Black Friday Frenzy

Black Friday is the biggest sales day of the year and companies are slashing prices and, in some cases, even throwing in freebies to sweeten the pot. Are you in market searching for big discounts that can help make your business life easier?

Here are some pages our team has built for Black Friday deals hunter –

Bitcatcha Black Friday Deals Page – Printers, VPN, Web Hosting, and Cloud Storage offers.

WHSR Black Friday Deals Page – Web Hosting and domain deals.

BuildThis Black Friday Deals Page – Email Marketing, SSL, WordPress Plugins, and Web Hosting offers.

HostScore Black Friday Deals Page – Web Hosting offers.

WordCamp Kuala Lumpur (WCKL) 2019

  • When? 1- 2 November 2019
  • Where? Berjaya Times Square, Kuala Lumpur
  • Who? Web developers, marketers, bloggers, business owners
  • Why? Learn and share your experience in WordPress, network with other relevant business people
  • Event details: https://2019.kualalumpur.wordcamp.org/

The conference sessions are divided into 2 tracks:

WCKL Track 1

  • Opening Remarks
  • Building the perfect service business website by Shaan Nicol
  • “Create one, publish everywhere” by Leonardo Losoviz
  • One coder agency – 3 steps framework for building one-man WP agency that lasts by Nathan Onn Yeap Chuen
  • Bagaimana membina landing page yang berimpak tinggi (BM) by Adlan Khalidi
  • Managing your online presence on Google search by Cherry Sireetorn Prommawin
  • WordPress CLI in depth by Sanjay Willie
  • Work, Travel and Join Global Community by Mayuko Moriyama
  • Secure Your WordPress website by Liew Cheon Fong
  • Demystify SEO and Google algorithm by Matthew Knighton

WCKL Track 2

  • Google Tag Manager untuk Markter (BM) by Amirul Nordin
  • The magic of headless WordPress and REST API by Hasin Hayder
  • Content strategy for lead generation and SEO by Ivan So
  • Getting more done in less time – WordPress automation using Ansible by Ivan Yordanov Ivanov
  • 10 tips utama untuk melajukan laman WordPress anda (BM) by Abdul Rahim Abdul Rani
  • Contributing the WP mobile apps by Cesar Targdguila
  • WordPress optimization by Ramon Sim
  • Expand your network: WordPress multisite by Ian Labao
  • Closing remarks

HostScore was one of the event sponsors – we setup a booth, gaveaway some merchandises, and meet people from 8am – 5pm, non-stop. All of us – Timothy, Jason, and I, have not talked so much in one day for a very long time. We were all exhausted by the end of the event.

Psssst, we are launching HostScore.net this month…

Having spent more than ten years researching and testing web hosting services, we felt the need for greater transparency in the market. HostScore was built with that in mind – a resource for the public which would monitor how web host servers perform and make that data readily available at no cost.

Being first of its kind in market (as far as I know), HostScore gives hosting consumers a new, data-driven way to evaluate and choose a web host.

We have been collecting data since July 2019 and the site went live early this month (September). I’d love you to go check out the site and let me know what you think.

Screenshot of HostScore homepage (Sep 20, 2019)

For transparency purposes, all HostScore algorithm is published here.

Curious to learn more? Find answers to frequent questions here.

Not Your Standard SEO Advice (1/7): Page Speed & Distracting Ads

Google guideline and Google representatives say valid HTML matters, page speed is a crucial ranking factors, and distracting ads are a sign of low quality sites.

Yet, this page has 20+ errors and 70+ warning in Chrome browser inspection, failed horribly in various speed tests, comes with multiple annoying pop-up / pop-under ads – and they rank in multiple position 0’s and ranked for thousands of highly competitive search terms.

Page ranks more than 5,000 keywords.
Search traffic valued at $98,430 according to AHREFS estimation.
Page speed test results at GT Metrix.

SEO guidelines by Google and gurus are only for your reference. They are basic knowledge that serves, at max, as your foundation and can only carry you to a certain distance.

The best SEO thing you can do FOR YOURSELF is to monitor SERPs closely and run your own experiments.

Google Webmaster Conference Kuala Lumpur 2019

This was a rare chance for people in Malaysia to get answers from a Googlers, face-to-face, instead of Google the Search Engine.

  • When? August 02, 2019.
  • Where? Aloft Kuala Lumpur Central.
  • Who? Googlers from the search team including Gary Illyes, Stacie Chan, Lucian Teo, Takeaki Kanaya, Duy Nguyen, Anna Ogawa, Cherry Sireetorn Prommawin, and Aldrich Christopher.
  • Why? It’s a conference for website owners, digital marketers, web developers, and SEO professionals.
  • Event details: https://events.withgoogle.com/wmckualalumpur/

Agenda

There were 9 talk sessions and 1 Q&A / panel discussion in the fully-packed 7 hours event. Titles and topics covered were:

  1. Keynotes / welcomes – by Lucian Teo
  2. How search works – by Cherry Sireetorn
  3. What’s new in search – by Gary Illyes
  4. Search console – by Gary Illyes
  5. Partnering with Google Search and Assistant – by Stacie Chan
  6. Image Search – by Gary Illyes
  7. Towards a safer web – by Aldrich Christopher & Takeaki Kanaya
  8. SEO mythbusting – by Gary Illyes
  9. Let’s talk about links by Duy Nguyen

Key Takeaways

Per Googler’s on-stage talks and guidance

  • eCommerce spending in Asean is estimated to hit US$250 billion by year 2025.
  • Content is king.
  • Businesses should focus on its core and worry less about SEO
  • Rankings are tailored to moment. Search engine crawl, index, and rank content in real time.
  • HTTPS is a must – make use of free SSL like Let’s Encrypt .
  • Link out to trustable resources – it helps Google understand the web better and your site rankings.
  • Any links that are obtained with exchange of money should be “nofollow”.
  • Google human raters will check and compare search results before an core update goes live.
  • Speed up your site.
  • Google is working with other relevant orgs to standardize robots.txt
  • New sites discovered by Google will fall under mobile first indexing.
  • Google now renders a web page when crawling a website – just like how users would see the page on browser.
  • Javascript should be used in moderation.
  • Fun story – Facebook used up Google storage capacity when the two tech giants team up to test out hreflang implementation.
  • Use “hreflang” to gain more localised traffic, but prepare to lose traffic if you take it off.
  • Businesses are encouraged to control their online presence by claiming their knowledge panel and creating content on Google Posts and Cameos.
  • Use schema markup to help Google understand your website better – including the new FAQ and How-to markup.
  • You can now markup your videos with spreadsheets.
  • Make use of Tenor.com, one of Google’s latest acquisitions, to improve your brand visibility.

Q&A (in private and during panel discussion)

  • How users interact with content affects how Google understand intent (in real time); how Google understand intent affect how they serve their results in real time.
  • First meaningful content paint is what matters the most to Google in measuring speed.
  • When a website roll back to single-language from a multilingual setup, it will retain its (bigger) crawl budget for short term, which allow new pages get discovered quicker. This elevated crawl budget would be reduced and normalised based on the website size eventually.

Personal Thoughts

Met my school mates – Sebastian and Chik, during the event.

In overall I think it’s a well-organised event.

  • Plenty to networking opportunities with other digital marketers and developers.
  • Plenty of good food – breakfast, lunch, and two tea breaks, to whack throughout the session.
  • Plenty of clear guidance and tips for newbies and local businesses.

A few attendants I met mentioned their disappointment with the depth of the topics. In overall they thought what covered on stage were too basic and lack of insights.

(Biasa-lah.. Of course the Googlers are not here to teach us how to SEO and manipulate their system.)

More

Free Original Logos

Tired of free crappy logos? Some time ago I worked with Chee Ching and made 50 super-beautiful logos.

I was suppose to build a newsletter chain with these logos but I never got time for the project. It would be a huge waste to keep these logos in my hard drive so I am giving out these original logos for free on BuildThis.

The logos are available in .PNG and .SVG format, you can download all of them here in one big zipped file > https://www.buildthis.io/free-logos/

No signup is needed – I am not collecting emails from this.

Promise me you make good use of them! :)

Speaking at WordPress Meetup (March 2019)

I had the opportunity to speak at one of the WordPress Meetups in Kuala Lumpur recently (thank you David). My session was about growing a blog. I shared my ideas in content and non-SEO marketing to ~70 attendants that afternoon.

Key Takeaways

Click here to download my deck.

To grow your blog, you need to produce the right content for your target audience consistently and promote your blog actively.

  • The Basics – Create evergreen content. Do onpage SEO right. Don’t overload your blog with ads. Be original. Don’t post irrelevant stuffs on your blog. etc etc
  • Generating Ideas – Gather and make use of data you can get from others, such as Quora, Patroen, YouTube, and competitors, to generate content ideas.
  • Growing without Google – Repurpose and distribute your content in different channels to build your brand and traffic. Network with other bloggers / brands / developers for win-win.

Digging in

For further readings and actions.

Personal Note

Public speaking is something I have no done for years (ever since I left Bridgestone). Thankfully there wasn’t many big screw-ups in my presentation (according to feed backs I got).

  • Freestyle feels easier (and probably better) – There was a moment in the beginning where I struggled to stick with my script and my mind just got shut off. Eventually I went freestyle and it worked out smoother.
  • I need practice – Obviously. Must get rid of the “uhhhm” “errr” and “ahhh” when presenting.
  • Speaking is fun and useful – The audience comes to you with their problems and questions – this helps me to understand people better and generate new ideas from speaking to them. Should / will definitely do more.

And by the way …

The Kuala Lumpur WordPress Meetup is for all WordPress users from new to experienced to get together and discuss all things WordPress.

Regardless of whether you use WordPress for business or pleasure, as a blogger, developer, or designer, our monthly meetups are sure to help you get the most out of this amazing open source software.

Just like WordPress, joining the group and attending our meetups is absolutely free!

To learn more and see where the folks are hosting the next meetup, check out https://www.meetup.com/Kuala-Lumpur-WordPress-Meetup/

Why are generic domains so expensive?

Another year and another list of the top selling domain names, showing once again why certain domain names are much more pricey (pricier?) than others. If you haven’t been keeping up with the domain name game, let me give you a little spoiler:

All the of the best selling domain names are all single-word, generic domain names.

Now, for most of you, that might not come as a surprise. But, I’m pretty sure there’s someone out there who’s thinking of buying their first domain name (learn how to buy your first domain name here) and are tempted to be as outlandish as possible.

Well, if you take a look at both the 2018 Top 100 Domain Names Sales (see table below), the big money is always going to be with simple, single-word domain names.

Single-word domain names like fund.com or toys.com were some of the biggest sales of all-timesThe trend continued in 2018 with domain names such as ice.com and super.com at $3.5 million and $1.2 million respectively.

2018 Top 100 Domain Names Sales

Rank Domain Price
1 ice.com $3,500,000
2 super.com $1,200,000
3 great.com $900,000
4 liquid.com $750,000
5 christian.com $600,000
6 inception.com $550,000
7 fo.com $510,000
8 sleeping.com $502,225
9 snoring.com $502,225
10 home.loans $500,000
11 dax.com $500,000
12 tokens.com $500,000
13 inspection.com $335,000
14 nwm.com $325,000
15 seva.com $310,000
16 strength.com $300,001
17 the.club $300,000
18 een.com $300,000
19 signet.com $300,000
20 509.com $295,000
21 mastermind.com $275,000
22 crosswordpuzzles.com $249,980
23 sportsmans.com $235,000
24 star.org $225,000
25 dxb.com $220,000
26 gab.com $220,000
27 supernatural.com $215,888
28 jumprope.com $200,000
29 cryptoworld.com $195,000
30 urw.com $195,000
31 hybrid.com $190,000
32 8.top $172,758
33 0007.com $172,500
34 c.top $167,223
35 e.top $163,125
36 soulmate.com $160,000
37 can.com $155,000
38 presto.com $150,000
39 wjx.com $150,000
40 fxt.com $150,000
41 edit.com $140,000
42 cpu.com $140,000
43 bad.de $138,443
44 interspace.com $136,410
45 hpx.com $130,000
46 nbx.com $130,000
47 mappa.com $127,400
48 flo.com $127,258
49 radian.com $125,000
50 ila.com $125,000
51 emx.com $120,000
52 calltracking.com $120,000
53 enhance.com $110,000
54 item.com $102,000
55 music.ai $101,500
56 payperclick.com $100,000
57 hosts.com $100,000
58 jones.com $100,000
59 providers.com $100,000
60 handle.com $95,378
61 cashout.com $95,011
62 koffer.com $86,892
63 3339.com $85,000
64 cryptogame.com $85,000
65 wsb.com $85,000
66 feed.co $85,000
67 carstore.com $82,500
68 at.top $75,198
69 publica.com $75,000
70 myvid.com $75,000
71 cense.com $75,000
72 broker.com.au $73,000
73 osl.com $72,000
74 ebike.com $71,938
75 runner.com $69,000
76 bitforex.com $65,000
77 fakenews.com $65,000
78 damn.com $65,000
79 betterfuture.com $65,000
80 aah.org $63,700
81 hubi.com $63,000
82 my.bio $61,002
83 margo.com $60,270
84 kug.com $60,000
85 totaldesign.com $60,000
86 hodler.com $57,500
87 amz.com $57,000
88 garbuio.com $55,490
89 smartwatches.com $55,000
90 sysadmin.com $55,000
91 walrus.com $55,000
92 btcexchange.com $55,000
93 bz.top $53,904
94 qb.top $52,777
95 bg.top $51,187
96 sponge.com $51,000
97 reasons.com $50,001
98 talk.show $50,000
99 orbs.com $50,000
100 tees.com $50,000

Again, this shouldn’t come as a big surprise as brands with single word names tend to be more popular (and sells better) than those with complicated names. Why? Because it’s just easier to remember and to market – which in turn bring extra value to businesses.

Businesses named over generic words

Just at the top of my head, here’s a list of some of the most popular single-word brand names: Apple, Windows, Grab, Ever, Business, Startups, Hunt, and Blogger.

I can go on and on, but I think you get the picture.

Bottom line, single-word domain names or brands will continue to grow in value over the years. I mean, just take a look at Facebook when Mark Zuckerberg decided to drop the “The”.

Black Friday Deals

Just like past years, my team at WHSR has compiled a list of web hosting / domain companies running Black Friday promos. If you were

If you were considering to switch web host, register domain name, or purchase a new CDN / SSL – now is the best time.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday is when merchants go crazy and offer insane discounts.

But please, do not lose your mind and buy stuffs that you don’t need.

I am glad if you make use of our list to buy a new web host, start a business, and save some money in the same time. But I wouldn’t be happy if you spend money on a bunch of hosting accounts that you won’t use for the next 6 months.

Deals are tempting.

Last year I had one of my writers to write some articles about Black Friday deals – he ended up falling for some of the deals and bought a bunch of domain names.

I bet half of those purchased domains remain undeveloped today.

Buy what you need, not what’s cheap.

And if you miss this year Black Friday, there’s always next year ;)

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Shopping everyone.

The curious case of Black Friday: How it got started?

Black Friday is a shopping day for a combination of reasons.

As the first day after the last major holiday (Thanksgiving) before Christmas in United States, Black Friday marks the beginning of the year end holiday shopping season.

Additionally, people are usually getting the day off as part of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

The early 2010s have seen U.S. retailers extend beyond normal hours in order to maintain an edge or to simply keep up with the competition. Such hours may include opening as early as 12:00 am or remaining open overnight on Thanksgiving Day and beginning sale prices at midnight.

The trend continued and spread to other countries – first to Canada and United Kingdom, then Mexico, Romania, India, France, Switzerland, etc.

According to Wikipedia:

The earliest evidence of the phrase Black Friday applied to the day after Thanksgiving in a shopping context suggests that the term originated in Philadelphia, where it was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic that would occur on the day after Thanksgiving.
Now we knew :)