the science of viral

The Science of Virality [Infographic]

What makes things go viral?

We often see articles, videos, and images shared by our friends on social media networks – but what made those pieces of content so share-able?

Answer that question and you could have millions of views, hits, clicks, and links. All the glitz and glamour with none of the hard work.

Elon University performed a study on the so-called “science of virality” — essentially, what makes things go viral. They analyzed 20 of the most viral videos on the Internet, as identified by Time Magazine. The videos were examined for different characteristics, and how these factors may have contributed to the virality of each video. The findings of this study are presented in our infographic below.

Stop, Thief! 5 Steps to Wipe Out Stolen Website Content

If someone steals something from your house or store, you probably know exactly what to do. You call the police, describe what was taken, file an insurance claim, and try to get on with your life.

But how do you deal with the theft of something online?

Content theft happens every day, and the amount of stolen, lifted, and scraped content on the web is increasing. With content marketing a hotter topic than ever and websites desperate to rank, some unsavory individuals may choose to copy your hard work instead of doing their own.

I’ve had my content stolen in the past, and getting a pat on the back and being told “imitation is the highest form of flattery” just made me even more upset. But what could I do? Call the police and say “hey, some guy stole my blog post” or “this girl on the internet copied my short story”? I felt helpless and unsupported.

You shouldn’t have to feel that way. That’s why I put together this simple five step guide to dealing with stolen website content. Follow along to learn how you can quickly and easily resolve this unfortunately common problem.

Stop the Bleeding: How to Choose a Better Password in the Heartbleed Aftermath [Infographic]

By now, you’ve probably heard of the Heartbleed Bug. Called the “ultimate web nightmare” by Mashable, this bug is a vulnerability in the widely used OpenSSL library that potentially exposed hundreds of thousands of passwords, usernames, secret keys, and other sensitive information to hackers.

If you have ever used a website that relies on OpenSSL — including Google, Facebook, Pinterest, Dropbox, and many other popular sites and services — your data may be at risk. To protect yourself, you’ll need to change your passwords when those sites have patched the vulnerability.

photo by KoFahu
photo by KoFahu

Many software companies and service providers recommend changing your passwords anywhere between every 30 days and twice per year. With Heartbleed causing chaos online, this may be the right time for you to do a thorough password overhaul to make your data and identity more secure. But how do you pick the right password? What can you do to make it harder for hackers to do their jobs?

We’ve put together this flowchart-style infographic on choosing a more secure password to help you. Use it now to secure your accounts in light of Heartbleed, and bookmark it for future use any time you think you might need to change your passwords again.

Guide to Boosting Productivity [Infographic]

You may be surprised to learn just how many productivity pitfalls exist in your workplace! From stress to distractions to slow computers, many small factors can add up to decrease the productivity of workers. With so much time and money lost each year due to these problems, it’s worth trying to make improvements that will boost productivity — even if it’s something as simple as a software upgrade, or a larger change like offering flex time.

Some studies show that American workers only average three productive days per week, which averages out to about 33 unproductive days per year. How can we cut down on these productivity pitfalls? This infographic offers tips on doing just that.

XP Dead

Who Still Uses Windows XP? (Or Why Ohio is Totally Doomed)

As you may already know, support for Windows XP has officially ended today, April 8, 2014. This has spurred a frantic rush to update PCs all around the world as many banks, hospitals, and other businesses maintained their use of this popular operating system for over 10 years. But like any other important update, there are some stragglers who haven’t quite taken notice.

At WebFX, we like numbers. In fact, we have access to over 1500 Google Analytics profiles that allow us to see lots of numbers. This week’s buzz about the death of Windows XP (RIP) made us wonder: who is still using this?

By analyzing more than 7.8 million web visits since January 1, 2014, we have compiled the percentage of each state that is still operating and surfing the web from Windows XP.

Earning Backlinks In Real Life: 5 Links Every Small Business Should Have

Link building still matters. If you’ve been part of a successful link building campaign in the past, you most certainly will agree. Despite any tweaks Google has made since Penguin waddled onto the scene in 2012, Google’s algorithm is still largely based on the link graph and will be for the foreseeable future.

Penguin has changed the way that you need to acquire links, but the idea that a link from an authoritative website can help improve search engine visibility is still accurate. While on-page SEO can easily be summarized in a best practices document, link building isn’t as easy to neatly fit into a single page.

Still, there are some quick wins out there for businesses both new and old to link building. Remember: links are a sign of trust and authority to search engines. There are things that real businesses do that naturally and efficiently earn links and build trust online. Successful businesses can and do earn plenty of links without knowing what SEO stands for.