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 10 Update Windows 10 to Threshold 2 (or just the latest update). Settings > System > Storage [...]

Watch Googlebot Crawling

Server logs have a reverential status among Technical SEOs. We believe they give us information on how Googlebot actually behaves, and let us diagnose issues we otherwise could not uncover. Although we can piece this as-it-happens information together by ordering timestamps, have you known anyone to actually do this? Wouldn't it be nicer to simply watch Googlebot as it crawls a website instead? Wouldn't that make a great screensaver for the obsessive? To get decent mileage out of this article you'll need access to a Linux or Mac installation, or a Windows machine with the GNU Core Utils installed (the easiest thing is GOW). And you'll need some live server access logs. If you just wish to test this out, you can use a free account on something like Cloud9.io to set up an apache server, [...]

Broken Link Destruction for Better Rankings

Like most of my posts this is not worth implementing in any manner. This is unlimited budget SEO. Works in theory SEO. This is almost make-work. There are no brakes on the marginal gains train. Theory We believe that broken links leak link equity. We also believe that pages provide a finite amount of link equity, and anything hitting a 404 is wasted rather than diverted to the live links. The standard practice is to swoop in and suggest a resource that you have a vested interest in to replace the one that's died. There is a small industry dedicated to doing just this. It works, but requires some resource. If we instead get the broken links removed, the theory goes, we increase the value of all the links remaining on the page. You can increase the value of external links to your site [...]

Speeding Up Default WordPress Part 2 – Images

You can Read Part One (Speeding Up Default WordPress) here. Image files are still the bulk of page weight for most blogs. They are the majority of page weight for the average page on the internet: They will account for an even higher proportion of this page's weight, given it's full of screenshots about image weight. Although it's possible to squeeze the most speed out by delving into the guts of WordPress and cutting the chaff, for now we're sticking to the things that we can control ourselves, with an emphasis on ease. This article mostly lists errors I wish I did not make with the images on this website and plugins that do things for us. So how do we speed up our images on WordPress? We can make the images we use smaller, so that it takes less time to transfer them. We [...]