Articles written in December, 2010

December 20 2010

Have you Checked out Google Webmaster Central Lately?


Any good webmaster that has a predilection for a well optimized site should always be perusing Google Webmaster Central ( for the latest Google features. These updates on their blog are really useful for keeping up on the current innovations from the worlds most popular search engine.

Some recent blog posts of note include:

  1. Search queries with top pages: This post announces the addition of the ability for site owners to use Webmaster Tools to analyze impression, click, and position data for their top pages.
  2. More queries show additional results from a domain: Instead of the usual 2 results for a type of search query, Google will now serve around 4, meaning that some sites will have much more of a presence for exact name matches for their company name or brand.
  3. Control crawling and indexing of your site: Google has created a new subdomain,, which explains, in a lot of detail, about how to correctly set up a site’s robots.txt file and robots meta tags.

It can sometimes be a daunting task to sift through all of the information on the Internet about how Google wants you to design your site when it comes to indexing and ranking. Webmaster Central is a useful resource if you are on the fence about designing your site for SEO.

December 15 2010

Useful Cloud Tools To Help You Update Your Site


Have you ever wanted to make updates to your site from someone else’s computer? If you have, you probably have faced situations where the computer you use doesn’t have the programs you usually use to make these updates. One way to help you easily make updates is by using Cloud tools.

Moo Color Finder is a cloud tool that helps you find the colors being used in a site; this can come in very handy when creating new styles for your site and keeping it consistent. This tool is pretty simple to use, you can either go to the moo Color finder website and submit a url and it will return all of the color values in Hexadecimal and as a Photoshop Palette file, or you can add a snippet of code to the website you would like to retrieve the colors from and they will display on your page. For this you will need a page that uses a language such as PHP.

There is another great tool called Picnik that allows you to edit images on the cloud and could be very useful when tweaking images or adding new images to a blog post. This tool helps you crop, resize, zoom, rotate, sharpen among other features that provides the results in real time. After all the changes are made to the picture, all you need to do is save it.

Another tool that will be very useful when testing code in PHP, .Net and Javascript is called Coderun. This cloud tool allows you to create projects either from scratch, a template provided by the service or uploading your own files and testing it’s functionality. You can test changes you would like to make to your website without having to push it live or using a development server before pushing it to your live site.    

Google docs also provides great tools you can use in the cloud. These include creating a word document, a spreadsheet or even drawing. There is also a tool called Forms, which allows you to create HTML forms that can be used as a template when adding a form to your site.

The great thing about these tools is that you can access them from anywhere that has an internet connection and it can become a real time saver, since it allows you to use their services without the need of setting up any software in the computer you are currently using. They can help you improve your site by adding information, as well as styles and a means to test code which can help develop your site and give you flexibility allowing you to progress your social presence.

December 9 2010

Handling Duplicate Content with the Canonical Link Element


Best SEO practice dictates that duplicate content, the same content found on multiple pages of one domain, is widely frowned upon. Most of the time, duplicate content is unintentional, either due to a lack of knowledge of its destructive consequences or just out of blatant disregard.

That being said, there are times when you do need duplicate content on your website. Consider an ecommerce site, particularly a product catalog, for example.
In a product catalog, it is not uncommon for the same product to be associated with multiple categories. For this very reason you could possibly have the same content on multiple URLS… * I want this to be indexed.

… which will all show the product details for one specific product. Now ideally we want search engines to only index one of those pages and ignore the other two. Fortunately, Google, Bing and a few other search engines, allow us to circumvent this problem rather easily by using the canonical link element. The canonical link element, which is put in the HEAD section of an HTML document, tells search engines the preferred location for a particular URL. So in order for the search engines to ignore two of the pages from our example above, and only pay attention to the page we want indexed, the following line can be added to both pages we do not want indexed:

<link rel="canonical" href=""/>

Now when the search engines visit the pages with that element, they will only consider its canonical location in their indexes. It should be noted however, that you should still avoid duplicate content at all costs, but there are some times when your application truly needs it, and for this, the canonical link element is perfect.

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