Posts Tagged ‘ Google

DMOZ Proxy Error Problems March, 2010

UPDATE: DMOZ is now accepting submissions again as of March 30, 2010, and no Proxy Error appears. I was able to submit a few listings this morning to various categories without issue.

UPDATE 2: A reader commented below that a major overhaul of DMOZ is due to launch soon, dubbed DMOZ 2.0. I think this is a great move, because as it stands right now DMOZ is pretty irrelevant/useless, so they should either kill it off or revamp it completely. Given the traffic and perceived importance of the site, it would make sense for them to revitalize it instead of killing it off. Thanks James! Read more here: DMOZ 2.0 Rumored to Launch at End of March

Original PostI haven’t been able to submit any listings in the past three days to DMOZ and keep getting a proxy error that reads as the following: The proxy server could not handle the request GET /cgi-bin/add.cgi.

This could either be a back-end glitch, or DMOZ is temporarily or permanently no longer accepting submissions. The directory itself will load, but if you try to submit anywhere to the directory, an error will occur preventing the “suggest a URL” page to load.

I’ve seen a few tweets from others confirming this issue , and I’ve tried on multiple machines and ISPs. I’ll keep this post updated if it gets fixed or learn of further information. As of right now there is no message on the DMOZ Blog indicating they aren’t accepting submissions.

It’s probably just a back-end glitch, but with traditional web directories become less and less important, part of me kind of hopes that this is a sign of DMOZ being prepared to be killed off. The mere fact that very few people have noticed or tweeted about it is an indicator of DMOZ’s dying importance – to me, it exists for nothing other than SEO purposes (and occasionally for Google to re-write spammy page titles), and tools/tactics that exist purely for SEO manipulation have a limited lifespan before they’re shut down or rendered obsolete. Is DMOZ obsolete? Should it be shut down for new submissions? Leave your two cents in the comments!

Easy Tips to Speed Up Your WordPress Blog

Speed Up WordPress with Common SenseConcerned with Google’s indication that Page Load Speed May Become A  Ranking Factor, I began to look at my own WordPress blogs to see if I can speed up my page load time. In particular, my Modified Car Blog loaded very slowly, to the point where it was actually annoying to users as well.

I read some great posts on technical tricks and hacks to speed up your WordPress blog. Two in particular I found useful were WolfHowl’s post How to Speed Up WordPress and WPGarage’s 38 ways to optimize and speed up your WordPress blog. Plugins recommended in these posts like WP-Minify really seemed to help speed things, but Nick’s Car Blog was still painfully slow.

A test using this website speed test tool of my home page, http://nickscarblog.com, baselined at around 10 seconds to load. After implementing many of the technical tricks in the posts referenced above, it was closer to 5-6 seconds – better, but still pretty bad. I ran a few comparable sites to my blog and they were all around 3 seconds or less.

Then it was time to go back to the basics. Here are some “common sense” things you can do that require no technical tricks, plug-ins or code. These are simple things to make everything load quicker.

  • Use the More Tag for posts that have lots of images. I had several posts that were loaded with over a dozen pictures, often technical articles with DIY Guides to install car parts. By only providing one image and a snippet of the content, there isn’t so much to load on the homepage. I think this was the most effective way I reduced my homepage’s load speed. I also think it really cleaned up the appearance and organized the content better as well.
  • Compress Images – I had several images that would load in the header and throughout the blog that were pretty large – by just a slight adjustment in resolution I could cut the file size in half without the end-user ever really noticing.
  • Remove plug-ins you’re not using anymore, or don’t find very useful – if a user probably would never use it or find it beneficial – toss it. Sometimes a little plug-in “Spring Cleaning” is in order.
  • Contact your hosting company – maybe there is something on their end they can speed up. Or maybe you just have a really crappy hosting company.
  • Remove some of those Digg/Spinn/Reddit buttons. Is anyone seriously going to Digg your About Me page? I don’t think so.
  • Consider your WordPress theme. A simplier theme will load quicker. A really fancy, widget- and animation-heavy theme will load slower. You don’t have to kill your fancy-pants theme off, just try a new one and see if it affects loading speed with a website speed test. Who knows, you might find something you like better.

The end result? My Car Blog now loads in 2.66 seconds. I didn’t lose any content or images, and by using the “More” tag I expect to see a decrease in bounce rate as there is more of an incentive to view the Post Page as opposed to just reading the whole post on the homepage. Some images are more compressed, there are fewer social sharing buttons (but the ones that appear are likely to be more useful), and the blog appears less cluttered, better organized, and oh yeah – a heck of a lot quicker too. Let me know if I missed any more “common sense” ideas in the comments below!

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Now Posting on the iCrossing Great Finds Blog

I haven’t been posting as much here – but still actively blogging… Check out my latest posts on the iCrossing Great Finds blog:

So, if you’re looking for some fun SEO related reading, I suggest you go check out http://greatfinds.icrossing.com or add the RSS feed to your preferred Reader. And as always, I’m tweeting away at @nickroshon as well :)

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My Motorola Droid Phone Review

Motorola Droid Picture

Motorola Droid Picture

I purchased the new Motorola Droid phone the first weekend it came out after 2+ years of desirable smartphone neglect from Verizon. While all the cool kids had their iPhones, all I could do was complain tirelessly about my BlackBerry Pearl, only to purchase and nearly immediately return my BlackBerry Storm POS-brick-that-did-nothing-right-and-was-useless-as-a-phone-or-anything-else-phone. Additionally, the last cool phone Motorola made was the Razor (or is it RAZR?), which was eons ago.

So it was with much skepticism that I picked up the new Motorola Droid Phone. The initial reviews were overwhelmingly positive, but Verizon has had such a solid track record of disappointment I had to experience it to believe it.

And now, I’m a believer. This phone kicks ass!

I’ve spent the past few days trying to think of bad things to say about this phone, and to be honest it’s been a struggle. It works perfectly – no freezing, no bugs, quick response time, etc. Any complaint I could think of was usually just “user error.” Like any phone, there is a bit of a learning curve, especially to get used to the rather tiny buttons on the keyboard. I’ve seen a few reviews wishing that had eliminated the gold arrow pad and just made bigger keys and I probably agree, but that’s a rather minor complaint.

Now for the features that really “WOW” me.

- Easy & impressive integration with Facebook and Gmail contacts. Within seconds of getting the phone, I logged in to Gmail and Facebook. It pulled in all of my Gmail contacts, then updated them with their Facebook Profile pictures and most recent Facebook Status. No need to ever sync my phone with my computer, as everything is pretty much already synced across Google.

- Determination on Verizon’s (and Motorola and Google’s) behalf to make this phone a success. Within less than 2 weeks of launching the phone, they already have a firmware update on the way to address bugs many (including myself) didn’t even know existed. Compare that to the Storm which went months without a very desperately needed firmware update…that is commitment.

- Google Maps with Turn by Turn Navigation – I purchase the Car Mount (which didn’t come with an included charger as advertised and instead cost an added $30, WTF Verizon?). What’s great is I now have a Navigation system that is better than any OEM or Aftermarket In-Car Navigation system because it connects directly to the internet with traffic updates and detours from Google (traffic prediction isn’t all that accurate though). Here is my setup:

Motorola Droid in Car Mount Holder

Motorola Droid in Car Mount Holder

- Awesome apps – while maybe not as impressive as Apple’s App Store, the Android Market has some pretty damn cool offerings. For instance, the Key Ring app which uses your camera like a bar code scanner to capture your Membership Cards for various places like CVS, BevMo, etc., and can then display them for the cashier to scan, so you don’t have to carry them anymore (please dont steal my BevMo Rewards number, haha)

Key Ring App for Android

Key Ring App for Android

Another great app is Pandora – I can connect my phone to my car stereo and have streaming internet radio (something iPhone users probably have trouble with, since their network is so spotty). Also works great for podcasts, especially since this phone comes packed with 16GB of storage space! Check out Google Listen for a good app to find and listen to PodCasts. YouTube is also awesome on this phone…

- The Screen – although the phone is kinda big, its a little larger in size than an iPhone, the screen is extremely high quality and having a big screen like that makes the Google Maps Navigation & YouTube videos all the more useful & enjoyable. I don’t think I’d want a smaller phone, as I’d rather have the big screen, and this still fits in my pocket just fine. Below you can see the screen on this phone is almost bigger than the entire size of my Pearl.

Motorola Droid vs BlackBerry Pearl

Motorola Droid vs BlackBerry Pearl Size Comparison

- Google Search Bar – this widget on the home screen makes it super easy to search. Anything you want to know, just type it in from the home screen. It also acts as a sort of “desktop” search, because it will search data on the phone like your contacts, files, etc. So if I want to call someone, I can type their name into the Google Search Bar and it will return their contact file – very useful.

I’m sure I’m missing stuff, but at this point, I think you get it. I’d highly recommend you pick one up if you’re on the Verizon Network. It’s intuitive to use, works great, and is an awesome piece of machinery.

The inevitable question is, would I rather have an iPhone? The answer is nuanced, because I still think the iPhone has better apps and possibly a better user interface, but at the same time I think it would really depend on AT&T coverage in your area. I also think the Android Mobile OS will continue to grow rapidly in market share, as Google is basically giving that to any phone manufacturer (Motorola, HTC, etc) and across multiple networks (T-Mobile, Verizon, etc), whereas the iPhone OS will only be on Apple manufactured phones, and for the next year or so still only on the AT&T network. With the HTC Eris (a cheaper but still very capable Verizon Android Phone), as well as slew of other low cost Android Phones on multiple networks, the number of Android users will grow exponentially – and as it grows, more apps will be developed, which will inevitably close the gap between the iPhone App Store & Android Market. And I don’t expect Google to stop innovating and improving the Android OS either, as Google understands the Mobile Web is the future, and the Android System is so tightly integrated with Google Mobile Search that it will provide a huge opportunity in the future.

Finally, I think whether the Droid is an “iPhone Killer” is besides the point – while it may not be “better” than the iPhone, they both have their relative strengths and weaknesses. I think this is the first smartphone where one can say (with a straight face) that this is a serious iPhone contender (even if it’s not an outright killer).

Please leave me any questions or comments you may have. And sorry for the pictures, it’s really hard to snap a decent photo of an LCD screen…

UPDATE 12-03-09: Thanks to all my new visitors, I appreciate you checking out my blog. Here is a great follow up post by the Silicon Alley Insider today with 10 Things We Love And Hate about the Droid & Eris:

Google Toolbar Updates PageRank – I have PageRank 3!

PageRankUpdateOctober2009

Google pushed out a PageRank update last night, and now both NickRoshon.com and NicksCarBlog.com have PageRank3. Search Engine Land has more of this surprising update, given Google’s recent statement that webmasters shouldn’t focus on PageRank so much, and consequently removing PageRank from Webmaster Tools. Many speculated PageRank might be dropped from the Toolbar soon as well – but this doesn’t appear to be the case. The last PageRank update was in June, which continues Google’s trend of updating PageRank in the toolbar every few months.

RustyBrick of Search Engine Roundtable has a good point in regards to PageRank in the toolbar from an SEO perspective, so I’m quoting him below:

Yes, a Toolbar PageRank update means nothing in terms of your ranking changing anytime soon. The PageRank scores shown in the toolbar are outdated and have zero direct impact on your Google rankings. That doesn’t mean that PageRank has no influence, but the toolbar score does not have any influence. Google shows us one thing, but yet uses another thing.

Well put.

It’s also important to consider the Webmaster Point of View here, and I think that is really where Toolbar PageRank matters: I’m looking for advertisers for my car blog. When advertisers see that I have solid PageRank, I think that gives me credibility that I might be a website they should consider to advertising on (after more due diligence, of course) – especially if I offer those potential advertisers a link on my blogroll, as that link should pass along some “link juice.” At a minimum anyway, potential advertisers will see that Google values my content at least somewhat, that this is a legitimate site that probably isn’t penalized or banned, and that my website is something they give further thought to- and they can tell all of this from a free toolbar in a matter of a second. Likewise, a site with PageRank N/A or 0 is likely to turn off potential advertisers nearly immediately,  so that PR can really be the “first impression” to either open the door or have it slammed in your face. Just my two cents, anyway.

What are your thoughts? Would love some comments on this.

Is it Too Soon to Worry About Yahoo! & Microsoft Bing Search Partnership? (Yes)

Is it too soon to start worrying about Yahoo/Microsoft Search Deal?

Is it too soon to start worrying about Yahoo/Microsoft Search Deal?

The world of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is going wild today with the news that Yahoo! and Microsoft announcing a 10 year partnership. Search Engine Land has been doing a great job covering this news, complete with liveblogging the press conference and getting inside interviews.

However, a lot of coverage out there is starting to speculate into what the SEM industry needs to do and how this changes things, particularly this post from SEOmoz speculating the Top 10 Things the Microsoft/Yahoo Deal Changes for SEO. I think we all need to take a few deep breaths and not get ahead of ourselves here. Here’s the fine print from the Search Engine Land article that is all to easy to overlook:

…At full implementation (expected to occur within 24 months following regulatory approval)..

That’s 2 years AFTER the Federal Government approves the deal. And don’t forget the shareholders need to approve too. Given the size of Yahoo and Microsoft, as well as the Government’s Anti-Trust folks and the DOJ’s interest in maintaining competitiveness in the industry, which is already in an oligopoly if not monopoly state already, neither the shareholder nor the Government approval of this deal is likely to come quickly (or possibly at all). The Washington Post has a great article explaining some of the legal hurdles and is already commenting on the scrutiny Microsoft and Yahoo will face. If it will take 2 years after this approval, we’re talking light years in the tech world.

Think about 2+ years ago. Twitter was practically unheard of. MySpace still dominated Facebook. The iPhone hadn’t been released yet. 2 years is HUGE!

As part of the professional SEO community, I think it’s important we keep this all in perspective. This deal could be ground-breaking, but not any time soon. It’s important to think about what all this could mean, but remember that right now all that has happened is Carol Bartz and Steve Ballmer shook hands with each other. We should educate our clients on the details of the agreement, but let them know its nothing to start worrying about yet. Even in a few years, when everything is “fully integrated,” at the current figures Bing will only have a miserable 15% of the market compared to Google’s 78%, making its market share less than 1/5th of Google’s.

So my message to you is this: stay calm, keep current on the deal (because the agreement is going to change, especially once the legal issues start being scrutinized), and continue go about your business focusing on the search engine that ridiculously dominates the other one or two out there, even when you combine #2 and #3′s market share. In all seriousness, Twitter could overcome Bing/Yahoo in two years in terms of number of searches, traffic, hits, revenue and more, as their new home page certainly shows a redoubled interest in search:

Will Twitter Have More Search Share than Yahoo/Bing in 2 Years?

Will Twitter Have More Search Share than Yahoo/Bing in 2 Years?

Photo credit Yahoo and Twitter

PageRank Update for June, 2009

I now have PageRank 2!

Reported on Search Engine Roundtable, it seems like Google has updated PageRank sometime yesterday, which was a bit unusual as PageRank was just updated in May and usually there is a 3 month cycle between updates, although a commenter on that post points out that updates have been more frequent since the last Google Toolbar was released.

Personally, I wonder if PageRank hasn’t been updated in part since the SEO community has now had time to react to Matt Cutt’s bombshell on the change in how Google will treat nofollowed links and PageRank sculpting.

So, if you’re in SEO, check your client sites and see if anything has changed, and if you’re a blogger, hopefully you saw a boost. Again, PageRank isn’t really that important of a metric, but its hard to ignore a “score” given to you by Google on a scale of 1 to 10. And at the very least, an improvement in score is an improvement nonetheless, so I’ll take what I can get.

My last report on PageRank was on May 28 where I had achieved PageRank of 1. At the time I had 53 incoming links on a 3 month old website/domain. As of today I have 224 inlinks (in Yahoo! Site Explorer) on a 6 month old domain. Most of these inlinks aren’t that valuable, and Yahoo! counts links that are nofollowed (whereas Google would not).

Setting Up Google Analytics for WordPress – A Wealth of Data for Free

Google-Analytics

Wow, I don’t know what I was thinking for the first 3 months when I using the basic “Awstats” program on my server as my only software to track traffic, visits, incoming search keywords, and all of the other vital information about visitors to my website.

Google Analytics is free, provides an almost overwhelming amount of data, and is super easy to integrate with WordPress. If you are running a WordPress blog and haven’t upgraded your analytics software, I suggest you hop over to Google Analytics now and get started. This should take 5, maybe 10 minutes tops to get setup (full disclosure, it took me about an hour, haha), and whether you are a data geek or not, you’ll find out some cool stuff about your visitors that will help you connect with your audience better, so it’s good to check out no matter what your background is.

You can use your existing Google account and within a minute or two Google will give you a 10 digit ID number like UA-0000000-1, which you’ll need for the next step.

Next, you’ll want to install the Google Analytics for WordPress plugin, which you can do by clicking the link in the last sentence or by going to your WordPress Site Admin – Plugins – Add New and search for “Google Analytics.”

Once installed and activated, all the plugin requires is your analytics ID (i.e. UA-0000000-1 in the previous example), which can be found right next to your URL in the Analytics dashboard. The plugin will then automatically insert the necessary code in the footer of each page.

One caveat (and why it took me ~1hr to get all of this going): some WordPress themes take control of the footer, including the theme I’m using called “Carrington.” If the code isn’t being automatically inserted into your footer due to your custom WordPress theme (the Google Analytics dashboard will have a ! sign instead of a green check in the Status column), it may require you to go into Site Admin – Appearance – Editor – default footer and entering the code yourself, or in the case of Carrington you can go to Site Admin – Appearance – Carrington and there is a custom field there that reads “Footer code (for analytics, etc.).”

Anyway, what does this get you? A lot. And it’s free. Some sample statistics & screenshots:

Top-Traffic-Sources Top traffic sources show where my visitors are coming from. It’s kind of neat to see such a high amount of natural search traffic coming from Google, but also interesting that my twitter account has generated a decent amount of traffic, as well as my flickr account and a few blog comments I left over at at Agency Spy on MediaBistro.com. I guess this shows why it’s important to promote your website holistically through a number of channels, not simply relying on just one media channel (i.e. twitter) to generate traffic. I’m getting traffic from places I’m not even intentionally soliciting it from (like the blog comments).

Keywords-Driving-TrafficAnother good one is the keywords driving traffic to my site through Google. You can tell that they are relating around three very recent blog posts I had on Google’s Treatment of NoFollow and how it will impact blogs, A Social Media WordPress Plugin I recommend, and my tips and advice for the new Facebook Vanity URLs that rolled out earlier this month. This reinforces the core truth about blogging, SEO, and internet media in general: fresh, timely, and relevant content will get you more visitors and well-written, useful, informative or otherwise enjoyable content will keep them coming back.

Browser-Statistics Browser statistics shows what internet browsers people are viewing my site on. It makes me so happy to see MS Internet Explorer at the bottom. To me, this tells me my viewers are more tech saavy and don’t use IE just because it was the default browser and they upgraded to a browser that doesn’t completely drag ass and generally suck at the internet.

There’s tons more information in here, but you’ll have to set this up to find out. You’ll notice in both screenshots above there is an option to view a detailed report on each data point, showing just the level of detail you can drill down to.

Change in PageRank Sculpting, nofollow treatment by Google: A Mad, Mad (SEO) World

<a href=image credit ari via creative commons

This is really only for the technical SEO folks, but Matt Cutts of Google has recently clarified how Google treats nofollowed links and it’s implications for Page Rank Sculpting, but this has much broader implications on how people will link out both externally and internally in general, IMO. Below is your recommended reading to learn more:

Here’s my quick take on things: the nofollow tag (which tells Google bots not to follow this link or flow any page rank through it) has been increasingly abused to manipulate rankings in Google. The nofollow tag started as a way, in part, to block blog comments with URLs in them from being followed or counted as links by Google’s bots, so that if there are 80 comments with links in a post the bot would almost pretend that those links weren’t there at all. This is no longer a valid simplification, as this recent clarification by Mr. Cutts indicates that the bot will still “count” those links as being on the page, it just won’t pass along any PageRank if you use the rel=nofollow attribute.

The implication that is getting the SEO world in a tizzy is this: every link on the page, even when nofollowed, may be counteracting your efforts to pass along PageRank to the webpages that you are acutally intending to link to and actively trying to give credit to. To take the argument one step further, the fewer links on a page you have, the more PageRank can flow between them. The more links you have, even when nofollowed, the less importance (via PageRank) is passed along. It would be in your interest, then, to only link to pages that you really want to pass credit along to, which are probably only internal navigation  links within your domain, and a few (but probably not many) high quality external links (since Google does view linking to authority websites as an indicator that your site, too, carries some authority, maybe).

Does this mean we should turn off the ability to leave URLs in blog comments? Should we stop linking to spammy websites as examples of what not to do? Should we never link out to a page unless its of high authority with good PageRank and backlinks? Stop linking out to external domains altogether?????

It’s too soon to tell, but I sure hope not, and I highly doubt the implications are really this grave. Various authority blogs (which I can still comfortably link to, as seen above) will probably do more research to both confirm these changes and see to what extent gratituitious  nofollow linking will really harm things. I’ve always been generous in linking out to other pages, as I know that’s the only way I’ll get links back and I don’t mind giving credit where credit’s due.

But, I’m worried that less benevolent, somewhat “greedy” bloggers who are too focused on SEO and not enough on their readers that will start taking up that annoying habit of only linking to your own webpage, even when talking about an external source.

Okay kiddies, back to work, my lunch break is over (just like PageRank sculpting via the rel=nofollow attribute, burn!)

DandyID: Centralize your social profiles

I recently heard of DandyID on Twitter and setup an account today to test it out. My initial thoughts: pretty cool!

Here is a link to my DandyID social media profile. I got a score of 81 and Gold Status (based on how many networks I use relative to other DandyID users) – I’m not sure if that certifies me as geeky or popular (or a popular geek), but I’ll take any awards I can get :)

DandyID describes itself as:

DandyID lets you easily collect all of your online profiles in one convenient place and allows people to discover the real verified you across the web.

To me, its basically a *free* page that I can configure to show all of my social networks in one central location. For a fee ($4.99/month) you can upgrade to the pro account and get additional features.

The catch?

From an SEO perspective, all of the links on your DandyID profile page don’t actually link directly to your profile page on another network (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Instead, they link to a subpage on DandyId.org which uses a 302 temporary redirect to the social media profile URL that you were intending to link to. For instance, the link to my facebook account links to: http://www.dandyid.org/id/nickroshon/facebook instead of directly to: http://www.facebook.com/people/Nick-Roshon/2401203. A 302 temporary redirect means that the page on dandyid.org/id/nick… has been temporarily moved to a new page (located on facebook.com) but still permanently resides at the original location (dandyid.org…) and that Google and other search engines should give all credit and “link juice” to DandyID, not the facebook domain where the page actually resides. So, although my page looks like there are 18 links pointing to my various social media accounts, its really 18 links to DandyID.org (in the eyes of the search engines, anyway).

I was a little bummed to find that I can’t harvest this as a free source for outbound links to my various social media profiles that I’m trying to get to rank better in Google (I knew it had to be too good to be true). Sure, I don’t own any of the domains I want to link to anyway, but for businesses or individuals that want their Facebook profile (or other social network profile) to rank on the first page when you google their brand/business name, you need links pointing to them, and the links on DandyID unfortunately won’t help that goal as long as they are a 302 redirect.

Enjoying the personal access to strangers only Twitter can provide, I pinged DandyID with my complaint:
twitter-me-at-dandyid

I was very pleased to get a prompt response from the official DandyID Twitter Account as well:
twitter-dandyid-at-me

Good news! In my tweet I was complaining specifically about the WordPress plug-in also using 302 redirects, but my DandyID profile page uses them as well. I’d totally be willing to pay a small (albeit very small) yearly fee to get some analytics and use this page as a “link farm” for all of my social media profiles, passing along link authority to my pages on their respective domains.

That being said, I think this is definitely a service to try out, and I know I’ll be watching them as they build out the service further and continue to enhance their offerings! If this service does catch on and become more mainstream, then maybe I would want my DandyID.org profile page to rank at the top of Google for my name. Like my title says, it does centralize everything – so from a users perspective, if you want to find me on the most popular social networks, this would be a very useful page. This service is especially useful for people who don’t have their own website/blog like this one that can use a plug-in like the Social Media Page plug-in found in my sidebar (which gives nice, direct links without any messy redirects). Until then, the Pro account doesn’t seem like something I’d want to spend the money on until there are more users on it.

In the end, I’d highly recommend you check it out and sign up. It’s free, it’s unique, and it provides a cool service. My dream scenario that it could also be a link farm for social media profiles is probably asking a bit much anyway, as most sites would just nofollow the links to begin with :)

And a final word: like any other social media / networking site, you’ve trusted yet another domain with some personal data, so don’t link to anything you don’t want the whole world to see. This is common sense, but can’t be repeated enough, as you hear about this kind of stuff all of the time: Check out Cisco Fatty if you don’t know what I mean!

UPDATE Wow, that was quick. One day after my tweet and DandyID now uses 301 redirects for Pro account users! And they hooked me up with one! I’ll give a follow-up review of the Pro features sometime soon. SO AWESOME!

I have PageRank!

Starting yesterday, Google updated the PageRank scores found in the Google Toolbar. I officially went from PageRank 0 to PageRank 1! Woohoo! While the actual value of PageRank is debated amongst Search Engine Markerters (SEMs), it definitely still holds at least some value. Having PageRank is a quick indicator to your readers and search engines that your blog has at least some merit & authority, isn’t spammy or malicious, and links and reviews on your blog pass along some authority based on your PageRank. The easiest way to check how much PageRank your blog has is to download the Google toolbar, which will display PageRank for any other sites you visit as well. PageRank varies from page to page within a site, so its a good way to see what Google thinks are the “most valuable” pages on your domain as well.

More info on the PageRank update can be found here: Search Engine Roundtable

At the time of writing, my domain has been registered and active since early Febuary 2009, so a little over 3 months. I have 53 incoming Inlinks in Yahoo! Site Explorer, mostly a combination of blog comments, blog directory submissions, and social media linking, as well as a valuable link from my friend’s blog on nobosh.com. For blogs, it also seems that Google looks at frequency of posts in determining your PageRank, and I’ve done pretty mediocre at that, but for the most part I’ve seen that if you don’t update your blog in a really long time, your PageRank may drop, or disappear altogether, otherwise you’re probably okay.