Jump to content

Cre8asiteforums

Web Site Design, Usability, SEO & Marketing Discussion and Support

  • Announcements

    • cre8pc

      20 Years! Cre8asiteforums 1998 - 2018   01/18/2018

      Cre8asiteforums In Its 20th Year In case you didn't know, Internet Marketing Ninjas released many of the online forums they had acquired, such as WebmasterWorld, SEOChat, several DevShed properties and these forums back to their founders. You will notice a new user interface for Cre8asiteforums, the software was upgraded, and it was moved to a new server.  Founder, Kim Krause Berg, who was retained as forums Admin when the forums were sold, is the hotel manager here, with the help of long-time member, "iamlost" as backup. Kim is shouldering the expenses of keeping the place going, so if you have any inclination towards making a donation or putting up a banner, she is most appreciative of your financial support. 

Grumpus

Hall Of Fame
  • Content count

    5,724
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    82

Grumpus last won the day on January 16

Grumpus had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

287 Excellent

About Grumpus

  • Rank
    Technical Administrator Alumni

Recent Profile Visitors

16,315 profile views
  1. That is going to be my approach, as well. I won't have anyone with me from the companies I subcontract for. I'll be telling folks "how" to shop for a web marketing and/or development company, the things to look out for, the things to insist on, and the way to make sure they are understanding the differences between what they want, what they need, and what they are going to get from their investment. I don't have the full skill set needed to fully service a company on my own - so I need a team. In these seminars or classes, I'll just be that guy from the end of the bar on Friday afternoons, the guy who helps sling hot dogs at all the town events, and that guy you see wandering around down by the river all summer. I won't be pitching myself, and won't have anything on me that will tell them how to contact me for work. Most businesses know what they know. They make sure their suppliers or distributors aren't screwing them over because they understand their industry so they know what those people should be doing. They can't do that with their internet business because they don't know anything about it. So it's basically just a crash course in what you need to know and what you need to do in order to have some success online - and the types of returns they can expect in real terms. It should be fun. I've got the location and catering locked down. Now I just need to pick some dates and figure out how I'll fill the room. G.
  2. I've been tossing this around for some time. Over the past six months ago, I've been sending out feelers to people in the area to see if they would be interested in attending a little round table class that I would hold for maybe 20 people or so. We'd sit down for a few hours and discuss the various red flags, sensational promises and then delve into the types of things a reputable company WILL promise and will be able to measure and show them. This is both for companies looking for SEO/Marketing, but for website redesigns/rebuilds, social media marketing companies and so on. I haven't nailed down dates for my first class yet, but the response has been resounding. People have said they'd be willing to pay $100 or more - though I think with 20 people, I'd do it at under half that and still be well compensated. I'm not sure how to do that on a large scale, but that's what we're looking at doing out here on the edges of Northwestern Connecticut. G.
  3. Bring Back Blatheration

    I use the verb "to blather" all the time - typically when describing myself. G.
  4. Your categories should be unique. In the example - most of those are about "Yoga for Old People" in one incarnation or another. It's not about indexing or no-indexing - it's about picking one and only assigning all the posts to that one old-people category. Let the other redundant ones die a peaceful death. G.
  5. Update Your Copyright Year

    Greetings, jlfaverio.... The PHP solution (if you have the ability to do that) will work on all devices. It's executed on the server side so the browser or spider has no idea if it's dynamic or hand written. The trick will be in how your CMS is set to handle it. If you are using Wordpress - most themes don't have that built in - you just write a copyright notice out, but it won't execute PHP functions. You COULD skip that function in the theme and alter the theme template footer.php file itself, though. Most of them (if they are using standard WP parsing features) will execute the stuff between the <script> tags right in the editor window, though. The javascript examples will work so long as the device has javascript enabled - which is almost all of them. Even big dumb Googlebot can parse javascript like the examples given in the link above. That said - it still executes on the browser, so it's not quite as desirable as the PHP option - it serves our user centric goals just fine. Remember, though - the only reason we're updating our copyright date is to make the site look maintained and fresh for users. If it's the actual copyright we're worried about - it's really only the first start date that is important. (Copyright is about establishing ownership first, not last). If your site has an updated copyright, yet the last blog post is from 2012 and all the site information is just as old, the user will pick up on those signals just as easily (and probably with more impact) than picking up on a stale copyright year.
  6. I'd be interested in knowing some of the data for frequency of clicks on links in the "Middle" of the page. The top and the bottom of any page are easy to find. It's the stuff in the middle of a long page that can be tricky to get to. These pages also sound like they have a different purpose than many pages - and so they are a bit different. A page like this is designed to have the user pick a broad topic, and then they look through the page to find something in that topic that is of interest to them. On pages like this - longer is better. The more things you can present, the more likely someone is to find something that piques their interest. For pages where someone already knows what they want to know - the long pages with a bunch of info becomes cumbersome. QFT
  7. Yikes. But I'm not surprised. In spite of how the internet has changed over the years, the train of thought and trends to solutions haven't really changed. For primary navigation, it is driven by the "4 clicks and they are gone" theory. The solution for many (and often this is marketing people using old school SEO tactics) is to just make sure that no page is more than a click or two away. That sounds great on paper except that if you have all that crap the user has to sift through to figure out where the next thing they want to see is - they aren't making clicks because they can't decide which of the 3,000 presented clicks is going to get them where they want to go. Then, we have the "long copy" theory. Back in the day, the idea was that one really long page of copy will convert better than if it is broken up into several pages. On desktops, you have a lot of screen space, and a keyboard or mouse that you can use to scroll exactly one screen at a time. With the cell phone boom, people are swiping fingers. If they are looking for some spec info on a page and that page is 12 scrolls away at some point on a super long all-inclusive page, they are going to have to do a lot of work just to find it on the page, not to mention the hell they went through just to get to the page through the mega menu. It may still work in some regards if you are writing persuasive copy, but information needs to be broken down into smaller bits. If I want specs, I want a page that gives me the specs right there, easy to find. I've had a few sites that I've been working on which have fallen victim to these things over the years. On some we've broken out the info so each product has a specifics "Overview", "Technical Specs", "Photos/Videos" etc pages. On a few others, we've kept the pages bigger, but have named anchors and secondary on-page navigation so that once you get to the page, you can see links to our various informational categories. You click, but don't change pages, and it takes you right to the info you need - no swipe swipe swipe swipe until you (hopefully) get to that section on the page. It's too early to tell which of these methods performs better. I suspect that splitting to different pages is probably better for SEO by a slight margin since Google can then easily send them to the right info when they do a specific search like "Widget Technical Specs" - I've got a page for that. I suspect that for the user, the one page may be better if only because they don't have to wait for page loads on slower data connections. Once the page is loaded, it's loaded and you just use the jump menus (at the top of the page and between each section) to hop around to what you want. Thank goodness for sites with 329 links on a page though.... they keep us working, sure enough. lol G.
  8. Back in the day, it was a maximum number in the 20's. Twenty seven pops into my head, but I have no idea why, and it's not a particularly logical number, so I'm not sure if that is correct. There was also a limit in the size of pages that would be indexed. Once it was over a certain number of kB, Google stopped grabbing it and anything below that wasn't used by SEO. Today, things are a little different - and probably around 2004 or so is when it started. Google tried to understand various common elements on a page - like your global navigation - to better evaluate links. Afterall, a link in your global nav that links to another page doesn't really show any context between the page you're on and the page in the nav. It's there because you think it's an important page, but it's not there because this is related to that in any particular way. Now, there are several different ways to differentiate a contextual link and navigational links. The Wordpress themes that I use make use of the "role" attribute and "nav" tag. [example] You can also use Schema tags to declare this - and in the future I expect that this method will become the primary standard. [information] There is a lot more you can do with the schema markup such as indicating various accessibility features, give signals as to what's on the other side of the link (e.g. giving an audience rating to indicate NSFW content on a site that is predominantly SFW) It can even suggest that the link is relevant now but may expire and become irrelevant on a certain date such as for an event, or something like that. Here is an example of a whole page with schema microdata, attributes, etc: https://gist.github.com/MilanAryal/ee861d7a065cc05868d9 I'm really only now starting to edit my themes and adding hooks to leverage this stuff on my client sites. And I only do it in areas that it's foolproof and doesn't take a lot of human interaction. As we know, with Google it's often better to not do it at all than it is to do it wrong. So anyway - the point of all of this is that this surely makes the question have a lot more fluid answer. Navigation elements are links, but they aren't the same as another contextual link. Links in an <aside> block serve a different purpose than links in the articleBody which is different from links in the comments block. All links are not created equal, and serve many different purposes. This doesn't suggest that navigation links are discounted - they just show a different contextual relationship between this page and that page than a link within the body of an article or a link within an aside block or a div with a "complimentary" role. This is why I have been trying to convince my broker clients that a primary navigation (navigation that is the same on every single page on a site and leads to the key sections of the site) and secondary (complimentary) navigation which then shows links to pages deeper or laterally in the same section are really the way to go. It is also why I've been trying to convince the usability folks that (in spite of rumors to the contrary) sidebars are not dead. Sidebars in the way they've been used in the past are certainly dead, but in the new age of structured data, they are alive and well. Honestly, I suspect that most of the experts truly in the know who are suggesting that we ditch sidebars are doing so not so much because sidebars are dead, but because (as I mentioned above) it's better to not do it than to do it improperly. Doing it properly takes a level of learning that most people I encounter who do all this for a living don't even begin to comprehend - yet. If anything is dead (or soon will be) it's the massive global navigation mega menus that litter the web nowadays - the ones that list every page on a site from every page on a site and that take a user 10 minutes just to navigate the navigation and figure out where they need to go. And for google, this is almost certainly dead. Sure, a mega menu that links to every page serves as a nice means of discovering pages, but beyond that you get no context. These links are almost certainly discounted to a level of "almost worthless" in terms of the things we commonly think about when discussing the value of links in SEO. Pro Tips: Most of these elements are designed and being actively developed for accessibility options - do indicate to various devices exactly what the various elements are there for and what they do. The fact that Google can leverage these to improve their SERPs is a byproduct of the fact that these are designed for sending signals to machines - something that Google just happens to be. Anything you see out there that is designed to help machines figure things out is potentially something that Google will attempt to leverage in some way. For example, if you have your company info marked up properly on your contact or about page and list your hours, you can then edit your web site to make changes to those hours and your Google Local listing will update accordingly on the next crawl. (Assuming, of course, you've established that this is the web site for that Google Local listing). You can even add and update your holiday hours on the site or say that you will be closed from now until January 4th for a family emergency or whatnot. In Summary: If you're not using various elements on your site to indicate what a link is doing and giving it context, then Google doesn't really have a lot of choice but to treat all links on a page as equal. (This isn't exactly true because you can find some posts from me back as far as 2004 or so where Google was discovering navigational elements by comparing HTML blocks across multiple pages on a site and learning that a block of links that appears on every page is surely your main menu). But if you are sending signals as to purpose and context, then you can not only will more links be counted and provide SEO value, but they will be counted in a way that means something more than just "Here's a link." How many will it count? My guess is that it will count every link that it can leverage to give context to something else. G. P.S. I haven't had time to stop in over the recent weeks (and maybe even months?) New design looks good! And it makes good use of role, and other elements described above.
  9. It's not surprising for many questions. There's always the "Short" and the "Long" answer to most questions. If the short answer rings true in the snippet, then the page would logically expound on that and give the long answer as well. G.
  10. I didn't check the others, but KMart.com goes secure when you hit the login page (which is where it needs to be secure). I would imagine that once you are logged in, it stays on https as well.
  11. Food porn works great - if you can get good pictures. Yep. As for the school - the Facebook side of it works better for the required annual "Keep Your Real Estate License" stuff than it does for finding new students for the pre-licensing stuff.
  12. Oddly enough, there is actually a right answer to this question regarding the area targeting, but most folks don't know about it. So let's take a look... The malware issue has been dealt with above, so I'll just look at the fun stuff. The answer is one site and one page to target all towns - probably the contact page or an areas served page. (I use a combination of both). Basically what you do is go with some schema markup. I don't know the industry we're talking about here - so "Local Business" may not be right, but it's the most general one so I'll use it. Certain industries have their own markup categories and name spaces. http://schema.org/LocalBusiness I'm assuming that this is one physical location serving a large area. If it's actually got physical branches - you can use branchOf and make individual pages for each branch or break up the page into sections to cover each one. There are lots of different ways to describe the area you cover - and the most useful for you will be to list each of the 19 towns you cover and mark them up with areaServed as the town name. The markup is great because you're describing a specific area that Google (and other similar services) can understand natively. if you're lucky enough to not have a lot of competition in an outlying town, this can get you to show up on map results even if your physical area is outside what it might normally show in a "something near town" search. If there is nearby competition, it's always going to show the three closest, so you're screwed anyway. The markup sucks because there isn't a lot of concise and clear writing on the proper way to do it. I've been tinkering with it for about a year now and am still homing in on the best way to make it all chug along. I can say that I've never had a negative impact on anything by doing it, but some have worked great right from the start, and others I've had to tweak a bit and am still playing with. Typically, the amount of competition and the size/budget of the competitors web site play the biggest role. I'm not doing anything wrong, but I'm just not as "complete" or something. Play with it, though... There's a bit of a learning curve, but when done properly it eliminates the need for these individual pages targeted to an area because you've got individual areas marked up on a single page. Some basic reading to get you started: https://www.schemaapp.com/tutorial/how-to-do-schema-markup-for-local-business/ I use the "Microdata" method since it makes for cleaner code. With JSON, you end up with blocks of redundant code. With microdata, you mark up your HTML. So your town list goes from: <p>We proudly serve, Hartford, West Hartford, and Avon Connecticut.</p> To: <p>We proudly serve, <span property="areaServed" typeof="City"> <span property="name">Hartford</span> </span>, <span property="areaServed" typeof="City"> <span property="name">West Hartford</span> </span>, and <span property="areaServed" typeof="City"> <span property="name">Avon</span> </span><span property="areaServed" typeof="State"> <span property="name">Connecticut</span> </span>.</p> These two sets of code look identical on the page, but it sends a clear signal to Google - both for organic search and local search, as to what you're talking about. This markup is in its infancy, but it IS the future - and using it already helps a lot when trying to target specific things. Basically this single line of code: <span property="areaServed" typeof="City"><span property="name">Hartford</span></span> serves the same purpose as (and eliminates the need for) creating a separate page for each town. You can also mark regions (and Google will figure it out) with zip code lists, geographic shapes on a map, counties, states, countries, or whatever. I still like to use town names because it also gets our targeted word onto the page (and usually into the snippet the searcher sees in organic results) but I've also used combinations of several of these ways of defining a region. Important note: The above code is incomplete - you need to wrap the section in other code/spans to define it as a part of the local business or whatever other type you're using and so on. I'm just giving that as an example of the relevant section we're talking about. Inside your overall encompassing spans, you'll want to include your phone numbers, addresses, and various other relevant items (hours of operation?) etc. Super Pro Tip: If you have your local business stuff set up and properly associated with your web site, you can update your site with holiday hours and that sort of thing and your listing on Google and Bing will update on the next crawl without you having to go manually do each one. This requires that the site is well spidered and that you set it up far enough in advance for a crawl and update to happen (usually 10 days or so in my experience - though on sites we update a lot, I've seen it as quickly as 48 hours). Hope that helps. If none of your competition is doing this (which is quite probable in small business circles) you'll get AMAZING results. If you're competing against some juggernauts who already employ it, it's one relatively simple way to level the playing field a bit. G.
  13. Search News Central Relaunched

    Great theme choice! Where on earth did you guys find it? Best of luck to all of you!
  14. I live in an odd little area of Connecticut. To my south and east, we have people. To the north and west, we have a vast expanse of very low populated land that runs all the way up and out to the Appalachians. In recent months, I've been helping a friend of mine with his promotions. He own a real estate school that teaches pre-licensing courses and the various required annual continuing education courses. To our east and south, there are several other schools within 15 miles, but looking out to the north and west you have to leave Connecticut before coming across a similar service. Because of this, when we pay for an ad boost, we don't just do a radius - we target specifics towns and their radii in order to shift our efforts out to the north and west. There are a lot fewer people out that way, but the ones that are there are more likely to visit his school than if we were to allow much overlap and hit the people out closer to Hartford or Waterbury. What gets interesting here is that we often have to increase our range out into some of that less productive area because Facebook won't take our money to just reach the potential 800-1000 in our NW territory. If you can't reach a certain number of people, Facebook won't even take your $5. I bring all this up because you can glean a little information about potential reach by playing with those geographical targeting settings. The thing that I've found is that the numbers don't directly correlate to population. One city in our target area is Torrington, with a population of 34,000. So even if I'm just targeting that town for 2 weeks, and with Facebook's boasting of the percentage of the world that it is hooked into, it seems strange that they can't promise to hit 1000 people. That's just 3% of the population of that town. Add to it the 3,000-8,000 people populations of the 20 other towns out in that area, it should easily be able to hit 1,000.... right? Well - and it gets interesting again here - if you own a bar, it's no problem. I also do some Facebook and web work for our local bar. If I'm posting an ad for all the music, activities and fun going on at the bar and around town over the weekend, my nag-lines from Facebook always promise better reach for the bar (located exactly 240 feet from the real estate school). I haven't tried targeting regionally for the bar, but where the school ads promise I can reach up to 1000 people (if I go with the simple default radius which includes Hartford), my bar ads promise to reach up to 1400 or so. Ultimately - this means that there is something more in play here than just geography and population. And so, without further ado... here is my list of: "The Things I Surmise About Facebook Reach" 1) The primary "seed" for all of this is likely the same seed you have without paying - your business's "Like" pool. My bar page has 1700 likes. My Real Estate School page has 110. 2) The "Category" of our company, promoted event, or whatever probably plays a bit of a role. I can't be certain how much because of my #3 item, below, but my (always unpaid) bar posts in the "Music" category almost always reach more people than our "Food & Drink" type posts where I list the specials or a certain beer on tap. (Remember, reach is about who has seen it - interest/interaction with it is something else - and potential reach is supposed to be how many potential people you can get eyes on it - conversions be damned.) 3) The actual copy of the ad seems to play some sort of role. I'm not up on all of the Facebook patents as I am with Google, but they have some sort of context algo going in there somewhere. You can see this in action when you talk with a friend about a TV show and then suddenly you start to see DirectTV and Comcast ads all over your page. With Google, you're comparing page content against a search term. On the Facebook, you have a Post Content to Post Content type comparison of some sort going on. I'm not sure if it's content to content, or your post's content/subject compared to my page ads content or maybe it's category, or a combination. So, therefore, reach isn't just about getting it to people in there area, but there is also some sort of "qualified lead" thing going on. My Real Estate School has a smaller potential reach than the bar, in part, because there aren't a lot of people talking about becoming or being a realtor, whereas everyone is talking about the bar scene of any given area. Now... while I'm sure there is some validity to each of these observations - what I can't be certain about is just how good the Facebook is at actually doing them well. In a lot of ways, it seems a lot like the early days of Google. Someone would observe a phenomenon and a bunch of people would speculate as to the cause of it. Ultimately, a lot of that speculation was wrong because most of it always assumed that the result was actually the result Google was going for. Very little of the early Google speculation took into account the notion of what Google was "trying" to do and the difficulty in actually doing it - and that the result was simply a byproduct of trying to do something, but not doing it very well, yet. Facebook seems to be in a similar arena. They are "trying" to not only give you reach with your ads, but also to qualify the views in some way. By the numbers above, we can see that they aren't very good at it yet, but we have to assume they are trying. It would a really bad business plan to do anything else. Sure, you're paying for the number of people seeing it, but your satisfaction only comes from having that person take some action. Because of the nature of many of the businesses on Facebook, it's really hard for them to measure success, too. For the bar, when I post Saturday's music lineup, clicks, shares, committing to "going", or inviting friends is nice - but ultimately all I really want is for you to just show up at the bar. (I imagine that Facebook uses some Check-In data to help measure, here... this person saw the event post, and then checked into the venue during the time the event was on.) To sum it all up - Facebook (potential) reach is an ever changing number - both because of the various factors in how they decide just who they are going to send it to and because of the fact that Facebook is still trying to figure out just what it means, themselves. G.
  15. Your story sounds quite similar to mine. I first came here to Cre8asite in 2003 because I was making ASP based web sites from scratch - so I needed to learn how to get the foundation built in them so that the would not only rank, but to get crawled at all. My development practice site was a movie/soundtrack database. Google barely touched dynamic sites at that time - but over a few months here, I managed to get over 4,000 pages indexed and ranking properly. I'm not sure the industry has changed all that much, though... it was always the developer's job to make sure the foundation was solid for SEO. And it's almost always the case that even modern CMS systems need a tweak or two in order to get them that way. Wordpress is great for that - a good standards compliant theme and a couple of standard plugins get you the basics, and then teaching the person(s) at the company who are going to be making the posts how to properly leverage it and you're good to go. Wordpress still sucks a bit in its flexibility for me to make my URL structure mirror my navigation structure (without a bunch of tweaks and tricks) but that is less of a real SEO issue and more of an issue with my OCD for information organization. lol The biggest crime in WP development nowadays are the "This Theme Does It All And You Don't Need To Know Anything!" paid themes that are so popular (Divi, Avada, et. al... Yeah, I'm looking at you.). They come bundled with 100 different plugins installed into the theme directory - and all those plugins end up being a security patch behind since the update needs to be released, then the theme developers need to patch their code, and then finally you can get the update - that is, if you are working on a site where the theme was installed, edited, and parented properly to allow updates in the first place. These invariably convince you that you need Page Builder or an equivalent to go along with it. Ultimately, you end up with outdated theme code, a zillion external files and scripts being loaded (many of which you don't even use), over complicated page content HTML that never validates, and a situation where, if you wanted to switch to another theme, every single page on the site would need to be edited to clean up all the extra code. The beauty of Wordpress, as I'm sure Doc already knows, is in how it is an ala carte, system. The trick is to start with a simple, standards compliant theme without a lot of whistles and bells. It needs to output valid HTML, follow Wordpress standards perfectly, and beyond that, it simply needs to scale properly across device sizes. Then, identify the site objectives, get a designer who understands that web design and print design barely resemble each other, and add plugins (or simply build some quick functions for some things) which are needed to reach that goal. I've had a really good (and busy) work load this past year or so. With the mobile-first directive out of Google, it's given me the chance to get into a lot of sites and fix the issues that were overlooked. HINT to All: Mobile First isn't only about content fitting on a small screen - it's load orders, code and image optimization, and all sorts of other factors that most developers and many of the "popular" Wordpress themes don't account for. It's about coordinating with the developer, designer, the marketing lead, and the UX overseer to make sure everything is working together. While it's important for each of these four people to know a bit about the other three jobs (especially the developer since they have to be the packager who puts everything together), it's really quite impossible for any one person to adequately and fully understand everything from the other three jobs. You need all four to really get the best results - and it's not just because of it being hard to know more than one position, but you also need an advocate for each element of the design. For example, the designer and developer need to battle over function vs. beauty and find that sweet spot in the middle. Each other position has their own set of interests to protect, as well. You folks may notice that in the team I've built above, there isn't any call for an "SEO" person. That's because everyone needs to be (and really always has needed to be) an SEO person. Design and Development have the "hidden" elements of SEO to contend with - the things that aren't visible on the page itself, and the various off page factors to think about. They create the frame for it all. The marketing lead (and their copywriters, etc) have the on-page factors to contend with. The UX person is there to make sure the site visitor's interests are maintained - something which is actually a big part of SEO today, as well.
×