What are Name Servers?

Name servers perform the critical task of translating domain names to the IP address needed to connect online. You can think of them like a phone book. They hold all of the IP addresses of all the domain names that are hosted on them. If it weren’t for name servers saving all of the records of domain names, you would have to know the IP address of every single website that you visit. Visiting the No-IP website would not be as simple as typing in www.noip.com into your browser, you would have to type the actual IP address http://8.23.224.107.
Name Servers

When you register a domain and host a website, you are able to choose who handles your name server records. If you delegate your domain to No-IP, our Plus Managed DNS handles your websites DNS. Choosing a managed DNS provider is a wise decision if you rely heavily on your website and hate the thought of experiencing any downtime. How much would website downtime cost you?

Related article:
What is DNS?

 

Registering a New Domain? Better Research Its History

Thinking of registering a new domain name? One thing that people often forget to do, is to research the history of the domain name. I recently attended SMX West and Duane Forrester from Bing gave an example of a large company that had been complaining, a lot, that Bing was blocking their domain for no reason.

Domain Name Image

Turns out, Bing was blocking their domain, but it wasn’t because of things that the company was doing. The domain was being blocked because what had been done with the domain before the company owned it. The previous owners had been distributing Malware and Bing had, indeed, blocked it.

How can you learn about the history of a domain before you purchase one? There are a few red flags to look for. If you find a domain that seems almost too good to be true, it probably is. If the domain is cheap and a good one, chances are pretty high that it is cheap for a reason. Research is very important when buying a new domain name. You can use the trusty Way Back Machine to see what the domain has looked like in the past few years. You can also use the Domain Tools Whois History to see the ownership history and blacklist history.

The last thing you want when starting a new website is to be excluded from the SERP for reasons uncontrolled by you. Also be sure to follow our 6 tips for choosing the right domain name.

Have you ever registered a domain name only to find out later that it had been used inappropriately before? What did you do to resolve the issue?

Matt and Duane’s Adventure in SEO: SMX West

I had the ultimate privilege of attending SMX West, the Search Marketing Expo in San Jose, CA this past week. It was an amazing experience packed with tons and tons of great knowledge. I am pretty sure I witnessed something there that will probably never happen again in this lifetime: Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam Team and Duane Forrester, Senior Product Manager with Bing’s Webmaster Program on stage together talking about SEO.

If you want your website to rank well, Cutts pointed out the top things that can get your website in trouble.

1. Too many doorway pages. If you are generating too many pages to target one unique phrase, it can sometimes lead to duplicate content which is a big NO, NO.

2. Autogenerated content. This practice speaks for itself… and Cutts shared an example of absurd auto-generated content  -a serious question is answered entirely by quoting a Freak Nasty song (which Cutts recited to a gleeful crowd). Autogenerated content is even worse when site owners use pictures of the Google web spam team. (This seems to happen more often than one would expect.)

3. Keyword stuffing- black hat SEO 101, and no website should practice it, ever.

4. Gibberish content- avoid it at all costs. If your content doesn’t read well and sounds robotic, overly stuffed with keywords, you have a major problem. His example of this was a Korean website, that even though it was in a different language, you could easily tell that it was stuffed with keywords.

5. Hacking- not necessarily the websites fault, but you will be penalized by Google if your website falls prey. Cutts said that 90 percent of penalizations are related to black hat practices, but a lot of spam reports are also related to hacking. “Keep software up to date,” Cutts suggested. He also said, “Fetch as Googlebot is your friend – it’s an easy way to see if your site got hacked.” Keep an eye on your Webmaster Tools and sign up to receive email alerts so you will quickly be notified when something goes wrong.

In closing, Cutts said, “Be excellent to each other! Be excellent to users and search engines and give people content they want.”

Duane Forrester of Bing also had a similar message. He said, “If your content is the best thing since sliced bread, you’re going to rank well. We are focused on what searchers are engaging and how we can deliver them better results.”

So, my take on it? Content is not only king but also queen and ace. If your content rocks, your website ranking will rock too! What are your thoughts on content and SEO?

What is Recursive DNS?

What is recursive DNS? Every website on the Internet needs to have at least one authoritative DNS server. Authoritative servers are where that websites records are kept. The more authoritative DNS servers your website has, the more redundant it is. To understand exactly what recursive DNS is, let’s explain what exactly DNS is.

In order for a website to be accessed via its URL, i.e. www.noip.com, the website needs DNS. The Domain Name System performs like a phone book. If not for DNS you would need to know the phone number or IP address of every single website. DNS acts like a phone book by pointing a URL to the websites IP address for you. This means you don’t have to know the IP address of every website. How frustrating would that be? I can barely even remember my own phone number, let alone the phone number of every single website that I want to visit.

Anyway, the place where the phone numbers of the websites are kept are the authoritative DNS servers. Each website has at least one and if you want the website to be fully redundant, (meaning if one server has issues or downtime, your website will not be affected) they often have more – that are all located in geographically redundant locations. When you type www.noip.com into your browser, your computer queries the recursive DNS provider. If the recursive DNS server has the answer cached, then it gives that answer if it doesn’t have the answer cached, the recursive DNS server then queries the authoritative DNS server. The authoritative DNS server returns the correct answer and the website is loaded.

Although it sounds quite confusing and time-consuming, all of this happens in milliseconds. Questions or comments? Leave them in the comments! Also, click Like to share this with your friends!

CISPA is Back…

Yup, that really invasive online privacy bill CISPA was reintroduced in the House of Representatives yesterday…. We talked about this bill a few months ago, but for those that aren’t aware, we will touch on the reason why you should really write or call your State Representative and tell them that you are opposed to CISPA.

Gregory T. Nojeim, Director of the Project on Freedom, Security & Technology at the Center for Democracy & Technology said:

“CISPA is deeply flawed. Under a broad cybersecurity umbrella, it permits companies to share user communications directly with the super secret National Security Agency and permits the NSA to use that information for non-cybersecurity reasons. This risks turning the cybersecurity program into a back door intelligence surveillance program run by a military entity with little transparency or public accountability. Members should seriously consider whether CISPA — which inflamed grassroots activists last year and was under a veto threat for these and other flaws — is the right place to start.”

This bill could mean that everything you type into your web browser could be monitored and quietly sent off to the government, without a warrant. We are not against going after cyber threats, but the scope of this bill is so broad that it oversteps the freedom of the innocent.

What will the consequences of this bill? Companies acting as “big brother” may over monitor our online activity, making criminals out of all of us. What effect would this bill have on the Internet experience? Leave your comments below and don’t forget to send a message to your Representatives asking them to oppose this bill.