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 Tuesday, June 15, 2010

How can you can make your site run faster? Google has launched a firefox extension called Page Speed which webmasters can use to evaluate the performance of their web pages and to get suggestions on how to improve them.

Page Speed is available as an open-source Firefox Add-on. However it requires another addon to work called Firebug, which integrates with Firefox and lets you edit, debug, and monitor CSS, HTML, and JavaScript live in any web page.

Page Speed will perform several tests on your web server configuration and front-end code based on a set of best practices for improved web page performance, and will then provide helpful suggestions on how to improve its performance. It will not only make your site faster, but also reduce your bandwidth and hosting costs.

Here is how a sample site speed test error report looks like

Page Speed Test

 

While you give your site a try with Google Page Speed, you can also check out Yahoo! Yslow, another Firefox extension that works with Firebug to identify website speed performance issues.

Other Posts:

Tools for Web developers

8 easy tips to drive traffic from search engines to your site

What are your customers saying about you online?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010 10:05:09 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] -
General | SEO | Tools
 Thursday, June 11, 2009

The difference between a 301 and a 302 is that a 301 status code means that a page has permanently moved to a new location, while a 302 status code means that a page has temporarily moved to a new location.

As you may know, there aren't too many situations where a 302 is the appropriate choice. How often have you temporarily moved a page? It's much more common to move pages permanently. However, for lazy webmasters, it is a lot easier to create 302 redirects than 301. You can simply use Javascript or a meta tag to create a 302. With Windows servers and IIS, creating a 301 redirect is pretty straitforward. In the website properties or the page properties, you select the following screen. You simply have to select the “A redirection du a URL” option and you have to make sure that the “A permanent redirection for this resource” checkbox is checked. If it isn’t checked, a 302 redirect will be issued by IIS.

301-redirect-iis

Using 302 redirects is a dangerous practice. Search engines don't like this redirection type because it is a common strategy that spammers use to get more of their domains up in search engine results. Another reason to use 301 redirects instead is that then your URLs maintain their link popularity. If you set up 302 redirects, Google and other sites that determine popularity ratings assume that the new link is eventually going to be removed. After all, it's a temporary redirect. So the new page doesn't have any of the link popularity associated with the old page. It has to generate that popularity on its own.

If you're changing your site's domain name, you should never use a 302 redirect. This almost screams "spammer" and is a good way to get all your domains blocked from Google and other search engines. If you have several domains that all need to point to the same place you should use the 301 server redirect. This is common practice for sites to buy additional domains with spelling errors (www.gooogle.com) or for other countries (www.symantec.co.uk), and then redirect them to the primary Web site. As long as you use a 301 redirect, you won't be penalized in search engines.

Other posts :

8 easy tips to drive traffic from search engines to your site

What Are Customers Saying About You Online?

Thursday, June 11, 2009 10:48:53 AM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] -
SEO
 Wednesday, October 22, 2008

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can be difficult for the newcomers in this field but it’s certainly no voodoo magic.  In fact there are a lot of easy-to-implement tips to help drive traffic from search engines to your site.  Here are my favourites:

 

1. <title> tags:

This is maybe the most easy to implement.  <title> tags are used by all search engines to discover what your site is about.  Check your own site right now for that if your title reads “MyCompany”, then you can easily improve your results with search engines. You should rename your title tags to something looking like “MyCompany – Proviging Search Engine Optimization to small businesses”.  This more descriptive title will help search engine categorize better your website and this will give you a higher rank in searches.

 

2. <h1> tags:

Almost as important as <title> tags, <h1> tags are one of the primary source of context for search engines. You should have <h1> tags that are descriptive of your business. For example, if you have a software business but all your <h1> tags are used to display your political views, search engines will think something fishy is going on and you will get lower results.  Your h1 tags should not only be present, but also be descriptive of your business.

 

3. URL naming:

URLs are another source of information on the subject of a particular page.  If your urls contains only a GUID or a productID, your won’t get the benefits from this aspect of SEO.  URLs should be as descriptive as you can make them.  For example, this is a awful URL for SEO :

http://www.bestbuy.ca/catalog/proddetail.asp?sku_id=0926INGFS10110236

This is a much better URL for the same product

http://www.amazon.com/Guitar-Hero-III-Legends-Wireless-Bundle/dp/B000TG531G

 

4. Don’t be too hungry:

Don’t try to put irrelevant keywords on your site in the hope of getting better search results. This is called "Keyword stuffing" and “refers to the practice of loading a webpage with keywords in an attempt to manipulate a site's ranking in search engine results”. Filling pages with keywords results in a negative user experience, and can harm your site's ranking.

 

5. Links to your site:

Inbound links are also a big part of website ranking (the famous Google’s pagerank algorithm uses inbound links to rate websites).  The theory is that if a website is a reference in a particular domain, then lots of other websites will link to that particular website.

Beware of businesses that tells you that they will get you a higher pagerank by adding link to your website on sites that have a high pagerank.  That practice is called Link Farming and it may in fact LOWER your rank as this is considered bad practice.

 

6. Create value:

You need to create unique, relevant content that can quickly gain popularity in the Internet community. The more useful content you have, the greater the chances someone else will find that content valuable to their readers and link to it. Before making any single decision, you should ask yourself the question: Is this going to be beneficial for my page's visitors?

Examples of content that generates links:

  • Free white papers related to your industry
  • Free code snippets / downloadable source code
  • Free solutions to existing problems your customers may have
  • Free tools

In fact, people loves free stuff, so providing them with some quality (and free) content will get you lots of quality links.

 

7. Avoid having an all flash/javascript sites:

Search engines can’t read javascript and/or flash code.  So, if your site contains only flash, it won’t be indexed by search engines.

 

8. Use descriptive alt text for images:

Search engines also can’t see your images.  So, for your images to appear high in image searches, you must give them descriptive alt text.

 

Other relevant posts:

What are your customers saying about you online?

Tools for Web developers

Wednesday, October 22, 2008 12:37:51 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)  #    Comments [0] -
Business | Marketing | SEO

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The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.

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Stanislas Biron
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