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Yoast SEO, do you need to be green? Content analysis and importance.

Yoast SEO is not only one of the most popular WordPress plugins, but one of the most popular WordPress plugins overall. One of the reasons WordPress powers a 1/4 of all websites (and growing) is that is has pretty good SEO out-of-the-box. Yoast succeeds in making a good thing better.

If you were just to install the plugin, and forget about it. You’d still see benefit. Yoast rewrites page titles, and creates an XML sitemap for search engines. Beginners often get hung up on Yoast’s mechanism for grading your SEO per post. It works like this. You specify a keyword (only one with the free edition), and then it displays the colors of a stoplight to rank your post; red, yellow and green. It’s tempting to tweak every post until you have all green lights. Like a deserted street at 3am.

Yoast has “live” recommendations, that change with your content. So we can’t cover every recommendation here. Let’s review some of Yoast’s most common content analysis recommendations, and see which are worthy of your time.

Yoast content analysis

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Robots, Humans and the Future of Jobs

Robots are fact and no longer science fiction. Robotics technology we have in development NOW is going to greatly impact our jobs and economy. This issue is creeping up on us quickly, but experts are split on their opinions about how it will affect jobs. Historically, new technology created new jobs to replace those it displaced, but this time it might be very different. All the rules go out the window when technological acceleration reaches a certain point.

If you haven’t seen this video, it’s worth 15 minutes of your time:

And if you’re really interested, here’s a longer read from the Pew Research Institute: AI, Robotics, and the Future of Jobs [pdf]

Can robots and artificial intelligence replace your job?

XP End of Support Popup Notifications Start March 8th (tomorrow)

Windows XP End of Support is on April 8th, 2014. Click Here to learn more.

Don’t show this message again

xp-popup

Microsoft is ending support for Windows XP, and it’s about to let every XP user know. On Saturday March 8th, and then the 8th of every month after, XP users will see the popup window shown above (unless they tick don’t show again). Many users may mistake this warning for a fake security alert, often used to trick people into installing malware. But this one is legitimate. Any computer connecting to Windows Update will display it. Most enterprise computers won’t, as they don’t get updates directly from Windows Update.

There are two more patch Tuesday’s left for XP, and then Windows Update will no longer offer updates for what may be the most successful operating system of all time. Many experts are predicting a spike in XP related malware as vulnerabilities go unpatched. Amazingly, XP still has a 29% market share. Not sure if you have XP? There’s a website for that: http://amirunningxp.com/

There is no direct upgrade from XP to Windows 7 or 8. However, Laplink has a free migration tool called PCmover Express that will help transfer files, settings, and profiles. If you want to also transfer programs, there’s a special offer on the professional version ($23.95).

Are you still running Windows XP? Will you be upgrading? What are you going to upgrade to?

How to Avoid Toolbars, Unwanted Software and Other Installer Tricks

Non-technical friends and relatives have two universal truths regarding computers. One, they have toolbars, background software, coupon offers, and/or search engine redirects. Two, they have no idea how they got there. Most likely, they installed them. Even if you are technically inclined, you’ve probably still been trapped by Dark User Interface Patters.

A Dark Pattern is a type of user interface that appears to have been carefully crafted to trick users into doing things, such as buying insurance with their purchase or signing up for recurring bills.

Downloading software and updates is a minefield of unwanted software. Scott Hanselman details the confusing experience offered by download wrappers.

I am disappointed in us, Internet, that this is a business. Someone wrote this, for their job, directed by their middle manager, who was directed by their rich boss. There was a meeting (there’s always a meeting) where it was discussed on how we could most effectively fool non-technical relatives into installing crap.

These techniques are well-honed and tested. Even experienced users can install stuff they don’t want. So what’s the average user to do? Here are some applications that aim to help avoid unwanted installs.

  • Ninite will automatically install popular apps. Great for setting up a new system. Pros: It won’t bother you with choices and options. It says no to all toolbars and junkware. To update, you simply run it again. Cons: If you add an application you need to rebuild the installer. Automatic updates require the paid version. Limited applications (some like CCleaner, and Adobe Flash have “opted-out)”.

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Happy 10th Birthday Geeks to Go!

10-years

Wow, has it really been 10 years? While the domain had been registered earlier, the forum admin “Joined: 22-May 03”. That’s the day the forum was started, and the day I consider this site began. 10 years ago today! (Coincidentally, it’s also my son’s 5th birthday. Happy Birthday Hudson!) While I briefly considered making a big production of this 10-year milestone with contests and giveaways, I always hesitate to put too much focus on the site itself, and some temporary sponsors. This is really a story about our volunteers and the wonderful service that they provide.

Thanks to all the staff, moderators, teachers and admins. All of whom are volunteers, and a without whom this site would not be possible. You’re all awesome!

It seems a good a time to recall some history, and how this site came to be. I remember being online, and reading an article on Forbes about one of the fastest growing franchises in the USA called ‘Geeks on Call’. I was gainfully employed in sales, worked often from home, and really liked my job. But I always had a passion to learn more about computers (thanks mom and dad). I thought the on-site computer repair business model was a great concept, and started searching similar URLs on a whim. As I recall, geekstogo.com had just expired a few days earlier. I quickly registered it, and to my surprise, actually ended up owning it.

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How to Install the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET)

A recent zero-day exploit in Internet Explorer affecting IE 6, 7, 8 & 9 (not 10) requires action on your part. You could stop using IE and use an alternate browser. An even better idea, install the free security tool, Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET). Deploying EMET will help to prevent a malicious website from successfully exploiting issues like in Security Advisory 2757760. EMET in action is unobtrusive and should not affect the Web browsing experience.

1. Download EMET Setup.msi to desktop, download folder or other convenient location.

emet-download

2. Double click EMET Setup.msi to run

emet-setup

3. Read the welcome screen and click Next

emet-setup-1

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The Number 1 Most Powerful Windows 8 Shortcut for Power Users

Much has been written about the lack of a Start button in Windows 8, but if you’re a power user you may find the lack of start menu items like My Computer and Control Panel just as troubling.

Type Windows key Windows logo key + X (or mouse to lower left hot corner and right click) for the following menu:

windows-key-plus-x-8

Here is the list of options:

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How to Disable Java in your Web Browser

Recently a “zero-day” exploit was discovered in Java. Oracle typically follows a quarterly patch cycle meaning a patch may not be available until mid-October. 3rd party applications like Java are frequently exploited, and it’s a good idea to unplug it from your browser. This will prevent infection from this and future exploits.

To disable Java in Chrome:

Type chrome://plugins/ into the address bar. Scroll down to Java and click Disable.

chrome-java

To disable Java in Firefox:

  1. Click the Firefox button.
  2. Click Add-ons.
  3. On the left menu click Plugins
  4. Click the Disable buttons next to Java Deployment Toolkit and Java™ Platform

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Windows Phone 8—The Last Piece of the Puzzle?

Windows Phone 8

Yesterday Microsoft unveiled he Windows Phone 8 to developers. It looks a lot like Windows Phone 7, but looks can be deceiving. It’s much more than an incremental update. Pull back the new home page tiles, peek under the bigger, shaper screens, look past the new multi-core CPUs and you’ll find a new operating system kernel. Not just any kernel, the same kernel as Windows 8. Yes, the same kernel used by the soon to be released desktop operating system, and the recently announced Surface tablet.

If you think only a geek could love a kernel, you might be right, but it holds significant meaning to Windows Phone users and developers everywhere. Significant because the computer in your pocket, if it’s a Windows Phone 8, now has the same file system, graphic drivers, networking, security, browser, and multi-core support as your desktop computer. Most importantly, it runs native code.

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Microsoft’s Surface Tablet is a Game Changer

Yesterday Microsoft announced the Surface tablet. Is Microsoft really entering the computer hardware business? Yes. Success on the tablet is crucial to the success of Windows 8. Microsoft has to ensure a well executed, competitively priced platform, and isn’t going to trust OEMs to execute it alone. If you’ve yet to see the Surface, watch the introductory video below:

The original Google Nexus phone was born of a similar need. It was introduced to compete against the iPhone. Android was crucial to Google’s success in the mobile market. Unimpressed by what OEMs had done, Google introduced the Nexus as their flagship Android phone. In a very short time, other manufactures began introducing phones with similar, or better specs than the Nexus. While the Nexus was never a dominant player like the iPhone, it’s mission was successful. Resulting Android phones and their adoption rates were much improved. Google continues to release new phones, and while they aren’t typically best sellers, they continue to help shape the Android landscape.

Like the Nexus phone, the Microsoft Surface has some compelling features that leverage perceived weaknesses in the Apple product. A 16:9 HD screen ratio is more suited to watch HD video than the iPad’s 4:3 SD ratio. Surface’s addition of a full-size USB port is huge, allowing easy, cheap addition of memory, and peripheral connectivity (printers, cameras, etc). The keyboard built-in to the cover is pure genius, combined with a trackpad and stylus it indicates this is a device suitable for serious content creation, not just consumption.

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