Server Logs After Excel Fails – BrightonSEO 2016

This is the writeup of the talk I gave at Brighton SEO on 22nd April 2016. Slides for the talk can downloaded here, though reading the post is probably a better use of your time. You can link to this page or the homepage ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°).About Me I worked at builtvisible between 2011 and 2015, initially as "Junior SEO Executive" and most recently as "Senior Technical SEO Consultant". Since then I've been freelance, mostly working with agencies. So if you're an agency that needs some Technical SEO support... Outline In this presentation I want to quickly cover the following:Talk a little about access logs. Talk about some command line tools. Show you some ways to apply those tools when dealing with more access logs than Excel can reasonably handle.Assumptions The [...]

Wayback Machine for Historical Redirect Chains

I'm fairly obsessive about cutting down on redirect chains. One of the biggest challenges for doing this is finding enough historical data. A few developers leave, the Ecommerce manager disappears under mysterious circumstances, and the organisation no longer has access to this information. The following technique is very useful once the orthodox sources have been exhausted.You've probably seen archive.org before, and even used the wayback machine to diagnose problems. It's one of the best SEO tools available, and one of the best things on the internet. Most of you will be well aware of this screen:Fewer people are aware of this feature:This gives us a list of the unique pages archive.org has catalogued since it's been running. Let's say we're on a migration project, and [...]

ICANN Drop Your Domain

If you've ever taken a look at more competitive SERPs, you've likely run into the completely bogus whois data that's used to preserve anonymity. This is frustrating but makes sense; no-one wants to be directly linked to spam-fuelled domains, and spammers don't want to link their domains together.Interestingly, this opens the domains up to a serious vulnerability.You're breaking the rules if you provide fake whois information, and breaking these rules (even accidentally) can get your site disabled, and even make your domain name available for purchase by others.In this blog post we're going to report one of my own domains to ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). Here's the ICANN procedure in brief:For our test, I've registered fakewhois.xyz (you can [...]

Bulk Inspect http Response Headers

There are plenty of SEO reasons you might want to look at http headers. Google love offering them as an alternative implementation for a number of directives, including:Vary: User-Agent Canonical Hreflang Implementation X-Robots (noindex, nofollow)Link: <http://es.example.com/>; rel="alternate"; hreflang="es" Link: <http://www.example.com/>; rel="canonical" X-Robots-Tag: googlebot: nofollow Vary: User-Agent If anyone's doing anything a little sneaky, you can sometimes spot it in the file headers.There are a number of tools that let you inspect single headers, including your browser (press F12 and poke about to get something like the following).When you need to check which pages on a domain aren't returning the correct hreflang headers, this method [...]

Installing Applications to SD Card in Windows 10

A few months ago I bought cheap a tablet running Android and Windows 10 (no regrets so far). With this came the desire to run full versions of Windows specific applications portably, using either a tethered connection or readily accessible WiFi.This is impractical, given that tablets have limited on-board storage. We may only have 8GB to work with. But SD cards are cheap ( I've seen branded 128GB micro SD cards for £35 at the moment).The release of Windows 10 included a disabled 'install to SD card' feature pegged for a future release, so I was unable write this post until then. The 'Threshold 2' or 'November' update re-enabled this feature. Installing Apps to SD in Windows 10Update Windows 10 to Threshold 2 (or just the latest update). Settings > System > Storage [...]