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In light of recent privacy concerns, OpenAI has restricted access to ChatGPT in Italy. This has left many businesses and individuals in search of a reliable alternative for language processing. Fortunately, there is a solution: PizzaGPT. This alternative AI language model uses the same APIs as ChatGPT, but with one key difference – it does not record any user data. In this article, we will explore what PizzaGPT is, how it compares to ChatGPT, and why it could be the perfect solution for those looking for a secure and privacy-conscious language model.

ChatGPT was banned in Italy due to concerns raised by the Privacy Guarantor. However, the internet quickly organized itself and created its own version of the popular OpenAI chatbot in just a few days. This resulted in the birth of PizzaGPT, an unofficial clone created as an attempt to bypass the ChatGPT block in Italy.

PizzaGPT is an AI language model that has been gaining popularity as a secure and privacy-conscious alternative to ChatGPT. Developed by a team of experienced software developers, PizzaGPT offers all the benefits of ChatGPT, with the bonus of not recording any user data.

Unlike ChatGPT, which is owned and operated by OpenAI, PizzaGPT is a completely independent project that is not affiliated with any particular company or organization. This means that users can rest assured that their data will never be shared or used for any purpose other than improving the performance of the language model itself.

Also read: Why Italy banned ChatGPT?

PizzaGPT is a chatbot that serves as an alternative to ChatGPT, created by an Italian resident abroad. The founder of PizzaGPT created the chatbot in response to ChatGPT’s blockage in Italy. According to a post on Y Combinator, the founder explained the motivation behind PizzaGPT: “I think that artificial intelligence is a revolutionary tool that should be available to everyone, just like the Internet has been.”

PizzaGPT was an idea conceived by an Italian user who lives abroad. The chatbot uses Nuxt 3, Tailwind, and DaisyUI and relies on OpenAI’s turbo-3.5 model API for chat and interface. In simpler terms, PizzaGPT’s answers are expected to be similar to ChatGPT’s, although its aesthetics appear more rudimentary, like a homemade pizza.

Currently, Bing Chat, the Microsoft Bing AI based on GPT 4, remains accessible and is arguably the best conversational artificial intelligence available online.

— Sam Altman (@sama) March 31, 2023

PizzaGPT uses OpenAI’s turbo-3.5 model API, similar to ChatGPT. The chatbot’s graphics are simple and schematic, similar to those of ChatGPT. However, since the website was created in a couple of hours, it is full of bugs and potential improvements. The founder mentioned the goal was to launch something quickly.

PizzaGPT is accessible from any device with an internet connection. Users can access it by visiting the website and typing in their message. The chatbot processes the message and provides a response, similar to ChatGPT. As of now, it is not clear what the future of the platform will be.

In terms of performance, PizzaGPT is on par with ChatGPT. Both language models use the same APIs and algorithms to generate high-quality, natural-sounding text. The only difference is that PizzaGPT does not collect any user data, which makes it a more secure and privacy-conscious option.

In addition, PizzaGPT has a number of features that set it apart from ChatGPT. For example, PizzaGPT offers faster response times and more accurate predictions, thanks to its state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms. It also has a wider range of language options and can generate text in multiple languages, making it a versatile tool for businesses and individuals alike.

If you’re looking for a reliable and secure language model, then PizzaGPT is definitely worth considering. Here are just a few reasons why:

Privacy – Unlike ChatGPT, PizzaGPT does not record any user data, which means that your privacy is always protected.

Versatility – PizzaGPT offers a wide range of language options and can generate text in multiple languages, making it a versatile tool for businesses and individuals alike.

Speed – PizzaGPT offers faster response times than ChatGPT, which means that you can get the results you need more quickly.

Ease of Use – PizzaGPT is easy to use and requires no technical expertise, making it accessible to anyone who needs to generate high-quality text.

It is still uncertain whether ChatGPT will become available again. OpenAI, the chatbot’s parent company, issued an indefinite block on ChatGPT after the Privacy Guarantor temporarily suspended the AI. Sam Altman, the founder of OpenAI, stated in a tweet that the move was a preventive measure and that ChatGPT complies with all user privacy laws. Altman also assured that OpenAI will collaborate with the Italian government to resolve the issue soon.

In conclusion, PizzaGPT is an alternative chatbot to ChatGPT, created to allow Italian residents to access artificial intelligence technology. The software uses OpenAI’s turbo-3.5 model API and has similar responses and graphics to ChatGPT. However, since the website was created in a couple of hours, there are bugs and potential improvements. The future of the platform is still unclear, but it serves as an innovative solution to the blockage of ChatGPT in Italy.

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What Is Substack And How Does It Work?

“What is Substack” is a question with a deceptively simple answer. Yes, it’s an email newsletter platform. But it’s also much more than that.

The social media sphere is chock full of jargon and buzzwords, so much so that it can be hard to keep track of them all. It’s enough to keep track of Wordle, NFTs and the metaverse, but what is a Substack?

Resisting the urge to make a joke about a pile of sandwiches, we’ll tell you that Substack is a major game-changer in the world of online publishing. In fact, it’s the biggest disruption to journalism, personal writing and thought leadership since the blog boom of the 2000s. And it might just be the missing piece in your social media marketing plan.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about Substack, and whether or not it’s the right choice for your brand.

Bonus: Read the step-by-step social media strategy guide with pro tips on how to grow your social media presence.

What is Substack?

Substack is an email newsletter platform. Its simple interface and ability to publish (and monetize) posts on the web have made it a game changer for writers of any skill level.

For journalists, the app is alluring because it doesn’t rely on editors or ad sales to get their message across. For thought leaders, it’s a great way to jot down some thoughts and deliver them directly to their pupils. For new writers, it’s a great way to build a portfolio while finding an audience, however niche the topic might be. For creators, it’s a great way to monetize the loyal following you’ve built on social media.

Substack is known for its hands-off approach to censorship. While there are still some publishing guidelines (no porn, hate speech or harassment, for example), the platform’s lack of gatekeeping has attracted both ground-breaking journalists and some seriously controversial writers.

In other words, the site is simply a tool to facilitate publishing for, well, anyone. And it’s working. There are over 1 million people paying for subscriptions to Substack publications each month.

How does Substack work?

But that’s not all — there’s also Substack for Podcasts, a relatively new tool that allows audio creators to publish and grow their podcasts. In early 2023, Substack also started beta testing a video player for creators, meaning the potential for content creation is only growing.

Once you get your Substack up and running (and more on that in a minute…), you’ll notice the simplicity of the interface. It really is a blank canvas, but people are doing amazing things with the platform.

Sure, traditional writers are the main draw of Substack, and you’ll find hundreds of media figures, journalists, thought leaders and, well, anyone else with a keyboard and something to say. Some major Substack players include Gawker’s Will Leitch, feminist journalist Roxane Gay and historian Heather Cox Richardson.

Authors Salman Rushdie and Chuck Palahniuk have used the platform to publish their new novels, while filmmaker and activist Michael Moore uses it to pontificate on politics.

Dig deeper, and you’ll find Substacks for any niche:

Beauty critic Jessica DeFino critiques the beauty industry with her newsletter The Unpublishable.

Cultural trends are forecasted and broken with Jonah Weiner and Erin Wylie’s immaculately designed Blackbird Spyplane.

And TrueHoop, one of the world’s longest running NBA podcasts, publishes its episodes through the platform.

Patti Smith also uses Substack’s audio feature to publish regular poetry readings.

Because of its simple interface, your Substack can be as straightforward or complicated as you’d like.

Source: Blackbird Spyplane

How to start a Substack

It’s incredibly easy to sign up and start posting on Substack. Follow these steps, and you’ll be publishing in minutes.

1. Define your niche

This is, of course, the first step for any endeavour on the web. Your work, topic of discussion or content type may evolve, but early planning will still be helpful before you start.

Are you going to be writing newsletters for beginner knitters? Lord of the Rings fans? Politics junkies?

Choose an audience and find out everything you can about their concerns, desires, reading habits, and more before you get started.

2. Sign up for an account

You can either use email or sign up with your Twitter account. Substack’s Twitter integration is great — it’s easy to link your contacts and you can even prominently feature your newsletter near your bio — so definitely choose that option if you have a large following on your Twitter account.

3. Set up your profile

Yes, the steps are this simple. This is the place where you confirm your email address and username. You’ll also want to upload a profile picture, which will be used on your page.

4. Create your publication

Name your publication, give a summary of what it’s about and confirm your URL. Here’s where you should flex your creativity (but don’t worry too much — you can always make changes later).

Make sure your summary is as short and descriptive as possible, as in the example below. People will be more likely to sign up if they know what they’re getting into — and they’re excited about it.

5. Subscribe to publications

If you’ve linked your Twitter and follow people who have Substacks, you can easily follow them here. This is a good idea for two reasons — it’ll get you started on a similar content path as the one you have on Twitter, and it will alert your mutuals that you’ve joined Substack.

6. Import your mailing list

If you’re coming to Substack from another service like Mailchimp, TinyLetter or Patreon, you can upload a CSV file and import your contacts.

7. Add subscribers

Here, you can manually add friends and family to your subscriber list as a way to build a subscriber base. It might seem tiny, but you’ve got to start somewhere. Consider signing up with a second personal email address too — then you can see your newsletter exactly as it looks to subscribers.

8. Create a post

Once you’ve signed up, you’ll be directed to the Dashboard, where you can create a New post, New thread or New episode. As you’ll see, the interface is incredibly straightforward. You’ll have no trouble writing, formatting and publishing your first post.

How to grow your Substack

Substack is, again, more of a tool than a social network. In that sense, you’ll have to brush off your marketing skills and promote your work the old-fashioned way.

Here are some tips:

Call to action Link up

Post your Substack on your homepage, social media sites, company email signatures or, well, anywhere else that will allow URLs. This will also help with search engine rankings so people can come across your Substack organically.

Get social

Perhaps the most obvious thing on the list, but it bears repeating: post your newsletters on social media. Break down your content in a Twitter thread, screencap key takeaways for Instagram or set up direct integration with Facebook.

Comment away Build partnerships

It doesn’t have to feel like marketing, even if it is. You can offer to guest post on other people’s Substacks, interview other creators on your own, ask relevant accounts on social media to share your publication or even pay for a sponsorship.

Substack did their own case study, following Ali Abouelatta and his blog First 1000.

Using a series of experiments, he gained over 20,000 subscribers in just three years. Ali achieved this growth through hard work, determination and a willingness to engage with his niche outside of the platform, marketing through Quora, Discord, WhatsApp and Slack.

Learn more with Substack’s video:

Is Substack free?

As a publisher, Substack is completely free. There are no costs associated with having an account, and you can publish text and audio without paying for storage.

Similarly, a large majority of Substack posts are free to read. It’s up to content creators whether or not to place their work behind a paywall. Typically, a user will have a mixture of free and premium content on their page.

A subscription to a paid Substack averages around $5 a month (although some of them go up to $50).

Fans can also subscribe as a Founding Member, which allows users to pay extra as a show of support. Substack describes it as being like a donation. An average of founding member payments is available in the chart below.

It’s through the subscription model that Substack makes their money, as they keep 10% of the subscription fees.

The company uses Stripe, which takes another 2.9% in fees, plus a 30-cent transaction fee per subscriber.

Source: Substack

How to make money on Substack

There’s really only one way to make money on Substack — selling subscriptions to your content. But Substack readers love to pay, so it’s not out of the ordinary to make money on the platform.

Some key things to remember:

Be Consistent. You want to convert your readers from being casuals to being fans. The best way to do that is to publish regularly and reliably. Consider publishing a free post on Thursdays and a paid post on Tuesdays. Find a schedule that works for you, and stick to it.

Be Interesting. It may be tempting to flood your feed with content, but it’s also important to make sure what you’re writing is actually good. And since Substack has no editors, that means it falls on you. Make sure you copy edit your work, and ask yourself questions like “If I was the one reading this, would I enjoy it?”

Stay Free. Even if your goal is to build a subscriber base, you should still make the majority of your content free. Substack readers aren’t necessarily looking to buy content — if they like you, they’ll throw money your way regardless of how much of your writing is free. Ideally, you won’t want to paywall any more than 50% of your content, and even that could be a stretch.

Learn more about how to make money on social media in our complete guide.

Is Substack worth it?

Thinking of Substack as a blank canvas, the platform will be worth it depending entirely on your brand, end-goal and skill set. If you’re looking for new avenues to market a product or service, you’d be better off expanding your strategy to include TikTok or Pinterest. But if you want to tell larger stories, engage in thought leadership and consistently commit to a writing practice, there’s no better option than publishing with Substack.

Bonus: Read the step-by-step social media strategy guide with pro tips on how to grow your social media presence.

Save time managing your social media presence with Hootsuite. From a single dashboard you can publish and schedule social posts, find relevant conversions, engage the audience, measure results, and more. Try it free today.

Get Started

Do it better with Hootsuite, the all-in-one social media tool. Stay on top of things, grow, and beat the competition.

What Is Call Tracking Software And How Does It Work?

If you’ve never used a call tracking software before, it’s time to rectify that shortcoming and learn about the potential of this marketing tool.

When a customer dials up a call, they expect to get a high-quality and personalized service, get feedback or resolve an issue in little to no time. Sure, customer support is a whole other story. But with the right call tracking software in place, enterprises and startups alike can enhance the customer experience, increase their revenue, and boost conversion rates.

Let’s examine call tracking in more detail and discover how it can impact your business growth.

Call Tracking Software Explained

Also read:

7 Best Woocommerce Plugins to boost your Store you must know

How Does Call Tracking Software Work?

Call tracking gets attribution for inbound calls by utilizing trackable phone numbers.

What is a tracking number? It’s a unique number assigned to a specific marketing initiative. But don’t confuse it with your business number. Trackable phone numbers are only used to help companies attribute calls and lead to particular online or offline marketing efforts.

It’s not uncommon for brands to test or launch multiple campaigns. In this case, businesses can use dynamic number insertion. It’s a technology that allows using several different trackable phone numbers across marketing campaigns and identifying the best-performing ones.

Trackable numbers can be used on landing pages, Google Ads, websites, or across offline and online campaigns.

It’s no secret that marketers strive to get detailed attribution. Call tracking software is the most effective way to determine what prompted the calls, where the inbound calls originated, and whether these calls resulted in sales.

Benefits of Utilising a Call Tracking Software

Every successful marketing campaign indicates business growth. For enterprises, relying on call tracking implies making the most of every marketing channel, getting valuable data, and leveraging deep insights into what drives the calls.

But that’s hardly everything a call tracking software has to offer. Let’s take a closer look at how call tracking can help you scale your business.

Also read:

Top 10 Successful SaaS Companies Of All Times

Expand Business Boundaries

As a marketer, you’re probably always on the lookout for technologies and tools that deliver insights into marketing campaigns. With call tracking, you can collect data that reveal crucial information about callers, like their location, call duration, and key demographics.

Ultimately, call tracking tools help startups and small companies optimize their marketing efforts and leverage their business growth potential.

Optimize Spending

Utilizing effective marketing solutions guarantees revenue growth and business scalability. Every company needs to navigate the marketing technology landscape and have all the necessary tech in place to fulfill the mission.

One of the critical factors that can impact your business growth is efficient budget allocation. That brings us to the question of how companies can fine-tune their marketing output and yield even better results. That’s when call tracking comes into play.

Improve ROI

Customer data is the lifeblood of any marketing initiative. That’s why a successful business is now defined by the marketing approaches and relationships with customers. In other words, data-driven marketing is the only way to succeed.

Call tracking grants access to customer data that inform brands on the audience’s latest trends, needs, and wants. Additionally, it allows tapping into future behavior patterns of your customers and developing personalized campaigns. Equipped with this knowledge and marketing tools, companies can achieve high ROI instantly.

Facilitate Decision Making

Conclusion: Call Tracking Software

For businesses that heavily rely on close communication with clients or customer acquisition through phone calls, implementing a call tracking software is a must.

What Is Data Integration & How Does It Work?

Data integration, which combines data from different sources, is essential in today’s data-driven economy because business competitiveness, customer satisfaction and operations depend on merging diverse data sets. As more organizations pursue digital transformation paths – using data integration tools – their ability to access and combine data becomes even more critical.

As data integration combines data from different inputs, it enables the user to drive more value from their data. This is central to Big Data work. Specifically, it provides a unified view across data sources and enables the analysis of combined data sets to unlock insights that were previously unavailable or not as economically feasible to obtain. Data integration is usually implemented in a data warehouse, cloud or hybrid environment where massive amounts of internal and perhaps external data reside.

In the case of mergers and acquisitions, data integration can result in the creation of a data warehouse that combines the information assets of the various entities so that those information assets can be leveraged more effectively.

Data integration platforms integrate enterprise data on-premises, in the cloud, or both. They provide users with a unified view of their data, which enables them to better understand their data assets. In addition, they may include various capabilities such as real-time, event-based and batch processing as well as support for legacy systems and Hadoop.

Although data integration platforms can vary in complexity and difficulty depending on the target audience, the general trend has been toward low-code and no-code tools that do not require specialized knowledge of query languages, programming languages, data management, data structure or data integration.

Importantly, these data integration platforms provide the ability to combine structured and unstructured data from internal data sources, as well as combine internal and external data sources. Structured data is data that’s stored in rows and columns in a relational database. Unstructured data is everything else, such as word processing documents, video, audio, graphics, etc.

In addition to enabling the combination of disparate data, some data integration platforms also enable users to cleanse data, monitor it, and transform it so the data is trustworthy and complies with data governance rules.

ETL platforms that extract data from a data source, transform it into a common format, and load it onto a target destination (may be part of a data integration solution or vice versa). Data integration and ETL tools can also be referred to synonymously.

Data catalogs that enable a common business language and facilitate the discovery, understanding and analysis of information.

Data governance tools that ensure the availability, usability, integrity and security of data.

Data cleansing tools that identify, correct, or remove incomplete, incorrect, inaccurate or irrelevant parts of the data.

Data replication tools capable of replicating data across SQL and NoSQL (relational and non-relational) databases for the purposes of improving transactional integrity and performance.

Data warehouses – centralized data repositories used for reporting and data analysis.

Data migration tools that transport data between computers, storage devices or formats.

Master data management tools that enable common data definitions and unified data management.

Metadata management tools that enable the establishment of policies and processes that ensure information can be accessed, analyzed, integrated, linked, maintained and shared across the organization.

Data connectors that import or export data or convert them to another format.

Data profiling tools for understanding data and its potential uses.

Data integration started in the 1980’s with discussions about “data exchange” between different applications. If a system could leverage the data in another system, then it would not be necessary to replicate the data in the other system. At the time, the cost of data storage was higher than it is today because everything had to be physically stored on-premises since cloud environments were not yet available.

Exchanging or integrating data between or among systems has been a difficult and expensive proposition traditionally since data formats, data types, and even the way data is organized varies from one system to another. “Point-to-point” integrations were the norm until middleware, data integration platforms, and APIs became fashionable. The latter solutions gained popularity over the former because point-to-point integrations are time-intensive, expensive, and don’t scale.

Meanwhile, data usage patterns have evolved from periodic reporting using historical data to predictive analytics. To facilitate more efficient use of data, new technologies and techniques have continued to emerge over time including:

Data warehouses. The general practice was to extract data from different data sources using ETL, transform the data into a common format and load it into a data warehouse. However, as the volume and variety of data continued to expand and the velocity of data generation and use accelerated, data warehouse limitations caused organizations to look for more cost-effective and scalable cloud solutions. While data warehouses are still in use, more organizations increasingly rely on cloud solutions.

Data mapping. The differences in data types and formats necessitated “data mapping,” which makes it easier to understand the relationships between data. For example, D. Smith and David Smith could be the same customer and the differences in references would be attributable to the applications fields in which the data was entered.

Semantic mapping. Another challenge has been “semantic mapping” in which a common reference such as “product” or “customer” holds different meaning in different systems. These differences necessitated ontologies that define schema terms and resolve the differences.

Data lakes. Meanwhile, the explosion of Big Data has resulted in the creation of data lakes that store vast amounts of raw data.

The explosion of enterprise data coupled with the availability of third-party data sets enables insights and predictions that were too difficult, time consuming, or practical to do before. For example, consider the following use cases:

Companies combine data from sales, marketing, finance, fulfillment, customer support and technical support – or some combination of those elements – to understand customer journeys.

Public attractions such as zoos combine weather data with historical attendance data to better predict staffing requirements on specific dates.

Hotels use weather data and data about major events (e.g., professional sports playoff games, championships, or rock concerts) to more precisely allocate resources and maximize profits through dynamic pricing.

Data integration theories are a subset of database theories. They are based on first-order logic, which is a collection of formal systems used in mathematics, philosophy, linguistics and computer science. Data integration theories indicate the difficulty and feasibility of data integration problems.

Data integration is necessary for business competitiveness. Still, particularly in established businesses, data remains locked in systems and difficult to access. To help liberate that data, more types of data integration products have become available. Liberating the data enables companies to better understand:

Their operations and how to improve operational efficiencies.

The competitors.

Their customers and how to improve customer satisfaction/reduce churn.


Merger and acquisition targets.

Their target markets and the relative attractiveness of new markets.

How well their products and services are performing and whether the mix of products and services should change.

Business opportunities.

Business risks.

More effective collaboration.

Faster access to combined data sets than traditional methods such as manual integrations.

More comprehensive visibility into and across data assets.

Data syncing to ensure the delivery of timely, accurate data.

Error reduction as opposed to manual integrations.

Higher data quality over time.

Data integration combines data but does not necessarily result in a data warehouse. It provides a unified view of the data; however, the data may reside in different places.

Data integration results in a data warehouse when the data from two or more entities is combined into a central repository.

While data integration tools and techniques have improved over time, organizations can nevertheless face several challenges which can include:

Data created and housed in different systems tends to be in different formats and organized differently.

Data may be missing. For example, internal data may have more detail than external data or data residing in a mainframe may lack time and data information about activities.

Historically, data and applications have been tightly-coupled. That model is changing. Specifically, the application and data layers are being decoupled to enable more flexible data use.

Data integration isn’t just an IT problem; it’s a business problem.

Data itself can be problematic if it’s biased, corrupted, unavailable, or unusable (including uses precluded by data governance).

The data is not available at all or for the specific purpose for which it will be used.

Data use restrictions – whether the data be used at all, or for the specific purpose.

Extraction rules may limit data availability.

Lack of a business purpose. Data integrations should support business objectives.

Service-level integrity falls short of the SLA.

Cost – will one entity bear the cost or will the cost be shared?

Short-term versus long-term value.

Software-related issues (function, performance, quality).

Testing is inadequate.

APIs aren’t perfect. Some are well-documented and functionally sound, while others are not.

Data integration implementations can be accomplished in several different ways including:

Manual integrations between source systems.

Application integrations that require the application publishers overcome the integration challenges of their respective systems.

Common storage integration data from different systems is replicated and stored in a common, independent system.

Middleware which transfers the data integration logic from the application to a separate middleware layer.

Virtual data integration or uniform access integration, which provide views of the data, but data remains in its original repository.

APIs which is a software intermediary that enables applications to communicate and share data.

Negative Seo: Does It Really Work?

Similar like the normal world, both good and evil exist in SEO society, as well.

“Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws.” Plato

Good people, a.k.a. ethical SEOs, use white hat tactics to increase the credibility of the website and make it rank in search engines for the desired key phrases. On the other hand, the evil doers, or the unethical/negative SEOs, try the reverse process. Instead of striving to rank high in search engines, they devour most of their time in cheap and low-level link building for the competitor’s website to drop its ranking.

Negative SEO sounds dangerous, but the million-dollar question is, does negative SEO work? SEOmoz recently received an unnatural link warning from Google, but according to them, neither their traffic nor their rankings were affected. Thus, the answer to this question has been a blurry one, and no one is sure about it, not even me!

So, as I didn’t have any particular clear answer to that, I thought to talk to other great professionals and see what they think about negative SEO.

Peter Attia (@PeterAttia)

In regards to negative SEO, I haven’t done any direct experimenting, so I’m not sure how much help I could be. The only case I’ve heard about is affecting rankings by only a few positions, not major movements.

In my opinion, if you have an authoritative site with natural links, you really don’t have anything to worry about. Of course, cleaning up bad links definitely wouldn’t hurt.

Julie Joyce (@JulieJoyce)

From what I have personally seen, negative SEO isn’t usually done on such a scale (or using links on sites with authority) that it can affect rankings. However, I have seen people in forums talking about this being what they think is the source of falling rankings/traffic. Logically, if good links can help you, bad links should be able to hurt you, but with the recent statements and warnings issued by Google, I really don’t know what to think right now.

Considering how amazingly difficult it is to build good links on good sites, I can’t imagine that conducting a negative SEO campaign would be easy for anyone. Why waste the time? If you’re able to quickly build links to attempt to hurt another site, you cannot be putting those links on sites that are worth anything, since links on good sites don’t just happen in a flash; they happen with serious hard work.

If a site is the victim of a negative link campaign and rankings or traffic do start to fall, I would make sure those bad links are indeed the reason for this, because maybe there’s something else … links aren’t always the problem. If you did determine that those links were the problem, I would get a list of them using whatever tool you like for grabbing your backlinks. If you have not done anything wrong and your profile is clean, you will need that list when you submit a reconsideration request to Google if it comes to that.

I would definitely look at the links, too, and not just verify that they are bad links based on the metrics you see in the tool that you use. If you’ve done some shady stuff yourself, you should clean up the mess YOU have created before you talk to Google, though.

Sorry to ramble so much, but in regards to whether you should clean up negative links, I’d say that it may not be worth your time if those links are ignored, but if your site keeps declining in performance online, you may have to try it.

Alessio Madeyski (@madeale)

Negative SEO exists. No doubt about this, but I’m thinking more from a user perspective: If I’m seeing some bad links in my favorite wine forum pointing to an e-shop selling shoes (for an action of the so-called negative SEO), I’m going to be pissed with that e-commerce dropping links with no sense.

So it clearly exists, but rather than spending money and time removing all the bad links, why don’t we focus on creating a stronger brand awareness or doing something cool for the user? I mean, if the user trusts you, there is no bad link that can keep the user away from your site because they trust you. Bad thing is that, all the people who put lot of efforts removing all the bad links to me are in a way guilty because they know they’re not doing a great job with their clients or with their sites.

Negative SEO is such a stupid thing to do, that put a dark shadow in the whole SEO industry, even the most pure and right one, but don’t spend time on it. Create something cool, actionable, useful for the users, and you can f*ck the negative SEO off.

Jason Acidre (@jasonacidre)

In my experience, I’ve seen it work for some of our previous clients (even back when I was still a freelance consultant). There were also some who have been attacked and were publicized, which really means that negative SEO is a force to reckon with.

There are so many solutions to negative SEO (I’ve even written a post about that), and cleaning up the crap links out of the profile is certainly one of those. However, the best one is still making an effort to exemplify the site as a strong brand through its core marketing campaigns, so that these unwanted links wouldn’t be able to hurt the site in terms of search rankings and even as a brand on the Web.

Jon Cooper (@PointBlankSEO)

As long as a site can get penalized in Google, then yes, negative SEO can work. I don’t know to what extreme a negative SEO attack can be, so I can’t truthfully answer this question. For questions like this, though, it’s mostly speculation.

I would only make link removal an option if the client’s site is small enough. For example, if I had a relatively well-established brand with few missteps in the past with a solid link profile, and then know, I wouldn’t bother with removing those links. On the other hand, if it was a small business website with few links pointing to it beforehand, and if the bad links made up a large portion of the link profile, then yes, link removal would definitely be an option. It’s all relative to the trust and authority your site has built up prior to the attack.

Bottom line: Nobody exactly knows how dangerous negative SEO is, but from my personal experience and the thoughts from the pro desk, it is clear that negative SEO does exist and it can hurt your website to an extent. However, there are ways to minimize the impact of negative SEO, and one of the many ways is to create amazing content and gain link from most trusted sources on the Web.

Image Credit: Shutterstock / dragon_fang and Thinglass

Incognito Mode Unmasked: What It Does And What It Doesn’T Do

What is incognito mode?

The word incognito means to hide one’s true identity. Incognito mode on Android devices is just that; it’s a way to hide as you travel the web. As realized in Google Chrome on Android, Incognito mode hides your browsing history so others can’t see the websites you’ve visited. In effect, it masks your footprints across the web.

How to turn on incognito mode

Your IP address, which is a way of identifying your basic location.

Your actual, real-time activity as you use a website or service.

Also — and this is key — your identity if you sign in to any web service. That includes Google-owned sites such as Gmail.

See also: Google may be tracking your porn habits in incognito mode

Please use private browsing if your family shares a tablet or PC.

Another example: you’re using a public computer. Say you have to fill out some form on a machine in the doctor’s office or similar. See if you can switch on private browsing mode so others who use the device can’t go back to the page and stumble onto your data.

Last, if you don’t want your partner or significant other to know what you’ve been up to online, private browsing is the best way to keep that information to yourself. This is essential for things like gift-buying and surprise parties.

How do you turn off private browsing?

It’s pretty easy. It’s simple to locate since incognito mode runs in its own tab apart from your regular Chrome tabs. Tap the tab button in the upper right corner of the browser, and it should show two series of tabs: regular on the left and private on the right. Private tabs are often colored dark. Tap the “x” button in the top right corner of each incognito tab to close them.

Alternately, Android gives you a really powerful way to avoid trouble. Let’s say you were enjoying some adult content but shut your screen in a hurry and left the tab active in Chrome. Anyone who opens Chrome will land right smack in the middle of that content. Chrome in Android gives you the option to end all incognito tabs from the quick settings menu. It appears as a silent notification. Simply tap the “close all incognito tabs” notification, and it will silently shut everything down on the sly. Crisis averted big time.

Closing incognito mode is critical. Everything remains in the open until you actually close the incognito tabs.

Do other apps and browsers have incognito mode?

They sure do. Google’s own Play Store and Maps apps have Incognito mode. Incognito mode for the Play Store is still in testing and not fully rolled out. The idea is to allow you to browse for and search through apps without having your searches recorded. Incognito mode for Google Maps allows you to hide your travels and your searches. Neither of these solutions prevents other apps from seeing what you’re up to.

YouTube has Incognito mode, as well. It prevents others from seeing your search and view history. The limitations are the same as they are with Chrome.

Safari for the iPhone, iPad, and Mac supports private browsing. Access it by tapping the tabs button in Safari and selecting “Private” to open a new tab. Apple says Safari won’t remember the pages you visited, your search history, or your AutoFill information after you close a tab in private browsing mode.

The Microsoft Edge browser for Windows 10 machines has InPrivate mode, and Firefox supports Private Browsing for most platforms. As with other apps, these prevent the browser from recording your browsing history when in the proper mode. We also like Brave Browser and have a great roundup of all the best web browsers for privacy.

Google Chrome’s incognito mode isn’t a perfect solution, but it does have its uses. Keep in mind, it doesn’t impact most apps at all. If you download an adult content app, that’s totally on you to hide in a folder or lock it down with a passcode.

Whether you have anything to hide or not, safe browsing folks!

How often do you use Incognito Mode when browsing in Chrome?

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