Mihm's blog: www.davidmihm.com/local-search-ranking-factors.shtml  

Do you have backups of your data? Really?

By Dave Haygarth   October 5, 2011  
You think I'd be an "expert" on this, being that I am now 'in the industry' and formerly having been in Supply Chain Planning for countless years, making sure contingency plans were in place for all eventualities! Well this morning, I woke up to find my Networked drive not available…PC and NAS drive lights on - check Computer connection to network - check Heart attack - check!After countless re-boots of the PC and the Router with no joy , I started to reconcile myself to losing all those DVDs and Albums I'd ripped for central distribution, hadn't thought about the 3 years of real data too! Then it came to me how complacent I'd been. I'd bought a NAS drive that had two disks for data redundancy. Feeling smug & secure, I'd not considered that the unit may fail. What's the point of making external back-ups, it will be ok! I'd pondered that question myself recently and armed with the enticement of 100 off I'd ordered a new server to mitigate this exact issue. Irony is cruel - it arrives TODAY of all days (stop laughing) So the moral of this story is very simple really: Don't rely solely on your storage device for backing up!Get your data onto an external device to cover the device failing Make sure the external device is robust Data very important? Get the external data off-site to guard against a disaster (flooding, fire theft etc.) Consider 'cloud' based backups like Dropbox, Carbonite, Mozy AS WELL as your onsite backups Have an offsite backup policy in case your office burns down or floods Have a policy, process, system in place. Grandfather / Father / SonFortunately this story has a happy ending. I'd remembered my trouble shooting classes and the OSI Layer model (detail not important!) and thought about one last go using a bottom up approach to solving the problem - first layer is physical so I checked the cable and guess what : turns out that the network cable was faulty! Probably another moral there too -but that's for another blog!

How to Manage a Blog for your Business

By Dave Haygarth   November 12, 2009  
We often get asked exactly what a blog is, how to manage one, and whether it is better for it to be on your own domain or on something like Typepad or Blogger. Well, a blog is simply a publishing system. The beauty of it is that it categorises itself as you add new articles, and create the categories or tags you want to associate the article with. The nature of blogging is that it does not need to be formal. It is a great way to talk to your customers, publish thought-leaders, or just link to something interesting or amusing you have found elsewhere on the web. Blogs are a great SEO tool as well -- naturally optimised for search engines, they also notify Google of news articles as soon as they are posted meaning your article is listed very quickly. Our view is that the blog should be part of your own site: the content you add to your blog will (or should) be relevant to your market(s) and hence adds more authority to your domain -- the search engines will see your website as being more relevant to that topic than a site with little content. An integrated blog also adds more credibility that you are a serious business and not a fly-by-night. With the fantastic WordPress software being free, and easily customised, there is no excuse really. This article from e-consultancy echoes our views and provides some more useful answers to your blogging questions.

UK Traffic to Twitter increased 22-fold in last 12 months – 30th biggest source of traffic to other sites

By Dave Haygarth   July 28, 2009  
According to Hitwise, "the leader in online competitive intelligence", traffic to Twitter.com has grown by a massive 22 times in the last 12 months, with 93% of that growth occurring in 2009. This is amazing growth for such a new site and to be applauded. Interestingly, for web marketeers, Twitter is now the 30th biggest source of traffic to sites - driven by people posting links in their tweets (Twitter messages). We are seeing a lot of traffic to our sites from Twitter and strongly recommend including it in the online marketing mix. In the recruitment sector we have been feeding our recruitment clients jobs to Twitter both by using RSS feeds built into our FXRecruiter e-recruitment website system and also by sending XML feeds to Workhound who use them in their TwitterJobSearch site. If you are a recruiter and are interested in feeding your jobs to Twitter and also to the other job search engines (including Indeed, Trovit, SimplyHired) then get in touch!

Recruiters: Online marketing during the recession?

By Dave Haygarth   June 10, 2009  
Alex Strang of HB RIDA has written a thoughtful and interesting article regarding online marketing during these tough times. Improving your own web site's performance reduces your reliance on the job boards and leads to lower (or at least more controllable) marketing spend. By online marketing, we mean SEO, Email Marketing (newsletters and job alerts) and XML/RSS data feeds to job search engines -- anything that gets your jobs in front of prospective candiates. These solutions do not have to be expensive, especially compared to more traditional forms of advertising; and they are certainly more measurable. I'm a little biased, but Alex - I couldn't agree more! Read on...

The Future of Job Boards and Job Search Engines?

By Dave Haygarth   February 24, 2009  
Here we are re-publishing an article from OnRec.Our FXRecruiter job board software already integrates with many leading job search engines, including Indeed, Trovit, Google Base, 1job.co.uk, Workcircle and Workhound - contact us for more details.Online recruitment magazine - Search Engines and Aggregators - 24/02/2009Job search engines (JSE) and aggregators are relative newcomers on the online recruitment scene- we take a look at what they do and how they can sustain their business in difficult times and take it further in the future.Simon Appleton from Workcircle explains: “Vertical search engines or aggregators provide a Google-like experience for jobseekers searching for a job. They aggregate job listings from many sources, and give the jobseeker a single place to search across all these job sources. So if you're in sales, instead of following several niche sales boards, the local site for your area, plus the big generalist sites, you can simply search at a vertical search engine. A lot less hassle! You can look at aggregators from the other side as well: they are the most cost-effective source of qualified jobseekers for job boards, agencies and employers. Aggregators are usually experts at getting high volumes of qualified candidates to their site, and on to the job sources. There are two types of aggregator: 'scrapers' and 'paid for'. Scrapers aim to get as many jobs listed as possible, without the permission of the job advertiser, and then earn money from the traffic these jobs generate. 'Paid for' or 'with permission' aggregators have a commercial relationship with the job sources, and usually receive job listings as a structured feed, which means much higher-quality data and less out-of date and incorrectly categorised jobs ads.”Stephen O’Donnell from 1job.co.uk agrees not all Job Search Engines (JSE) are the same. He says: “A JSE which ‘crawls’ all websites indiscriminately, or without the cooperation of a site, will find that many of the vacancies on its database are either expired, poorly categorised, or lacking in detail. This inevitably disappoints and frustrates the potential candidate. Equally, what is the use of a JSE which indexes only a small number of job sites? The whole idea is that a job seeker can search as many job boards as possible in as short a time as possible. It is essential that a JSE is working directly with all of the major sources of vacancies, and can ensure the accuracy of its database, by continually updating via direct feeds from those websites.Recently, there have been newcomers to this sector from the USA, where the websites of employers are the primary sources. JSE’s are now an essential source of candidate traffic to not only UK job boards, but increasingly to the websites of recruitment agencies, and employers themselves. The flexibility and cost-effective targeting, can mean that a Job Search Engine can make an immediate effect to the traffic on a recruitment website. New sites, that can take months, and a well implemented SEO strategy, to achieve good natural search rankings, can receive an immediate presence amongst the very candidates that they are targeting, in their required industry sector and location. This means that their return on investment is much quicker, and that market awareness of a brand is established in a much shorter period. Established sites can also benefit from an injection of additional candidate traffic that will supplement their existing database, and provide fresh talent for vacancies.”Search engines and aggregators may seem similar but they are actually quite different, say Workhound.co.uk. Instead of repackaging job feeds, Workhound, as a search engine, is seeking to organize the world's online recruitment data: "We do this through a combination of different means. We get XML feeds but we also crawl the internet to build a Fair Use index of recruitment offers. Since job sites tend to have different taxonomies for displaying data, we have built intelligent data systems to process this data and relevancy algorithms so that we can present a uniform searching experience for visitors of our sites. If done correctly, it puts a company in a position to offer 'one stop shopping' to its users."The real challenge for a search engine is:• individuals visit the site; then, • they type in 3 words; then, • the search engine sifts through millions of job records from thousands of sites; then, • presents the individual with 10 relevant options.Quite simply, if this is done well, individuals will return. If not, they won't. Says Fischer, "Google is the most valuable internet company in the world because they do this well. But it's hard to do and even Google doesn't do it well in job search. Aggregators try to avoid the hard work of turning millions of unstructured data sets into structured data, deduping that data, then building GUI's that make it easy for job seekers to navigate the results, but we think that in this marketplace it's the best way to create value."Workhound has a financial model similar to Google's. They say: "It is free to have your jobs listed on the site (we recommend that job sites provide us with an XML feed, but it's not required because of our spiders). Organic search results are done on a relevancy basis. Sponsored Ads, however, are done on a relevancy + CPC basis. It is important to our visitors that they are provided with the largest inventory of jobs and it's important to our advertisers that they get qualified leads. There is too much "noise" on the internet. We only display paid placements when they are relevant to both the job seeker and advertiser. A specialized search engine sits between job seekers and advertisers and uses sophisticated relevancy tools to play match maker. We do not collect CV's nor do we allow individuals to apply through our site, we merely match job seekers with job sites."Increasing popularity in current economic climate?The downturn in the economy and confidence in its recovery is going to affect how everyone manages their business this year. Most of our correspondents believe this may result in more use of search engines and aggregators. Simon Appleton thinks cost-effective spend is going to be a huge focus for recruiters in 2009. He says: “Aggregators are probably the most cost-effective way to buy quality traffic. Additionally most aggregators charge on a performance basis (pay per click). We expect to see more recruiters (boards, agencies and employers) using aggregators to get more and better candidates from their online marketing spend. For jobseekers, the challenge is how to find the job they want, given there are going to be fewer out there, and how to find it quickly. Aggregators help the jobseeker search more jobs, across more sites, and get to an application in as little time as possible.” Alex Paterson, Website Director at Check4Jobs agrees about the cost advantages: “Imagine if you are a rigger looking to work in Aberdeen. That type of job may well take you days to locate if you didn’t have the right online search knowledge. However a vertical search site with 10’s of thousands of keywords indexed into Google and Yahoo will have those results and let you apply online within seconds. Google and Yahoo are expensive options for obtaining candidates, whereas aggregators like Check4Jobs can deliver targeted traffic for a fraction of the cost.”Providing a different point of view, Lee Biggins MD at CV–library says: “On the flipside, aggregators can display the same vacancy from a number of job sites which could become an annoyance for job seekers. Aggregator sites need to develop a system which cuts down duplicated jobs whilst balancing a happy medium between the job sites and recruiters advertising vacancies onto them.”Richard Clarke, Director at Red Advertising thinks there will be changes in the sector: “Jobs boards that are concerned about free advertising vertical search formats gaining significant traction in the market can rest easy. Yes, at the moment, some aggregators are riding the adsence gravy train for all its worth with heavily search engine optimised websites; but this is likely to be short lived. The hard fact is that it costs significant capital for a quality vertical search operator to market a digital format to the right candidate audience, especially if they attract audience share from methods outside of just search engines. They can’t then afford to give that candidate traffic away for free, nor is it cost effective to push it towards adsence. There is always a cost for quality marketing and because the market is so fragmented, in order to stand out from the masses, the aggregators that intend to be front runners need to invest significant sums into marketing to secure brand awareness. Hence the rub; they are not going to spend significant capital marketing to the right quality targeted candidate audience and then give that candidate traffic away for free. What we will see will be more online media players closely monitoring the quality of the candidate traffic that aggregators send them, checking the level of conversions they secure from the traffic received and in general will want to know exactly where that traffic that’s sent originates from. It’s a cliché, but you do pay for what you get. There is little value in a jobs board taking in lots of candidate traffic unless it’s of the right quality that converts, adds real value to their business and delivers to a high return on their marketing investment.” Workhound.co.uk agrees that building a job site off of Adsense or by gaming Google is a limited strategy. Says Fischer, "We agree, at heart, that all job sites are arbitrage plays. But to succeed, it's imperative to offer the best user experience and for us that means having the largest selection of jobs and the best tools to navigate them. Only this will allow us to build an audience of qualified leads that can be directed to job boards on a cost-effective basis."Simon Appleton sees 'free' aggregators disappearing, as he says gaming Google becomes less and less effective. He adds: “The quality aggregators that remain will need to be flexible in their business models - while a good aggregator has the ability to flex its variable costs if its income reduces, it's difficult to see what the recruitment landscape will look like in a year's time. The fit and nimble will prosper! Perhaps the biggest question is how the balance between available jobs and available candidates will play out. Now that jobs are scarcer, and candidates relatively abundant, aggregators have to show real value to their customers to justify their role.” Stephen O’Donnell says that this year, with fewer organisations able to confidently plan their marketing spend more than 6 months ahead, it will be essential to employ strategies that allow them to react quickly to the marketplace.Workhound.co.uk predict that: "Although there will be some consolidation amongst the larger job boards, the number of job sites will continue to increase and the role for vertical search engines will become more important." They see a future with tens of thousands of job sites and even a migration to new platforms, says Fischer, "Internet browsing behaviour is ever evolving. We are seeing a shift toward social media and cloud computing that will cause a proliferation of thin client devices and a change where individuals look for work. As such, we have built TwitterJobSearch.com and other products, that are identifying and processing recruitment offerings across different platforms like Facebook, mobile, and Twitter."David Martin, MD at Allthetopbananas.com also predicts the way the industry works evolving rapidly: “The different players in the market offer a range of opportunities for the recruiter and the jobseeker. As this young sector continues to grow it will be very exciting to see the innovative features taken to market which will really help the online recruitment space move forwards at an increased pace. As with any emerging sector there is plenty of out of the box creativity. The job search engine or aggregator role is to enable boards, agencies and companies to attract highly targeted traffic at an efficient price. Google AdWords are very expensive options - more effective solution delivering better value and active job seekers are needed, and job search engines are an alternative. I think the role of this young sector will develop rapidly - based on metrics and client feedback I would be shocked if the CPC model remains commonplace for more than a few years. CPA has to be the way forwards putting emphasis on quality-targeted leads. However, an industry standard rate for CPA will be difficult to identify as it dependent not just on lead quality but also target site quality – specifically ease of application as well as look and feel. The Google / Yahoo bidding option may come out on top”Peter Fryer, PR & Communications Executive at ClickAJob.co.uk predicts future shifts in formats: “Likely tactics will include a move away from search-only systems to longer term customer engagement, similar to the way Amazon does with books. Like Facebook and MySpace, some sites already offer the opportunity to create candidate profiles and involve friends. But to ensure fulfilment - the hard business of getting actual bodies onto company payrolls - more behind-the-scenes effort will be necessary - real consultants using phone, email and online video interviews to nudge career professionals more sharply in the right direction.”Search engines and aggregators may be relative newcomers, but they already provide a welcome wider choice for recruiters and much future potential. Yet again our contributors say concentrating on quality will be the key to success; along with cost effectiveness and flexibility.