Archive for the ‘Tricks’ Category

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 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 28 July 2007 at 10:31 UTC, filed under CSS, Javascript, Tricks, comment on this post.

The next step after adding CSS to highlight links with rel=nofollow is to give the user some information about what the nofollow symbol symbol and the dashed line mean. Since CSS will not allow you to add tooltips and links, we have to resort to some javascript trickery. The up-side to this is that it will also display the markup on older browsers like IE 6.

Adding this kind of markup to your site is pretty easy to do.
Continue reading ‘Adding user-friendly rel=nofollow markup (for IE too!)’ »

Posted on 25 July 2007 at 1:10 UTC, filed under CSS, Tricks, 13 comments.

caution - bad links aheadI support the “rel=nofollow” HTML microformat as a way to mark links which might be problematic, whether they’re clearly spammy, just not checked or even just sites that I don’t really want to link to (but still want to provide a link for others to use – you know, “don’t look, but that guy’s got a giant nose!”). I understand that it is important for search engines to recognize these kinds of links and to treat them differently. This of course implies that sites use the rel=nofollow properly and do not just apply it to all outbound links (or at least to all links that do not go to their own network)…

That said, I believe that all users should be able to recognize these links as being problematic (or untrusted) at first glance. The more advanced, web-savvy users will sometimes have tools installed or special settings which highlight links with “rel=nofollow”, the normal user does not. If a link is marked as being problematic / untrusted for search engines, the user should see that as well — it’s nothing more than the Google Webmaster GuidelineDon’t deceive your users or present different content to search engines than you display to users (…)“. It is deceiving to show users a normal link and at the same time tell search engines that you really don’t want to link there! In my opinion, if the link is not good enough, the user should be informed. There are two ways to do that.
Continue reading ‘Adding “rel=nofollow” markup to your site’ »