Tag Archives: ChuckReynolds

As Bitcoin Price Surges, Phishing Attacks on Cryptocurrency Wallets Intensify

As Bitcoin Price Surges,
Phishing Attacks on Cryptocurrency Wallets Intensify

Today's Bitcoin to US Dollar exchange rate has reached $902, the first time Bitcoin price has gone above the $900 mark since January 2014, almost three years ago. Nobody knows what's driving this sudden surge of Bitcoin popularity, but cyber-criminals won't bother looking into macroeconomic factors when deciding that the market is ripe and ready for the taking again.

Bitcoin price surge reverberates through cybercriminal landscape

Over the past couple of months, as the Bitcoin price was slowly coming out of the $200-$400 price range where it spent almost two years, cyber-criminals took notice.

The first to do so were ransomware authors, who had to cut down the ransom demands they asked from victims. They had to do this because a ransom of 2 Bitcoin that once meant $400, all of sudden became $1,200, or more, a sum that very few users could afford to pay.

But ransomware victims are occasional Bitcoin users. A more lucrative operation is the phishing market sector, where crooks have yet again turned their full attention to Bitcoin wallet services.

The culprits behind these phishing pages targeting Bitcoin users are your regular career phishers. The Cisco OpenDNS team has tracked the operators of some of these Bitcoin phishing sites to numerous other phishing domains, used for collecting credentials for other services, such as Google, Dropbox, Apple, Amazon, and others.

What Any Cryptocurrency Needs to Achieve Mass Adoption

    5 Things Any Cryptocurrency Needs to Achieve Mass Adoption

Bitcoin, the giant in the world of cryptocurrency, continues to defy all expectations of an early demise and rises higher and higher in value and use. Its adoption as everyday money, however, remains negligent among the common people, almost eight years after the digital currency first emerged.

While the title of “ the first cryptocurrency” is no longer up for grabs, the title of “digital cash” still remains unclaimed, ready to be seized by another up-and-coming digital money. In order to become the common medium of exchange for large swaths of the world, a cryptocurrency first needs to fulfill a few crucial requirements.

Easy and inexpensive transactions

Forget about cryptocurrency for a second. Right now, regular people use either cash or card for day-to-day transactions.

Cash has no transaction costs but requires you to be physically present and have adequate change, and card transactions are relatively instant, though final confirmations often happen the next day, although fees are relatively high it is enough to disincentivize very small transactions. Any cryptocurrency wanting to make inroads with the common people has to beat this by having faster and cheaper transactions.

Bitcoin already offers this advantage, though the margin by which it does is growing slimmer by the day, and even now it may not be enough to entice the public to abandon traditional financial means. Any cash or card replacement has to be better by a large enough margin to warrant a change.

The same goes for fees. Cash has no fees. Other money transfer tools, like cards and bank accounts, are able to charge a fee because they are able to function across great distances with greater efficiency. Cryptocurrency has those same advantages over cash, and as such can be expected to have an associated transaction fee. However, that fee must be significantly lower in order to entice your average consumer away from banking systems. Large companies can afford to make major payment changes in order to save a few cents per transaction because of scale, but regular people cannot.

Improvements to Bitcoin’s basic model

Bitcoin retains an enormous lead in adoption ahead of other cryptocurrencies. Compared to traditional financial systems, Bitcoin provides enough benefits and improvements to warrant a switch. If a currency wants to beat Bitcoin as the new money, it has to be objectively better. Faster or more inexpensive transactions, more anonymity, a better governance structure, and other features are needed to set another coin apart to justify its use and adoption. If a cryptocurrency does similar things as Bitcoin in the exact same way, its chances of taking over as the digital money of the future will be extremely slim.

A streamlined Bitcoin substitution mechanism

Right now, Bitcoin maintains a massive lead in adoption over every other cryptocurrency. That lead was earned on the promise and hype, not of Bitcoin alone, but of cryptocurrency and of the Blockchain technology itself.

Attempting to best the great front-runner of digital currency from scratch, and without a truly staggering level of difference between the two, simply won’t happen. The only way to compete with Bitcoin, as previously mentioned, is to provide at least as much utility, and a large chunk of Bitcoin’s utility is its adoption lead. What another cryptocurrency needs, then, is an easy and efficient way to be used in Bitcoin’s place such as an automatic exchange built into the wallet.

An easy fiat currency conversion system

Like it or not, the world still currently runs on government-issued fiat currency. Living entirely off of cryptocurrency, without any method of conversion into fiat, it is extremely difficult at the present time, and not a viable option for most people. The average person will need an easy way to buy and offload a cryptocurrency for it to be a practical option for them. Most cryptocurrencies are only easily accessible through first acquiring Bitcoin. In order to become dominant and widely accessible, that crippling reliance on Bitcoin needs to end.

An aggressive adoption campaign targeted at the common people

Finally, in order to entice the world at large, the digital currency needs to presented in a way that resonates with most people. While some technical users will care about hash rates, cryptographic keys, smart contracts, and ring signatures, the common folk will not. They need to be reached with the language of cheaper fees, faster access to funds, more security, less paperwork, etc. The only way anyone will know why cryptocurrency makes sense for them is for someone to tell them why. In order to achieve that, a successful marketing campaign is needed.

The cryptocurrency world, while new, is wildly diverse. However, in terms of a tool for everyday use in financial transactions, Bitcoin has almost exclusive reign. In order to dethrone the king of digital cash, any competitor has to bring their A-game.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

 

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member

What is The Perfect Keyword Density?

What is The Perfect Keyword Density?
 

The short answer to this is – no. There is no one-size-fits-all keyword density, no optimal percentage guaranteed to rank any page at number 1. However, I do know you can keyword stuff a page and trip a spam filter.

Most web optimisation professionals agree there is no ideal percent of keywords in a text to get a page to number 1 in Google. Search engines are not that easy to fool, although the key to success in many fields doing simple things well (or, at least, better than the competition).

I write natural page copy where possible always focused on the key terms – I never calculate density to identify the best % – there are way too many other things to work on. I have looked into this. If it looks natural, it’s ok with me. I aim to include related terms, long-tail variants and synonyms in Primary Content – at least ONCE, as that is all some pages need. Optimal keyword density is a myth, although there are many who would argue otherwise.

‘Things, Not Strings’

Google is better at working out what a page is about, and what it should be about to satisfy the intent of a searcher, and it isn’t relying only on keyword phrases on a page to do that anymore.

Google has a Knowledge Graph populated with NAMED ENTITIES and in certain circumstances, Google relies on such information to create SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages)..

Google has plenty of options when rewriting the query in a contextual way, based on what you searched for previously, who you are, how you searched and where you are at the time of the search.

Can I Just Write Naturally and Rank High in Google?

Yes, you must write naturally (and succinctly) in 2016, but if you have no idea the keywords you are targeting, and no expertise in the topic, you will be left behind those that can access this experience.

You can just ‘write naturally’ and still rank, albeit for fewer keywords than you would have if you optimised the page.

There are too many competing pages targeting the top spots not to optimise your content.

Naturally, how much text you need to write, how much you need to work into it, and where you ultimately rank, is going to depend on the domain reputation of the site you are publishing the article on.

Do You Need Lots of Text To Rank Pages In Google?

User search intent is a way marketers describe what a user wants to accomplish when they perform a Google search.

SEOs have understood user search intent to fall broadly into the following categories and there is an excellent post on Moz about this.

  1. Transactional – The user wants to do something like buy, signup, register to complete a task they have in mind.
  2. Informational – The user wishes to learn something
  3. Navigational – The user knows where they are going

The Google human quality rater guidelines modify these to simpler constructs:

  • Do 
  • Know
  • Go

As long as you meet the user’s primary intent, you can do this with as few words as it takes to do so.

You do NOT need lots of text to rank in Google.

Optimise For User Intent & Satisfaction

When it comes to writing SEO-friendly text for Google, we must optimise for user intent, not simply what a user typed into Google.

Google will send people looking for information on a topic to the highest quality, relevant pages it has in its database, often BEFORE it relies on how Google ‘used‘ to work e.g. relying on finding near or exact match instances of a keyword phrase on any one page.

Google is constantly evolving to better understand the context and intent of user behaviour, and it doesn’t mind rewriting the query used to serve high-quality pages to users that comprehensively deliver on user satisfaction e.g. explore topics and concepts in a unique and satisfying way.

Of course, optimising for user intent, even in this fashion, is something a lot of marketers had been doing long before query rewriting and  Google Hummingbird came along.

Optimising For ‘The Long Click’

When it comes to rating user satisfaction, there are a few theories doing the rounds at the moment that I think are sensible. Google could be tracking user satisfaction by proxy. When a user uses Google to search for something, user behaviour from that point on can be a proxy of the relevance and relative quality of the actual SERP.

What is a Long Click?

A user clicks a result and spends time on it, sometimes terminating the search.

What is a Short Click?

A user clicks a result and bounces back to the SERP, pogo-sticking between other results until a long click is observed. Google has this information if it wants to use it as a proxy for query satisfaction.

For more on this, I recommend this article on the time to long click.

Optimise Supplementary Content on the Page

Once you have the content, you need to think about supplementary content and secondary links that help users on their journey of discovery.

That content CAN be on links to your own content on other pages, but if you are really helping a user understand a topic – you should be LINKING OUT to other helpful resources e.g. other websites.A website that does not link out to ANY other website could be interpreted accurately to be at least, self-serving. I can’t think of a website that is the true end-point of the web.

A website that does not link out to ANY other website could be interpreted accurately to be at least, self-serving. I can’t think of a website that is the true end-point of the web.

  • TASK – On informational pages, LINK OUT to related pages on other sites AND on other pages on your own website where RELEVANT
  • TASK – For e-commerce pages, ADD RELATED PRODUCTS.
  • TASK – Create In-depth Content Pieces
  • TASK – Keep Content Up to Date, Minimise Ads, Maximise Conversion, Monitor For broken, or redirected links
  • TASK – Assign in-depth content to an author with some online authority, or someone with displayable expertise on the subject
  • TASK – If running a blog, first, clean it up. To avoid creating pages that might be considered thin content in 6 months, consider planning a wider content strategy. If you publish 30 ‘thinner’ pages about various aspects of a topic, you can then fold all this together in a single topic page centred page helping a user to understand something related to what you sell.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

 

Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member