Archive for the ‘Blogs’ Category

WordPress 2.6 – DON’T upgrade yet

Monday, August 4th, 2008

I just installed the latest version of WordPress – as a clean install – for a client. Well, let me tell you that the latest version (2.6) is not ready for prime time. The Permalinks – to me one of the most valuable features – do not work. If Adventures Online installed your blog, chances are the blog uses Permalinks. If you install WordPress 2.6, the links (your menu items and links within your posts) will no longer work.

A feature that has been added is the storage of “revisions”. Now, instead of having one record in your database for each page or post, you will have multiple records – and there is no toggle switch to shut this feature off. So, if you edit a post 5 times, you’ll have 5 records for that one post. It is a disgraceful waste of space, especially since there is no way from the admin to rollback to a revision. So WHY hold on to them? 

I went to the WordPress forum to see what “I” was doing wrong and why these things were happening. I am very discouraged to learn that the attitude of the developer (Otto) responding to the questions (for these two items) was incredulous. Obviously, a person who has no real-life experience – with computer systems nor life in general.

So I am discouraged. After praising WordPress as the only blog tool to be using since 2003, and encouraging all of my clients to invest their time and money in it, they release a version that acutally breaks your blog, wastes a lot of space, and they don’t really care.

 I am hoping that they will listen to the multitudes of persons writing in the forum. 

Don’t upgrade to 2.6 just yet. 2.6.1 is suppose to have fixes for the Permalinks. I don’t know if it will address the storing of “revisions”.

I’ll let you know when I know more.

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Duplicate Content can be Damaging

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

Duplicate content can be damaging to your website, especially if your site is a lesser-known site to the search engines. When a search engine finds content that it believes it has seen before, how does it figure out which site gets credit for being the originator?

Generally speaking, this is what happens.

  1. The most popular site gets the credit.
    Popular can be defined as:

    • The site that has more inbound links
    • The site that has more traffic
    • The site that is known to the search engine (i.e. CNN, Dell, Motley Fool)
    • The site that has the highest PageRank

  2. The less-popular site is presumed to have done the copying.
    • In the best scenario, the page that contains the duplication is excluded from the search engine’s index (catalog of web pages).
    • In the worst scenario, the entire website is excluded from the search engine’s index.

Remember that the search engines use programs to determine the authenticity (and rank) of a website. As a blogger, it is your job to convince the programs that your site is worth ranking well. Here’s some tips for writing in your blog that will help the programs understand that you offer fresh, original content.

  • Do: Paraphrase or quote small sections of articles, giving credit to the author and linking to the source of the original article.
  • Do: Offer your opinion and discuss the content of the article. Search engines are looking for original content and your thoughtful discussion qualifies.
  • Don’t: Copy an entire article to your blog even if you give credit to the author and source.
  • Do: File your blog post under ONE and only ONE category. Yes, the programs can become confused when you file your post under more than one category. Even the “Archives” can confuse the search engines. Consider asking your webmaster to add rel="nofollow" to the Archives’ links or a robot statement to the Archives’ pages.
  • Don’t: File your blog post under multiple categories.
  • Do: Work hard at connecting with professionals in your industry who will want to link to your blog – and encourage them to link to specific blog posts. (See my suggestions for best-in-class Inbound Links.)

Okay, now that I have shared this information, I need to go through my blog and make the changes that I have suggested here.

Happy Blogging!

Edit (1/2 hour later): Okay, all posts listed under one category only.

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Blogging, at Your Website or a Public Site? – 2

Tuesday, September 11th, 2007

Part 1 of Blogging, at Your Website or a Public Site? suggested a number ways to drive traffic to your website.

An important reason for establishing a blog is to create buzz about you and your company. Creating buzz increases traffic. Increased traffic makes the search engines take notice, oftentimes resulting in more listings and higher ranked listings on the search engines results pages (SERPs). Higher rankings in the SERPs lead to increased traffic…and the cycle of positive energy flows.

Blogs drive traffic to the Source.
Establishing a blog at a public blogging site enables you to create buzz about your company and get your target audience interested in learning more. Your target audience returns to the source of the buzz – the public blogging site – to learn more, resulting in increased traffic for the public blogging site. You’re thinking, but they’ll click through to my website. Maybe, maybe not…If the information they want resides at the public blogging site, why click through? If they do click through to your website, they have already contributed to increasing the traffic on the public blogging site. This pits your website against the public blogging site for listings in the search engines, and, the public blogging site will almost always have higher ranked listings due to the traffic it accumulates from all the other blogs. If the keywords (search terms) exist in abundance at your website and not so much at the public blogging website, you have a better chance of rising in the SERPs.

Writing in a blog takes thought and effort.
What categories will you define? What information will you post in each category? What keywords will you use? How frequently will you post? Experts suggest that you write in your blog as often as you can; from several times a day to once per week. (Read Tips for Adding Entries to Your Blog for suggestions on how to write your entries in order to positively impact your website’s listings in the search engines.)

Recommendation
If you are going to put in the effort to maintain a blog, to think of entries that will create buzz about you and your company, do it at your own website so that your website is the source, your target audience returns to your website, and the traffic for your website increases.

Public Blogging Websites are Good for Practicing.
For the bloggers that I know, the greatest challenge has been developing the habit of writing in their blogs with consistent frequency. Given that, I recommend to new bloggers that they first establish a blog at a public blogging website in order to create the habit. Once the habit of writing in their blogs is established, then create a blog at their own website.

Happy blogging!

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Subscription Feeds for your Blog

Monday, September 10th, 2007

Many thanks to Chapman Deering, fictional writer and blogger extraordinaire, for today’s post on adding subscription feeds to your blog.

Chapman says…
When you first set up a blog, your initial focus might be on simply creating the blog and adding content. But before long you will want to spread the word to be sure your blog is getting read and to increase readership. One of the best ways to guarantee that readers will return to your blog is to offer them a way to subscribe.

A simple and FREE service for this feature is offered by FeedBlitz.

The steps are relatively simple.
First, register with FeedBlitz and set up an account. There are several different subscription feed plans to choose from. These are described at: FeedBlitz Blog Mail Service Plans. The Standard Account is free and seems to work just fine for a simple blog.

Information on signing up can be found at the FeedBlitz Blog Publishing Services page.

Once you have registered and have your account accepted by FeedBlitz you then select the type of html subscription form code that is appropriate for your blog, copy it and paste it into your blog template.

As an example, visit my blog Thoughts on the Journey
And click on the “Subscribe” tab at the top of the page.

  1. I created a separate page on my blog and named it “Subscribe”
  2. I then logged into my account at FeedBlitz, and went to the syndication section
  3. I selected “add a new syndication” (which means I want to add my blog to their system)
  4. Then copied the html subscription form code supplied by FeedBlitz, which included my account information, and pasted it into the code of my blog template on the “Subscribe” page I had created.

Now when someone subscribes to my blog his or her email address is submitted to FeedBlitz. FeedBlitz sends a confirmation email to the subscriber asking them to verify the subscription. And it’s a done deal. From that point forward, each time you add to or change your blog, your subscribers get an email inviting them to go visit your blog.

It’s simple and it’s FREE.

Blog on! – Chapman Deering

Learn more about fictional writer Chapman Deering

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Blogging, at Your Site or a Public Site? – 1

Saturday, September 8th, 2007

I started an entry a few days ago about whether it is better to establish a blog at your own website or at a public blogging website. It was getting too long because I was trying to connect all the dots with regard to how the search engines work. So, I have decided to lay the foundation with this entry and continue on another day to complete the entry that will help you decide whether it is better to establish a blog at your own website or at a public blogging website.

So, let’s talk about How to Increase Traffic to your Website, a frequent topic in the Getting Found on the Internet and Marketing Tips categories.

How do you increase traffic to your website?
You use every marketing medium to drive traffic to it. This includes:

  • Your business voice mail message
  • Your letterhead and business cards
  • Your brochures
  • Your Fax cover sheets
  • Your promotional give aways
  • Your TV and radio spots
  • Your newspaper feature story
  • Links to your website from other content-related websites like your business associates, especially those to whom you frequently refer business
  • Links to your website from the websites of all the organizations and associations to which you belong
  • Link to your website from DMOZ (Open Directory Project). (View Adventures Online’s listing.)
  • Links to your website from industry-related directories
  • Links to your website from local city/town business directories

These are all passive traffic drivers; that is, you put them in place and that’s it. Active traffic drivers require your active participation and contribute to creating **buzz** about you. They include:

  • Writing articles and publishing them at industry-related websites.
  • Joining industry-specific forums and establishing yourself as an expert. (Read the Today’s Tip section of Tip for Increasing Traffic to Your Web Site for recommendations on interacting in a forum and driving traffic to your website.)
  • Highlighting your website in your elevator speeches
  • Starting a Blog. (Read more about the merits of starting a blog.)

When Other Websites Link to Your Website
Read the Incoming Links section in Two Simple Techniques for Increasing Your Rankings in the Search Engines for recommendations about the best way to have external websites link to your website.

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