Ryan Jones Blog – dotCULT.com Ryan Jones Blogs About Internet Culture, Marketing, SEO, & Social Media

October 31, 2007

Stop Bitching About Your Pagerank

Filed under: Main — Ryan Jones @ 3:41 pm

Of the 12 or so SEO related RSS feeds I read regularly, 9 of them have an article about the Google Pagerank pentalty in their last 10 entries. To all of them: STOP BITCHING ABOUT PAGERANK.

Yes, Google lowered the pagerank of a variety of websites this month (mostly websites that buy and sell links) but I don’t care, and neither should you.

Lurasidone cream over the counter Pagerank doesn’t matter. It’s just a little green bar that doesn’t really mean anything. Look at the sites that got penalized. They’re not complaining about loss of traffic or no longer showing up for results, they’re just complaining about the size of their little green bar.


The funniest part is that all of these people who jumped on the “Google should drop pagerank” bandwagon a few months ago are the same ones who can’t stop blogging about it. If you really want Google to get rid of the green bar, stop obsessing over it.

October 29, 2007

Craigslist Murder

Filed under: Main — Ryan Jones @ 11:18 am

I feel bad writing about this because of the past praise I’ve given to Craiglist, but it’s such a newsworthy item that I can’t really resist the urge.

Last week a 24 year old woman answered a Craiglist ad for a nanny and was later found dead in the trunk of a car. That’s about all the authorities have released so far.

I’ve used the site for many things (no not those things you sicko) and I never even thought about this happening. In hindsight though, it seems like it was only a matter of time.

Does this mean the site is to blame? No, not really. It’s always up to people to do their due diligence when meeting somebody for the first time no matter how they met them. We always talk about the dangers of meeting people online, but the murderer here could have used the newspaper, telephone, television, word of mouth, or simply met somebody at the mall and achieved the same result.

The internet can be a scary place, but it’s no more scarier than the real world, and I believe somebody should always use appropriate cautions when meeting somebody for the first time. In the case of a nanny, it may be appropriate to bring a bigger stronger friend with you when going on that first interview – especially if it’s in the client’s home. (of course, the safer alternative is to simply meet at a local coney island or something)

With that said, I’m now surprised that Craigslist doesn’t have some sort of user registration / verification system or feedback similar to ebay. I’m not saying all users should register, but even an extra “verified user” status would be beneficial. It could even be another revenue stream for the site.

I know that simply knowing the identity of somebody won’t stop them from committing murder if they so choose, but it will deter many from using a system where they have a higher expectation of getting caught.

October 25, 2007

Parallels or VMWare Fusion?

Filed under: Main — Ryan Jones @ 11:50 am

I’m thinking about purchasing a Mac this Friday, and I’ll still need some windows support on it so that I can run some of my developer apps (ok ok, starcraft and counterstrike)

Anyway.. what’s better? VMware fusion or parallels, and why?

October 24, 2007

New Worst Virus Ever.

Filed under: Main — Ryan Jones @ 12:12 pm

Update: I finally got it reformatted. I had to flash the bios, then I had some hardware problems with the video cards(s) (apparently it doesn’t like having 3 of them in the machine) anyway.. I got it working again. I also learned a valuable lesson: if you work at home, have separate work and personal computers. I’m going to buy a new mac on Friday when Leopard comes out, cuz they look fun. Anybody had any experience with parallels? Does it work?

Update: The virus is called the Smitfraud virus, and I’m still unable to completely remove it. I probably need to reformat, but the backup time for the data I want is currently at about 2 days according to windows to transfer over to my portable hard drive.

Wow. After letting somebody (who won’t be named) visit a website called BuddyPic.com, I found myself infected with the worst virus ever!

Here’s what it did:

  1. Deleted some .dll files from my anti virus
  2. Added 12 browser helpers
  3. Deleted all my system restore points
  4. Disabled access to task manager
  5. Took away my ability to install new software
  6. Installed 144 different trojans / spyware programs – avast was going off every 15 seconds
  7. Connected to about 15 bot networks
  8. used up all my memory
  9. changed my desktop background

I’m still working to remove it. It’s taken up most of my morning so far. I’d love to reformat but there’s so much stuff I need to get off first, it might be quicker to remove the virus than to backup everything.

I also didn’t think firefox was succeptable to such exploits. The only thing I can think of is that the webpage somehow put itself into my trusted sites.

If the buddypic.com people read this, you’ve got some really malicious advertising. Anybody else reading this, please avoid buddypic.com like the plague.

October 23, 2007

Proof That Google Is Evil

Filed under: Main — Ryan Jones @ 1:46 pm

Just Look at that stock price:

Google Evil at $666 per share?

Ok, it’s actually around 670 now that I’m posting this, but it still caught my eye.

October 15, 2007

The Importance of Usefulness in SEO

Filed under: Main — Ryan Jones @ 1:29 pm

After being forced to write down tons of processes and theories for my current employer before I leave, I realized that this stuff would make a good book. So, with that in mind I’ve set about at creating an SEO ebook. I’m not quite sure if I’ll ever get around to selling it, but I’d still like to put all of my SEO thoughts down in one place.

Anyway, what follows is a few sample pages from this upcoming ebook. I’d love to hear your feedback.

One of the most common phrases I hear as an SEO is “Make my site rank for this term.” While it’s the right idea, it’s not actually the right approach. A better question to ask would be “why doesn’t my site rank for this term?” This is where the concept of usefulness comes in. Usefulness is perhaps the most important concept behind doing SEO work because it can be used to guide any decision you’re ever faced with. Whenever you can’t decide if doing something will be helpful or worth your time just ask yourself one question: “Is this helpful to my visitors?”

When search engines compete for traffic, they’re competing mostly on usefulness. If searchers don’t find good results they’ll likely start searching on other websites. It’s important to keep this in mind when doing SEO . Even though the various search engine algorithms may vastly differ, they’re all focused on one goal: showing useful results first. Knowing this, you don’t need to concern yourself with the various algorithmic differences between the search engines. It may be possible to briefly exploit them to rank highly, but by concentrating on building a useful,authoritative site you can assure you’ll be found at the top of the results no matter how the search engine algorithms continue to evolve.

Types of Results

In a recently leaked Google document, the search engine lists 4 categories of websites: Vital, Useful, Relevant, and Not Relevant. Using the search query of “American Airlines” we can easily distinguish between the 4.

A vital result is one that should show up no matter what. If there are any vital results for a query, they’ll most likely show up in the top spot. Vital results are the authority on the term. In this case, the vital result would be the American Airlines homepage. It’s possible for there to be multiple vital results, but in this care there should only be one.

A where can i purchase Pregabalin useful result is one that’s just that – useful. In our American Airlines case, a useful result might be a recent news article about them, an encyclopedia page, a reviews page, or a page that compares their rates to other flight providers.

A relevant result is one that relates to the query but isn’t as useful as others. A relevant result here might be an airline blog talking about American Airlines.

A non relevant result can take many forms. It could be a page that has nothing to do with the topic, isn’t original, or doesn’t offer any value over another site. An example here would be a site that just takes rates from American Airlines homepage and displays them next to ads, or site that talks about “American airline companies” as compared to “French airline companies.”

Chances are pretty good that you won’t be the vital result for anything except your company name, so your SEO focus should go into making sure your site is useful. There’s plenty of ways to do this. Here’s another fictional example:

John’s Chimney Sweeping in Detroit is getting frustrated because their company website can’t rank for the term “chimney sweeping.” The problem here isn’t that John’s a bad chimney sweep, it’s simply that he’s targeting the wrong type of keyword.

Types Of Searches

Just as there are many types of results, there are also many types of queries. The most common types of search queries are navigational, transactional, and informational.

A navigational query is one where a user is simply trying to find a website. Queries like “yahoo site explorer” or “Detroit Red Wings Homepage” are navigational queries.

A transactional query is one where the user is trying to purchase something. Examples may include “buy chrome shelving,” or “cheap golf balls.”

Informational queries are ones seeking just that – information. Examples here include “population of India,” “jeep wrangler reviews,” or “Israel Bissell.”

Getting back to the above example, a search for “chimney sweeping” will show results like the history of, national association of, how to guides, an encyclopedia entry, and a chimney sweep company directory. Based on the results we see, we can conclude that “chimney sweeping” is viewed as an informational query. If John wants to rank for this term, he’s going to have to provide some useful information about chimney sweeping on his website. This can take the form of a blog, historical articles, demonstration videos, how to guides, etc.

If John doesn’t want to provide additional information about chimney sweeping, he should instead focus on navigational and transactional terms like “Detroitchimney sweep,” “chimney sweeping company,” “hire chimney sweep,” etc.

The most important part of creating a useful site is making sure you offer something that other sites don’t. For example, when I creatednoslang.com there were already other sites that listed Internet slang terms. I made my site useful by offering a translator to make it easier for people to look up terms. I also allowed users to submit terms – a feature that made my site an authority on the subject ofInternet slang by not limiting it to one person’s views.

If your site simply sells products that can be bought in other places as well, you’ll have to do something to make you more useful to the user. If people can buy your product on Amazon you’ll need to offer them a reason to visit your site instead. Offering things like coupons, reviews, product comparisons, installation videos, or testimonials is a good way to provide a layer of usefulness.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the excitement of SEO that many people lose focus on why they started doing SEO in the first place – to get more visitors. Sometimes it’s helpful to remind ourselves that our primary goal is to increase traffic – not to rank #1 in Google. By using “how does this help my users” as your guide, you’ll be certain not to stray from your true goals. Remember, building a useful site won’t just help your rankings, it will also create more satisfied customers. The more useful your site is, the better your overall success (not just your search engine ranking) will be.

October 14, 2007

Is It Possible To Cancel Comcast?

Filed under: Main — Ryan Jones @ 2:58 pm

Has anybody ever been successful in canceling their Comcast Cable subscription? I recently switched to WOW so that I could get the big 10 network. It was easy and painless and they managed to come out the day of the Michigan game and install it in time for me to watch U of M trounce Purdue.

While he was installing I decided to call Comcast and cancel my account. After spending 6.5 minutes going through the menu, I finally was presented with an option to cancel. It then transferred me and told me my hold time would be 2 hours, 51 minutes and asked me if I’d like a customer representative to call me back. I chose yes.

When it called back I was greeted by a voice saying this is my callback and that my current hold time is 54 minutes. I promptly mashed the buttons trying to get a person, but it just hung up on me.

Calling back later, It again gave me a hold time of over 2 hours. I chose new installation instead, and after a 1 minute hold time I got a salesperson. They told me they couldn’t cancel my account and they transferred me to a department… which after 10 minutes of holding gave me a recorded message telling me to call back later.

So far I’ve spent over 5 hours of my time the last 2 days on the phone with Comcast and haven’t been able to cancel my account.

Is it even possible? I’m debating about driving to their office and throwing my box and remote through the window, but I’m afraid even that won’t work.

It’s looking like the only way to cancel is to stop paying my bill until they send somebody out to turn off my service.

Has anybody else experienced similar difficulties?

October 11, 2007

Ryan On The News

Filed under: Main — Ryan Jones @ 12:22 pm

I recently sat down with Channel 4’s Steve Garagiola to talk about internet and text message slang. Channel 4 is doing a special on the topic, and it seems pretty interesting so far. It aired last night at 11pm (my bad, should have announced that earlier eh?) but if you missed it you can find a recap of the story on clickondetroit.com Check it out!

If anybody saw the full 11pm feature, please let me know. A family member said they taped it, but I have to go buy a VCR before I can see it.

October 8, 2007

Tracking My Spam

Filed under: Main — Ryan Jones @ 10:02 pm

I was cleaning up my Gmail inbox today (it’s down to 115 unreplied messages now – not counting spam) and I got sidetracked and decided to break down my spam by time received.

So far today (it’s only 11pm) I’ve received over 2500 spam messages.

1800 during the 7 hours I was asleep last night.

9 while I showered.

500 while at work today.

17 on my drive home from work.

90 during dinner.

200 during the red wings game.

That’s 2616 in total, and there’s still an hour left to go in the day.

Update: 6 more between 11 and midnight for a total of 2622 today

Of course the only way I noticed these was by checking the spam filter in my Gmail box, but it’s easy to see why many of today’s youth aren’t using email anymore in favor of social networks like MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter where one has to know you before they can message you.

October 3, 2007

From Sphinn To Spam Blogs In 30 Seconds!

Filed under: Main — Ryan Jones @ 2:25 pm

As soon as I wrote the previous post, I headed over to Sphinn and submitted it there too. Within 30 seconds of submitting it to Sphinn, my post started showing up on splogs like this one.

30 seconds!! I knew duplicate content and spam blogs were a problem, but at this rate I can see how the search engines have problems deciding which version of the content came first.

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