miércoles, 14 de diciembre de 2016

10 domain name secrets to repair your online reputation

If you're trying to fix your personal reputation online, looking toward your domain name is a valuable first step. Columnist Chris Silver Smith explains some options beyond setting up YourName.com.

Online Reputation Domain Names If you’re trying to repair your personal reputation online, chances are you have already figured out that you might need one or more websites devoted to your name to help displace something negative in the search results. Beyond setting up YourName.com, what other options are there? Here are a few secrets that may help you get the search results all shiny again with less effort!
As part of good, proactive online reputation management and personal branding, I advise that everyone should own the basic “YourName.com” domain, particularly if one’s name is unique. If your name is common, like “John Smith,” it may not require as much proactive concern, but it would still be useful and recommended to set yourself up with a domain that features your proper name.
Some use this as a place to park their resumes online, and I’ve seen people simply redirect their proper name domains to their LinkedIn profiles or Facebook pages. If you ever run into a hater or a crazy person, you ought to own your name just as a defensive measure to keep it from being obtained to trash you.

It happened to me

I’m speaking about this from personal experience, unfortunately, since I once had someone register my professional name as a sort of threat to try to tarnish my name online. It was a very unusual situation. I had long operated my personal domain as “silvery.com,” which was intended to be clever and is closely similar to my nickname, Silver.
Simpler domains like “silver.com” and “silver.net” were already unavailable, of course, because they were snapped up by domainer speculators and then resold to jewelers and precious metal commodity companies. I had thought the domain was just fine for my personal branding; it didn’t occur to me that I might need other domain assets to protect myself from attacks.
Apparently, an individual who I had encountered at a company that I had previously consulted for felt threatened by my SEO knowledge and, perhaps due to professional jealousy, decided to start setting up “ChrisSilverSmith.com” to take me down a few notches. (Truly, I had never done anything to harm nor demean this individual, and I had gone out of my way to be polite to them despite some aggressive moves on their part.)
Out of the blue one day, I discovered ChrisSilverSmith.com to be ranking in Google a page or two back in the results. There was one page on the site, with an animated GIF or video on it of a humorous sequence from a popular online multiplayer game. But the Meta Description made clear it was aimed at me; it was similar or identical to the Meta Description on my personal site.
I didn’t know at first if it was intended to be a joke or if it was the first move in a hostile reputation attack campaign. The registration details were proxied, of course, to hide them. After a little digging, however, I was able to learn who was behind the registration. I considered what to do — such as legal options — but, I was initially determined not to allow the individual the satisfaction of attention, and I knew that I could use my experience and resources to keep the domain from affecting my professional work, if necessary.

How it turned out

Ultimately, I gently approached the people involved, diffused the situation and persuaded them to relinquish the domain, turning ownership over to me. No threats, no legal action. But many people in such a situation are not that lucky, and I realized how foolish I had been not to have already registered my full name as a domain name.
If you have any public persona whatsoever, you ought to proactively register your name as .COM, if it is available. I’ve known a lot of colleagues who’ve also faced brief, unwarranted attacks online, and I’ve dealt with a number of reputation clients who really should have already been operating a website paired up with a domain name optimized to be relevant for their personal name.
If you’re doing this proactively, perhaps you only need one domain name. But if you’re working to mitigate an attack on yourself, you may find setting up a small handful of domain names is more beneficial than setting up just your main one.

What to do if it happens to you

Either way, one question that often comes up is, “What should I do if MyName.com is unavailable?” Here are some of my secret tactics to help you maximize how effective your efforts will be.
The first, most basic principle is that a domain name that is an exact match for your name will be the most beneficial. Google and other search engines look at the keywords found in domain names when evaluating how relevant a website is to a user’s search query, and the closer the match, the easier it is for the site to rank higher in search results.
Google has worked to try to be sure that “official” websites for brands and individuals may rank highest for name searches, so the bar for achieving rankings is lower if you get an exact match domain. Negative materials are often just a page on another site, such as on RipoffReport.com, or perhaps Yelp, or horrific people-trashing sites like MyEx.com. Since those sites don’t have your name as a domain name, you can get an immediate advantage over them in ranking factors with your personalized domain.
I’ve run into many situations where people have used cute domain names for their personal websites, as I did for myself. Don’t make that mistake, because it won’t help in a reputation attack situation.
If your name is “John Smith,” then “JohnsHappyFunPlayhouse.com” is not going to be helpful. Yes, you can get a website with a different domain name to rank for your name searches, but it can require more effort in other areas.
Once you start searching on a domain registrar site, like GoDaddy.com, they will often suggest many top-level domain (TLD) alternatives to the “.COM” one. Some of these work better than others, depending on your situation. If you have a common name, the .COM option may be unavailable to you — so my tips for these options will be necessary for you.
By the way, people often ask if they should use their full name versus the more casual variations they use in personal life. It’s common to use your full name on your resume while asking people to use a shortened, familiar version in daily interactions. For instance, should I use “ChristopherSmith.com” or “ChrisSmith.com”?
The answer to this is: Use the variation that people will be most frequently searching upon and the name that has been used in any reputation attack online. If you go by both, you may need to be conducting reputation-strengthening campaigns for each name variation.
It is also possible to optimize a single website for both name variations by incorporating both names in the site’s text content and multiple SEO signals. But mostly, you just need to focus on the name that people are searching for.

10 online reputation domain name secrets

1. First, start with the grand-daddy standard domain of them all: .COM — The dot-com TLD is highly effective and preferable to register first as your primary website if it’s available. There are multiple reasons it’s effective: It’s one of the longest-established TLDs; it is the most-recognized top-level domain of all by both humans and machines; and it functions great from a marketing/branding standpoint, as well as from a technical standpoint.
If “YourName.com” is already taken, though, don’t despair. In some instances, slight name variations may work just as well.
For instance, dashes are allowed characters in domain names, and they can be used to delimit between first and last names, as in “Your-Name.com.” Many optimization experts avoid this out of fear that search engines may evaluate it to be a suspect domain and lower in quality and trustworthiness. But these fears may be largely unjustified, since dashed domains can function well. Admittedly, dashed domains are undesirable if you’d like to print your URL on your business cards and in other offline media.
Adding just a few letters near the end of the name can function well, too, in certain circumstances. Example: ChrisSmithCEO.com or JamesSmithBanker.com. Mostly, avoid tacking on additional words or letters, though, or you start eroding your exact-match domain advantage. Longer domains/URLs function correspondingly worse in search engines, so only adding very few letters should be considered if your options are limited.
2. .NET, .BIZ, .US, .ORG — If you search for your name with most registrars, they are likely to list these TLDs as options for you. In general, each one of these can function fairly well, closely similar to .COM.
I would say that in general, none of these confer any specialized advantages, but they can work quite well as simple, solid TLD extensions on a proper name domain. (One of my close friends has operated “John.org” since 1998, but I think he mainly maintains it just for his email address. It does indeed rank very well for a few queries, which is mildly surprising, since there’s no optimization put into it, and it’s not at all focused on his full name.)
3. Treat yourself to a .ME domain — While this is technically the TLD for the country of Montenegro, the government there decided to operate it as a Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD), because they recognized that it held a wide commercial appeal worldwide, since “Me” is the English self-referencing pronoun. Domains with the .ME extension can function very well in search results, and the extension has a decent degree of recognizability. It’s short; it makes sense; it seems to convey that it’s operated by the person bearing the name used in the domain — it’s simply elegant!
A related alternative with differing advantages is to use the About.me service to set up a profile page for yourself at About.me/Your.Name; this service has inbuilt website design/publishing capabilities and likely has some degree of ranking capabilities, fresh out of the box. I probably wouldn’t recommend having both YourName.me and About.me/Your.Name simultaneously, though — use one or the other.
4. Geographic TLDs — Examples of Geographic TLDs: YourName.NYC, YourName.Miami, YourName.Paris. In a lot of reputation management cases, an individual’s name is closely associated with their local geographic areas in search results, rather than being prominent nationwide. A common case for this is when well-known proprietors of local businesses may be searched for with higher frequency in their cities than elsewhere, and Google will present different search result rankings according to geography for this reason.
For instance, in most places in the US, if you search for “Chris Silver Smith,” my site is likely to come up at the top of search results (since I speak nationwide at conferences and work professionally nationwide). However, if you search in the Miami area, Google is more likely to present web pages about an attorney, Chris Silversmith, who lives and works there.
If you are best-known in your local area, one great option for you would be to set up a personal website using a GeoTLD that is in sync with your geography. So Chris Silversmith could leverage his location associatively by setting up a personal web page on “ChrisSilversmith.miami,” and it would likely rank quite favorably in search results. My research indicates that these GeoTLDs perform quite advantageously in local search results, and SEO strategist Bill Hartzer has had similar findings.
5. Combine a subdomain with a domain — If you can’t obtain “FirstnameLastname.com,” which is likely if it’s at all common, then there’s a possibility you could obtain “Lastname.com.” And if you do that, you can set up a customized subdomain using your First Name: http://Firstname.lastname.com — wonderfully, this can accomplish very good optimization.
To obtain full benefit, be sure to 301 redirect the .www and non-.www versions of the site domain URLs over to the first/last name subdomain combination.
6. Use keyworded gTLDs — Honestly, this is a great tactic to use for many professionals online as their overall commercial optimization. Attorneys could use .LAWYER, .ATTORNEY or .LEGAL domain names. For doctors, .CARE, .HEALTHCARE, .SURGERY may be great options. Indeed, quite a few professions are covered, such as: .ACCOUNTANT, .ACTOR, .CONTRACTORS, .DENTIST, .BANK, .REALTOR and many others.
Considering that the reputations of many small businesses are as associated with the names of their founders/owners as they are with the company brand names, this is an overall good search marketing tactic. (It’s not as hot when performing offline marketing, such as in print or radio ads, because people still don’t recognize these newer top-level domains as much as the .COM/.NET standbys. But you could still use a more recognizable domain name variation in your offline marketing which just redirects to the keyworded gTLD.) I find that the shorter gTLDs function best for optimization, in part simply because shorter URLs function better in search.
7. Add a misspelling domain — If your ideal, exact-match domain name isn’t available, you may be able to use a misspelling to obtain virtually the same level of advantage. If “JohnSmith.com” isn’t available, “JohnSmiths.com” may work just as well. Google and other search engines have worked very hard to handle plurals/singulars and stemming variations of words, often treating them nearly identically.
In addition, using slight, common variations in the spelling of names may also work. Of course, the rest of the SEO of the site needs to focus still on the proper, exact-match spelling of the name in most cases. But a closely similar domain name will be an advantage when you cannot obtain exact matches. (In fact, even performing a complete optimization campaign more fully around a misspelling may provide additional assets to rank for the target name, since Google tries to incorporate a lot of variation in search results.)
8. Add a .TEL domain — Many marketers are seemingly unaware of this unique domain; it was set up as an internet directory service, with all types of contact information stored directly within the domain name system (DNS) information about each domain. So, the information you put on your .TEL domain will be republished on many of the sites that publish domain WHOIS information.
Naturally, you could include all sorts of things — your street address, city, state, ZIP and phone number — but, you could also include a biographic description of yourself, links to Facebook, Twitter and other social media, photos and more! .TEL automatically displays your domain’s information on the domain URL, marked up in HTML and Card Microformat. (Can you say, “citations for local SEO?”)
Telnic, the organization that administers the .TEL domain names, has also set up a directory of links to help ensure that all of the many .TELs become indexed in Google and Bing. I have found that by also adding some independent links pointing into a .TEL domain, one may further help it achieve good rankings.

lunes, 12 de diciembre de 2016

Nuevas caracteristicas de los dominios .tel

Dear valued .tel community member,

As 2016 draws to a close, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and being part of the .tel community. It is with great pleasure that we are also able to share with you some exciting news for 2017 which we believe will provide you with a new and enhanced product experience, greater flexibility and choice with respect to the application and use of your .tel domains and facilitate innovation in our namespace.

2016 – A Milestone year for Telnic and its community

2016 has been a milestone year for Telnic and one which we believe provides us with a firm platform to deliver on the feedback and requests of our community members and thus increase the value and usage potential of your .tel domain.

Lifting of usage restrictions

As a direct result of your feedback, Telnic has successfully negotiated the lifting of usage restrictions from your .tel domain. This means that you will now be able to use your .tel to design and host your own website and other digital services of your choosing. This freedom of choice has been a recurring request from community members and we are delighted to now offer you this option.

A new Telhosting platform

We are also marking this giant milestone in .tel’s history by providing our community with an optional, new and modernised Telhosting platform. The new platform has been designed based on extensive community feedback and usage patterns observed with the current system.

Staying true to our sponsored status, .tel is the universally recognised web address for publishing contact details online and is still primarily intended to serve the needs of individuals and businesses that wish to store their contact information using the DNS. On this basis, the new Telhosting platform offers you a compact, feature rich, single page solution to hosting and publishing your very own digital profile. Your new site can be totally managed using our new and free iPhone and Android smartphone apps or using our new desktop control panel and all for the same competitively low annual subscription fee.

We have set up an example digital profile page at http://telpage.tel for you to get a better feel for how you can leverage the functionality of the new platform to create a great looking .tel. With lots of new features such as more advanced custom design capability, PayPal integration, voucher and offers, PDF publishing and image library, we know you are going to enjoy and benefit from the new product experience to create a richer more customized and contemporary digital profile.

Some examples of great looking .tel domains created on the new platform using our desktop control panel or iOS and Android smartphone apps

Retiring the current Telhosting platform

As a result of launching our new Telhosting platform, we will be retiring the current Telhosting platform and there will be certain features such as sub domains, search and data privacy which will not be available in the new platform. Our attached FAQ provides a more detailed list of the differences between the current and new platforms.

We feel that our new platform offers you incredible value for money and is a great entry level hosting solution for establishing and managing your own digital identity and being found in search. If however, you feel that this new product is not for you then that is fine too and you will soon be able to utilize your .tel domain for other purposes of your choosing.

What is happening and when?

  • From the 13th February 2017, Telnic will issue you (by email) with account details to the new Telhosting platform. Once you receive your new details, you can access your new account and start adding content.
  • From 13th March 2017, any content that you have added to the new platform will be published to the internet from the new platform. From this date, content on the current platform will stop being published to the internet.
  • It is important to note that Telnic will not be performing any Data Migration from the current to new platform. Your new account will be empty and it will be your responsibility to populate your domain on the new platform before 13th March 2017.
  • From 13th March 2017, all usage restrictions will be lifted from .tel and you get to choose how you use your .tel domain.

Important information for directory builders and sub domain users

Telnic is very conscious and appreciative of the hard work and effort expended by many .tel owners who have developed directory sites using the sub domain functionality. Unfortunately, Telnic is unable to dual run the current and new platform and will not be offering sub domain functionality in the new platform. You are advised to back up your domain data from the current platform using the BACKUP function as soon as possible and by 12th March 2017 at the latest. This will produce an XML file containing all of your data which can then be used as a data source for populating your very own, independent database and service offering outside of Telhosting.

This data will not be accessible to after the 13th March 2017 therefore it is extremely important to make this backup copy if you wish to keep and use this data in future endeavours.

Should you wish to continue to host your domain on a version to the current Telhosting platform which incorporates sub domains, please contact us at cservice@telnic.org and we will discuss options available to you.

Customer support for the new platform

Up until now, your registrar or reseller has provided you with access to and support for the Telhosting platform. Starting on the 13th of March 2017, Telnic will assume this responsibility. For all new platform .tel hosting product support requests from 13th March 2017 onwards, please contact cservice@telnic.org. Questions relating to domain lifecycle activities such as registration, renewal, WHOIS updates etc should continue to be directed to your registrar or reseller.

Next steps

An FAQ is provided below to help you further understand the nature of the forthcoming changes and how they may impact you. These changes present new and exciting opportunities for the .tel community. Over the next few months, we will be sending out further communications to keep you fully updated with developments and timescales to ensure a smooth transition.

I hope that you are as excited as we are by this news and we look forward to working with you to grow the .tel community.  If you have any questions, please contact us at cservice@telnic.org

Kindest Regards,

Khashayar Mahdavi
Telnic Ltd


1. When will the restrictions be lifted from .tel and what will be my options then be for using my domain?

All restrictions will be lifted from .tel on 13th March 2017. From this date, and subject to your registrar or reseller support, you will be able to use your .tel domain as a normal website, continue to take advantage of our free, new Telhosting platform or opt for a paid for Telhosting service which incorporates sub domains with a 3rd party hosting provider.

2. When will I be able access my new Telhosting account?

From 13th February 2017, Telnic will issue (by email) new Telhosting account details to all .tel owners. From this date, .tel owners will be able to log in and manage content on the new platform. Please note that this content will not display on the internet until the current Telhosting platform is retired on 13th March 2017.

3. What happens if I do not receive my new account details by end of February 2017?

If you have not received account details for your new Telhosting account by the end of February 2017, you should contact Telnic by sending an email to cservice@telnic.org confirming the domain name(s) in question. We will be using the email address that you have stored in your old Telhosting account profile for your new TelHosting account. Additionally we will use the email address that is associated with the domain registrant in our WHOIS to contact you. To ensure that you receive our communications, you are advised to ensure that these email addresses are current and accurate.

4. When will the current Telhosting platform be retired?

The current Telhosting platform will be retired and taken offline on 13th March 2017. You can continue to use the current Telhosting platform up to 12th March 2017 but not after this date.

5. What happens to my data on the current Telhosting platform after 13th March 2017?

.tel domain owner data that resides on the current Telhosting system will not be accessible after 13th March 2017. Any .tel domain owner that wishes to extract a copy of their data from the current system should run the BACKUP function from their current Telhosting account before 13th March 2017. This will produce an XML file containing all of their data which can be used either as a reference for populating their new account or as a data source for populating an independent and separate 3rd party hosting solution.

6. What happens if I do not make a copy of my data before the 13th March 2017?

If you do not make a copy of your data before 13th March 2017, the data will be deleted and not recoverable as the current Telhosting platform is being retired.

7. Why is Telnic not migrating my data from the current Telhosting platform to the new?

The current Telhosting platform is being retired and the new platform is not designed as a like for like replacement in terms of functionality or data structure. As such, there is no direct data migration path from old to new so you will need to log in and republish your contact records in order to take advantage of new functionality that does not exist in the curent platform. The vast majority of .tel owners only publish a single page of contacts and content and re-publishing will be a very quick exercise.

8. What if I wish to continue to host my .tel domain on a platform that supports sub domains?

The current Telhosting platform will be shutdown on 13th March 2017. If you would like to continue to host your .tel domain on a similar Telhosting platform that supports sub domains please contact cservice@telnic.org and we will help you to review hosting options

9. What happens to any new .tel domains that I register before 13th March 2017?

Up to 13th March 2017, you will continue to manage your .tel for live internet publishing purposes on the current platform.

10. What happens to any new .tel domains that I buy after 13th March 2017?

After 13th March 2017, you will receive information from your registrar and Telnic informing you of the process to claim your free hosting account for your new .tel domain. Telnic’s web site (www.telnic.org) will have a page dedicated to Telhosting management. On this page, .tel owners will be able to set up a new telhosting account, add .tel domains to an existing account as well as manage their domain(s) and request support.

Alternatively, you may opt to use your .tel for a purpose of your own choosing.

11. What happens if I do not access my new Telhosting account and add some contacts or content?

The content from your current Telhosting account will disappear on 13th March 2017. If you have not populated your new Telhosting account with any data by this date, your .tel domain will show a standard template page. Any content that you add after 13th March will automatically be published.

12. What happens if I take no action before 13th March 2017?

If you do not take any action before 13th March 2017, an account will be automatically created for you and your domains on the new Telhosting platform and we will send you the access details by email. Your new account and domains will remain empty and inactive until you login and add content. Your account and data on the current Telhosting system will not be accessible after 12th March 2017 so it is important that you backup any data you wish to keep before this date.

13. Is there a smartphone app to help manage my .tel domain content on the new Telhosting platform?

Yes. Telnic will have a new iOS and Android app that will enable .tel owners using Telhosting to fully manage their domain content using their smartphone. Free downloads will be available from our web site or from the Apple and Google Play stores. These apps will be available for download in March 2017.

14. What are the functional differences between the current and new Telhosting platforms?

The new Telhosting platform will be a single page product.  You can see an example of the new product in use at:  http://telpage.tel. It provides a more modern interface that allows the user to:

  • Publish contact and content records
  • Add PDF documents
  • Add Promotional product/service offers
  • Add Images and Video
  • Sell Products and services via a PayPal interface
  • Add custom design
  • Add an image advert

The new platform does not support a number of features from the current platform detailed in the list below. The decision to exclude these features was based on customer feedback and usage statistics.

  • Multiple pages or sub-domains
  • Telfriends and private data support
  • .tel search functionality
  • Multiple profile support
  • Telhosting product language support for Arabic, Czech, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese and Russian.
  • SOAP API access for registrars and domain owners
  • Google Ad sense integration

15. How will Telnic support the new Telhosting platform?

From 13th March 2017, all support requests from domain owners that use the new Telhosting platform should be sent to cservice@telnic.org . Telnic will handle these requests directly.

16. If I am not using the Telhosting platform, who do I contact for .tel domain support?

Starting 13th March 2017, if you have questions about your domain name and are not using the Telhosting platform, you should contact your registrar or reseller for support or the 3rd party hosting provider if you have opted to use this service.

17. Will domain owners be charged for the new Telhosting platform?

No. Telnic will continue to provide a free and optional Telhosting service to all .tel community members.

18. Will my domain registration and ownership status be affected by the Telhosting changes?

No. You will continue to be the owner of your .tel domain and there is no change to the contractual relationship you have with your registrar or reseller with respect to domain renewal and other domain specific activities such as transfers and WHOIS updates. Your registrar will still be your point of contact with respect to these key domain lifecycle activities.