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Written By: Gary on April 4, 2007 No Comment

So they released Google Desktop for Macintosh, they mentioned this at the Google Blog and the Google Mac Blog (did you know they had a Mac Blog?). It’s the main Google application for desktops and since they’re supporting Macs with this, what’s next (they just started offering free virus protection for Windows from Norton)? I will be trying it especially since I’ve disliked the new search (Spotlight) in Mac OS X for a while now. I’ll try it when I get home, I’m on the go and don’t like to install things when I’m on cell phone dial up (EVDO).

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Written By: Gary on February 14, 2007 One Comment

I’m always disappointed that I used some other web addresses for my blog (GaryLaPointe.com/blog, GaryLaPointe.com/nice, GaryLaPointe.com/mypointe) before I settled on http://GarySaid.com/. The problem is I’ve been linked by all sorts of sites to the old address and it’s impossible to change them*. Many place on your blogs, search engings, listings in Blogrolls, BlogShares, Techortati, etc. You can’t just delete them since they do point towards you but they’re not correct (and some you can’t even delete if you want). I’ve got good redirects so I’m probably okay with links, but it really bothers the obsessive compulsive part of my brain.

One of my biggest sets of incorrect links are on other sites where I’ve left comments or trackbacks** to my old URL, well it wasn’t old then, but it doesn’t link back to here (but most times will redirect you to the correct page). I know some of you have changed your address by switching from Blogger to Typepad to your own website, etc. and the old links just go to a redirect, a note that says you moved or sometimes (the worst) an error page. I also know some of you have deleted them on purpose and started over but maybe you’d like that insightful comment you left here 3 years ago to link to your new site…

Here’s my offer for you: I’ll replace your old comment links on my site with your new site. This will help with people reading the archives and who click on your link so you may get a few new readers since your old dead links will now work (and it’ll probably help with some search engine stats as I get reindexed). Leave me a comment and list some old blog addresses you have posted comments here with (make clear which is the new one) and I’ll see if I can do a search and replace to fix the links. It probably won’t help with any specific page links or trackbacks but at least they’ll point to the correct site (if I see broken ones as such I can redirect to the front page). I’ll fix your blogroll link if I’ve got one too (be sure to point that out). I’ll even fix things like remove/add the WWW if you’ve since settled on one or the other.Obviously, I may have to ask you a few questions if it seems like someone is trying to get me to move your URL to theirs. But it should be straightforward. I’m really hoping it won’t be too chaotic.

* From a technical standpoint, if you redirect your whole site sometimes you get indexed for each URL. If you set up an error page some people don’t find the site. Different sites treat it different ways. I’ve been playing with Technorati and it’s seems like they index the old sites (if redirected) and the new. Blogrolls that just redirect you never get fixed and other odd issues appear.

**I’m extra lucky in that while I’ve moved my site around it’s always been my site. So all my posts have the same numbering so most links probably still link back to a specific spot and it’s likely so do the trackbacks.

Written By: Gary on January 28, 2007 No Comment

So search engines are tricky to understand, especially if you want the search engines to find your site and people to find your site via the search engines. One of the things you may want to do is restrict pages that the search engines find, that might seem silly to exclude yourself but I don’t want people inadvertently finding my site.

Here’s an example, I don’t let* the search engines search my monthly archives. Because on the page of 20-50 unrelated posts the information on that page is pretty much unrelated by the end of the month. In December 2006 the mention of “iPods” on the 3rd, has nothing to do with any of the mentions of “family” or “Christmas” but if some searched for “iPods” & “family” or “iPods” & “Christmas” they may come upon that page and while I want traffic I’m not trying to lure people here under false pretenses. This is why I have categories like “Apple” and “Friends + Family” that will have related posts in one location (and even then it’s still kinda a wide range of articles).

So far I’ve just told you why you want a ROBOTS.TXT file but I haven’t told you how and I’m not planning on it, because Google just put together on “Controlling how search engines access and index your website with ROBOTS.TXT”. It’s got a lot of links that take you all over the place but there’s lots of good info there.If you’re just getting started don’t get confused with all the “User-Agent:” rules, just use “User-Agent: *” for now and that will apply to all search engines (that’s all I still use although I’m going to start working on getting some of my pages more mobile-ish).

For another example, I don’t index my Search Results page, this page lists what search words people have used to find my site. Because it those pages were indexed it would just kind of create a self-fulfilling loop of search results.

While on the other hand I do allow my “Talked About” page to be indexed since it doesn’t seem to give a lot of false positives to the search engines. plus once someone gets there they’ll quickly see that it’s probably not the page they’re looking for. But if they did put in some eclectic words that they see I mention often, they might hang around a bit.

* Please note that no search engine is obligated to find your rules, but it they want good results, they’ll probably want to follow your suggestions in your ROBOTS.TXT file. People wanting to steal content from your pages (text or images) will still traverse all the links on your site.

Written By: Gary on June 17, 2006 No Comment

HoudaSpot, file find/search software for Macintosh, is free for the first 5,000 people (the form will be gone when it’s over, you cannot miss the form it’s all that’s on the page). Yesterday I talked about their buzz marketing strategy so you can read that post if you want more info.

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