A Nice Plug – Thank You!

I have been helping out with some SEO for this book publishing website for the past month. We have seen some really nice improvements with important keyword phrases and as a result, traffic has really increased.

Site owner, Wendy Woudstra wrote up a good article and posted it to her blog about issues with some publisher’s websites and provided me with a nice plug for the efforts to help her site rank better. Thanks Wendy!

It is so very true that many people need help with their seo. Although some web developers do a nice job of creating websites visually, they are often not well optimized for search engines (even if the developers think they know something about SEO). As well, SEO is only 20% internal, and is 80% external to the site. All to often, a business will have a website created and then wonder where the traffic is. It does take time and effort to see results, but without traffic, you’re site is not doing much for you.

Here’s the article on book publishing seo and a great list of publishers.

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Fake SEO Experts – Don’t Hire One

Frequently, business proprieters get email spam from individuals claiming that they will increase their rankings in the earch engines. Some of the emails have the most ridiculous stuff in them. Promises of a #1 ranking or tons of traffic within days. Can they really live up to their claims after taking your money?

The truth of it though, because business owners crave more traffic and better rankings, these SEO businesses are forming to capitalize on these desires. Some of these so called SEO companies start up with one business name, and then a few months later, after taking money from the unsuspecting, doing a poor job, shut down and then pop up later with a different business name.

SEO is as much an art as it is a science. There are a number of methods that will have your site ranked higher on Google and Bing but you can’t just depend on one way, alone. You risk an algorithm change and then your history.

Ian Scott, SEO expert was overheard not long ago pointing out that there are very few legitimate SEO businesses today.Ian has some expertise in the area of providing legitimate SEO services to clients throughout North America since 1997.

It is best to run from anyone that makes ridiculous claims about how fast you will rank #1 in the search engines. Anyone who makes you that kind of guarantee is just looking to take your money and run.

Some SEO companies will promise you page one Google rankings for the most obscure terms. What’s the point of being ranked highly for something no one searches on? A fraudulent SEO expert once promised me number one rankings for a crazy keyword phrase about salt water fish in grand prairie.This was to do with a fly fishing site I had. Well, how many fly fishers would be searching that term in the first place? Because it is doubtful that there are any other websites that would even contain that term, it of course would not be difficult to get ranked for it. But what would it matter? What would that get me for the money they wanted to be paid for?

To see really good results that are useful, one must be patient. The work should be done in a comprehensive manner where a number of methods are used. There is no single SEO method that should be relied upon because Google is constantly adjusting the way it provides results. Search engine optimization requires knowledge of many different aspects and if you don’t incorporate them all, you could find your site has dropped like a rock in the results pages the next time there’s an algorithmic change.

Learn more about Ontario web consulting here

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Internal Search Engine Optimization

Many website owners are under the mistaken impression that website search engine optimization is only about how their website is designed and the use of internal elements. Thinking that in order to beat out their competition they need to continue to work on their website, adding content, adjusting metatags and other such things, they spend a great deal of money and time on that.

However, the fact of the matter is SEO is only about 20% internal and the majority of optimization is off site. This means lots of back links from “quality” websites. The word “quality” of course is subjective and there are many different definitions for this.

Having said that, your description metatag for each page is still very important. SEO expert Ian Scott points this out and why you need to spend some time on those tags.

 

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Snow Squall Warnings

My poor Boston Terrier puppy! Beans wants to go outside and play; he’s full of pent up energy. However, I really have no desire to go outside with all the snow that is falling – and the snow squall warnings are continuing.  Everytime I take Beans out, I look at all the snow and all I can think about is how I will have to shovel it later, when it stops. And when will it stop?

By all accounts, the snow squalls could continue all night and into the morning with more than 15 cm possibly dropping on us. At least it looks a lot more like winter than it did after the thaw and rain we had earlier in the week.

So Beans is feeling a bit bored while I decide to make good use of the day by catching up on some work related seo projects.  Perhaps tomorrow will be a day of rest and fun.

Speaking of work, I’ve been continuing my research into a raw meat diet for dogs and Beans is doing fantastic on it!  A couple of things I’ve noticed is that everyone else notices just how shiny Beans’ coat is!  Also, it’s amazing how much less water he is consuming since being on his diet. Apparently, this is quite common as raw meat contains so much moisture, unlike dry kibble.

As the evening wears on, for some reason tonight, I cannot help but think of the poem Colleen Campbell wrote for me, almost three years ago. I’m in one of those “feeling kinda” blue when I read it.

But, perhaps some tug of war with Beans will help, later.

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It’s Not White Lightning – But It’s A Killer

One of the most enjoyable things about my business is the wide variety of clients I have. With each one, I get to learn new things, discover things I never knew before and had no idea about.  One of our most recent clients deals with lightning detectors – not the “white lightning” sort but one of the most dangerous weather killers – those electrical storms in the sky that strike the earth.

Did you know that lightning is the second highest storm killer in the United States since 1959? I had no idea that was true, until I started working with SkyScan International, a distributor of the SkyScan brand of lightning detectors.

Up until working with this business, I did not even know that there was such a thing as lightning detectors, and now that I do know, I wonder why more organizations that have employees or run sports programs outdoors don’t have them. Instead, they rely on weather forecasts which cannot accurately predict electrical activity in the atmosphere, or they use what they believe to be “safe” ways of counting the number of seconds that pass between a flash of lightning (who knows how far away it is exactly), and the sound of the thunderous boom.

There have been a number of tragic deaths reported in the news in recent years about people being struck by lightning with tragic consequences. Perhaps if a lightning detector had been close by, those tragedies might have been prevented.

Although there are companies that work in mining, forestry, gas and oil, and the military, who have an interest in protecting their employees that work outdoors, lightning detectors are not only for them.  With both permanent detector installation as well as portable lightning detectors like the EWS-PRO, schools and both amateur and professional sports organizations should have them at their venues.

In fact, there are some portable lightning detectors that are quite affordable for many people who enjoy outdoor family activities while camping or hiking – $179.95 for this portable lightning detector isn’t a whole lot of money when it involves protecting loved ones while participating in activities during those months of the year when lightning could strike. With the ability to detect lightning within a 40 mile radius, that’s a lot of safety time built in.

I think I’ll make sure I have one at the camping trailer next summer. And the nice thing is this one is portable and I can take it where ever I go!

Does your school, organization or company that has a lot of outdoor activity going on have access to lightning detectors? Is there a policy in place about what to do under a variety of situations when electrical thunderstorms are in the area?

I had never thought of this myself until I began working with SkyScan International – and that’s one of the reasons I love what I do!

 

 

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A Radical Change In Search?

I came across an article in CNN this evening that discusses what some are calling a “radical change in search” in the way Google may deliver some search results to you. What’s all the fuss?

Well, now if you are logged into your Google account, when you do a search on something, Google will also provide you with what they call your “personal results” as well as other more generic and organic results. Sounds like an interesting concept. Google is talking about it like this on their own blog:

“But clearly, that isn’t enough. You should also be able to find your own stuff on the Web, the people you know and things they’ve shared with you, as well as the people you don’t know but might want to … all from one search box.”

Words can often mean different things. In this case, “radical” isn’t quite the word that describes what Google is probably hoping for, and I am personally a bit dubious that this addition of “personal search results” will greatly transform the general internet user’s way of searching.  I have several reasons for this dubiousness.

The first one is that I think Google obviously has some work to do on this “personal results” area. I have a Google account (which I will discuss later) and logged into it to see what I could see. Sure enough, when I went to Google.com, and typed in ‘fly fishing’, I was given an option to see my so called “personal results.” All 300 of them, apparently. So out of curiousity, I clicked.

Somehow or other, Google thinks I should be interested in some individuals named “Ed Burgass,” “Dean Burris,” and “Shannon Long.” With all due respect to these three individuals, I have no clue who they are or why Google thinks I should either know them or want to know them, other than that they have some fly fishing related images up somewhere. But surely there are some others interested in fly fishing that might have images up as well? Indeed, while playing around with my Google + part of my Google account, I have friends there that I know quite well and have even competed with in fly fishing competions.

And yet these people are not there in my “personal results” even though in their own web wanderings, they have uploaded fly fishing images (using their Google Account as well).

At the top of the results are “Images for fly fishing.” The very first image in the row is an image of a wine bottle beside a wooden fountain pen case sitting on my desk. Sure, it’s my image, and it’s on my home winemaking site, but it’s certainly got nothing to do with fly fishing or my fly fishing site!

The title and file name have nothing to do with fly fishing either. So I am puzzled as to why it would appear there when there are so many other images that I do have that ARE related directly to fly fishing.

The next result in my “personal results” is a link to my above mentioned fly fishing site, but the rest of the results don’t make sense to me other than the fact they were “shared” by the above mentioned people, Ed Burgass, Shannon Long, and Dean Burris.

More Dubious Reasons That “This Is Radical”

Personally, more of my friends don’t have Google and Gmail addresses than do. I realize that there are lots and lots of individuals that do have Gmail and thereby a Google Account, but from my own unscientific studies, the majority of average internet users do not. They don’t see the need for another email address; they are quite happy with what they have.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Google and all the nifty features they offer along with a Google account. But there are so many, I really don’t even have the time to explore them all! I don’t think the average internet user has the time either.  As well, although I have a Gmail account, I use it in a very limited fashion. It’s where I subscribe to newsletters like Dr. Mercola.. who has some quacky ideas, but I’m sometimes interested in his quacky ideas but don’t want his emails polluting my primary email address and distracting me from my work and close friends.Sometimes there are websites offering “free reports” which might be interested in reading but I don’t want to take the chance that they will send me daily email once I subscribe.

I also use when I need to test and diagnose an issue between email servers. And that’s about it. I check my gmail address maybe once a week at best.

Having said that, I do use some of the other features of a Google Account regularly.

I also will often create Google and Gmail accounts on behalf of my clients and provide them with the login credentials out of transparency, but I know for a fact they have no interest in logging in. They just want me to do the work I have promised and send them reports. They don’t have time to mess around.

Finally, Google+ is so unintuitive in my opinion, that the average internet user will not ever really use it to it’s full potential. I’m pretty smart and internet savvy, and I even get confused and am sort of “not quite getting it” as far as how Google+ is organized, or what’s going to happen if I share “publically” or just in “circles” or what have you.  There really isn’t much reason for the average internet user and consumer to jump into Google+ and leave Facebook, in my opinion.

However, we do know from seeing some search results, that Google appears to have at least a litte bit of ranking built into their algorithms that they use Google+’s even in their organic search, and not just in what you and your friends may have “plussed” while logged into  Google accounts. So for those of us involved in search engine optimization, we need to learn as much as we can and make adjustments – but at this juncture, I’m not so sure we’re going to see any “radical” changes in the typical meaning of the word.

 

 

 

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Linux, A Laptop & A Laser Printer

I don’t own a USB printer other than a fairly poor quality Lexmark which is an ink jet printer. I really dislike using it, and it won’t run under Linux which is my preferred operating system on my laptop. So when I need something printed in good quality, up to now I’ve been emailing the document to my business partner who then prints it off on her printer.

However, I do own a huge Tektronix Phasar 560 laser printer which, except for its size, I like. It is very fast and does a nice job for my needs. But, it uses a parallel port which my laptop does not have.

I have managed to get it working though! I need to print a large number of documents over the next several days so I was looking for a solution and discovered that I could purchase a parallel usb converter cable. I did not know that such a thing existed, but they do. After purchasing the cable, and with a bit of research, I managed to get the laptop with the Linux operating system to print to the Phasar.

In case anyone else has a similar issue, I am providing the solution here. First, I needed to download the driver for the printer. My version of CUPS did not have it, but I found it here.With the print configure tool in OpenSuse 11.2, I installed the driver, but that was not enough to get the laptop to recognize the printer. The operating system did detected that there was a printer but it was in an “unknown location.”

So my next stop was to manually enter the device uri location like this:

parallel:/dev/usb/lp0

After doing that, the laptop was able to communicate with the printer, and I can now print!

For some reason though, the operating system changed the device uri location to:

usb://Tektronix/Phaser%20560P which I don’t understand, but I don’t really care as long as it works.

I was thinking that I might try to sell the Phasar as I thought it was going to be useless to me with my laptop.  However, I also have several ink cartridges for it, and they are very expensive but last a long long time.

So, if anyone else has a laser printer with the parallel port, you can still keep it and make it work with your laptop’s USB port.

 

 

 

 

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