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Someone asked me about using the disavow tool to combat negative SEO and regain lost rankings. The following is a detailed explanation of what is typically involved with finding a solution for a negative SEO attack.

Disavow Tool of Limited Usefulness

That’s also the reason why Google purposely makes the tool hard to find, because they feel it’s not necessary. John Mueller said that explicitly, that Google purposely makes the disavow tool difficult to find.

Google actively discourages the use of the disavow tool and the ONLY reason it exists is because the SEO community BEGGED Google for a disavow tool. Google resisted offering a disavow tool, but after several months relented and offered it.

The tool is not something Google forced on SEOs. The tool is something SEOs begged Google to provide.

As it stands, Googlers have repeatedly stated that the proper use of the disavow tool is when you know you have bad links, as in you’re responsible for them.

Googlers do not encourage publishers to use the disavow tool to fight negative SEO. Why would they? Googler’s don’t even believe in negative SEO.

References:

Google’s John Mueller on How to Use Disavow Tool – Two More Times

Google Discourages Use of Disavow Tool. Unless You Know the Bad Links

Googler Gary Illyes Has Never Seen a Real Case of Negative SEO

I recently wrote this (citation below):

“Gary Illyes stated at PubCon Florida 2023 that out of hundreds of negative SEO reports he has examined, none of them were real. The reason the sites experienced ranking drops were due to other reasons.

Google’s John Mueller on Disavow Tool – FULL TRANSCRIPT

How Negative SEO Shaped Disavow Tool

Do Link Related Penalties Exist?

Yes, link related penalties still exist. But no, random low quality scraper links don’t cause penalties. Google is ignoring low quality links.

Link related manual actions are real and they are still happening. It “seems” like there have been a lot of link related manual actions handed out from March through April 2023.

There was quite a bit of chatter about those in Google Webmaster Forums, as well as publishers coming to me for help in removing those penalties.

I believe that understanding link distance ranking algorithms could help people better understand why Google is so confident about their ability to neutralize low quality links.

Link distance ranking algorithms are among the newest techniques for analyzing links in a search engine. Google and other researchers have published research papers and patents about it.

Reading about these algorithms may help publishers gain an understanding of why Google is so confident about being able to neutralize the influence of low quality links.

Is Negative SEO Real?

I believe that what some people regard as negative SEO is not really negative SEO. Many sites accumulate low quality links, including adult type links. It’s a normal pattern on the web.

Spammers (and white hat SEOs) believe that linking out to high quality sites will help their sites appear less spammy. But if you have just a little understanding of link analysis, then you’ll know that the search engines are not only two steps ahead of that practice, they’re actually about a thousand miles ahead.

Is it possible to negative SEO? I believe it is possible, but not in the way that people currently think it’s done. I don’t dare share any more details than that.

I believe that negative SEO is a convenient scapegoat to avoid acknowledging problems with site itself. Many have approached me about negative SEO that could not be resolved through the disavow tool. A review has often revealed that the problem was within the site and not due to negative SEO.

Scapegoats and Red Herrings

I’ve been approached by people who claim to be affected by Negative SEO and upload huge disavow lists every month. Yet they never, never find relief, their rankings never improve.

That’s like rubbing olive oil on your broken arm with the belief that if you keep on rubbing it just a little more the arm will heal. But it never heals because rubbing it does nothing.

Everybody’s baby is beautiful and well behaved to the parent. The baby is perceived differently by everybody else.

The real problem affecting the site tends to become more evident to someone looking at the site from the outside.

Negative SEO: The Takeaway

If your disavows aren’t working, if your rankings aren’t returning, then you should stop and consider that the real problem is something else.

If disavowing low quality links does not work, the solution is to acknowledge that the problem lies elsewhere.

The real problem is likely in the website itself, not outside of it. Acknowledging this reality is to take the first step toward correcting the real problem that’s affecting your rankings.

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Is Usdt Exposed To Ftx? Read What This Tether Exec Has To Say

Tether’s CTO addressed concerns over USDT’s exposure to FTT

USDT daily volume sees a spike

Members of the cryptocurrency community have been questioning prominent stablecoin companies about their engagements with FTX and FTT. Perhaps, out of worry that a repeat of the Terra scenario might transpire. Paolo Ardoino, the CTO of Tether, was recently asked about the cryptocurrency’s potential risk from FTT as well.

So, how serious is USDT’s exposure to this failing asset and company?

Is USDT exposed?

Questions regarding the stablecoin’s vulnerability to FTX and FTT were raised in a tweet addressed to both Tether’s CTO and Circle’s CEO. According to the tweet, Alameda, FTX’s trading subsidiary, has been rumoured to be the biggest issuer of USDT.

Circle and Tether should disclose more of their financial relationship with FTX Alameda to let users know if it’s a risk. @jerallaire @paoloardoino We are seeing a lot of assets move from Circle to FTX; there are also reports that Alameda is the second largest issuer of Tether.

— Wu Blockchain (@WuBlockchain) November 9, 2023

After members of the community voiced their concerns, Tether’s Chief Technology Officer Paolo Ardoino tweeted that the stablecoin issuer is not afflicted by either FTX or Alameda.

The Tether executive said that Alameda had redeemed a large quantity of USDT in the past. Despite this, however, no credit exposure had reached maturity.

— Paolo Ardoino 🍐 (@paoloardoino) November 9, 2023

Likewise, Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire refuted speculations that his company is exposed to FTX or Alameda. According to him, although FTX and Alameda have been Circle customers, the stablecoin issuer never issued loans to FTX, received FTT as security, or took any holdings in FTT.

2/ Circle has no material exposure to FTX and Alameda. FTX has been a customer of Circle Payment APIs for the past 18 months, providing card and ACH services for customer transactions. Circle’s crypto payments beta product uses FTX and other exchanges, for BTC/ETH liquidity.

— Jeremy Allaire (@jerallaire) November 9, 2023

USDT trading volume spikes

While the doubts and rumours have been put to rest, for the time being, the actual status of Tether will remain unknown until the dust settles. USDT is still the most popular stablecoin in the market globally. In fact, data also showed that trading volume grew by over 70% in the last 24 hours.

More information can be gleaned from USDT’s daily chart.

A rise in USDT trade was evident, as was a preponderance of buying pressure, which was measured by the volume indicator. 

In other news, the CEO of Binance announced that the exchange would soon launch a Proof-of-Reserves audit mechanism to allow verification of its digital asset holdings. This, in the wake of the liquidity problem and the acquisition of FTX.

He further promised to develop a Proof-of-Reserve mechanism using Merkle Trees – A data structure designed to encapsulate blockchain data more effectively and securely in order to guarantee “complete transparency.” 

All crypto exchanges should do merkle-tree proof-of-reserves.

— CZ 🔶 Binance (@cz_binance) November 8, 2023

Several other exchanges have also shown their desire to follow suit. This is critical as it would allow people to understand the financial state of different markets.

Intel 760P Ssd Review: This Affordable Nvme Delivers On Read Speed, Falters On Writes

We were ready to love this NVMe SSD because of its superlow price, but while indeed it is near the price of SATA, so is the sustained write speed. That said, in everyday use, you will see that NVMe kick in the pants performance.

Intel is marketing its 760p NVMe SSD and cohort as “NVMe speed for not much more than the cost of SATA,” a slower and more affordable interface. That speed is exactly what you get the vast majority of the time. But on occasions when you copy more data than the drive’s caching system can hold, you also get sustained write speed that’s only a little faster than…SATA. Sorry, Intel brought it up.

Note: This review is part of our best SSDs roundup. Go there for details about competing products and how we tested them.

Design, specs, and pricing

The 512GB 760p we review here is a 2280 (22mm across, 80mm long) M.2/PCIe drive that ships without a fancy heat sink or logo, though there’s more lettering than shown in the censored image shown below. the 760p uses Silicon Motion’s SM2262 controller and Intel’s own 3D 64-layered, TLC (3-bit) NAND.

Intel

The 760P, with all the lettering on the chips deliberately obscured. 

Intel calls out the fact that it uses floating gate (FG) NAND technology, while the competition such as Samsung with its TCAT uses replacement gate (RG). FG, says Intel, allows for greater cell density and more efficiency all around. NAND and its various implementations is an extremely complex subject, and you can find other opinions on the relative merits. We’ll leave it at that.

The company also calls out the 760p’s low power consumption of 50 milliwatts (mW) while operational. When we see this spec quoted by other companies, it’s almost always significantly higher. For example, OCZ’s RD400 claims 6 full watts operational, though its idle figure of 6mW is lower than the 760p’s 25mW. Depending on your usage, and the accuracy of those numbers, the 760p could either save you, or cost you battery life. 

The 760p carries a 5-year warranty and is rated for 72TBW (TeraBytes Written—the amount of data you can write to the drive) per 128GB of capacity, which is about par for the course. Though 1TB and 2TB versions of the 760p should be available later in the year, for now you’ll have to make do with the $199 512GB version we tested, a $109 256GB version, and unusually in this day and age, a 128GB version for only $74.

Performance

IDG

As you can see, when the Intel 760p runs out of cache (at around 6GB on our 512GB test unit), write speed drops to less than half that when cache is in use, around 575MBps in this case.

That said, sustained writes of the size we perform, 20GB, are relatively rare operations. The 760p’s performance delivers that overall kick in the pants you expect day to day, however, it’s by far the slowest-writing NVMe drive with large amounts of data we’ve ever tested.

IDG

Though CDM’s numbers can be optimistic, the 760P is clearly an outstanding reader. The write numbers, using a 32GB data set, should be taken with a grain of salt.

CrystalDiskMark

CDM 5, while accurate in most aspects, tends to ignore write slowdowns even with a 32GB data set.

The 20GB copies you’ll see below give some indication of the slowdown with long writes. Note that in my recent talks with other vendors offering more affordable NVMe drives, such as Plextor and Toshiba, the same type of drop-off is common, if not as noticeable.

IDG

Our 20GB copies tend to reveal any disparities between write performance when the cache is in play and when its limits are exceeded. Lower numbers are better, and the lower numbers in the write tests are definitely not from Intel’s 760P.

IDG

AS SSD doesn’t miss write slowdowns, but exaggerates them by disabling Windows caching as well.

Caveat: Intel provided us with only the 512GB drive. The company lists the 256GB model as writing about 300MBps slower at best speeds, but the 128GB model is rated for a mere half the read speed and about 40 percent of the write speed of the 512GB model. As tempting as the 128GB drive is, it doesn’t appear you’ll get the full NVMe experience from it.

How we test: Our SSD trials include running both AS SSD 1.9’s 1GB and 10GB tests, and follow-up runs with the 32GB CrystalDiskMark test. To see how the drive performs when it runs out of cache and to observe real-life behavior, we also copy a single compressed 20GB file and 20GB mix of files and folders to and from the drive using Windows Explorer, timing the results by hand. We run each test at least twice, rebooting in between. 

Conclusion

Intel’s 760p SSD is slightly flawed, but in a way that will affect most users relatively rarely. That flaw is a sustained write rate that’s still 100MBps better than any SATA drive’s, so it’s only a flaw compared to other NVMe drives.

Will Repeatedly Searching & Clicking My Site Increase Rankings?

This week’s Ask an SEO question comes from Jeffrey in Taiwan. He asks:

The answer is no.

Rarely in SEO do we have absolute answers.

Ever.

Beware of Old Information, SEO Myths & Flat-Out Lies

In order to be effective at SEO, you must have discernment.

Obviously, the best way to understand what is effective is to test things yourself – but that’s not always possible.

Testing is simply not practical for every situation.

We are extremely blessed, however, to work in an industry where information is freely shared.

But even those with the best of intentions may share tips and tricks that are either somewhat exaggerated, impractical or irrelevant or even misleading.

And of course, SEO is ever-changing, so what worked a few years ago might not work today.

It’s important to know how old the information you are reading is.

Unlike our friend in academia, there is no peer-review for SEO information.

We must use our best judgment regarding the accuracy, relevance, and applicability of SEO information.

It helps if you’ve been doing SEO for a long time and have seen where the search engines have been and how they dealt with things in the past.

There Is No Magic Bullet

If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Many SEO pros are searching for the holy grail – that one technique that put them at the top of the SERPs.

I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t exist.

And I’ll also tell you to be wary of anyone who offers you a fix-all solution to your ranking woes.

I’ve written in the past about Google’s “baby algorithms.”

What works for one site may not necessarily work for another site.

There are literally thousands, if not millions of variables that determine which site ranks for a keyword phrase.

Pushing one lever from a blog you read once a few years ago is rarely going to move your site up in the SERPs.

Think About It Like Google

When evaluating SEO information, I’ve found it helpful to try and think like Google.

When I’m building a site or content, my goal is to create value for the user of my site rather than the Googlebot.

But if I want people to find my site, I need to think like Google.

That means looking at how a potential ranking technique will scale as more webmasters start to use it.

For example, encouraging site owners to increase their site’s speed makes sense.

Faster sites are a better experience for both the bot and the user.

That would be a bad experience for all, and would ultimately spell doom for our friends in Mountain View.

They are smarter than that.

And you should be as well.

More Resources:

Google Social Search; The Lost Update

Can you imagine there being a change at Google that pre-dates Panda, (and subsequent incarnations) the +1 button, the attribution algo updates and few if any in the SEO world had noticed? I mean, it makes one helluva trivia question don’t it? Not as much fun as; What does Archie comics have to do with the early history of search. But it’s fascinating none-the-less.

Hey gang… long time no chat! Dave here… long lost SEJ writer and all around search geek. Can we talk or what?

February 17th 2011; the day it all changed

First off, those of you familiar with my ranting and ramblings on this topic, are excused. It’s unlikely we’ll be covering much new for my faithful SOSGs (no that’s not talking dirty, it’s; Seriously Obsessed Search Geek m’kay?). It simply needs to be repeated for a larger audience.

Those still wondering what this mad rambling Gypsy is on about, walk with me…

Over the years we’ve seen many changes to Google that had some interesting if not far reaching implications for the fastidious search optimizer. Odd, I’ve never optimized a search engine. What’s up with that? Anyway, getting lost again. We’ve had the rise of personalization (and general flux), the timeliness of the QDF (query deserves freshness), finding our way with deeper localization and general madness in what we call universal search. The list is ever-growing it seems over the last few years.

Many times during these evolutions SEO types weren’t always grasping the value right out of the gate. At least though there were some that caught it and generally some form of awareness within short order.

I mean, this is the group of folks that traditionally go a little mental each time there is a Google toob bar PageRank update… (like this);

What happened some 4 months ago, while extremely noteworthy, has gone almost entirely un-noticed or at very least, below the radar of those covering the industry.

The 2011 Google Social Search Update

For starters, is it unsurprising this went largely unnoticed? In retrospect, no. If we consider that back in 2008 we caught a glimpse of the Google social graph work and ultimately user profiling, which few seemed interested in, then no. If we consider the madness that ensues with shiny bobbles like the +1 button, then ok, yes… it does give one pause to say WTF?

And on a side note, some have suggested that SEOs like the thought of the +1 having ranking weight because…well… then they can manipulate it. Another story tho… we’ll get back to that.

Here’s the short version of what went down (Googly post here);

Ok, seems kinda unremarkable on the surface right? NOT. This is something fairly significant in the world of search.

Now, a few notes of interest;

Google accounts are on the rise (think Android)

It pulls from the social graph

It is another form of personalization

Does an end-around on problematic explicit feedback

Uses primary and secondary contacts

It re-ranks (search) listings

Catch that last one? It RE-RANKs the listings in the SERP. Anyone that’s been around long enough remembers how we drooled on the new short-cuts to the front page when various verticals gained prominence (aka universal SERPs). This is no different.

Look…. this is logged out;

And this is logged in;

WOW. We have a new way of ranking and SEOs aren’t talking about it? Did you know that there are a few thousand freaking articles on the +1 button (which doesn’t re-rank anything) but outside of ol Rand (who recently discovered it apparently) and yours truly (tho mine has been a little obsessive ROFL) there has been very little on this one?

Consulting the crystal ball

This is all about looking into the future. We are seeing (over the last few years) an evolution to search that will most certainly be around for years to come. It started with real-time search and has grown out of control since then. Google has had a stated goal of deeper personalization for many years. One of the problems has always been the inherent issues with implicit/explicit feedback.

The social graph is a VERY effective way to gain deeper personalization beyond the traditional signals and matches well with the way the web is growing. In short; it makes sense.

Regardless of how much value you see in it now, this is an important development at Google. Did you get spanked by the Panda? Then maybe paying closer attention to the evolution of search could have prevented it. Don’t drop the ball again.

Some food for thought

Ok, enough rambling. I simply wanted to abuse the hallowed halls of SEJ to try and get the word out one last time on this. A few thoughts before I go….

They have a good grasp on you social circle (see here); they likely weren’t doing that just for fun right?

Google has long been interested in social profiling, known at the time as ‘friend rank’. The road map has been in front of us the entire time, if you’re looking.

And what about the latest foray? Google Plus. It sure seems that what we’ve seen in the last few years is all moving in a concerted direction. I can see MANY ways that this social search update can play nicely with Google Plus. Consider the simple fact that Google Profiles are now wrapped up in Plus. I had originally lamented that they needed better management, which seems to be happening now.

Point being, this is a major vision of where search and social are likely headed. If you, like many, haven’t really been looking at this… it really is time that you did.

If you don’t…. you may find yourself left out of the loop in the real near future

How To Find My Lost Chromebook

Have you lost or misplaced your Chromebook? It may be a difficult situation for you, but there are still some chances of locating the lost Chromebook device or protecting the data on it. Let’s learn how to find your lost Chromebook and some tips to protect your data.

How to Find a Lost Chromebook

Chromebooks do not come with any setting or app that must be installed or set up to find your Chromebook, as Chromebooks do not have GPS.

However, when you sign in to your Chromebook using your Google account for the first time, you are automatically registered for the Google’s Devices feature that lets you manage and track your devices.

While you can easily track the exact or real-time location of mobile devices using this feature, Google will only show an approximate location or IP address when it comes to computers like Chromebooks or Windows. While you can sign out from the lost Chromebook remotely, you cannot do anything else remotely.

If you have lost your Chromebook, follow these steps to find it using Google’s Manage Devices feature:

Sign in to the same Google account that is logged in on your Chromebook.

Find all the devices where you are logged in with your Google account. Scroll down and select the Chromebook that you lost.

You will see the rough location of your Chromebook, i.e., the city or the country of the Chromebook. If the Chromebook is still online, you will see its current location. If the Chromebook is offline, you will see the location where it was last online.

Pro Tip: learn how to sign out of Google on mobile and desktop.

What to Do If You Lost a Chromebook

If you can’t find your Chromebook, it’s important to make sure your personal information stays safe and secure. Follow these tips to protect your personal information if you lose your Chromebook:

Ask Your Friends

Sometimes, when a bad thing happens, we forget to look in obvious places. Try to remember the places that you visited, or ask friends if they picked up your Chromebook.

Change Google Account Password

Next, change your Google account password from another device. Basically, when you sign in to your Google account on a Chromebook, your account information is stored on the device. This information includes your name, email address, password, and other settings.

When your Chromebook connects to the Internet, it checks with Google to see whether there are any updates to your account information. If there are, your Chromebook will download the updates, then sign you out of your account since the password has been changed.

Tip: know how to secure your Google account.

Deactivate Payment Methods Check Google Account Activity

Also check your Google account activity to get clues to where your Chromebook could be. You will see recent searches made on your Chromebook that could help identify who or where the culprit can be.

Contact Police

Once you have taken all precautionary measures, file a police report as soon as you are sure that you have looked everywhere possible.

Frequently Asked Questions Can I access my Chromebook remotely using Chrome Remote Desktop app?

No. While you can use it to access another Windows or macOS device from your Chromebook remotely, you cannot access your Chromebook remotely from it.

What is the IMEI number of my Chromebook?

Most Chromebooks do not have an IMEI number unless they have a SIM slot. You will find the IMEI or serial number of the Chromebook on the bottom of the device.

Mehvish Mushtaq

Mehvish is a tech lover from Kashmir. With a degree in computer engineering, she’s always been happy to help anyone who finds technology challenging. She’s been writing about technology for over six years, and her favorite topics include how-to guides, explainers, tips and tricks for Android, iOS/iPadOS, Windows, social media, and web apps.

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