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Grumpus last won the day on April 11

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About Grumpus

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  1. I don't remember if you were around when I first starting hanging around these parts or not - or how much later you showed up, but... back in the early 2000's the IMDB database was public domain. You could download it and use it as you pleased. My idea was to create a "Music in the Movies" database as a means of learning how to a) Get a data driven web site to be indexed by Google and b) Rank that data driven web site well. I took the DB and parsed out titles and related data of movies that were musicals or that had hit/notable soundtracks - and then started building it out. In several instances, I managed to outrank IMDB for things. Typically not movie titles - but almost certainly anything that had to do with "music from <title>" type searches. Beating the big boys was (and still is) relatively easy if you focus on your USP. I agree 100%, though - it's not (and never was) about content alone. It was about links and content, which has now evolved into "relevant" links and content. It's about organizing your data and presenting it in a way that machines can understand what it is you're saying. It's about context. Google has ALWAYS wanted the following to be a true statement - but it's really only been the last 7-8 years where it's been even remotely true. And, of course, it will continue to become more true as time goes on: Context is King. Period. G.
  2. You weren't seeking success - you were seeking a way to support your family. Any success you have is a byproduct of that - and limited by that. It is what it is. I'm driven by simply enjoying myself. I enjoy learning and understanding things - so that's why I tend to understand a lot of things. So long as there is enough money to keep the lights on and food on the table (and I suppose, a roof over the table), I'm happy. So I learn. Incidentally, that is in no small part how I've managed to overcome much of my anti-social tendencies. People confuse and confound me. I'm driven to understand how things work, so I want to understand people. The way to understand people is to interact with them. Boom... Now I have to learn social skills and figure out how to interact with folks. Nowadays, you'd be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't consider me to be a social person - despite the fact that I'm really the opposite. I don't "fake" it - I do enjoy myself once I'm out with people, it's just a dread and sense of futility when I'm deciding whether to go out into the world or to stay home and watch Netflix. If I ever truly do figure out people, I'm sure no one will ever see me again. lol
  3. The big trick here is that the type of people who can go from nothing to a major success in an area tend to have one (or more) of what are called the "Dark Triad Traits" - Machiavellianism, narcissism, and/or psychopathy. You'd be hard pressed to find someone who is highly successful without one of these traits. I'd wager we've never had a president of the United States without one - and I'm sure we haven't seen one in yours and my lifetimes. Heck, we even hit the trifecta with our current president. The link below is to a study called: "What Have You Done for Me Lately? Friendship-Selection in the Shadow of the Dark Triad Traits" and it delves into the very questions you're asking, here. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/147470491201000303 That article deals a bit with the way different genders handle this thing, too. For those who are driven to succeed (and I've never met a successful person who wasn't driven to do so) their success is their priority. At the time you were helpful to them, you were helping to drive their success. Now, there are new people helping to drive their success. There's only so much time in the day and with much of it dominated by achieving success, the personal relationships tend to grow around the people who have done something for them lately. NOTE: having one of the Dark Triad traits doesn't necessarily make someone inherently evil. I possess a fair amount of the psychopathy trait, actually. I have an inability to feel empathy, for one thing. And I have a lot of anti-social tendencies. It's balanced out by a very strong moral and ethical compass and the intelligence to understand that I need to force myself to go out and be around people or I'll lose the skill to do so. So, while I'm by no means a psychopath, I do share many of the same traits they do - I've just been lucky and determined enough to work around them. In my 4th of July WIsh a few years back, I talked about this a bit more: https://www.facebook.com/stockbridge.truslow/posts/1132972343385408 In rereading that again just now, there are some useful thoughts in there regarding this topic as well. I suspect that if it was my father and not my mother who had the "lack of empathy" affliction, I would probably have never learned the proper way to manage it. G.
  4. That's a pretty good list to be on, I think. Great company, there! G.
  5. Grumpus

    Google: Don’t be evil

    Evil is in the eye of the beholder, really. It's popular nowadays to be willing to sacrifice liberties for security. This one is complicated a bit more since it's having to do with the war machine (ever unpopular) rather than simply dealing with our personal security in an abstract sense.
  6. Over the last decade and a half (plus), you have always held fast to what you thought was important on the web - accessibility, usability, and the visitors in general. I've watched all along as you've tried to convince people that this was the future, and I've watched you be met with resistance, nay-saying, and ennui. I've felt the way you surely must feel with some of the ideas I've had over the years, but mine were always less important than this. Nothing makes me happier than seeing all the recent proof that you have been right all along. Usability and UX are now a ranking signal (and a greater one than most yet understand, IMO). I see articles like this one regularly now, instead of rarely. I sometimes wonder... If I had wandered into some other forum in 2002 or 2003 (whenever the heck I wandered in here) if I would have understood the things I know about how the Internet works in the same way. Thank you for all you've taught me over the years, Kim. And thanks again for all that you'll teach me in the years to come.
  7. In the same way that federalizing student loan programs has anything to do with healthcare, I suppose. It's common practice in government. Sometimes you attach something that someone wants in order to get them to agree to vote for a bill. Sometimes you hide unpopular things in a popular bill so that if you vote no, they can say, "Such and so just voted to kill babies!" And other times, it's simply typical Washington smoke and mirrors. G.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Grumpus

    Bring Back Blatheration

    I use the verb "to blather" all the time - typically when describing myself. G.
  11. 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.
  12. Grumpus

    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.
  13. 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
  14. 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.
  15. 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.