Archive for August, 2007

Posted on 30 August 2007 at 22:51 UTC, filed under Tricks, 12 comments.

If you have to do things over and over again, it’s a good idea to use a tool to make things easier. Windows is a bit limited (or very – when compared to Linux) when it comes to batch file scripts and “wget” is limited to what it can do right out the box, so I sat down and wrote a few command line tools to help me with some of the website checks that I like to do.

The tools I included in this set can do the following:

  • Check the result codes for a URL (and follow in the case of a redirect) – or for a list of URLs
  • Create a list of the links found on a URL (or just particular ones)
  • Create a list of the links and anchor texts found on a URL (or just particular ones)
  • Create a simple keyword analysis of the indexable content on a URL

Continue reading ‘A set of command-line Windows website tools’ »

Posted on 28 August 2007 at 17:57 UTC, filed under People, 3 comments.

Hi Craig, welcome to my blog :-) ! Craig is, for those that haven’t noticed, an alien from some solar system far away. At least that’s the conclusion I came to after reading his introduction, the overview page on his site and his “my first computer” posts. I’m pretty sure that he’s either alien or very, very creative (as in creative writing), I mean seriously, “I built my own computer when I was 12.“?! Craig has been a frequent contributor in the Google Groups, bringing in a lot of background knowledge, helping with stylesheets, javascript and all sorts of other issues that arrive on a regular schedule.

I know that wasn’t a question but I would like to comment anyway. Although you are not the first to suggest I am not of this world, serious or not, I feel it is not so much a question of identifying the “where”, but identifying the “when”.

I think had I lived 150 to 200 years ago, I wouldn’t seem as much an alien as I do to so many people. More often than not, people who I communicate with over a period of time before ever meeting in person say something similar, I seem odd to them because they try to identify me with a place and fail but after meeting me in person, understand it is not a matter of identifying a place, but a place in time.

Many people are still put off after realizing that but a few people are able to take it in stride. You can tell a lot about a person by how they react to extreme situations and I guess I can be a bit extreme at times. :-)

Someone once called me an “anachronistic anomaly”. That seems to describe me as well as any other description I have heard, at least descriptions appropriate for mixed company. ;-)
Continue reading ‘Interview with Craig “cass-hacks”’ »

Posted on 23 August 2007 at 22:03 UTC, filed under Hack, 18 comments.

Warning: do not try the URLs here unless your system is locked down properly. I suggest using a “virual machine” (I use VMware) to test things like this. The hack itself is complicated, the system is simple – skip the complicated part if you’re in a hurry.

It all started with a posting like this:

When I do a google search for [Jonathan Wentworth Associates] the first result is:

Jonathan Wentworth Associates, LTD
Welcome to Jonathan Wentworth Associates, a respected resource for world-class orchestral soloists,
conductors, opera, chamber music, chamber orchestras, …
www.jwentworth.com/ – 19k – Cached – Similar pages – Note this

The: “Jonathan Wentworth Associates, LTD” is highlighted and is a link to the web site. If you place the mouse over the link, it shows http://www.jwentworth.com. However, if you click the link it immeately attempts to download the trojan. My McAfee immediatly blocked it.

Looking at the page in question, it doesn’t appear to be hacked, it doesn’t appear to have any kind of scripts injected, etc. However, using LiveHTTPHeaders with Firefox, while doing the same steps (search, click on the top result) you see the following:
Continue reading ‘The website hack you’d never find’ »

Posted on 22 August 2007 at 8:21 UTC, filed under People, 5 comments.

Matt at Google Hi “Doc”, it’s cool to have you here! It’s great that the web removes barriers like the physical distance from here in Switzerland to Australia. Matt has been one of the regular contributors to the Google Webmaster Help Groups since January 2007. He has a diverse background: Agriculture and Computers, an interesting mixture, or how he puts it in his profile: “I know about cows and computers” :-) .

Looking at your first posts, I see a desperate webmaster, someone even screaming for “HELP!!!” in the thread titles. How did you find the Google Webmaster Help groups and what made you decide to originally post about your problems there?

Hmm.. how did I find the groups – I think I might have searched “How to contact Google” and came across the webmaster help groups there. I had to – I’d come across a problem that I just couldn’t get an answer to by doing a regular Google search, I knew it was an unusual problem and, like many other webmasters, I figured I might be able to find a real, living, breathing Googler somewhere to talk about the problem.

Did you get a satisfactory answer to your original questions in the groups? What elements were vital to that outcome?

Well, for some reason the answers to that post (it was back in 2006) have been ‘lost in the system’ but I did get a lot of hypotheticals from the regular group members – but nothing that helped, unfortunately.
Continue reading ‘Interview with Matt / “Dockarl”’ »

Posted on 20 August 2007 at 0:09 UTC, filed under News, 13 comments.

the dream jobThe last couple years I’ve spent a lot of time in the Google Webmaster Help groups. Most of that time I’ve tried to help people with problems with their websites and Google. Together with the webmaster (every site is unique) and the other active members in the groups we’ve tried to work out where things are going wrong, what needs to be changed and often we’ve been able to fix things so that the website is back in the index, the content is getting found and hopefully, the webmaster has learned a thing or two. The best part for me is when a webmaster not only changes a few technicalities but is also able to take in and implement changes in strategy, changes that make the site even better for his visitors and in the end gets his unique content easily found. I love it when that works out!

I really enjoy these kinds of problems – finding a source of trouble in a giant heap of pages, using experience, guesses and estimations based on a “black box” that we know as Google. These puzzles keep your mind sharp and force you to think in a connected way. Sometimes you have to take a few steps back and look at the overall picture to find the real issues – and that’s something which is hard to do when you’re directly involved. Taking a look at the larger picture is something that takes a bit of practice, and thankfully it’s something that is done often in another place I love to be, cre8asite forums.

There’s a reason why I even got involved with all these puzzles in the first place: I know there is a lot of really important information out there that just can’t be found, and if it’s not findable, it will get lost. Perhaps forever. It might not be the solution to life, the universe and everything, but there is so much out there, online, on the web, that just can’t be found because of some technicality that the webmaster never thought about. On the one had, I want to help the webmaster to get found, on the other hand, I’d love to help the search engines to find his content, regardless of what technicalities he has forgotten.
Continue reading ‘Moving to a new office in September’ »