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Scam Alert : COVID-19 Relief Fund By Federal Government!

Scam Alert : COVID-19 Relief Fund By Federal Government!

Please watch out for the COVID-19 Relief Fund by Federal Government scam!

Find out why it is just a SCAM, and WARN your family and friends!

 

Scam Alert : COVID-19 Relief Fund By Federal Government!

People are now sharing this COVID-19 RELIEF FUND message on WhatsApp :

Apply For The Covid-19 Relief Fund Provided By The Federal Government. Hurry Up, It takes few seconds to apply. Dont [sic] miss this opportunity.

Apply Here

Note : I added the Scam Alert overlay to prevent it from being further abused.

 

COVID-19 Relief Fund : Why This Is A Scam

I know many of us are in dire straits during this COVID-19 pandemic, having lost jobs, income or even loved ones. Unfortunately, scammers are counting on our desperation to prey on us.

I will now show you why this COVID-19 Relief Fund message is just another scam. Please warn your family and friends!

Fact #1 : No Global Relief Fund By Any Federal Government

When a scam tells you that “the federal government” is giving away money, you should always ask yourself – WHICH federal government???

No government in the world is giving away money to anyone across the world. Not even the three richest economies in the world – US, China and the EU – have a COVID-19 relief fund to give money away like that.

Fact #2 : The Three Questions Are A Red Herring

Most of these scams employ simple but useless questions to trick you into thinking that this is genuine. Look at the three questions this scam is asking :

  • What’s your age range?
  • How much money do you want to receive?
  • What’s your employment status?

In a real government relief programme, your eligibility status will be based on some official document – your identity card, driver’s licence, passport, etc.

No one is going to give you money simply because you answer a few questions. And NO ONE is ever going to ask you how much you want to receive!

Fact #3 : No Government Will Ask You To Invite Friends / Groups

A real government relief programme will NEVER ask you to invite friends and groups on WhatsApp, much less insist that you invite 15 friends or 5 groups before they give you money.

That’s a dead giveaway that this is a scam, and the scammers want you to help them scam other people. So NEVER invite your friends to join the scam.

Fact #4 : SNF Global Relief Initiative Is Not By Any Federal Government

To make the scam look legit, the scammers used the SNF Global Relief Initiative for the COVID-19 Pandemic graphics.

That initiative is not by any government, but by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).

And just in case you are wondering, no, the SNF does not give away money to individuals. They only make grants to non-profit organisations and collaborative funds.

Fact #5 : The Domain Is New + Protected

If you check the domain “relief-fund.live“, you will see that it was only created on 24 March 2021.

Even more suspiciously, all contact and ownership details have been REDACTED FOR PRIVACY. That’s often a sign that the owners are worried about being sued or prosecuted.

Name: relief-fund.live
Registry Domain ID: ac787c4c5c19460696fa1bf46d133faa-DONUTS

Nameservers:
dns1.registrar-servers.com
dns2.registrar-servers.com

Registry Expiration: 2022-03-24 11:41:35 UTC
Updated: 2021-03-29 11:42:31 UTC
Created: 2021-03-24 11:41:35 UTC

Name: REDACTED FOR PRIVACY
Organization: Privacy service provided by Withheld for Privacy ehf
Email: Please query the RDDS service of the Registrar of Record identified in this output for information on how to contact the Registrant, Admin, or Tech contact of the queried domain name.
Tel: REDACTED FOR PRIVACY
Fax: REDACTED FOR PRIVACY
Mailing Address: REDACTED FOR PRIVACY Capital Region REDACTED FOR PRIVACY IS

Fact #6 : The Comments Are Completely Faked

You may notice a bunch of comments at the bottom of the scam website. They are only there to trick you into thinking that other people received the money.

Try refreshing them. They will never change, unlike a real live comment stream. The time codes will not change either.

Try clicking on the Like option. Nothing will happen. Your Like will not register.

That’s because this is a fake comment stream. It’s all hardcoded and fixed.

Now that you know that this is just another scam, please warn your family and friends.

And please remember – no one gives away money like that. Don’t fall for these scams!

 

Help Support My Work!

If you would like to support my work, you can do so via bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card.

Name : Adrian Wong

Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)

Thank you in advanced! 

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > Fact Checks | Tech ARP

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, please support us by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Thank you!

How Much Can A Website Make From Google AdSense?

Find out how much money a website can make from Google AdSense, and learn what you can do to MAXIMISE your earning potential!

 

How Much Can A Website Make From Google AdSense?

Many people have asked me for advice on how to start up their own websites.

Some want to make some side income during the pandemic. Some asked us to take them on as full-time staff.

Others want to start a new business they can do at home – a big plus during this pandemic.

The reality is that – AdSense does NOT pay well at all. But when I tell them that, they think I’m trying to bullshit them.

I procrastinated over this article for many weeks, because it is very uncomfortable for me to acknowledge the facts as well. But we must face the facts… so let’s take a look…

First, take a look at how many page views we get here at Tech ARP.

From December 2020 until April 2021, we published around 402 articles which drew 1.13 million page views.

That averages out to about 282,500 page views a month, or 2,800 views per article. Not a lot of traffic, but it’s not too shabby.

How much do you think we should get with this kind of traffic? Keep that figure in your head, and then take a look at our estimated Google AdSense earnings.

Do note that these are estimated earnings that may change somewhat – Google deducts a certain amount for “invalidated clicks and impressions”.

Assuming that there are no further deductions – Tech ARP earned only US$553.26 or about RM2,268 over four months – an average of US$138 or RM567 per month.

For context – the minimum wage in Malaysia is US$300 or RM1,200 per month. So whatever Tech ARP earns every month is LESS THAN HALF the minimum wage.

And that’s just our revenue. We have not even deducted the costs of maintaining and upgrading our server and other equipment – testbeds, work computers, etc.

Obviously, the money we make from AdSense does NOT even cover our costs, never mind make a decent living for any ONE person.

 

Google AdSense Reality Check : Why So Little???

It was not always like this. Google AdSense used to pay much better… back when there was serious competition from other advertising networks.

So why do websites get paid so little these days?

Ad Blockers Everywhere!

Everyone loves free information, and everyone hates advertisements. Not many people understand that advertisements drive the free Internet model.

So many people install ad blockers to get rid of those pesky advertisements. How many? Let’s calculate…

Tech ARP served 1.13 million page views, of which only 308,000 page views displayed any ads!

That means 72.7% of our readers are using ad blockers, which prevent any advertisements from being shown at all.

We receive ZERO revenue from these readers, even if they like what we write and want to support us.

Shift To CPC Advertisements

The industry’s shift from CPM ads to CPC ads is also partly to blame.

CPM (Cost per Thousand Impressions) ads generate revenue per view, so you get paid every time an advertisement appears to your reader.

CPC (Cost per Click) ads only generate revenue when your readers actually CLICK on the link, and get sent to the advertiser’s website.

With the shift to CPC ads, you don’t get paid a cent for the millions of advertisements that are shown to your readers. You only get paid when someone clicks on them.

Let’s calculate how often people actually click on these CPC advertisements.

Out of 493,132 advertisements that Google AdSense showed our readers, there were only 2,191 clicks.

That’s a click-through rate of just 0.444%.

In other words, only 1 out of every 225 readers who did not use an ad blocker clicked on a single advertisement.

Even more sobering – only 1 out of ever 516 pages people read generated a single ad click.

You would think that people would click on an advertisement as a show of support. In reality, it doesn’t work that way.

 

Don’t Rely On AdSense! This Is What You Should Do…

You still want to create your own website, despite our reality check? I applaud you!

Passion and drive are CRITICAL to creating, maintaining and developing your own website, and I do truly wish you all the best.

The desire to share my knowledge with the world is what keeps me going since I started Tech ARP in 1998 – 23 years ago!

But we must still acknowledge reality, especially as we grow older and have fiscal responsibilities, and a family to support.

I hope these suggestions will help you in your endeavour.

Use AdSense To Cover Costs

Forget about relying on AdSense to generate enough revenue to make a living.

For every US$1000 of income, you probably need 2 million page views. It’s not impossible, but it will take A LOT of work to get there.

I recommend that you only rely on AdSense to cover your costs. Please do NOT quit your day job, if you have one.

In some months, you may get a sudden surge in income. But this is fleeting, so don’t count on it.

Protect Your PR + DA

Build up and protect your Page Rank (PR) and Domain Authority (DA). They are key to ensuring you get high traffic from search engines.

Do NOT sacrifice your PR and DA by committing these mistakes :

  1. Selling dofollow links : this kills your PR and DA by siphoning them to your “sponsor” for a pittance!
  2. Publishing guest posts : free content isn’t really free if they include dofollow links which sap your PR and DA like vampires
  3. Posting press releases : your website will get penalised for “scraped content” if you post lots of press releases, because they are all duplicates of the original content
  4. Adding a PR Newswire widget : you are basically helping them make money off your website, while siphoning your PR and DA for nothing in return.

Page Rank and Domain Authority take years to build up. Trading them even for money is foolish, but sacrificing them for a smile or a thank you is idiotic.

Photo Credit : Kevin Carden Photography

Foster Relationships

Once you start establishing yourself, PR and marketing agencies are going to start sending you press releases and invitations to their events.

These can be great opportunities to get in touch with brands, and develop relationships that could lead to collaborations and other business opportunities.

Brands that understand and value the work you do will line up to support you. Work with them for a win-win relationship.

Don’t Be A Useful Idiot

Some brands and PR / marketing agencies are notorious for making use of the media, and tossing them aside once they cease to be of any use.

Avoid them at all costs. Don’t fall into the trap of becoming their useful idiot.

The truth is – they don’t appreciate your work, and you are nothing more than their KPI farm – a useful idiot to help them achieve their PR or marketing KPI for the quarter.

Just tell them, “No, thank you” and move on. Have some respect for yourself. You are not their free marketing department.

Remember – branded swag and thank you will not feed you or your family. They are ALL getting paid money for their work, and so should you.

Facebook and Instagram swag. Photo credit : @Programmai on Twitter

Ask Your Readers To Support Your Work

This is something that I have recently decided to tried out for myself – asking my readers to support my work.

Whether it’s through Patreon or directly to you, you need to swallow your pride if you want to actually make a decent living writing online.

Ask them to contribute to your work, by making a cash contribution to you, the writer.

This is also the only way to reach the 73% of our readers who use ad blockers. Who knows – it may remind them that ad blocking hurts writers like us?

 

Please Support My Work!

Support my work through a bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card!

Name : Adrian Wong

Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)
Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp

Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > Business | InternetTech ARP

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, please support us by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Thank you!

How To Register Children For COVID-19 Vaccine In Malaysia!

Find out how to register children 12 years and older for COVID-19 vaccine programme in Malaysia!

 

Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Approved For Children In Malaysia!

On 15 June 2021, the Malaysia Ministry of Health (KKM) announced that the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) approved the use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in children 12 years and above.

You may recall that the Pfizer COMIRNATY vaccine was first approved for use in adults 18 years and above on 8 January 2021.

With this approval, children aged 12 years and above will be able to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

 

How To Register Children For COVID-19 Vaccine Using MySejahtera

MySejahtera has been updated to allow registration of children for the COVID-19 vaccine, so here is our video guide on how to do that!

For our step-by-step guide, please see How To Register Children For Vaccine In MySejahtera!

 

Registering Children For COVID-19 Vaccine In Vaksin COVID Website

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do that on the Vaksin COVID website.

  1. Go to the Vaksin COVID-19 website at www.vaksincovid.gov.my.
  2. Click on the green REGISTER NOW button.
    Or use these direct links – BM | English | Chinese | Tamil
  3. In the first part of the COVID-19 vaccine registration page, you will need to fill in :
    – Your child’s name
    – Your child’s age
    – Your child’s IC (MyKad) or Passport number
    – Phone number : this can be your child’s own number, or yours

  1. In the next part, you will be asked to fill in these details for your child :
    – State : where your child currently lives
    – Email (optional) : this will be an alternate means to contact you or your child
    – Address : where your child currently lives. This can be different from your address if your child is (for example) in a boarding school or living with a guardian
  2. You will also be asked three simple questions :
    – Is your child interested to take the COVID-19 vaccine :
    – Does your child have any comorbidities?
    – Is your child registered with the Department of Social Welfare Malaysia as a disabled person?

  1. If your child has comorbidities, you will be asked to select them from list :
    – Diabetes Mellitus
    – Hypertension
    – Heart Disease
    – Asthma
    – Cancer
    – Chronic Lung Disease
    – Kidney Disease
    – Liver Disease
    – Stroke
    – Immunocompromised
    – Obesity
    – Bleeding Tendency (INR ≥ 4)
    – History of Severe Allergic Reaction
    – Others : you will need to fill it in manually

Listing your child’s comorbidities will help the JKJAV team prioritise children at higher risk from COVID-19, and exclude those who cannot receive the vaccine.

  1. Once you are done, double check what you have entered and click or tap on the I’m not a robot checkbox.
  2. Then click > SUBMIT.

That’s it! You should see this Thank You message pop-up, confirming that you have successfully registered your child for the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Malaysia!

If you do not see this Thank You message, keep clicking on the Submit button every few minutes. You may need to redo the I’m not a robot test every now and then.

Now that you have just learned how to register your children for the COVID-19 vaccine programme in Malaysia, please SHARE this with your family and friends.

Encourage them to register their children for the COVID-19 vaccine programme in Malaysia too! Let’s get rid of COVID-19 together!

 

Help Support My Work!

If you would like to support my work, you can do so via bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card.

Name : Adrian Wong

Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)

Thank you in advanced! 

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > Health | Tech ARP

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, please support us by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Thank you!

Google Site Kit JSON Data Error : How To Fix It?

If you just installed the Google Site Kit, only to find it reporting Data error in Analytics with an invalid JSON response, we have the solution for you!

 

Google Site Kit JSON Data Error : What Is It?

The Google Site Kit for WordPress is supposed to make it seamless to integrate Google services like Analytics and AdSense into your website.

But you may get this error message, even after you successfully set up Google Site Kit for your WordPress website.

Data error in Analytics

The response is not a valid JSON response.

This is how it looks like after we integrated Google Site Kit into Tech ARP.

As you can see, it’s kind of pointless if Google Site Kit cannot display your Analytics data directly in your WordPress admin page.

 

Google Site Kit JSON Data Error : How To Fix It?

At first, we thought it might be a Google Site Kit configuration error, but that was not the case.

We tried disabling and reenabling it, reinstalling it, reconfiguring and logging in again, but none of that worked.

iThemes Security Was The Problem

The problem, we finally discovered, was the popular iThemes Security plugin.

But to remove it was not the solution. It was very important in preventing the DDOS attacks that keep hitting Tech ARP.

Here Is The Solution

Finally, we stumbled upon the solution, and it’s ridiculously simple!

  1. Log into your WordPress admin page.
  2. Go to the iThemes configuration page (Security > Settings).
  3. Click on the System Tweaks option.
  4. Look for the Long URL Strings option.
  5. Uncheck the Filter Long URL Strings option.
  6. Click on Save Settings.

That’s it! After you refresh the Site Kit dashboard, you should now see the full stats displayed!

 

Help Support My Work!

If you would like to support my work, you can do so via bank transfer /  PayPal / credit card.

Name : Adrian Wong

Credit Card / Paypal : https://paypal.me/techarp
Bank Transfer : CIMB 7064555917 (Swift Code : CIBBMYKL)

Thank you in advanced! 

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > Software | Tech ARP

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support us by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!


Did Spain Halt Pfizer Vaccination After Nursing Home Deaths?

Did Spain halt Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination due to 46 nursing home deaths after receiving the first shot of the vaccine?

Find out what’s going on, and what the FACTS really are!

 

Claim : Spain Halts Pfizer Vaccination After 46 Nursing Home Deaths!

Websites like The COVID Blog, Humans Are Free and Health Impact News claim that Spain halted their Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination program after 46 nursing home deaths from the first shot!

Here were the key takeaways from their articles :

The Nuestra Señora del Rosario (Our Lady of the Rosary) nursing home is reeling due to mass deaths after mRNA inoculations.

All residents and workers at the facility received the first dose of Pfizer mRNA in early January, according to Spain mainstream media outlet ABC de Sevilla. Most residents became extremely ill shortly after the shots. It is believed many came down with COVID-19, despite being “vaccinated against it.”

The Andalusian Health Service reported that at least 46 residents have died since January. For perspective, Our Lady has a maximum capacity of 145 residents.

The situation remains dire, as at least 28 residents and 12 staff members were COVID-19 positive last week. Health officials halted all further mRNA shots as a result.

Chinese propaganda outlet, GlobalTimes, also chipped in on the controversy earlier this month, naturally attacking the Pfizer vaccine.

Concerns over the mRNA vaccine intensified following a Russia Today report on Monday that all 78 residents at a nursing home in Madrid, Spain had tested positive for COVID-19 after being given their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on January 13, and at least seven people have died.

A Chinese virologist advised elderly people, especially those with underlying conditions, not to take mRNA vaccine such as Pfizer’s, as it could induce their condition and worsen their health.

 

No, Spain Did NOT Halt Pfizer Vaccination After Nursing Home Deaths

Despite quoting a legitimate news report, both The COVID Blog and Humans Are Free fabricated many parts of their articles.

You can take a look at their source – a 4 February 2021 news report by ABC – a Spanish national daily newspaper.

Now, let’s examine their claims one by one, and show you why they both created a FALSE narrative out of this tragedy to support their anti-vaccination beliefs.

Fact #1 : They Died From COVID-19

All 46 residents of the Nuestra Señora del Rosario nursing home in Los Barrios died from COVID-19, not the vaccine.

The COVID-19 outbreak was first detected on 12 January 2021, and it quickly resulted in multiple deaths :

  • 18 January : 8 deaths in total
  • 28 January : 30 deaths in total
  • 3 February : 46 deaths in total

The Spain Ministry of Health was forced to intervene after an inspection determined that that private nursing home was not capable of disinfecting and isolating the COVID-19 positive cases.

Fact #2 : They Only Recently Received A Single Dose

The residents of this nursing home received their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine early this year. They did not receive their second dose because of the outbreak.

We do not know the exact date, but since the outbreak happened before their second dose, it’s safe to say they were only 1-2 weeks post-vaccination.

As COVID-19 has an incubation period that could be as long as 14 days, it is likely the residents were infected before or just after receiving their vaccination.

That means they remained vulnerable to COVID-19, even though they had already received the first dose of the vaccine.

As these Israeli test results show, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine confers very little immunity in the first two weeks.

That’s because it takes time for the body to react to the antigens created by the vaccine, and build up the necessary antibodies to counter them.

The vaccine therefore only offers partial protection in the third week, and significant protection in the fourth week, and maximum protection after the second dose.

After Vaccination Single Dose Two Doses
Week 1 2.82% infected
Week 2 2.96% infected
Week 3 0.746% infected
Week 4 0.044% infected 0.037% infected
% of total infected 99.44% 0.56%

More importantly, the results show that 99% of post-vaccination infections happen within 3 weeks of a single dose.

Only 1% of those infected with COVID-19 after vaccination were in their fourth week with a single dose, or just had their second dose.

Fact #3 : Vaccination Was Interrupted By Outbreak

Both The COVID Blog and Humans Are Free claimed that “health officials halted all further mRNA shots as a result” of the outbreak.

That is COMPLETELY FALSE. The ABC news report clearly stated that the second dose vaccination was “interrupted” by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Once that happened, the residents had to be isolated and the nursing home disinfected. The Health Ministry only intervened “a few weeks later” after the situation turned serious.

Fact #4 : Spain Has Almost Fully Vaccinated All Nursing Home Residents

As of 19 February 2021, the FED Care Home Association said that almost all nursing home residents in Spain have received both doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

Spain’s Health Emergency Chief Fernando Simon also said that, for the first time since the pandemic began, “people over 65 who live in care homes have a lower rate of infection than those who live outside“, signalling that the vaccine was working.

That completely debunks the claim that Spain halted Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination due to nursing home deaths.

In fact, Spain is one of the fastest to vaccinate their people with two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine – 2.45% of the population – about 1.15 million people, as of 17 February 2021.

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > Healthcare | Fact ChecksHome

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support us by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!

World of Buzz : Stop Feeding Content Regurgitation Websites!

A former World of Buzz writer just exposed really goes on inside that infamous clickbait website, and show us why we should stop feeding such content regurgitation websites.

 

World of Buzz : Who Are They?

World of Buzz claims to be Malaysia’s no. 1 social news website. It is basically a content farm, reposting content scraped from social media websites.

World of Buzz may not be as bad as The Coverage Bureau (which deserves a special mention for reposting old news!), but they are still pretty notorious for their scraped content.

They are part of Influasia, which also runs Lobak Merah, NOODOU, and Munch.

 

World of Buzz : Former Intern Tells All!

After World of Buzz got banned for a month on Reddit, one of their former writers wrote an expose on what really goes on behind the scenes.

This former writer for World of Buzz was an intern who worked there for four months, and shared evidence to back up his/her claim :

  • official documents
  • a campaign brief
  • emails with the founder
  • employment / onboarding emails

This was what he/she revealed on Reddit :

I was a former intern for 4 months in World of Buzz and am here to spill the tea on this heaping pile of crap they call a “news publication”.

Without revealing too much (am using a throw away account because I am afraid that somebody from Influasia lurking in this sub might be able to pinpoint who I am with my main account), I was a, so called, “content creator”. Only problem is I didn’t create content, I stole them. I was ordered by the bosses to basically rip off whatever I can find on Facebook in the morning when I reach the office.

Obviously, I didn’t join World of Buzz for its Pulitzer Prize winning news reporting. But I never knew how bad their ethics were until the first day I stepped into the office. On the first minute on the job, I was immediately told that I had a strict KPI to follow, 3-5 articles a day, and 1 video per day if you’re a video editor. If you remotely know how news reporting and video production works, you’ll know that this is practically impossible. Hence, why so many articles they publish are basically rip-offs of some other news source. The bosses didn’t care about validity and truth, all they cared was views and revenue.

 

World of Buzz : Stop Feeding Content Regurgitation Websites!

Clickbait websites like World of Buzz and The Coverage Bureau have long been detested by writers and content creators, but the fact is we, the READERS, are at fault.

We feed these websites, and encourage them to keep farming and regurgitating content from social media and other websites.

What we readers don’t understand is that content creation is HARD WORK.

It may take us just a few minutes to read an article that a writer probably spent several hours writing. And that’s not even counting hours spent in research and fact checking.

Do We Want To Be Donald Trump?

Unfortunately, people today have very short attention spans. The world is moving away from serious, in-depth pieces to short, easy-to-understand blurbs.

Even better if it’s just a picture or a short video clip. People will skip anything too long to read. They even created an acronym for that – TLDR : Too Long, Didn’t Read.

In essence, we are becoming more like Donald Trump, and less like Barack Obama.

Why Are Our Standards So Low?

And with thousands of websites targeting the same readers, the only way to grab our attention is to introduce shocking or scandalous articles, and it doesn’t matter if they are old, fake or misleading!

Why? Because most of us don’t even read beyond the title or first paragraph! And we certainly don’t care whether it’s true or accurate. We just click and share.

Because our standards are so low, we drive the demand for clickbait websites that regurgitate content without verification and fact-checking.

We Are So Entitled + Cheap

We are so entitled, we feel that content creators should not only give you articles and videos for free, they should not have those irritating advertisements.

So we install ad blockers. Why should they be allowed to run ads if the Internet is meant to be free? They should be lucky we even want to read what they write! /s

What readers don’t understand is that many websites do not get paid a single cent, unless you click on the advertisements in their articles or videos. Even those who get paid by views (impressions) are paid mere cents per thousand views!

That encourages them to churn out as much content as possible with as little effort possible. And the easiest and cheapest way to do that is to regurgitate (copy and paste) social media content.

Ultimately, we killed the media industry by making it unprofitable to create content, and created content regurgitating monsters like World of Buzz by making it profitable to just regurgitate content.

If we want things to change – we have to stop being so entitled and cheap.

Stop reading and sharing posts from media regurgitation websites, and start supporting websites that actually create content.

 

Recommended Reading

Go Back To > Business | InternetHome

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!


This iThemes Security Setting Can Block Search Engine Bots!

We were recently beset by a sudden, MASSIVE drop in the number of search referrals from Google. We discovered that something was blocking search engine robots from accessing our sitemaps or crawling our website!

At first, we though it was due to a CloudFlare SSL configuration. But now, we have confirmed that it is due to an iThemes Security feature!

It is critical that you check and make sure that this iThemes Security setting is not preventing search engine robots from reading your sitemaps, and crawling your website.

 

iThemes Security

Formerly known as Better WP Security, iThemes Security is a very popular WordPress security plugin. While the paid Pro option offers a ton of cool security features, even the free plugin gives you the ability to lock down WordPress, fix common holes, stop automated attacks and implement a blacklist (this is a pivotal feature in this article).

 

What Happens If You Block Search Engine Bots?

if you block search engine bots accidentally or otherwise, you prevent them from indexing your website. This essentially makes your website “invisible” to search engines. Your website pages will no longer appear when people are searching for a relevant topic.

How does that happen?

  • Your website pages no longer appear in Google searches. If Google can’t see them, Google cannot display your pages in search results!
  • Even if your website pages do appear in Google searches, the links may be corrupt or nonsensical. Look at this example of this search result which leads to a bad link.

  • The description of your website page may also be nonsensical, as the example above also demonstrates.

 

This iThemes Security Setting Can Block Search Engine Bots!

A key feature of iThemes Security is the ability to set up a blacklist. iThemes Security will automatically populate the blacklist with the IP addresses after a number of failed attempts to login. This prevents a malicious attacker from trying to brute force its way into your system.

Unfortunately, it can falsely detect search engine bots as malicious hackers, and add them to the blacklist. That was precisely what happened to us.

Google reports that all of our sitemaps are inaccessible. Here is a view showing all five of our sitemaps were inaccessible.

If you click on the reported errors, they will all show HTTP 403 error (Forbidden).

You can verify if any search engine bot is being blocked by keying in the sitemap (or robot.txt or your website) at Redirect Checker. You can also try loading the sitemap or robot.txt in your own web browser.

If Redirect Checker or you have no problem accessing your sitemaps or robot.txt file, then something is blocking the Googlebot (or other search engine robots) from accessing your sitemaps, or crawling your website. That “something” is most likely iThemes Security’s blacklist.

 

The Solution

The solution is simple.

  1. Log into your website’s WordPress admin panel.
  2. Go to Security -> Settings.
  3. Look for the Banned Users section, and click on Configure Settings.

  1. In the Banned Users page, you will see a list of banned IP addresses.
  2. Delete the whole list of banned IP addresses.

  1. Uncheck the Ban Lists option.

  • Click Save Settings, and that’s it! The search engine robots will now be able to read your sitemaps!

 

Pro Tips

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For those who still want to use the blacklist to block malicious attackers, here are the IP addresses used by various search engine robots.

Google will eventually read your sitemaps and reindex your website. But you can speed things along by :

Both guides were written with help from Kok Kee from Nasi Lemak Tech!

 

Suggested Reading

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Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!

How To Reindex Your Website Using Google Search Console

Maybe you had problems with your sitemaps, or never had one in the first place. But now you have new sitemaps up, and you want Google to read them and reindex your website as quickly as possible. How do you do that? Let’s find out!

 

Is It Important To Reindex Your Website?

If your sitemaps were corrupted, or rendered inaccessible by this CloudFlare SSL setting, you will want to quickly reindex your website. Until it is reindexed, Google Search will not refer anyone to your website.

Remember – if Google Search spiders cannot crawl your website, your website pages will not exist in Google Search.

If you had already submitted your new sitemaps in the Google Search Console, Google will eventually get around to crawling your website using those sitemaps.

But time is of essence. Why wait when you can (politely) ask Google to reindex your website?

Credit : This guide was written with help from Kok Kee from Nasi Lemak Tech!

 

How To Reindex Your Website Using Google Search Console

  1. Login to Google Search Console.
  2. Go to the Fetch as Google section (Crawl > Fetch as Google).
  3. You will want to index from the main page onwards, so just leave the URL blank, and click on the red Fetch And Render button.

  1. You need to do this for both Desktop and Mobile, so click on the dropdown menu, select Mobile and click Fetch And Render again.
  2. You should see the screen below, showing both Desktop and Mobile Googlebot render requested.

  1. Click on the Request indexing button, and the screen below will pop-up.
  2. Click on the reCAPTCHA checkbox challenge, and select Crawl this URL, and its direct links, and click Go.

  1. Repeat the same steps for the Mobile Googlebot.
  2. After you are done, you should see that in both cases, the buttons have been replaced by the notice “Indexing requested for URL and linked pages

  1. That’s it! Google Search will soon reindex your website using the desktop and mobile Googlebots.

 

Suggested Reading

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Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!

How To Detect + Fix Sitemap Problems In Google Search Console

If your website pages are not showing up in Google, you may have a problem with your sitemaps. This is a serious problem because it prevents Google from directing people to your website. Let us show you how to fix sitemap problems, and get Google to reindex your website!

Credit : This guide was written with help from Kok Kee from Nasi Lemak Tech!

 

How Serious Are Sitemap Problems?

Sitemap problems are HUGE, because they greatly sap the number of people who visit your website from a Google search. When we started having sitemap problems, the number of unique visitors to Tech ARP was instantly halved.

How does that happen?

  • Your website pages no longer appear in Google searches. If Google can’t see them, Google cannot display your pages in search results!
  • Even if your website pages do appear in Google searches, the links may be corrupt or nonsensical. Look at this example of this search result which leads to a bad link.

  • The description of your website page may also be nonsensical, as the example above also demonstrates.

 

How To Detect + Fix Sitemap Problems

  1. Log into Google Search Console.
  2. Go to the Sitemaps section (Crawl > Sitemaps)
  3. It will show you the sitemaps for your website, as well as any sitemap errors.

  1. Click on the error to find out what’s wrong.

  1. You will need to use the information listed to figure out what’s wrong, and fix the problem.
    a) if the sitemap was deleted, or is corrupt, you will need to generate a new sitemap
    b) if the sitemap is inaccessible due to a permission setting, you need to change its permission setting.
    c) if you are using CloudFlare, try disabling Always use HTTPS.
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  1. After you fix the sitemap problem, you will need to resubmit the sitemap to Google. Go into each sitemap information page, and click on the red Resubmit button at the upper right corner.

  1. After submitting the new sitemap, you can refresh the page to check its status.

  1. Repeat the steps for all of your sitemaps,
  2. Google Search Console should no longer list any sitemap error.

 

Suggested Reading

Go Back To > Guides | Home

 

Support Tech ARP!

If you like our work, you can help support our work by visiting our sponsors, participating in the Tech ARP Forums, or even donating to our fund. Any help you can render is greatly appreciated!