Archive for August, 2007

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’ »

Posted on 18 August 2007 at 23:12 UTC, filed under Tricks, comment on this post.

hidden-links.jpg Websites have become popular targets for hackers, who either try to add elements that automatically download “malware” (viruses, etc) or try to add hidden links (SEO hacking) to other websites. Quite often, these kinds of changes are not recognized by the webmaster or website owner. You could wait until a visitor complains to you or you receive a mail from Google for spreading malware (or having hidden links to “bad places”), but that is slow, unreliable and usually too late.

There are services available that can track changes on your web pages automatically, but sometimes it is good to have something like that within your own control (or perhaps as a backup to an online service). To keep a record of changes on web pages I have put together a small Windows batch-file that checks a list of pages and emails you with any changes found. Additionally, it will also email you when the server is not reachable. You could use the same tool to keep track of changes on third-party web pages.
Continue reading ‘Check your web pages for hacks and unauthorized changes’ »

Posted on 17 August 2007 at 22:46 UTC, filed under Comments, 5 comments.

This post has one main reason: popular sites don’t always get it right. You can also turn that around: you don’t have to get everything right in order to be popular. Never do something on your site just because a large site does it like that.

Combine web 2.0 with a search engines, what do you get? Lots of rel=nofollow links :), heh. You’d assume that they could get a few things right with regards to search engine optimization though.

Think again.

I hope you’re listening, Twitter ;) and all of you who aren’t.
Continue reading ‘Twitter indexing peculiarities’ »

Posted on 13 August 2007 at 12:31 UTC, filed under People, 1 comment.

s603184568_5458.jpgHello Sebastian! You’re one of the more elusive people in the Google Groups, helping webmasters regularly and often with run-of-the-day problems and providing insight into things that are not so common. Your “no-BS” policy sometimes seems a bit tough on new users – but by “telling it like it is” you can get straight to the point and help where it hurts. It’s good to have your help in the groups and I’m glad you take the time to help no matter what problems a webmaster is fighting with.

Nobody knows who you really are – Aaron Pratt goes so far as to say “Sebastian is either running from the law or a bookie, I never could get his name” :-). How would you introduce yourself to someone who doesn’t know you?

Howdy John, thanks for asking a dad working at home bookie running from the law for an interview. :) Actually, a few people do know who I am, for example my monsters, my dad, my laywer, my accountant and tax advisor, and last but not least all the nice folks at Google I had the pleasure to rescue my banned stuff chat with. *wink*
Continue reading ‘A bookie’s life – interview with Sebastian’ »