Gregg Hilferding :)


Halloween Costume 2006

I have a tradition of entertaining crowds around Halloween. About 3 years ago I had an idea for 2 pieces of PVC pipe, a pair of shoes glued to a couple buckets, and a bolt of black broadcloth. I've moved up to using jointed PVC arms and drywall stilts but the concept remains the same.

Here's a video taken in downtown Zephyrhills at the Halloween event on October 28th, 2006. :)

Published by Gregg Hilferding on October 29th, 2006 at 7:30 pm. Filed under UncategorizedNo Comments

WordPress mod_rewrite still allows old URL string

If you migrated a WordPress blog from the old style URLs using the built-in permalink options, you may be surprised that all the old URLs are still accessible. This causes a problem with search engines which have already indexed those old URLs as they will look at the new URLs as duplicate content.

/blog/?p=123

The "quick fix" for this is a few lines of code added to the top of the "single.php" file in your wordpress template:

<?php if(preg_match("/p=[0-9]+/", $_SERVER['QUERY_STRING'])){ header("HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently"); header("Location: ".get_permalink()); } ?>

I will be writing up a plugin to add this functionality in a more WordPress friendly way, but for now a quick code change will work. :)

Published by Gregg Hilferding on October 27th, 2006 at 11:52 am. Filed under PHP,SEO,Webmaster1 Comment

Googlebot crawl rate control and more

I admit I'm a little too hopeful that people will do good things but it looks like Vanessa Fox and the rest of the Google Webmaster team actually are working hard to bring valuable tools to webmasters. The latest offering is the ability to choose from three different crawl speeds. Unfortunately the whole "this change will last for 90 days" and you have to keep coming back to select your preference is pretty lame. At least send out a notification email if requested to remind webmasters that their crawl rate is about to change if it's set to anything other than "Normal."

Other new features include the ability to opt in your site's images into the Google Image Labeler project. Good that you can increase the quality of your images metadata (which hopefully means increased traffic from Google Image Search), not good that you can't see what metadata they end up producing. It'd be a nice feature if Google "donated" back to the image owners what keywords the Google Image Labeler generates for your images. I'm not suggesting that Google publish the metadata for all the images in Image Search -- only that they tell the image owners what metadata was discovered.

The charting looks cool but really only has value when you are experiencing problems -- otherwise it's just for the "ooh and aah" factor.

Altogether a nice clutch of new functionality. Thanks Google Webmasters Team!

Published by Gregg Hilferding on October 17th, 2006 at 6:53 pm. Filed under Google,Search,Webmaster1 Comment

Find out TO whom a site links

An exciting new search operator on MSN went up today. (Thanks Oilman for the tip!)

Unfortunately, when I went to try it out at MSN the request timed out. I imagine this is related to the spotty latency problems I've been experiencing all day and does not reflect on MSN.

This tool will be quite helpful in understanding the relationship between sites and will further the ability for folks that don't have their own crawlers to better identify sites that exhibit "hub" or "authority" linking behavior (PDF).

It probably won't replace the benefit of crawling specific sites and networks of interest (especially those with which MSN has poor coverage), but that takes time and resources that aren't always available.

Added: The MSDN blog has a really good graphic to explain the difference between linkdomain and linkfromdomain if you don't grok the difference. :)

Published by Gregg Hilferding on October 16th, 2006 at 7:30 pm. Filed under MSN,Search,SEONo Comments