Archive for July, 2007

Changing the colours of Blix Krieg – MultiBlix Plugin

Zachary Guidry, one of the users of my Blix Krieg theme (which you can download here) has developed a very cool plugin to use with blixkrieg.

It is called ‘MultiBlix’ and allows you to very easily modify all the various shades and colors used in a blixkrieg install, without needing to know how to write code.

I’m very impressed with the plugin – congratulations Zachary on writing such a nifty little plugin, and helping to build the ‘blixkrieg’ community with cool little additions like this.

You can download Zachary’s BlixKrieg Theme Customization plugin here

Change the Colors of BlixKrieg with MultiBlix

4 comments July 24th, 2007

Get Out of The Supplemental Index In 3 Steps

Escape the Supplemental Index

So you have found yourself in the Google supplemental index and you want to escape.

Fair enough – unless you are a webmaster / blogger it’s hard to understand just how frustrating it is to find your hard-work ‘binned’ to the supplemental index – but worry no more, it’s easier to get out of the supplemental index than you may think.

In this, part two of my ongoing series on the supplemental index (see part one here – The Google Supplemental Index – A Primer), I’ll be giving you three key steps you can take to get your web page out of the supplemental index and stay out.

STEP 1 – Duplicate Content causes Supplementals

Pick a few key pages on your site, and run them through ‘copyscape’ (www.copyscape.com). If copyscape says you have duplicate content on your pages, this could be the reason for the supplemental status of your pages.

Edit the pages, make them more unique, put any quotes in a
<quote> tag, and try again. Move to Step 2.

STEP 2 – Backlinks, Backlinks and Backlinks

So you have a page in the supplementals, it is brimming with unique content, and you just can’t wait to get it out – it’s not hard. I have used this technique many, many times, and if done correctly you’ll find it helps bring your whole site from the ‘infant’ status I spoke about in my previous article to ‘adolescence’.

  • Find a page on your site that is in the supplementals, that has heaps of unique content, and note down the url of that page.
  • Find a site that has PR3 or better, and allows you to post your url.
    • If you don’t know what Pagerank is, I define it in my article about nofollow
    • Don’t know how to discover pagerank? You can do so by getting Firefox with Google Toolbar (download it from my toolbar to the right)
  • Post your URL on that page, using descriptive anchor text. (eg, if your page is about widgets, the link should say ‘widgets’ if possible).Try to make your link a deep link – like www.utheguru.com/301-redirects instead of just www.utheguru.com
  • Can’t find somewhere you can post a link? Some tips:-
    • Your host’s forum / bulletin board (make sure that they aren’t no-following links).
    • A friend with an established website (a link from the first page is always best)
    • Another of your own websites (I’ve done this before and it works)
    • Paid editorial.
    • DO NOT subscribe to link exchange schemes, ‘free’ directory listings or other such ‘offers’. At best, they don’t work, at worst, they can get you penalized.

This strategy has worked without fail for me.

Use it, and expect your target page to be out of the supplementals within a week or less.

Some people call it giving a page ‘link juice’, or ‘link love’ – whatever you call it, it works.

STEP 3 – Submit a Sitemap to Google

Google webmaster central, and Matt Cutt’s Video about Webmaster Tools will bring you up to speed about this process.

To generate the sitemap for submission, I highly recommend the following free tool.

Why submit a sitemap? Well, you’ve gone to the effort of getting Google ‘interested’ in your site, so you want to give it the best chance possible of indexing your site properly.

A sitemap will help it do this.

Tomorrow, In part three of this series, I’ll be talking about strategies that will help to KEEP your site indexed.

This advice should help you to progress to a ‘mature site’ that is crawled and indexed regularly, without the need for further intervention to keep new pages from going supplemental.

Cheers,

TheDuck

24 comments July 20th, 2007

July 2007 Pagerank (PR) Update Underway

Nope – actually the July 2007 PR update is not underway at all. It’s almost impossible to know when the next PR update will get underway, and trying to guess the date is a bit pointless.

When is the next Pagerank (PR) Update?

As per usual, people have been trying to guess when the next Pagerank (PR) update will happen, and some even swear that it is happening now (as postulated by some commentators on Matt Cutt’s blog). I personally see absolutely no evidence that there is a July toolbar PR update underway – and in fact, if previous trends are any guide, it is likely that the next toolbar pagerank update will not be until August 2007 at the earliest.

There are a few little ‘ripples in cyberspace’ that are a little indicative that SOMETHING is happening, but I’ve checked all the datacentres for a number of my sites, and I can say quite definitively that Tool-bar Pagerank is not happening right at the moment.

Will the next PR update be in August?

Who knows. The next pagerank push could be in August, it could be in January 2008, or I might be totally wrong and it could be happening right now – but, In any case, don’t get a fixation about PR updates. Why?

It’s a common misconception that all your link building goes unrewarded until toolbar PR is updated – that’s just not true. Real PR (that which Google uses internally) is a dynamic, constantly changing beastie – Google just keeps the real value a secret so that webmasters like us don’t go crazy watching our PR go up and down like a yo-yo in between updates.

If you’d like to know why NOT TO WORRY about PR updates, and how to improve your Page Rank between now and the next one, please see my post about the last pagerank update.

11 comments July 16th, 2007

I Can’t Fly, But I know how to Fall with Style

Ocassionally, just once in a while, I get fed up with sitting in front of my computer, studying, or heading to the gym.

At times like that (when I’ve done some consultancy and have cash in my pocket) I head out to my local skydiving DZ (Ripcord Skydivers at Gatton, Australia) and kick back, soothe the soul, relax and jump out of perfectly good airplanes.

In my current hiatus (took some time off trying to consider whether PhD is really where I want to be for next three years, and attempting to get involved with something I’m really passionate about), I’ve indulged myself and gone for a few more jumps.

The following vid is from about 5kms up – three jumps in total (not all in the one flight) – all of them are me, aka theDuck – (perhaps better known as theEmu – flightless bird from Oz), but the last one is my favorite – I’m doing a move called ‘the funky chicken’.

Basically, ‘the funky chicken’ involves climbing out the strut, squatting on the step and asking the pilot to go to full power (you’ll see me nodding and thinking ‘cmon, is that all you’ve got’) until you can’t hold on any more, then let yourself be blown off the airplane. At that point you squeeze yourself into a little ball and watch the world.. then the plane.. then the world.. then the little plane.. then the world.. then the little dot of a plane.. spinning, spinning, spinning..

It’s a form of nirvana – like floating in the ocean, but there are no sharks, no sting rays to spear you through the heart, no coral to cut your feet on, very little chance of running out of air and if you get caught in a rip you’ve always got a second option. Generally you can sit there spinning, without any sensation of falling, for about 50 seconds before you need to snap out of it and reach for the little metal handle, otherwise your cypress cuts in and all of a sudden you’ve just wasted 5 jumps worth of cash and given yourself a broken collarbone 🙂

Probably the freakiest jump I’ve ever done was out of a helicopter – since the helicopter is static, and most of the downwards thrust is at the end of the rotor, you jump into ‘dead air’ – there is no forward speed (and hence wind velocity) to ‘cushion’ you, and you end up scrambling like a cat in a swimming pool trying to get yourself stable until about 10 secs into the jump when you reach terminal velocity and start to feel weightless. The 9 seconds up until that particular moment are sheer adrenaline, and unfortunately it is against the rules to listen to your ipod to take your mind off what ‘might’ happen if the (airborne) venomous spider catches you.

Here’s the vid of my latest jump..


4 comments July 13th, 2007

Google Taken to Court by the ACCC

In Australia we have a very powerful competition regulator. This probably stems mainly from Australia’s strong stance on competition and free trade – when your national economy depends so heavily on export income, free trade tends to be fairly important.

The Australian Competition Regulator routinely shuts down or imposes massive fines on companies that engage in anti-competitive or deceptive behaviour – and it seems it has my favourite search engine in its sights – in particular the ACCC  is concerned about Google sponsored links (adwords) – and the way some companies use them to gouge other people’s businesses – essentially the regulator sees this as false and misleading conduct and is trying to get a ruling holding Google responsible for the actions of its’ advertisers. Any thoughts on this? Matt

1 comment July 12th, 2007

What is Buzz?

I’ve been thinking of doing another ‘big’ post about SEO and a little strategy that’s jumped out at me recently.

Since sometimes doing one big post is a bit overwhelming, I’ve decided to just write about one little minuscule part of the post first to whet your appetite.

Buzz is the noise that bees make.

My first experience with bee keeping was on my school camp, about age 16. My particular school had a 10 week outdoor education curriculum – every grade 10 class would head out to the school farm (“Ironbark”) for 10 weeks – the aim was to be pretty self sufficient – we had to milk the cows for our milk, make our own butter, bale hay, keep (and ultimately cut the heads off and eat) our own poultry, and of course beekeeping was one of the cool things we got to do too.

The (two) Birds and the Bees

Quite early on I volunteered to head out with one of the local bee keepers to learn all about robbing bee hives – of course, there was an ulterior motive. There were only three positions on the “bee team” and the other two had been taken by the two prettiest girls in the class – Shae and Natalie Alexander, (who in my opinion at the time was a complete SPUNK) 😀 .

I figured that, on balance, the very real possibility of being stung to death by a marauding swarm of angry bees was probably offset by the chance to spend an entire day with them 🙂

So.. off we went. I, being the gentleman that I was, let the girls take the very best beekeeping overalls. I was left with a very moth-eaten pair of blue mechanics overalls.

Handed a roll of masking tape I went about patching the 101 holes in the overalls and set to work. When we first cracked the hive open I remember the beautiful low hum coming out of the hive as we puffed the smoke over the bees.

Sweetness turns to Sadness

Everything went quite ok for about the first 4 (out of 10) frames – we brushed off the bees, replaced each honey filled frame with a frame of fake comb called ‘foundation’ and moved to the next frame.

By the 5th frame, however, the bees were starting to get pretty darn angry. It didn’t matter if I puffed more smoke over the bees, the low hum was steadily increasing gradually more and more guard bees started shooting out kamikaze style and belting into my head net.

I think we had about three frames to go when things started to get really crazy – the hum was now something more akin to a F-16 ratcheting up for take off. The inevitable happened – I’d missed patching a hole, and a bee got inside my overalls and stung me – ouch! But I was super Matt – there was no way I was going to moan about it in front of the two prettiest girls in the class 😉

The thing I failed to realise, though, was that when a bee releases its sting it also releases a scent.

Honey, I’ve lost my pants

Before I knew it, I had virtually every bee in the hive clinging to my blue overalls screaming bloody murder.

The girls (along with the beekeeper) cleared out, hopped in the truck and locked the doors. After initially trying in vain to get them to let me in the truck (there was NO WAY they were going to let me in with all those bees 🙂 ), I finally realised I was going to have to get myself out of that particular situation on my own – so I blindly galloped down the hill, stripping off my clothing as I went – heading for the farm dam.

“Splash” – I belly-flopped into the muddy dam (I was about 6 feet tall and 65kg then – skinny as a rake – I must have looked a sight running down the hill with a swarm of bees chasing me and only a hat to ensure my modesty).

I think I spent about half an hour in the dam, popping up every 30 seconds or so for a gulp of air, before the bees finally decided they’d had their pound of flesh and headed home 😀 . The girls thought it was absolutely hilarious – I still hear about ‘Matt and the bees’ occasionally when I run into old school friends. We counted 65 stings on the way home.

Beee vereee vereee careful wit zee bees

Stupidly, after that introduction, I became a bee keeper – I still have about 10 hives.

I’ve learnt a few things about bees since – if you move slowly, methodically, it is actually possible to raid a hive without any protective clothing, nets or smoke at all – it’s not hard.

If you move quickly though, or you happen to accidentally squish a bee, you’re in deep trouble. The bee next to the one that has just been squished tends to tell his neighbor (buzz – buzz), the neighbor then buzz’s to his neighbors and generally in a matter of seconds you have a hive full of very irate bees.

Bees, Buzz and SEO

Buzz is their form of communication. Buzz is how they get things done. Buzz is the very thing that binds the hive into the co-operative society that it is.

In short, buzz is like an amplifier – in no time flat a buzz from a solitary individual in the hive is capable of mobilizing the forces of the whole hive to a dedicated purpose.

Buzz, my friends, is a powerful force.

__________________

2 comments July 11th, 2007

Featured in “The WordPress PodCast”

Hi folks – just a little tidbit – one of my plugins, SEO_Wordpress has been featured today in Charles Stricklin’s “WordPress Podcast” – check it out here at The WordPress Podcast (fast forward to 25 mins 42 secs for Aaron’s review) – Thanks Charles (P.S. I noticed your sidebar is broken in IE6 – Susan Moskwa (from Google) posted a tip about this problem recently in this post). Thankyou! – Matt

Add comment July 9th, 2007

My Recent Job Interview with Google Part 2

Following on from my previous missives about my recent trip to the plex, I thought I’d put together this little video – detailing the last couple days of my trip.

I put on my best walking shoes and went hiking up around point Reyes (North Western side of San Fran bay) , and a little sight seeing around San Fran itself..

Yup – I know I’m no cinematographer (and my seal impersonations aren’t that flash either 🙂 ) – but you can see I kept myself amused.. I had fun with my great new little Pentax optio M30 – my first digital and happy with the results.

Hope you are all well –

M


5 comments July 1st, 2007


Featured Advertiser

Buy me a beer!

This sure is thirsty work - Here's your chance to buy me a beer :)

Links

Feeds

Posts by Month