Preserve Link Equity With File Aliasing

The standard 'SEO Friendly' way to change a URL is with a 301 'moved permanently' redirect. Search engines then attribute value to the destination page. This value is nearly as much as the original (assume 85-95%), if we believe redirects are lossy. If we want optimal squeezing-every-last-drop-out SEO, we're better off updating a resource on the same URL instead of redirecting that URL to a new location. Stay with me. But what if the resources are fundamentally different? Say I've enthusiastically converted a PDF to html. The filetypes are different. I've got to move from /resources/my-guide.pdf to /resources/my-guide, right? Not so. Someone requests a .pdf file we have painstakingly converted into html. We serve them the .html version on the original (.pdf) URL. We retain [...]

PDF to HTML (and SEO)

Last week I read Emma Barnes' post on the Branded3 blog. It got me thinking. Essentially pdf's rank fine but are a pain to track properly in Analytics, so translating them into a more friendly format like html is preferable. Before you start reading the post please note: This is a curiosity (or dead end). This is not a viable ranking strategy. This is a waste of your time. I initially thought that translating pdf to files to complete webpages probably wasn't worth the time expenditure for developers in most cases. The resource already ranks, right? Well, if it's not ranking in 1st we're probably tempted to fiddle with it. And we do want decent tracking information if it's for a term with search volume. And we have a lot more options for fiddling with it if we convert the file to HTML. This [...]

Recursively Optimise Images

We know that images account for a lot of the internet: We know that speed is good, and that page weight is not good for speed. We also know that lossless image optimisation exists; that smart people have made it possible to get smaller images of the same perceivable quality at the cost of processing power. Unfortunately, our standalone content (I have pure "Content Marketing" content in mind here) is often fragmented over a number of directories. Image compression tools, there are many, are often drag and drop affairs set to process  single images and filetypes by default. This is not good if we're trying to bake image optimisation into an organisation. When our images live in multiple folders withing a project, it's disheartening for anyone to seek them out to process. This post [...]

Sift: Grep On Steroids?

I've been playing around with Sift this weekend as a potentially friendly and faster alternative to Grep (not that grep is slow). Although the tool clearly has broader applications than parsing server logs, it's very suited to that purpose. If you're currently using Grep for this purpose, I'd recommend checking Sift out. Overview No dependencies. Easy, cross platform install. Familiar to grep users. Really fast. Handles huge files easily. Perl RegEx supporting multiple patterns simultaneously. A single flag for searching inside and outside gzipped files (e.g. sift -z Googlebot access*). Grep requires two separate instances to do this. Considering audits for larger sites with multiple servers, this is more of a time saver than you'd think. The published speed benchmarks are impressive: Installation To [...]

srcset on WordPress

I'm interested in speeding up WordPress. If you read around on the topic, you'll find lots of advice on the bigger performance gains (enable server side caching, enable browser caching etc). I'm also interested in theoretical speed gains, too (here's that post on saving GIFs at a 90 degree rotation and then rotating them back with CSS to save thousands of bytes). Most sites are viewed on a number of different resolutions. Typically users on mobile devices will be forced to download all the desktop assets, which are then wrapped around a mobile theme. If the website is also trying to satisfy 'retina display' users, then sometimes they'll be forcing images two or three times larger than necessary for the majority of users. This isn't a great approach; often mobile users with the worst connections, [...]

Speeding Up Default WordPress

This post is an experiment in getting a Vanilla WordPress installation as fast as possible. Why? - Speed is Good. Update: You can read part two on images here. A new WordPress install was set up on a test domain. The 2015 theme was activated, and all plugins were uninstalled. This is what we're benchmarking: You'll note that there really isn't anything to it at the moment. This is intentional - if we can get this as fast as possible, then we have a foundation to work from as the site grows. Pingdom's webpage speed test gave us the following benchmark from their six locations (Australia, Netherlands, Sweden, Texas, California, New York): Our absolute fastest benchmark (Amsterdam) loaded as follows - That's certainly fast. However, the large yellow block is the browser waiting [...]