Blog about Internet marketing strategies - social media, & SEO

Archive: September, 2012

Nepali Colleges, Universities and Government Offices Sell Viagra & Sex Drugs!

I hope that the educational institutes such as schools, colleges or universities of Nepal (or anywhere as a matter of fact) are into education rather than selling sex drugs. Similarly government offices do their assigned jobs than selling Viagra. The point I am raising here is how vulnerable the educational, government websites in Nepal are and web security in general.

Let’s do a quick search on Google for Viagra (apparently a sexual wonder drug!) within the educational websites in Nepal, which have the names followed by .edu.np. We can do this using [search term] + the ‘site:’ operator + the URL or domain. For educational sites, this would be https://www.google.com/search?&q=viagra+site%3A.edu.np

The search for Viagra in educational website resulted in over 1700 results! I won’t link such sites direct here but present a screenshot. You can do the search yourself too using the search above.

Educational sites in Nepal Hacked

From Kathmandu University to American Language Center – and several schools, colleges universities websites are infected.

Similarly doing a search for Government sites of Nepal shows plenty of infected websites too.

hacked government sites Nepal

 

Finally doing a search for a .com.np site showed over 178,000 infected web-pages. I would just share screenshot here as well.

hacked business sites Nepal viagra

 

Why do educational websites get exploited so much?

The easy explanation is that weak security in websites (especially quick cheap ones) allow easy access to external attackers. Another reason might also be related to a different reason called SEO (search engine optimization), which is about how Google ranks a website when somebody makes a search for a particular term. It is a common but somewhat mistaken assumption that links from educational or government site provides better ranks in search results. So the practice of inserting codes to ‘bad’ sites in educational or government or any other site with old software is a notorious practice that has been going on for a long time. Some sites may also redirect to potentially bad sites when clicked on search results rather than going to the actual result displayed.

What can be done to prevent such attacks?

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as 100% secured and even biggest websites get hacked. If we do a similar search for overall educational or government sites around the world, the situation is no better. I wouldn’t be surprised if my own site gets hacked someday. But having said that it is upto the website owner or team to ensure that the site is safe for its visitors.

In general, it is a good practice to:

  • Keep the content management system (CMS) or software up-to date on the server and on own computers
  • Use antivirus
  • Not use easy to guess passwords
  • Choose a more secured hosting
  • Backup data regularly
  • Check own site on Google using the ‘site:’ operator. For example viagra site:ku.edu.np or viagra site:.gov.np
  • Never open suspicious files attachments or websites
  • Report websites that are infected to the website owner

Here are some additional references on better web security (don’t worry! these are trustworthy sites and open in new window.)

 

Suggestions are welcome!

 

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Popular Twitter Accounts in Nepal

Here is a post specifically for Twitter users in Nepal. As Twitter continues to gain popularity and new users join this social media platform, it starts with how to use it and whom to follow. Below is a result of little ‘experiment’ I did with some Twitter Tools in order to get popular Twitter accounts in Nepal which might be worth following if you are new to Twitter.

Popular Twitter users in Nepal

What is this?

This is a list of popular Twitter user accounts from Nepal.

How is the sample (the users) chosen?

Though popularity is subjective, I have tired to select users based on following:

  • Followers higher than 1000. Just to keep user number limited – else the list would be very long. Doesn’t mean less than 1000 users are less popular though!
  • Active Twitter account. At least something tweeted this month.
  • Followers/friend ratio equals or higher than 1. Following hundreds of thousands could get you more followers but doesn’t make much sense to me.
  • User is a Nepali, or expats in Nepal who tweets about Nepal too, or Nepali living abroad. Just trying to limit for Nepal here. Surely can be applicable elsewhere as well.
  • The users are chosen from my Nepali Twitter list here, here and here – altogether about 1200 users so far.
  • (Note: Many accounts are news sites rather than users as well which are included as they are useful anyway. Some others may not Tweet much about Nepal but are included as they are from Nepal. Some commercial organizational Twitter accounts and over automated users have been avoided from the list for the sake of unadulterated community. Again these are bit subjective and you can come up with your own list too!)

Tools Used

  • Mostly SocialBro extension for Chrome.
  • Some Excel work as Twitter API is kinda limited these days.
  • Wordle.net to create Twitter cloud image above.
  • Good ole’ Google.
  • Some secret sauce!

How is it useful anyway?

  • Hope you can find interesting people on the list.
  • There are some news site Twitter accounts as well. So might be useful to keep up to date with news?
  • I am also hopeful that this list can be used as user suggestion tool when somebody first registers a Twitter account. Since Twitter primarily selects users based on popularity, having some Nepali people when someone first registers is a good idea. Otherwise new users will be suggested to follow international celebrities only. You too can help suggest who to follow (and also in Twitter Translation) here at http://translate.twttr.com/suggested_candidates

Here is a List of Popular Twitter Accounts in Nepal (in random order)

Twitter Handle URL
@nagarikdaily http://twitter.com/nagarikdaily
@ekantipur_com http://twitter.com/ekantipur_com
@iHappie http://twitter.com/iHappie
@Roopess http://twitter.com/Roopess
@niraj_1974 http://twitter.com/niraj_1974
@dhakalsaurav http://twitter.com/dhakalsaurav
@sameermdixit http://twitter.com/sameermdixit
@seasonsgk http://twitter.com/seasonsgk
@sudhasubedi http://twitter.com/sudhasubedi
@MadsArea http://twitter.com/MadsArea
@kashishds http://twitter.com/kashishds
@Ekendra http://twitter.com/Ekendra
@anqrs http://twitter.com/anqrs
@drogba_CFCuk http://twitter.com/drogba_CFCuk
@GangaBc http://twitter.com/GangaBc
@SomeshVerma http://twitter.com/SomeshVerma
@AnantaBrt http://twitter.com/AnantaBrt
@abhabhattarai http://twitter.com/abhabhattarai
@sabeenakarki http://twitter.com/sabeenakarki
@akhileshU http://twitter.com/akhileshU
@prashant_sh http://twitter.com/prashant_sh
@limshaku http://twitter.com/limshaku
@meroreport http://twitter.com/meroreport
@meaastha http://twitter.com/meaastha
@akhanal http://twitter.com/akhanal
@prabhasp http://twitter.com/prabhasp
@ParakramRana http://twitter.com/ParakramRana
@KakaBaa http://twitter.com/KakaBaa
@phalano http://twitter.com/phalano
@Aashisluitel http://twitter.com/Aashisluitel
@prashantktm http://twitter.com/prashantktm
@KanakManiDixit http://twitter.com/KanakManiDixit
@narayanwagle http://twitter.com/narayanwagle
@FunnyGooner http://twitter.com/FunnyGooner
@TamangPhan http://twitter.com/TamangPhan
@prabalgurung http://twitter.com/prabalgurung
@shailesh http://twitter.com/shailesh
@pokharelketi http://twitter.com/pokharelketi
@indradhoj http://twitter.com/indradhoj
@neokya http://twitter.com/neokya
@knchn19 http://twitter.com/knchn19
@Spriyaaaa http://twitter.com/Spriyaaaa
@svbel http://twitter.com/svbel
@himnp13 http://twitter.com/himnp13
@strophicus http://twitter.com/strophicus
@BBCSajhaSawal http://twitter.com/BBCSajhaSawal
@malvikasubba http://twitter.com/malvikasubba
@nepalitimes http://twitter.com/nepalitimes
@hamroblog http://twitter.com/hamroblog
@UN_Nepal http://twitter.com/UN_Nepal
@mkoirala http://twitter.com/mkoirala
@kishorenepal http://twitter.com/kishorenepal
@nepalnewsDotcom http://twitter.com/nepalnewsDotcom
@TASIBO http://twitter.com/TASIBO
@lendaai http://twitter.com/lendaai
@NRaule http://twitter.com/NRaule
@rajballav http://twitter.com/rajballav
@SwaggicalRuchi http://twitter.com/SwaggicalRuchi
@NepalYouthFound http://twitter.com/NepalYouthFound
@nepaliheadlines http://twitter.com/nepaliheadlines
@robpenner http://twitter.com/robpenner
@Ujyaalo http://twitter.com/Ujyaalo
@newsmandu http://twitter.com/newsmandu
@nabinkbhattarai http://twitter.com/nabinkbhattarai
@baburamb http://twitter.com/baburamb
@gunaraj http://twitter.com/gunaraj
@amritna http://twitter.com/amritna
@buddhisagar http://twitter.com/buddhisagar
@BreakingNewsNEP http://twitter.com/BreakingNewsNEP
@NepalUnites http://twitter.com/NepalUnites
@PallaviDhakal http://twitter.com/PallaviDhakal
@acharyapawan http://twitter.com/acharyapawan
@binitadahal http://twitter.com/binitadahal
@MishraRabindra http://twitter.com/MishraRabindra
@prateeish http://twitter.com/prateeish
@BishalGautam http://twitter.com/BishalGautam
@thapagk http://twitter.com/thapagk
@NrnShrestha http://twitter.com/NrnShrestha
@krips16 http://twitter.com/krips16
@lexlimbu http://twitter.com/lexlimbu
@impuzaa http://twitter.com/impuzaa
@kundadixit http://twitter.com/kundadixit
@maila_sau http://twitter.com/maila_sau
@bhumikaghimire http://twitter.com/bhumikaghimire
@asishsyangden http://twitter.com/asishsyangden
@tfcNepal http://twitter.com/tfcNepal
@tajim http://twitter.com/tajim
@sushmite http://twitter.com/sushmite
@apsster http://twitter.com/apsster
@poozaaree http://twitter.com/poozaaree
@sudheerktm http://twitter.com/sudheerktm
@acharya14 http://twitter.com/acharya14
@a_rabin http://twitter.com/a_rabin
@abishadh http://twitter.com/abishadh
@joshisushma http://twitter.com/joshisushma
@iShzz http://twitter.com/iShzz
@hellomuku http://twitter.com/hellomuku
@GoGoze http://twitter.com/GoGoze
@nilambar http://twitter.com/nilambar
@sitamademba http://twitter.com/sitamademba
@salokya http://twitter.com/salokya
@friendycalls http://twitter.com/friendycalls
@dipakbhattarai http://twitter.com/dipakbhattarai
@jhyal http://twitter.com/jhyal
@AnandNepal http://twitter.com/AnandNepal
@RajneeshB http://twitter.com/RajneeshB
@chapagain http://twitter.com/chapagain
@manjushreethapa http://twitter.com/manjushreethapa
@prerana123 http://twitter.com/prerana123
@UjjwalAcharya http://twitter.com/UjjwalAcharya
@ushaft http://twitter.com/ushaft
@nepalsites http://twitter.com/nepalsites
@nepaldiary http://twitter.com/nepaldiary
@csapkota http://twitter.com/csapkota
@AnupKaphle http://twitter.com/AnupKaphle
@DeepakAdk http://twitter.com/DeepakAdk
@lkafle http://twitter.com/lkafle
@aakarpost http://twitter.com/aakarpost
@PurpleSoul_ http://twitter.com/PurpleSoul_
@bhu1st http://twitter.com/bhu1st
@utsah_ http://twitter.com/utsah_
@anbika http://twitter.com/anbika
@chandangoopta http://twitter.com/chandangoopta
@cricketbirat http://twitter.com/cricketbirat
@brazeshk http://twitter.com/brazeshk
@meroreport http://twitter.com/meroreport
@johnparajuli http://twitter.com/johnparajuli
@jwalanta http://twitter.com/jwalanta
@prateekpradhan http://twitter.com/prateekpradhan
@sahiladai http://twitter.com/sahiladai
@InnocentIdiot_ http://twitter.com/InnocentIdiot_
@VaskarH http://twitter.com/VaskarH
@PrasanSyangden http://twitter.com/PrasanSyangden
@priteejoshi http://twitter.com/priteejoshi
@SauravRimal http://twitter.com/SauravRimal

I have now made the popular Twitter accounts from Nepal a public list here. https://twitter.com/i/#!/nepalsites/over-1000-followers-nepal You may follow any users that interest you or subscribe to the list.

Like/Dislike the list or got suggestions? Do share!

 

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Facebook PPC Ad Intelligence Tool by SEMrush

SEMrush provides knowledge and research tools for search and marketing professionals. I talked about SEMrush keywords  Google AdWords Analytics tool a while back. Now SEMrush is coming up with something exciting for Facebook advertisers as well – Facebook Pay Per Click Intelligence Tool. Here is a walkthrough on what the tool is going to be like:

Once you login to SEMrush, you can see the Facebook navigation on the Dashboard. This contains three submenus – namely Ads by domain, Ads by keyword and TOP Ads. Let us see more of each. I shall mostly use Nepali Facebook Ad examples for this purpose – but this is applicable for any country or globally as well.

Ads by Domain

Here you can search Facebook ads by the domain name (advertised website). So if you are a travel company and want to know how much ad AceTravels is doing, you can type their domain name acetravels.com and see the results. You can see Total Ad Impressions as well as unique impressions for the week, month or three months. Here is a screenshot.

AceTravels Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads by Domain

Seems that AceTravels targets only Nepal and hence GEO targeting shows insufficient data. So let’s check another travel site, that of Explore Himalaya using their domain explorehimalaya.com.

Explore Himalaya Facebook ads

Explore Himalaya Facebook Ad

You can also click on the single ad to see the details such as first and last seen dates on Facebook.

Facebook ad details

Details for a Facebook Advertisement by LonelyPlanet

Here we see that the ad is targeted mostly on selected countries and there are 3 versions of Ads. The impression chart shows ad impressions across various months. We can also see the impressions for each ads and which ones are performing better. Thus it can be a useful tool to improve your ads as well. Similarly, the ad landings show the major pages that the website is targeting through those ads.

Facebook ads Landing Page

Facebook Ad Landings checks important website pages from competitors

Features that I found need improvements in this section are:

  • The days seen for ads are kind of inaccurate and doesn’t make much sense as it is.
  • Many companies advertise for their Facebook Page itself. There doesn’t appear to be way to check the ads in that case.
  • Data for ads targeted for single geographic region such as Nepal seems inaccurate of non-available in many cases.

We can use a side-by-side comparison like this give good insights on Facebook advertising pattern by competitors.

 

Ads by Keywords

Ads by keywords shows the popular ads with the keywords within the ad Headline or Text. Since Facebook Ads are segmented based on interests rather than keywords, the search by keywords works different than the PPC in Google AdWords. This can however be used to find the competing ads by finding Ads by Keywords. Again, let’s consider the travel industry and use “travel Nepal” as a keyword. This gives an idea on comparison of the ads and ad impressions.

Facebook ads by Keywords

Facebook ads by Keywords

Features that I found need improvements in this section are:

  • Ads by Keywords option seems less logical as the ads in Facebook are not segmented based on Keywords.
  • The monthly / 3 monthly ad impression numbers (average unique hits) seem to be broken as seen on the screenshot

 

TOP Ads

This gives the overall list of top ads and advertisers on Facebook. What is more impressive is this also give option to dig deeper to find the list of top Ads and Advertisers on Facebook based on country and for a given time frame (weekly, monthly or 3 months).

Facebook Top ads

Top Facebook ads and advertisers worldwide

Top ads and advertisers from Nepal in Facebook]

Top Nepali ads and advertisers on Facebook

Here I show the weekly top Facebook ads in Nepal (most displayed Facebook advertisement in Nepal) as well as the monthly top Nepali advertisers on Facebook, along with the total number of impressions they had. Seems like colleges in Nepal and for Nepalis are having a blast at Facebook Ads!

Features that I found need improvements in this section are:

  • Advertiser name alongside the top ads would be better

 

Overall improvements that I wish for:

  • Some way to put the monetary value estimation for the ad into the insights as in Google PPC.
  • The country selection in the search box is confusing and seems unnecessary for Facebook Ads.

The Facebook Pay Per Click Intelligence Tool would be very useful for existing advertisers as well as business looking to start advertising regarding how others are using it and how to get the most of Facebook Ads. A must for PPC professionals – or even upgrade to paid account to start taking the maximum benefits.

 

Need help with PPC campaigns? Contact.

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