Archive for February, 2013

Title: HTC Settles With FTC Over Flawed Software Charges

Search Engine News, Search Engine Optimization

Article Source: Link Exchange Service Network

HTC America has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it “failed to take reasonable steps” to rid its Smartphone and tablet software of security flaws, placing the data of millions of consumers at risk.

The settlement requires HTC to develop software patches to fix flaws found in millions of HTC handsets. The firm must also establish a “comprehensive security program” to tackle security risks during the making of HTC devices and “undergo independent security assessments” every other year for the next two decades.

HTC has already begun to proffer patches to device owners in the U.S., the FTC said.

The FTC complaint claimed HTC did not provide adequate security training to its engineering staff and neglected to test the software on its mobile devices for potential security flaws; failed to follow accepted secure coding practices; and failed to set up a procedure for dealing with vulnerability reports from consumers.

The vulnerabilities on HTC’s devices allowed malicious applications to send text messages, record audio, or even install additional malware on devices, “all without the user’s knowledge or consent,” the FTC said, adding such things as users’ financial account numbers and related access codes or medical information were put at risk.

The complaint also claimed “user manuals for HTC Android-based devices contained deceptive representations, and that the user interface for the company’s Tell HTC application was also deceptive.”

HTC has said previously none of its customers have been affected by security issues. The firm, which issued a patch to its devices starting in 2011, has not admitted or denied any wrongdoing.

“Privacy and security are important, and we are committed to improving practices that help safeguard our customers’ devices and data,” HTC said in a statement to a number of media outlets. “Working with our carrier partners, we have addressed the identified security vulnerabilities on the majority of devices in the U.S. released after December 2010. We’re working to roll out the remaining software updates now and recommend customers download them once available.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post from: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources

HTC Settles With FTC Over Flawed Software Charges

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Title: Major UK Flowers Site Interflora Gets Slapped By Google

Search Engine News, Search Engine Optimization

Article Source: Link Exchange Service Network

It appears that Interflora, a major flower-seller in the UK, has been hit by manual action from Google, after participating in link buying from newspaper sites.

Anthony Shapley at Dave Naylor’s blog has the breakdown of what he believes to have happened, as the site no longer ranks for keywords it used to, including its own name. He shares a table of over 50 newspapers sites who had their PageRank reduced after Inteflora made a big advertising push ahead of Valentine’s Day.

Search Engine Land shares the following statement fro Google:

We typically don’t comment on whether we’ve taken corrective webspam action regarding specific companies.

As Barry Schwartz at that blog notes, Google has commented on similar stories in the past, like when they related to JC Penney’s, Forbes, and Overstock.

Shapley says he is confident in his explanation, but Interflora has not commented, and if Google won’t, we may not see an official word on this, but rest assured, if Google catches you doing paid links they will punish you.

At least Interflora will get some new brand recognition out of the whole thing. It seems unlikely that they won’t make their way back into the rankings after a while. Google managed to get its Chrome landing page back in the rankings after penalizing it.

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Title: Google On How To Figure Out Which Links To Remove

Search Engine News, Search Engine Optimization

Article Source: Link Exchange Service Network

For the past year or so, webmasters have been receiving a great deal of messages from Google about unnatural links pointing to their sites. You may know exactly which links Google doesn’t like, but there’s also a good chance you may not.

As we’ve seen, a lot of people have gone on link removal request rampages, greatly overreacting, and seeking the takedown of legitimate links out of fear that Google might not like them.

In the latest Webmaster Help video, Google’s Matt Cutts discusses how to figure out which links to get removed. The video is a response to this user-submitted question:

Google Webmaster Tools says I have “unnatural links,” but gives little help as to which specific links are bad. Since I have never purchased links, I don’t know which ones to have removed, and I’m scared of removing good ones, which will hurt my traffic. Suggestions?

“We’ve tried to become more transparent, and when we were saying, ‘Links were affecting the reputation of an entire site,’ we would tell people about that,” says Cutts. “And more recently we’ve been telling people, and opening up and saying, ‘Hey, we still like your site. Your site, overall, might be good, but maybe there’s some individual links to your site that we don’t trust.’ Now, the problem is that we weren’t, at that time, giving specific examples. So one feature that we rolled out is the ability to sort by recent, discovery of links, so you can actually get the date of when we discovered a link. So if you sort that way, you can look for the recent links. But a feature that we are working on – we are in the process or rolling out – is that we will actually – we will basically give you examples.”

“So it’s a…you know, as we’re building the incident whenever a webmaster analyst or something like that is saying, ‘Okay, these are links not to trust,’ they’ll include an example link,” continues Cutts. “You might get one, you might get two, you might get three, depending, but basically it will give you an idea of the sorts of links that we are no longer trusting. Now, it’s not exhaustive. It’s not comprehensive, but it should give you a flavor, you know. Is it a bunch of widget links? Were you doing a bunch of keyword-rich anchor text in article bank or article marketing type stuff? Maybe you weren’t trying to do paid links, but maybe you hired an agency, and it turns out they were doing paid links, and you didn’t realize it.”

“I would look in the text of the messages,” concludes. “Over time, we’re working really hard on trying to include an example or two link, so that when you get that message, you have an idea of exactly where to look.”

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