Archive for category SEO
I'm on the fence when it comes to my favorite browser. I've recently started using chrome much more, due to some bad performance issues in Firefox. Firefox on my 64-bit Windows 7 installed sits and eats memory. I've seen it use nearly 2gb of RAM. This was after it had been open on the computer for a few days, and a restart of the browser fixed the issue. However, I'm not sure why this leak is there. The last time I can remember truly liking Firefox completely was back in the version 1.5 days, and even then there was supposedly a huge memory leak. Back then I didn't notice a memory leak, but these days I do.
It could be that Firefox utilize memory different, and it may be the new way Windows 7 display memory usage. I still see sluggishness. Thus, my move to Chrome. There area a few different things that could have caused the slowness, such as the added extensions in Firefox. After installing about seven extensions in Chrome, however, I see no performance hit. So, I still suspect that there is an issue with the browser itself. Even with all of these woes, it is still better than using IE. I hate that browser. I don't necessarily hate using it, but it is difficult to write web sites that work well in it along with all other browser. It's the odd ball which never works the way I want.
The next must-have extension for web development is the Firefox Web Developer extension. It gives you a host of options to example page elements and CSS rules within the page itself. This plugin along with Firebug have saved me TONS of time, while working on websites.
SEO is important to not only marketers but web site developers as well. Getting a site online is one thing. Getting it to show up in search results is another. A couple of excellent extensions for examining the search engine optimization of a site are the Firefox SearchStatus extension and the Chrome SEO extension for Chrome. The Chrome SEO extension is great for getting a brief synapsis of your site's backlinks, pagerank, and indexed pages at various search engines. Neither of these offer a lot of advice for SEO, but they do show some stats to get your started.
These are only a few of the extensions available for Firefox and Chrome. There are many others. They are a good reason to switch from IE. PLEASE DO!
Recently the FTC has created new guidelines/restrictions for the internet. These laws especially effect bloggers who review products. Any review of products requires a disclosure of the blogger's relationship with the product brand, if such a relationship exists. So, if you are a blogger and you review a product, if you received money or something from the product manufacturer, you now MUST disclose that information.
Now, on the outside, this appears to be a good thing. It should lower the amount of dishonesty on the internet, right? The answer is "yes and no". It will limit Americans from doing this. Americans make up about 5% of the Earth's population. Did you know that there are more people in China that speak English than there are people in the United States total? My point is, this regulation, along with many others, promotes outsourcing.
It is becoming increasingly difficult for an American to stay afloat in this world. I know, many of the non-Americans out there will say "but you guys have had it good for so long." I agree, we have. We've had it so good because we used to rely on freedom more. Our country could once pride itself on being free. We still have a lot of freedom, don't get me wrong. The fact that I'm still able to write a blog post like this reflects that I still have freedoms. They are just much more limited now when compared to even 50 years ago.
I may sound like a broken record but corporations run this country. We are losing our country.
I was recently asked by my wife why Google search results change. I had noticed it before but didn't spend much time dwelling on it because my first thought was that Google uses many locations and many datacenters to hand out search results. The varying results are differences in the data stored at each location. Depending on which datacenter you are getting results from at any given time, you can see a huge change in results. As an example to this I made a quick video to show how going through a proxy server can change search results. In this video I'm going through a Linux server in Texas at first. Note the total results for the keyword while going through the proxy are 282. By removing the proxy and refreshing the search the number changed dramatically to 635,000 results.
I saw a video explanation of this behavior that stated that Google was a beach, and while I enjoyed the analogy, it isn't entirely correct. There is a lot happening on the internet, but there's no way Google can index it all at once, or even catch it all. That's why they have many data centers, each pulling their own part of the weight. I'd imagine that the synchronization of the data takes time, that is if they actually synchronize the data at all. It may be that Google does this to randomize search results a bit in order to gauge relevancy of each result. At any rate, the keyword results can vary.
Also, after making this video, I captured the packets using wireshark and found that the request from my home internet connection was querying IP 184.108.40.206 and my proxy server is pulling the query from 220.127.116.11. Also neither of the search results were correct. After digging into the other pages of results there is a total of 64 results omitting the repeats. ICHY reports that the keyword has 3,640 competition. So, from what I can see of the data on both sides, ICHY doesn't report very accurate competition numbers according to their own explanation of the relevant results. Other keywords in their list yielded similar results discrepancies.
We have all come to expect good things from Google. In fact, many of us have come to believe that Google is the best at everything they do. This is especially true with their original application, their search. For the past few years Google has ruled the search market. It got there by making the most relevant search results appear every time a user executed a search.
Those days may be over. Recently, I've noticed a trend that Google isn't giving very relevant content. I don't think I'm alone, and I have a pretty good idea why we are getting such bad results. It's not entirely Google's fault. There are many "white hat" and "black hat" search engine optimizations that are being used to manipulate the results. Marketers are trying to draw content to their sites. That's how they make money after all. SEO has been used ever since the first search engine. Google just seems to be lagging behind in making their algorithms detect unwanted SEO.
This isn't to say that those marketers are doing something wrong exactly. It's just that most of them are concentrating on Google. Google is, after all, the most popular search engine. They know what works to get ranked on Google, so they do it. They do a lot of it. This skews Google's search results, but doesn't necessarily effect Yahoo search results because Yahoo uses different algorithms to determine where a result ranks.
Google also is notorious for de-indexing RELEVANT sites by mistake. For instance, this site seems to have been de-indexed, and I've not been attempting to SEO this site much at all. It could be due to my use of a WordPress plugin called All-in-one SEO pack, though that really shouldn't have anything to do with it either.
Here is my single example that has been perplexing me for a month or so:
Once upon a time, there was a script for the XChat IRC client, called "XLack". This script is my favorite system information script for XChat. I've used it for probably 4 or 5 years. The home site for the script used to be xlack.tk. This was where everyone would go to download it. That site is now a parked domain. It has been that way for close to a year. If you search google for "Xlack", xlack.tk is still the number one site. It is no longer relevant at all. It's a parked domain. In fact, if one tries to find a site from which to download the xlack script, one finds that there are none listed on Google.com.
Now take that same search over to yahoo.com. A simple search for "xlack download" gives you this site, which has the relevant download link of the actual script. Yahoo.com provides more relevant results. Try it on any of your search and see if you don't get better results from Yahoo or even Live.com. I guarantee you'll have more success from them these days than you do Google.