It is exactly what I feared...

T-Mobile home internet gateway
The current gen T-Mobile 5G home internet black box

Review Agenda:


Gateway Specs:

So, the monolithic black device they sent looks pretty slick. It is a lot like the new Verizon and Comcast Wi-Fi 6 all-in-one's
It is a trendy modern mysterious black box that is here to solve all your internet needs.

On paper it is rock solid. (Well, their paper, it is a like in-house design so I cannot find actual specs like wattage, antenna gain, power consumption, etc.)

It has Wi-Fi 6, along with normal 2.4GHz and 5GHz transceivers. It also behaves like most recent APs; you do not need to pick what radio you connect to. It just presents 1 SSID and then, once connected, it will move you around the frequency spectrum depending on the client capabilities and signal strength.

In case you do not know, 2.4GHz is slower than 5GHz but 5GHz is not as good at distance or around/ through obstacles. Wi-Fi 6 is a little foreign to me. Right now, it is very expensive. It is also in its infancy, there are not a lot of rugged systems that use it. (Kind of like 5G) It will be here in a few years, just not as of today.

Ports:

Tested Speeds:

Ok this is what I was afraid of.

I live in the woods, only 4 miles from the small town of Plumsted PA. I have horrible cell service, like 3 bars on a perfect day standing on the roof of my house.

I was kind of shocked when T-Mobile said my address was eligible for this device. I assumed (like Elon's Starlink) I was too far out for this cutting-edge tech.

So, to be fair, I went into this thinking it was not going to be good. I am still shocked at how bad it really was. Now keep in mind, I am a certified HAM radio technician. I know a thing or two about radios and wave propagation. So please do not say this was user error. All tests were done next to a window, top floor, device with line of sight to the closest tower that is 5 miles away.

Rainy day: 20Mbps down, 3-5Mbps up.

Horrible, unusable for anything but sending a few emails and watching video at 720p. 20 down is not that bad, but the 3-5 up is just unacceptable. Totally rules out the possibility of multiple users being able to do anything.

Perfect clear day: 50Mbps down, 10Mbps up

Now we are getting somewhere. That is enough to do some HD streaming or a family of 4 use social media with only a little resolution reduction and buffering. However, still only speeds that would be good if this was 2005.


Router Features:

So, this is another unacceptable thing about T-Mobile "home internet" regardless of the speeds you get. Actually, it is nice that the speeds are unusable, otherwise the lack of software features would be really just annoying.

So, the device is just a hotspot. All it does is DHCP all the connected clients and NAT them to the internet. That is, it, you cannot control the address range, DNS servers, anything at all.

You can disable auto band negotiation. That is legit, the only setting you can touch. You cannot even totally disable Wi-Fi to use this device as a pure Ethernet device. 0/10 for that one.

So, for router features: it is a router, that is it, the most basic router you will ever see. Honestly, I think rooted android hotspots provide far more configurability.


T-Mobile Rules:

As of now. You get unlimited data. That is nice, but at these speeds you could saturate it 24/7 and pull like 100GB a month so it is not much to T-Mobile

Now the big rule that really killed me. You are not allowed to move the unit from your address! Now that makes sense, but it also does not. Like I get it, I am being billed for service that includes internet at my address. But on the other hand, this device lends itself well to, for example, taking to the cabin for the weekend, or a friend's house that has horrible internet. Or even in the car when you want to set up base camp for a while. Or a client's site, when you need to kill the internet but still need connectivity for downloads and documentation.

I wanted to test the device from right underneath the tower, to see what its full potential is. However, I do not want to risk some hideous bill or a ban from T-Mobile. So, I do not have those numbers. They claim under perfect conditions you can get symmetrical gigabit. I do not doubt that, it has Wi-Fi 6 and 5G, on paper you could get 1Gbps.

But I just do not know, and am not allowed to test. I would ask if I was keeping the unit but due to its horrible speeds at my home, where it would be used the most, I am just going to send it back. It does not work for me.


Use Cases:

There is a TON of use cases for this device. That is why I jumped on getting it. It could be a very low-cost internet service for someone who does not use that much bandwidth.

It could be a failover for the hard-wired ISP link

It could be portable internet for your cabin or secondary residence because you do not want to pay for 2 separate ISP links.

It could be portable internet for a full team at a site where the internet is down. It deploys in less than 5 minutes.

It really could be an amazing tool for the IT guy and normal internet user alike.


Wrap-up

"It could be" that sums up the service and device. It really has great potential. Unfortunately, it just fails to be useful.

It's total lack of router configurability, even just being able to change the internal address range. No static mappings, no custom DNS servers. Forget port forwarding. T-Mobile uses a proprietary transition layer for their 100% IPv6 network, this means even if there was port forwarding on the device it would not work with IPv4 addresses. You could hack something together but that is another story.

The speeds are just too low to be of any use. This is not "home internet" It is cell phone internet that most people will find easy to saturate just using normal applications. Desktop applications are designed to have stronger connections then cell phone applications.

Now a word on EMF/ EMI:

Dawn your tinfoil hats people, this thing is cooking out every extremely short wavelength waves you can think of. 5G, Wi-Fi 6, etc. They are using very powerful radios. Because this is a hard-wired device there are no power restrictions. Again, I cannot find official specs but I would bet it is right on the limit of the maximum allowed power by the FCC.

5G transceivers are still very expensive. The cheapest ones I can find are $500 USD. That is just for the transceiver, forget the modem and router. So, I am assuming if you were to buy this unit it would be well over $1000 USD.

That means it likely has all the high-power radios you can have, because why not, if the customer is leasing it, they might as well have the full power.


TLDR:

It is a great idea at a great price ($50 a month, no contract, no equipment fee). Unfortunately, it does not replace home internet, because of speeds and features.

If you are one person, in an urban location, then it might be perfect. However, if you are a power-user whatsoever then it is going to annoy you and make you feel like it is meant for people who do not know what an IP address even is.

Sorry T-Mobile, I really wanted to like it.

Ok, besides making you look like a dork, what do they really do?

Who knows really, does anyone really know how the human eyes and brain work in their entirety? I do not believe anyone does, otherwise we could construct these things.

We can only run tests and draw conclusions from those tests.

Blue blocking glasses is one of those things that is incredibly hard to test. It would require taking measurements over the course of 20+ years. Attempting to isolate all other variables. Very difficult.

So, everything I am going to talk about is philosophy. There are some study's but they can only provide a small amount of data.

The Data

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5854379/ This is a study showing blue light effects retina cells in mice.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4734149/ This one shows our Circadian cycle is affected by blue light.

There was another study I read months ago where they took mice, one cage had incandescent light, the other had LEDs. The mice with the LEDs had increased loss of retina cells.

The Philosophy

There is something going on. That is clear, LEDs, or blue light, or both. Our eyes can be affected by these things. So, can our sleep (circadian) patterns.

So, what can we do? I, like 70% of you reading this, spend a LOT of time staring at the computer screen. 99% of the screens we use today are backlit with LEDs.

That is not optional, we need to. So, what are we going to do about it? Anything at all? I mean we all do it, should we just ignore it, put it in the category of "don't eat sugar" Yeah, we know it is bad but what are you going to do?

Solutions

There is more than 1 way to combat this. These are the ones I see:

Let's talk about all of them. (Spoiler, I am a fan of the glasses route)

Blue Blocking Glasses

Pros:

Cons:

To me "they just work" yes, they are glasses, if you already wear readers then it might not be possible to find prescription blue blockers. I actually tried this for my father, they have clip on ones, oh boy do you look like a nerd with those on. They do work but he stopped wearing them because they were just too annoying.

I wear them every day, not 100% of the time. Some days I hardly wear them at all. It just depends, that is the nice thing about them. You can take them on and off very quickly.

The one's I have are USA made, and only $15. They are from UVEX. An authority on glasses, this specific model is just fantastic, for someone who never wears glasses I was able to just put them on and never feel soreness or discomfort of any kind.

Tape on screen filters:

Now I never even tried one of these. My mother had told me in the 90's they were all the rage. The only time I see tape on filters anymore are privacy filters. I would have a major problem with the use of them, so never even tried

Pros:

Cons:

Even though there are great pros to the screen filter, the cons are just too much.

Not being able to remove it on a moment's notice is a total deal breaker, I need to see colors, I am not going to rip a big piece of plastic off my screen 50 times a day.

Also, I know trying to get the thing to look perfect, cut to the perfect size, taped perfect, it is just not going to happen. It will bug me too much. Getting lint behind it that you cannot wipe off. No go for me.

Software Screen Filters

This is the easiest solution. Mac, windows, and Linux have free software available that will make the screen yellow to block out the blue light.

I just don't think they work. Displays are just filters in front of LEDs, if there is light coming through it all it is LED light, they can attempt to filter out all the blue but it just seems like it is not going to fully work.

Screens are not designed to do this.

Pros

Cons

If I was in some situation where glasses were just not an option then I would use this method. I actually use it on my phone every day. Yes, it is buggy and breaks things, and I am always wondering if it actually does anything.

Back to philosophy, it has to be better than nothing.

Eye care screens

Now this one is kind of new. I guess more and more people are thinking about their eyes and screens.

Pros:

Cons:

This is totally above my head. Monitors like the one I just bought have this technology. You would need to be a light engineer to understand if and how it works.

They just call it "eye care" it is on a lot of the newer Dell monitors.

I don't have much to say, it could be the end all superior solution to the problem. Or another marketing farse. I really have no idea.

Conclusion:

Like many things to do with the infinitely complicated machine called the human body, no one really knows. Do the solutions work? Is this even a problem?

All I know is the solution is not very expensive or difficult. So, if there is a chance it does something you are better safe than sorry.

I wear the above glasses every single day, on average 65% of the day. Sometimes when working with colors I need to just leave them off. Sometimes you just want to see the beautiful colors that are on the screen.

It just comforts me to know I am doing something. If I am buried in the terminal for hours then it just makes sense. I just need to see the text; it is not a problem.

It almost becomes like a ritual; it sets your mind into work mode. The brain does build associations, mine knows when the glasses are on it is time to work for an extended period of time.

Questions, Comments? Leave them below!

This has been a culmination of over 10 hours of research. The goal was simple; find a way to securely store all the keys, 2FA TOTP codes, crypto wallets, passwords, SSH keys. All that good stuff in some rugged secure place that is portable and can work with Mac, Windows, and GNU/ Linux.

Technology's chosen:

So, let's start with why you want to have something like this. For me it is simple, I have more passwords and keys than I probably should. They are critical and if lost would require hours to be replaced if it was even possible. It goes without saying that keeping these things on your computer is dumb, you use your computer, it is on the digital high seas as I like to say. It can be plundered at any moment. Hence why backups are so important. Then of course we have hardware failure, natural disasters, etc.

On top of that I switch computers a lot, I need to be able to just plug something in on any OS and have all my credentials be there.

So, you scream, just use one of those online tools like Lastpass. They do passwords and TOTP 2FA keys.

Well, I have a thing about putting my credentials in a cloud service. It just does not feel right. It seems like that is less secure than just leaving them on my Desktop. Also, there is the problem of needing internet to use them. Internet access is not always guaranteed for me, deploying network equipment you are often on a hotspot that is struggling to break 5Mbps...

I needed a "secure flash drive"

So, I found the only one on the market that natively supports Windows, Mac, & the lovely GNU/ Linux. The Kingston Ironkey

That, however, only solved 1/3 of my problems. It solved how to securely store SSH keys, VPN clients, etc. It did nothing for passwords and TOTP 2FA keys.

We need more software

Yes, you could just keep a plain text spreadsheet with all the passwords on the secure drive. But that, again, just seems wrong.

Enter KeePass

The open source, cross platform, lightweight, password manager. They have a portable version that lives on the drive. It creates an encrypted database file with all your passwords in it.

It also has extra features like one click to copy passwords. Organization features.

Everything a happy geek needs to manage 300 passwords (yes, I have that many)

Now it's time for TOTP 2FA

This one was trickier. However, it was absolutely critical. I hate the idea of keeping 2FA tied to my phone. Phones have a rough life. They are always dropped, getting rained on. Downloading shady files that you don't want to risk on the desktop.

I lost my phone in a Kayaking accident one time. You just cannot count on them for such a critical part of your digital security.

Enter Bitwarden

Wait? Bitwarden? the password manager? You just said you already have a password manager!

Yes, key difference between the two, Keepass is 100% offline. Bitwarden requires you to have it linked to an online account, all passwords saved to the portable version will be pushed into the cloud when you connect it to the internet.

The reason bitwarden is critical is they support TOTP 2FA, this is not a small feat for a portable application. TOTP 2FA requires an exact time to synchronize and get the proper numbers.

This one was hard to find. For some reason TOTP 2FA apps for desktop are few and far between. *Shrugs* I really do not know why this is.

OMG!!! Did he just tell us all where he keeps the secret stash?!?!?

Yes, I did, it does not matter, security by obscurity is NOT security. If telling someone your plan erodes the effectiveness of the plan, GET A NEW PLAN.

To break my system, you would need to kidnap me and torture me until I gave up my unique master password. That is the only way.

Long story short: don't buy it, it is not ready for production.

I will give it a fair shake in this review. As I did in testing. I would have never expected this from Cisco.

This review will cover the following items:

Specs:

So the full list can be found here. So to sum it up, you get 890Mbps throughput with firewall enabled. However we are already finding inconsistency's here. In some lists it says 650, some say as low as 350

So make of that what you will, for my requirements I only needed 200 so was not too concerned.

Hardware: you have 8x 1Gbps ethernet ports. 1 rj-45 console port, 1 ethernet mgmt port. one USB type A and one mini USB. One 4 pin power in. 1 reset button

All pretty standard Cisco IO

Firewall features: (with advanced license, with the license that comes with it, you get nothing, like really the thing is just a low end router without the advanced license)

Sounds solid right? Yeah I thought so. Backed by Talos, I'm in. Remember that to get any of the above you need an additional license that costs around $500 (the L-FPR1010T-TMC-1Y license)

You need an additional license to use the L2TP VPN. That will run you another $100

Features:

L3 routing and switching on all 8 ports. Very nice all in one device (on paper.) Failover supported (with proper licensing.) Both types of console port, RJ-45 and mini USB.

Fan-less, just be sure to give it some space overhead to let the hot air rise out.

External power brick, some like it, others do not. It is a chunky thing as this dose support (on paper) 30W PoE+ on 2 ports.

Dedicated mgmt interface for use with FTD system.

Licenses:

So it comes with the base license that basically just lets you turn on the device. Seriously, this is not a firewall without the advanced license.

Now lets talk about "contracts" see on top of licenses, cisco requires that you have service contracts for the various components of software. What that means for you: without the advanced license, you do not get to even download firmware updates

Serriously,

This device is a paperweight without the advanced license. It is a router without basic features.

To use the RA VPN you need a separate license.

So lets do the math $500 device, plus $500 license, plus $100 VPN license = $1100 + the renewal fees so an additional $600 a year.

That would be fine if the device actually worked.

General Overview:

After more hours then I care to admit, I came to the same conclusion that many others have. The FirePower 1010 is not ready for production use. On top of being way overpriced compared to competitors. It lacks basic features, is very buggy, support is non existent. Just look else where.

We have all had this experience; you get a new technology, you are trying to make it work and every turn is a dead end, another bug you think, oh it will get fixed in an update lets just move on. Oh it dose not have that basic feature? Well we can work with that. Oh it just dose not work as described? Well now this is getting silly.

Cisco, I really tried everything. This device is a disaster and needs an overhaul.

Hello, this subject keeps coming up. It is how do I work on sites without breaking the live thing. Then taking the changes and pushing them into production.

This is the method that I use. There are hundreds of ways to do this. This is just my preferred.

Steps

Install "all-in-one-wp-migration"

First step is to use this plugin by ServMask. It is rock solid. The free version supports sites up to 500MB in size. That might not sound like a lot but it is enough in most cases.

Install and activate from the wordpress plugin repository.

Once installed click "backup location" = "local". This will archive every single thing that is in the site. It will wrap it up into a nice file with a .wpress file extension

If your site exceeds the free limit of "all-in-one-wp-migration"

There is hope. You do not need the pro version. If you want to support the company and save some time then by all means show the dev's some love.

If you want to go another route that is more time consuming then use the native import/export function of WordPress.

Steps

This method is not preferred because if there is an issue then you have no tidy backup file to lean on.

However, I have done it multiple times with no problem

Spin up local Bitnami WordPress LAMP stack in a virtual machine

Go to Bitnami wordpress stack -> virtual machine. Download the virtual disk file

Download VirtualBox. It is available for Linux, mac, and windows

Import the virtual disk into a new VM

Make sure to change the networking to "bridged" also if needed change the disk space size.

Import live site to virtual machine

If you used all-in-one then the plugin will be preinstalled on the new stack. All you need to do is select the backup and let it do its thing.

If you used the wordpress native import/export then follow the above steps.

After all is complete the sandbox might not load. That is where the next step comes in

Change hosts file to point to vm

The "hosts" file on your computer enables hard DNS overrides. You can tell your computer to, when resolving a domain, resolve here instead of live dns records.

We do this with the sandbox because it prevents having to change the sandbox wordpress install domain. Saving time and ensuring a smooth transition back to the live server.

So simply go to the hosts file and change it to resolve the domain to the local IP of the sandbox.

You can find the sandbox IP by typing "ip a" in the console or looking at dhcp leases on your router.

Now you just work on the site

Easy enough right? there are some corks. Mostly that if it is an Elementor site with pro Elementor the license will not be active. There is no way to activate it except changing the WordPress install domain to something.dev

That is very annoying. For most plugins they will behave normally. I have never found one as tight fisted as Elementor.

Otherwise. If you need to visit the live site just change back the hosts file to not manually resolve the domain

Export site back to production

Now the scary part. Overriding a live site. This can be nerve racking but just remember that you have a copy of the original files on the server.

If you used all-in-one then the original .wpress file will still be on the server. If you used the alternative method then you have the files downloaded.

Well when you are ready, take a backup of the staging site and reupload it to the live site. If you used the native method then you will also need to upload images to the live server separately. There is no automatic method for the live site to grab images from the sandbox.

Now you are done. Yes there is likely a more smooth way to do this, however this just works

Everyone has an opinion on how to do this best. Some use all online sandbox sites. This way is free. Some hosts have sandbox services, some do not.

Whatever the case the above methods will work every time. Regardless of hosts.

Any questions leave them bellow.

WordPress and MySql, One in the same

BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP!!! Before attempting this. Full server snapshot. Not just WordPress backup!

Hello, today I had a task and was unable to find a complete guide for it. So here you go.

This is a simple task. You have two sites on the same database server using different databases. You want to merge them into the same database.

I needed to do this so I could share user tables between sites. Without using Multisite.

Steps:


Grant site1 user privilege's on site2's database

We need to let the MySql user of site1 be able to make changes on site2's database.

Database username will be in wp-config.php
mysql> GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON site2's-db.* TO 'site1s-username'@'localhost';
mysql> FLUSH PRIVILEGES;

Change site1's database prefix

Now we change the prefix of site1 so that there is no conflicts when we move over it's tables to site2's database.

Select all tables in site1's database and click "replace table prefix"

Now we must correct all the inner-table prefixe's.

Come over to here in php-my-admin (in the database of the site you just appended.)

Run the following queries:

SELECT * FROM `NEW-PREFIX-GOES-HERE_options` WHERE `option_name` LIKE '%wp_%'

That will give you all the table entrys that still have the old prefix. You need to manually change every entry displayed to the new prefix

Do the same with the results of this query:

SELECT * FROM `NEW-PREFIX-GOES-HERE_usermeta` WHERE `meta_key` LIKE `%wp_%`

Merge databases

Now time to merge the two sites databases together into one.

Make a folder somewhere where you can save the .sql export to. You will only need it for a second.

I made a directory called "dbspot" in /opt (ignore the home folder ls, I accidently did that)

Now time to export site1's database to it

You need to be logged in as root for this.

sudo -i

mysqldump -u root -p SITE1'S-DATABASE-NAME > /YOUR-CREATED-DIRECTORY/ANY-NAME.sql
password: MYSQL-ROOT-PASSWORD

Now a copy of site1's database is in whatever directory you put it in.

Now time to import it to site2's database (will still need to be logged in as root.)

mysql -u root -p SITE2'S-DATABASE < /YOUR-CREATED-DIRECTORY/SITE1-BACKUP-NAME.sql
password: MYSQL-ROOT-PASSWORD

Now site1's database is merged with site2's

Change site1's wp-config.php to reflect changes

Now you have to change site1's wp-config.php to use site2's database.

Change this value in site1's wp-config to the name of site2's database
Change prefix to one you changed it to.

That's all folk's (of course restart the server)

You have merged two WordPress sites into a single database.

Any questions feel free to comment below.

SEO, the latest and greatest add on item for every new website contract. I want to be painfully honest with you today. May this article negatively impact my business? No because I am always honest with my clients. However some of my competitors are not.

I am here to set the record strait about SEO.

SEO should be called Google optimization. Since google is by far the largest search engine. It is the one targeted by all the SEO companies. For good reason, they get the clicks.

SEO is tricky however. MOST COMPANIES VIOLATE GOOGLE’S TERMS OF SERVICE. Here is their webmaster guide There are no guidelines relating to what to do to raise your search rank. Here is their page on how to do it by the book It basically says to make a good site. That's it. This industry relies on empirical data to figure out what will make sites rank higher then others. There are many tools that are industry standard. Like: SpyFu SEMRUSH MOZ KWFinder. These tools help give the SEO company information to form strategy. However these companies are often very expensive to use.

Now before I go on there is a bright side to SEO. IT WORKS. Even though it is technically against the terms of service of google. It is irrefutable that SEO on a website will raise its rank. There are numerous costs both monetary and content wise that are necessary but we will discus that later.

So here are the main tactics that we employ:

These things we and many others have found to be the cornerstones of good SEO. Lets discuss them each further:

Keyword Targeting:

This is when you attempt to get the site higher in rank (position in search results) for a particular key word. For example, for a hair salon you would reason “hair cuts in Philadelphia” so that is the first step. You then go to an SEO tool and the tool will tell you how many clicks that keywords top listings get every x amount of days. So you do this and figure out that you have chosen a good key word. You then type that keyword phrase into google and analyze the existing pages that show up. You count all the instances of that keyword and you analyze the other SEO cornerstones to do a possibility study. If you determine that a top position is within reach. You simply attempt to beat out the top ranking site. Or at least come close to it.

If you cannot beat out the top ranking site. You choose another keyword and repeat until you find a keyword phrase that is a good fit for the client. Usually trying to rank for things like “hair salon near me” work better the less hair salons are in the area. In some instances it is very easy to get on-top.

Basically to sum up keyword phrases. You are trying to be better at SEO then any of the existing companies on the first page.

Landing Pages:

This is very similar to keyword phrases. Many times the only way to rank for a keyword phrase is to create a landing page specifically for that phrase. This is because your home page is often about design. It needs to look good, have lots of pictures and there is not room for text and links.

Blogs also function as landing pages.

Simply landing pages are a great way to target certain keyword phrases. Everything about the landing page is designed to show google that you are the site for that specific query.

Load Times:

This is getting into googles idea that people like modern fast websites. The Hummingbird update was very into this idea. Simply, google wants the consumer to use google! So by giving the consumer fast useful content. They will keep coming back.

So make the site fast. Google will see that as a proper site that people will enjoy using, and they will promote it.

Readability:

Very similar to load times, the website needs to be easy to use. Not just for visitors. But so google sees the site as quality content. This means that the position of things, the sizes the fonts and their colors all must be easy to use and look good.

Blogs are a good example, there should be one H1 tag, two or more H2 tags, three or more H3 tags and so on. There should also be lists, graphics, things that make the information easier to digest.

Image Tagging:

This is to let the google search crawlers know what the site and individual pages are about. By tagging we mean the image file name, the alt-text, and the image description. They all need to be relevant to the page or subject of the site.

Back-links:

Very important to get on-top of tough competition. Back-links or simply links. Are links from your site to other sites. More important, links from other sites to your site. These act as proof to google that the site or page is to be in a certain category. Also it ties the credibility of your site into that of the other sites.

For example, lets say you have an article linking to FBI.gov and also buyfingerprintcards.com This is a good indication that that site or page is about FBI fingerprint services.

Reversely, lets say on FBI.gov there is a link to your site. That will make google see your site as extremely credible.

Direct traffic boosting:

This is the practice of getting consumers to type your website directly into the browser bar. This indicates that your site is desirable. People do not need to search for it. They simply go to it. Inversely you can promote clicks from google search results. This will show google that your site is a good result to give people. There are various means of accomplishing this. Basically if your credibility is down then you need direct visits. If it is doing fine but you want to solidify your rank then getting search clicks is good.

Map listing:

This is critical. To have a good map listing with google. As google develops they are actually showing less and less search results

They always show the maps section if a business in your area matches the search terms.

Additionally good reviews on your maps listing is how you make your maps listing rise to the top. It also boosts your sites credibility.

Social Signals:

Very important. When google sees that your site or its content is being shared on social media, that is a great indication that your site is a good site that people like seeing.

Simply boost the sites domain presence on social media. Its articles, its pages, the home page, everything.

Domain credibility:

This is a funny one. Simply age is a major factor of a domains credibility. Also government sites are considered very credible. News sites. Business directories.

Credibility is hard to SEO. However using the above tactics can start you on the path to domain credibility.

So...

So whoa, your SEO company isn't just taking your money to the bank and forgetting about it. This is a lot of work. However, often it is the job of the site owner to participate in the long term process. Threw writing articles, keeping these principles in mind, and understanding why the site is setup the way that it is.

So now the ugly:

This is all against the rules (besides back-links,) this information was found using empirical trial and error. None of it is sanctioned by google or any other search engine.

You must remember this fact: GOOGLE IS THERE TO SERVE PEOPLE, NOT BUSINESS. Their goal is to make Googlers stay loyal to google above all else. They are constantly refining the search engine to server content that people want to see. They do not care that you want to be seen.

With that said. If an SEO company guarantees that you will see x amount of increased traffic. I would recommend reading the fine print. Because there is no way to guarantee anything. Even if you have SEO data from 4000 sites. You can very well wake up one day to find google changed the search criteria and now everything is plummeting.

SEO in that way is an art. You must do the things that google is looking for. But make sure to not over do any of them because that will get you marked as spam and you will be worse off then with no SEO at all.

At the end of the day SEO is simply a marketing tool. It is ads without buying ads. IT IS NOT A REPLACEMENT FOR TRADITIONAL MARKETING. It can certainly help. But it is not the de-facto marketing strategy.

It also leads to a World Wide Web where every single site is bending over backwards to please google instead of providing relevant service and information.

Design often suffers from the obsession's with SEO. A true master will balance the two out. But to often is design sacrificed for SEO. The exact opposite of what was intended.

Side note. If your SEO company gets you a ton of clicks that fall off after a few months. They pushed google to hard and it is a nightmare to get back to normal. So be careful. Avoid people making promises that sound to good to be true. Like anything in life. The magic beans are not really magic. The sales guy is lying.

Go to: https://www.fosshub.com/Caesium-Image-Compressor.html

Click this link:

Save somewhere on computer:

Click download to open Installer:

Ignore warning and run installer:

Go threw wizard (agree to everything and leave all options default):

Finish and launch:

Now you are in the program:

Time to compress the files. Click on this button:

Now browse the computer and select files. You can select one or many at once:

When you hit open, the images will show up in the program:

Now select where you would like the compressed pictures to be output.

Select one of three options.

In this example we will put the output pictures in a new folder within the original directory called “compressed”.

Click the “…” to start:

Navigate to the directory where the pictures are from:

Right Click → New → Folder. Named “compressed”

Highlight and select folder:

You will see the new folder selected in the program:

Now you are ready to compress! Leave all settings as they default unless you want to experiment:

Now hit the tiny “Compress!” button:

Now it will run and compress all the pictures that are in the list. When complete you will see this message:

You can see how much the photos were reduced in size:

Now if done compressing, close the program. Then navigate to the original directory of the pictures to see your new “compressed” folder:

Now open the compressed version and the original to compare:

That’s all folks! You have compressed your images and they are ready to be used on the web!

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