Link exchanges the easy way

LinkEx - Link exchange scriptLink exchanges are time consuming. If you have done few you know what I mean. The trouble is not with arranging them and placing them; you need to maintain them as well. You need to check once in a while to see if the link partners are linking back to you and act accordingly. It gets even more time consuming if the link exchanges are 3 way in which case you have to check a third domain that has your link included. Its hard to keep track of all these, and it gets even harder the more link exchanges that you arrange.

Webmaster Tools: Find high traffic keywords

Are you looking for more traffic ? Are you in niche that has lots of traffic but you don't know what phrases to focus on ?

I have already introduced the benefits of the new and improved webmaster's tools and about how useful they can be to a site owner in a previous post.

The new google webmaster's tools contain a report that can be very handy: Top Search Queries

UTF8 ready php mail function

I have been struggling for some time now to create a php mail function that can handle UTF8 characters across most email readers. I think I have finally accomplished this and it might be useful to others so here it is.

The problem with the php mail is that it does not encode the names and subjects and they could get lost in the transport or be misinterpreted from the email readers. This function actually does the proper encoding and overcomes the php mail deficiency.

What matters for google rankings (SERPs)

google webmaster toolsEvery webmaster (at least that I know of) wants to know how the search engines see and evaluate their websites ... especially how Google sees them. Google webmaster tools was created with this concern in mind.

Anyone who has used them knows how important tools those are; You can see information Google collects about your websites, see what matters for their index and it includes also tools that you can use to help Google "see" (crawl) your sites easier.

The tools were recently updated (1 1/2 month ago I realized the changes) and they contain even more useful stuff for anyone that owns a site ... I am going to give a brief description of the most important things one can find when visiting the tools ...

CSS post it notes

css post it notesYellow post it notes are cool and a really good way to get someone's attention, don't you think ? I had in my disposal the transparent png solution for IE using CSS so all I needed was a cool graphic and a way to position it anywhere on a page using just CSS.

The advantages of this implementation are:

  • you don't need javascipt
  • you can position it anywhere on a page by changing a few css parameters
  • any PNG-24 graphic will do, no need to think about what colors will be behind it on the page

You can take a look at the complete css post it note example and come back for the details:

Tips on how to write for the web

First of all one must understand that writing for Internet is not the same as writing for a printed article.

This means that if we write something and we want this to be found by persons while looking through search engines such as Google, Yahoo or others, these texts must be optimized for the search engines (SE from now on).

To write an article, optimized for SE, is not the same thing as writing an article for a newspaper or a magazine, as in these cases they will be read directly by intelligent and thinking beings. But an article written for SE must be prepared taking into account that spiders (robots that read texts) cannot read images, nor understand funny, ironic or logical expressions, or others stuff that the reader will understand. In addition to this and what is most important the SE will display the page in a response to a search ONLY if they found it relevant for this search and this is why it should be written in a different manner, but always giving importance to those terms by which we want to be found.

Fake Links: Nofollow is Just the Beginning

We all know how important links are; the lifeblood of just about any SEO campaign. The more links point to a particular URL, the more important that page is assumed to be. Links!Like any rule of thumb, that's an over-simplification, but it's true enough that if you only know a few things about search engine optimization, that needs to be one of them.

Further, the anchor text of these links is assumed to describe what a page is generally about; if you want to rank for a particular phrase in a competitive landscape, you need help from off-page optimization. Out of about 150 million results, Adobe's Acrobat Reader ranks #1 for "click here" even though the text is nowhere on the page.

From Humble Beginnings

The relationship attribute of a hyperlink ( a element ) was given a new, and by now widely recognized value, nofollow, in January 2005. This new rel="nofollow" code in a link tells the major search engines not to count the link it's applied to in their ranking algorithms. Google introduced this new value to help bloggers deal with comment spam; by removing any SEO benefit from links on unmoderated sites, to make them less attractive targets.

Wikipedia upped the ante, applying nofollow to all outgoing links from their site, except to a handful of wikia sister projects and internal pages. WikipediaA high traffic, free encyclopedia that ranks well became a great spam target. Blog spam expanded into wiki spam.

Earlier this year, Google announced that it would like help identifying sites that sell links without using nofollow or some means of hiding the links from GoogleBot. Recent events show they're serious. Naturally, it didn't take long for webmasters to start using nofollow for any number of reasons; there are a few sprinkled into this post to illustrate the point. Can you tell which ones?

Rise of I-Follow or DoFollow

All of the major blogging platforms adopted nofollow in their comment links quickly. How could a change like this not see resistance? A movement calling itself "I-Follow" has sprung up, urging bloggers to remove the attribute from their comment links, and reward visitors who contribute something of value.

Free link building techniques

link_buildingIts no secret that backlinks (links pointing to your domain) are very important factor on how google ranks your website in their search results. Most other search engines also value the links to your site also ...

Here is some free techniques you can employ to help you build links to your site, traffic will be a consequence as well. You don't have to follow them in any particular order but, the more of these that you accomplish the better job you will have done ...

  • Write or post something people would want to link to (actually called link baiting).
  • Create a resource, something that people would find valuable and will easily point their friends to
    Example: directorycritic is one of the best places to find free and paid directories; people know that and recommended it boldly, sometimes they even link to it.

Considerations for Yahoo optimization

Yahoo is the second most important search engine and if you ask anyone in China, Yahoo is the #2 search engine only behind Baidu, and in that country Yahoo is very well represented and has great partners (like Alibaba.com) that keep them in the mindshare of Chinese internet users. Yahoo has about 14% of the UK market and I believe 25-30% of the US market. Its traffic is not to be ignored.

I have my own theory about Yahoo. Yahoo as a search engine is more focused on the business field than on the information field. Yahoo has concentrated their efforts on online stores, real estate, car sales and other business related companies. I looks like their algorithm is optimized in a way to answer queries related with online business, while Google has optimized their algorithm for information in general, since Google’s algorithm works better in that field than Yahoo’s algorithm.

Photoshop for Webmasters

Everybody's heard of Photoshop; it's the world's gold standard when it comes to image editing software. Part of this is due to its age, and part to its capability. The web is a graphical medium, so it makes sense for people who run web sites to have a basic understanding of Photoshop.

There are two "standard" complaints about the application: it has a steep learning curve ( in part because it's so powerful - there are simply "too many" options for new users, who tend to feel overwhelmed ) and its price. In US Dollars, Photoshop CS 3 is $650, while the extended version goes for $1,000. This is mainly of use to people who need to manipulate images in 3D space, or movies on a frame-by-frame basis.

Photoshop Without Photoshop

Because of the high cost, we should start by looking at some alternatives to Photoshop. These run the gamut from open source freeware to closed source commercial applications - the competition - and, ironically, trimmed down versions of Photoshop itself. For the web designer on a budget, some other software to consider is:

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