Keeping up with the constant stream of digital marketing headlines is a daunting challenge for anyone, which is why we include a news roundup segment in each episode of the EDGE. The latest features host Erin Sparks and Creative Studio Producer Jacob Mann along with special guest Chuck Fields, Founder and President of SpaceTech. Here’s the news roundup from Episode 345 of the award-winning EDGE of the Web podcast: 


8 Popular WordPress Plugins Are Currently Being Exploited By Hackers

From Matt Southern on Search Engine Journal we learn that 8 Popular WordPress Plugins Are Currently Being Exploited By Hackers. A new report reveals an increased number of attacks against WordPress sites, all of which exploit security flaws in popular plugins.

  • Erin Sparks: If you use any plugins, and especially the ones mentioned here, you’ve got to immediately update all of them and be diligent about updating them throughout the year as their security flaws are fixed. What the hackers are doing when they discover these vulnerabilities is really bad! Tens of thousands of people are using these plugins.
  • Chuck Fields: There’s a WordPress security plugin called Wordfence that helps fend off attacks, and it notifies you so you can see just how many attacks there are on your site. It’s pretty scary, so you can’t just sit back and hope it doesn’t happen. And please, everyone should have their WordPress sites protected with two-step verification for logging in, like a code sent to your phone. It’s just something you’ve got to do.


Google updates ‘nofollow’ link policy, changing the game for link strategists

According to Dylan Lepak on IMPACT, Google updates ‘nofollow’ link policy, changing the game for link strategists. Late last week, Search Engine Journal reported that Google was penalizing guest posts. A few months ago, Google told the world it was changing the way its algorithms detect and utilize link attributes.

  • Erin Sparks: We’ve been talking about this for months and now it’s here because it was implemented on March 1. If you’re not careful to properly use “nofollow” tags with certain kinds of user-generated content, sponsored content, and so on, it could result in penalties and hurt your rankings. 
  • Chuck Fields: Well, I’m glad you’re on top of this because I had no idea these “nofollow” tags were being changed.
  • Erin Sparks: And Google is also treating them more like hints instead of mandates, so more of your links might end up being crawled and if Google doesn’t like what it sees, it could come back to bite you. Building good link authority takes more careful work now.


Google I/O Cancelled Over Coronavirus Caution

On Search Engine Roundtable, Barry Schwartz reports Google I/O Cancelled Over Coronavirus Caution. Google announced they are canceling the physical/in-person version of their massive developer conference, Google I/O, over concerns with the Coronavirus. This was no surprise, as Facebook, Amazon, and other big tech companies have done the same. For a list of big cancellations, see this page on Barron’s

  • Erin Sparks: There’s a lot of money being lost when these big digital marketing conferences get canceled. 
  • Chuck Fields: The big question is whether or not this is all an overaction. It’s too early to call it that way, so in the face of uncertainty, you can’t really criticize any of these cancellations. It’s precautionary and is about erring on the side of safety.
  • Erin Sparks: And there’s definitely a public relations aspect to it as well. None of these conferences want to be seen as a contagion space. And it might all be an overaction, who knows?

Connect with Chuck Fields and SpaceTech


SpaceTech Webste:

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