Hey, You, Get Off of My Cloud!


Have you ever really thought about Cloud storage? If you are like most people, the very idea of storing something out there somewhere in cyberspace is unsettling at best. In theory, it is a nice thought, as you dream about storing all of your information digitally and knowing that it will remain safe forever. After all, you would no longer have to worry about storing anything on servers or backing up information again and again. It also means you would no longer be designating valuable office space to store a bunch of documents the old fashioned way. Through the Cloud, you could store everything easily with a single click of a button or even without clicking. However, whether or not that remains completely secure is another question altogether.

When it comes to Cloud storage, there are a lot of different options that are available to you. For the most part, your options include the particular system that is being used to store the information, as well as, the level of security that comes with it. Most of the time, security exists in the form of several layers of encryption. Some companies use system that have just a single layer of encryption and others use multiple layers that are password protected. To make things even more secure, these companies usually make sure the passwords change almost constantly. However, there is no guarantee that the information that is stored in the Cloud will not fall into the wrong hands at some point.

The advantages of Cloud storage are also numerous. In truth, a lot of companies choose to store information in this way because they simply do not have the physical space to store hard copies of all of their important documents. Even when information is stored and backed up on a server, the old fashioned way of doing things make sure that you would have to have several disks that were stored at your site in order to retrieve the information. Storing it on the Cloud means that it is completely digital and stored in cyberspace without any hard copy in any form whatsoever. This is a fast and easy way to store information and it takes up absolutely no room on your part. Perhaps the biggest advantage is that someone else manages the information once it is stored in the Cloud. Essentially, it is no longer your problem until you want to retrieve the information yourself.

Of course, there are also disadvantages to everything and this is no exception. The biggest concern that centers around Cloud storage is the possibility that the information could potentially fall into the wrong hands – *think Sony*. People are hacking into systems on a daily basis and if they happen to hack into the system that you use to store information, there is a chance that everything that you have stored could end up in the hands of someone besides the people who need to see it. This can have a number of repercussions, not the least of which is the loss of trust of your clients.

In short, Cloud storage has become so popular that everyone wants to use it and it is quickly becoming something of a game where more and more people are jockeying for position. If you want your own dedicated Cloud storage system where no one else can have access to it, expect to shell out some big bucks. Otherwise, you can expect to share a system with thousands or even tens of thousands of other individuals and take your chances about the level of security that is provided with such a system.

The Farmer Update – E I E I O



This is a letter (two actually) written to my clients about the HIGHLY publicized “Farmer Update.” Never before have I been asked by my clients about a particular algorithm update… that’s how publicized this update was (and still is!)


—–Original Message—–
From: Keli Etscorn []
Sent: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 2:25 PM
To: Joel
Subject: Google Farmer Update // Algo

You’re not the first to ask this 🙂 [and probably won’t be the last!]

I’m going to do a *cut and paste* of my answer that addresses the very same concerns and if you have ANY questions afterward, I’m a keyboard away.

PLEASE NOTE: By doing this *cut and paste* answer I am in NO WAY minimalizing your concerns AT ALL… you know I sleep and breath this industry Joel and as with many of my clients, this is their ONLY marketing they do.

—————————— ACTUAL CLIENT QUESTION ——————————
On 2/25/2011 3:10 PM, Don wrote:
> Has the changes to Google affected any of the store placement one way
> or the other?
> Don

Hi Don –

Not that I can tell from spot checking phrases. Keep in mind, Google makes ~400 changes a year to their algorithm. The reason why this update is getting SO MUCH PRESS is because of the very public outing of JCP, Forbes and Overstock. Huge companies were caught employing extremely spammy practices; practices against Google’s TOS. Since Google’s *algorithm that catches these practices* did NOT catch these very obvious spammy practices they’re scrambling around with their own press to do good PR [IMO]. This is the reason it’s so highly publicized and the reason I’ve been getting multiple E-mails from clients regarding this algorithm change (FYI clients NEVER E-mail or ask about algo changes…that’s how mainstream this algo change has become!)

If you ever want to keep your finger on the pulse of this industry with respect to the latest news feel free to follow my Twitter feed:

you don’t even need an account to do this!

—————————— ACTUAL CLIENT QUESTION ——————————

So it’s just one of many updates that happen during the year… there was just more press to cover their *opps*.

This *outing* created a HUGE buzz in the SEO world… if you’d like to read about what exactly JCP was *busted* for you can Google:

JCP link practices
JCP farmer update
JCP spam

I’m sure those queries would bring up some gems! Within a week of the JCP’s incident Forbes was outed followed shortly by – all for the same ILLEGAL [to Google] practices. Remember! You can do ANYTHING you want to your Web site but to play in Google’s sandbox? You MUST play by their rules.


Is Cuil Cool?

Today Cuil debuted… a new search engine that has been touted as possible threat to Google.  I’m not sure about that last bit… it seems like Yahoo or MSN would have overtaken the giant first, but you never know.  That’s one of the things that make this industry exciting.

Cuil seemed to be getting more of a bad rap than good one around the SEO forums/blogs today.  I tried some queries myself and wasn’t that impressed… but it’s the first day right?  I put in one of my phrases only to see my cilent’s banner come up with an unrelated site (on a result that wasn’t my site).  My site came up with some strange graphic I had never seen before.  When I put in a client’s main phrase, her banner showed up on a competitors site – Oi. I tried another query, then clicked the “2” at the bottom of the page and got a “page not found” type of message. The layout is certainly different from what we’re used to.  It seems unbalanced and that bothers my neurotic mind. One of their big claims is having more pages indexed than any other engine.. but a bag full of trash is a bag full of trash.  I never did get the “I have more pages indexed than you” battle.  There was also a mention that Cuil doesn’t put a lot of emphasis on backlinks.

Hopefully these are all just growing pains.  It’s nice to have competition out there, keeps everyone on their toes.

Is Flash going to be sharing the love?

Lots of buzz about Adobe going to lengths to get Flash indexed, crawled, read, etc by the search engines. This includes navigation, links and *everything in between*. Images will still have issues as they contain no text… but other bits might be open for business.


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