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Hummingbird Update: Major Search Algorithm Change for Long Tail Queries PDF Print E-mail
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Search Engine Optimization
Written by Virender Kumar   
Friday, 27 September 2013 10:47

 

Google revealed major update at a special event on its 15th birthday, that update has been rolled out in past month and is live now. Algorithm Changes affected the search queries to give more correct answers to long questions. Hummingbird represents the revised way of indexing websites, which changes the algorithm named Caffeine, updated three years ago in 2010.

 

This update is targeted towards mobile/voice search based users. Most people will not notice the impacts for their search by algorithms changes. But users who make complex queries by voice search will get better information now after the update. Users who use smart phones, search long questions to get accurate answers by voice search. Update to algorithm is targeting more on websites ranking for better relevance by tracing into company's Knowledge Graph, as told by Amit Singhal, Google's senior VP of search team.

 

This is specially targeted towards long term based queries so the web masters and site owners, who are doing SEO for short term queries, need not worry about this update affecting them. But Websites which are getting high volume of visitors by searching long tail queries need to be concerned about necessary changes to their websites because it can be the major update for SEOs, web masters or website owners. 

 
CodeFire's Google+ Hangout PDF Print E-mail
Technology
Written by Pranjal Srivastava   
Friday, 12 July 2013 12:01

Finally at CodeFire Technologies we did our very first Google+ Hangout Live on Air. Google+ Hangout seems to be very cool tool to meet with friends and followers online and discuss any topic. Also when you are doing Live on Air hangout, google creates a youtube stream for the hangout which can be viewed live on web or it can be viewed later as a video on youTube.

As a part of Boot Camp training in CodeFire we were anyways conducting presentations on various topics, so we decided that we can broadcast this live on web for the benefit of developers outside as well.

So here the the YouTube video from our first hangout :)

 

 
Web application performance PDF Print E-mail
Technology
Written by Pranjal Srivastava   
Tuesday, 02 July 2013 00:00

Application performance is one very important aspect of web application. Most of the web developers should be aware of the concepts that are used to make the application perform well. The below presentation was part of Boot camp training at CodeFire Technologies. This presentation is must read for entry level web developers irrespective of technology they are working in.

 

 
SEO for redesigned site or change in domain name PDF Print E-mail
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Search Engine Optimization
Written by Virender Kumar   
Tuesday, 18 June 2013 00:00

Are you changing design of your website? Or moving the old site to a completely new domain? Following are the points to keep in mind from SEO point of view

1.       You have to be very careful while change of address of URL to avoid 404 (File Not Found) errors when users click on links to your site on any search engine.

2.       Ensure that all the urls that are in search engine’s index need to either redirected (301) to a new page on the newly developed site or the page with the same URL does exist.

3.       In case you are moving from an old domain to a new one, then the old domain itself should permanent redirect (301) to the new domain.  All the content from old domain can be copied over to new domain.

moving the site from old design to a new design or changing the domain name  

Also to accomplish smooth transfer, you can go to Google webmaster, then Configuration ->Change of Address, and then follow the instructions listed below:

1.       Set up your content on your new domain.

2.       Redirect content from your old site using 301 redirects.

3.       Add and verify your new site to Webmaster Tools.

Then go to the Tell us the URL of your new domain section and then select your new site from Select a verified site and tthen go to Submit.

 
Impact of domain types (TLD) on SEO PDF Print E-mail
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Search Engine Optimization
Written by Virender Kumar   
Monday, 03 June 2013 00:00

TLDs (.com .org .edu .in .au )Most of the website owners and webmasters think many times while purchasing domain for their business. One of the major worry is whether it will rank better in Search Engines with respect to nature of business or not.

Domains get ranking in search engines depending on top level domain (TLD) they own. TLD is the highest level of a domain in hierarchy of Domain Name System. For example, .com is the top level domain in URL (www.example.com) and example is the mid level domain and www is a label of world wide web. 

So, before considering the impact of TLDs have a look at types of TLDs. 

Types of TLDs: 

Country Code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs): consists of .us, .uk, .tv, .in and .au etc.

Internationalized Country Code Top Level Domains (IDN ccTLDs): consists of .bd, .cn, .in and .ru etc.

Generic Top Level Domains  (gTLDs): consists of .gov, .com, .edu, .mil, .org, .net and .info etc.

Infrastructure Top Level Domain (iTLDs): is .arpa (Address and Routing Parameter Area) was the first Top Level domain of Internet.

 

While selecting a TLD one can have many types of questions about domains:

 

What is the best domain name extension?

Can my domain name rank in every country?

Can a .com domain name rank well in a local area or country?

What is the impact in rankings of search engines if we do change in domain name?

 

 According to the type of TLDs, Google gives different values to domains in different kind of scenarios. Generally speaking, best TLD to get rank higher in a local area or in a particular country is ccTLD like .com.au, .co.in than gTLDs like .com. info etc. However, if you want to rank in every country for your domain then gTLDs are better than ccTLDs.

 

About 60% of the total domains have .com extension primarily because

1.       Browsers by default have shortcut provided for .com domains.

2.       .com domains are global commercial domains.

 

.com domain can be made to rank better in Google than ccTLDs like .com.au , to do the same, select a option in Google Webmaster tools .

 

Follow below mentioned steps to do this:

 

First Go to Google webmaster dashboard by selecting a website in your account which you want to rank, then select Configuration -> Settings, then check the Check box in Geographical target option and select country you want to.

 

Domains with .org TLDs in general, get rank higher than other TLDs in both Google and Bing. So always purchase a domain with specific ccTLD for a specific country or .com or .org gTLDs.

 
Some very handy tools for SEO PDF Print E-mail
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Search Engine Optimization
Written by Virender Kumar   
Friday, 24 May 2013 14:55

 

SEO ToolsSEO tools can help automate some of the processes that need to be followed for each of the sites you are optimizing for search engines.

Some of the primary tasks related to the same are:

 

  • Complete analysis of websites
  • Keywords research
  • Internal and external links
  • Inbound links
  • Quality of content

 

There are a lot of tools available to accomplish most of the above without breaking a sweat. Here is the list of tools I use, some of them are free and some of them are paid. Some of the tools need to register account and log in to get details about website.

 

Stats Crop: Stats Crop is a useful tool which is available for free and gives full analysis of website including alexa traffic, website load time, daily pageviews, daily visitors, backlinks, header status, domain age, IP address and server location at one place altogether. All details you will get in a few seconds.

Rage Pank: One of the websites which is providing tool for SEO like keyword research tool, manual spam blocker, and redirect checker. But most important among these, I think, is redirect checker which gives information about the redirect of urls and error code associated with the same.

Go Status: This site needs a signup to use this free tool to get web analytics data of website. This did not look very reliable for very small or relatively new websites. It does however give detailed analysis of data for bigger and relatively older websites.

Alexa: Alexa is a useful tool available for free to get web traffic data, visitors, backlinks. They do also provide a widget with “Alexa rank” which is based on their own algorithm.

Google Webmaster: Google webmaster tool is the single most important tool which is absolutely free for website owners or webmasters organized by Google provides inbound links, outbound links, content analysis, search queries, site configuration feature, url parameter handling to webmasters. Just only need to setup account for website and put tracking code in your html page of website.

Google Analytics: Most important tool of Google is totally free providing website traffic data including unique visitors, landing page, source, medium, Goal conversion rate, social media impacts, campaigns traffic and e commerce tracking for website. You have to first put tracking code on your html page of website and then you can access all analytics features.

SeoMoz: Website owners can use tool to get web analytics data like duplicate content pages, error pages and their return codes, crawling status, meta tag analysis, redirection errors all kind of stuff you can get from this tool. But tool is not free but paid to get valuable information from this tool.

Majestic SEO: Tool is available for free and provides all historical data about links of a website, keywords and competitors. Only signup for this tool and log in to this website and this will provide all the historical data and for detailed view of web analytics you have to put code on your website provided by this tool. Sitemap Generator: Online sitemap generator tool which saves your time to manually create sitemap for website. Only need to put your url of website and it will create automatically with downloading functionality.

Keyword Spy: Tool is free for users to get highly targeted keywords including organic and PPC keywords and their rankings for their domain, competitors and ads data. Tool is best suitable for large scale websites and not very useful for small or new websites.

Word Tracker: Tool is available for free for 7 days and after that you have to paid for this if you want to keep it up. Very good tool to find keywords for websites provide complete analysis about keywords and competition for keyword.

Google Keyword Tool: Most relevant tool for keyword research of Google adwords which is absolutely free and providing data about keywords related to your query, competition, global and local searches for specific keyword and specific location.

W3C: World Wide Web Consortium is an international community providing functionality about html errors for web pages, broken links, css validation warnings and errors and is absolutely free and trusted to analyze the websites.

 

This is not a complete list, however, these are the ones that I use regularly and as and when I find any more interesting tools I will keep adding to the list.

 
Google Penguin 2.0 - Spam fighting update is live PDF Print E-mail
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Search Engine Optimization
Written by Pranjal Srivastava   
Friday, 24 May 2013 10:46

 

Okay so the dreaded Penguin is raising its head again.  Google Penguin

 

 Google announced launch of Penguin 2.0 update on 22 May 2013, this is 4th revision related to Penguin update. As per Google's Matt Cutts "About 2.3% of English-US queries are affected to the degree that a regular user might notice.". 2.3% may sound like a small number but webmasters agree that this is a huge change and is going to affect many search results. And also this time Matt has specifically mentioned that this is going to impact other languages as well.

 

Not only Google is updating its algo to fight spam, it is also asking users to report spam sites.

 

 So this is the 4th update in about an years time. Only the first release on April 24 2012 had more impact (~3.1% of queries), the subsequent 2, on May 26, 2012 and October 5, 2012 were 0.1% and 0.3% respectively.

 

So all in all, google is going to take care of the SEO related spam and let's hope it will be able to give us the quality content that we all desire from a good Search engine that google has been. View the video earlier released by google

 

 

 

 

 
Link Joomla Blogs/Articles with Google plus profile PDF Print E-mail
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Search Engine Optimization
Written by Pranjal Srivastava   
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 06:47

 

We have created a Joomla plugin that will help you easily link Google plus profile with Joomla Blogs or articles. All you have to do is install the plugin from Joomla plugin page and follow the basic steps as mentioned on the page. Some of the important steps are:

1. First of all you will need a Google+ profile. If you don’t have one this is a good time to create one!

2. Then while you are setting up Contact profile in Joomla, ensure that you enter correct Google+ profile url in Web URL field as displayed in below image

 

3. Do add link of your site under “Contributor to” section of Google+ profile (under edit profile) as displayed in below image

 

4. After you have done all this, and enabled the plugin. You can immediately test whether integration with Google+ and Google Search is working or not by going to  http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets Enter the url of your page and if the result shows image of the author as displayed below, then the integration is working just fine. 

 

Now it is just a matter of time before your image starts appearing on Google search. Some times you may need to add a new Article / blog to your site so that google can crawl the site for the search index to get updated and new results to start showing up.

 

 

 
Setup SSL certificate on Amazon EC2 PDF Print E-mail
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Technology
Written by Pranjal Srivastava   
Thursday, 06 December 2012 14:27

 

I am using unbuntu based EC2 instance so commands are specific to that but the steps are mostly generic and will apply to most linux distributions.

There are basically 4 steps for this:

1.  Create CSR 

I basically used OpenSSL to generate CSR as it is installed by default in ubuntu. You can go to https://www.digicert.com/easy-csr/openssl.htm to get the command to generate CSR. Once you have the command login to your EC2 instance via ssh. And run the command. It will create 2 files, namely www_domain_com.csr and  www_domain_com.key  [in this case I am generating certificate for www]

 

2.  Buy SSL certificate

Once you have the CRS ready you need to buy the certificate. This should generally be quick. I generally use godaddy as they offer huge discounts ;). Once you have bought the certificates you will get domain.com.crt file. Please retain the key file that you generated inthe CSR process (step 1).

 

3.  Enable HTTPS support on Apache

a. Run the command “sudo a2enmod ssl” to enable mod_ssl. 

b. Then run the “sudo a2ensite default-ssl” to configure Apache2 for HTTPS. 

c. After you have done this restart Apache “sudo /etc/init.d/apache2 restart”. 

The HTTPS support on apache should work now. One important point to note here (this wasted a lot of my time Cry, you need to open port 443 on AWS console from the Security group for this server. Though we have not installed the certificate yet, but just test the site with HTTPS to ensure that you are able to access the server. Now you should be able to access the site on HTTPS. 

 

4. Install the certificate 

Now you have both key and certificate files ready and Apache already is enabled to support HTTPS. So let’s go ahead and install the newly got certificate files. For this you need to copy the .key file (that got generated while creating CSR) to /etc/ssl/private/ and certificate file to /etc/ssl/certs/. Then open the file /etc/apache2/sites-available/default-ssl and search SSLCertificateFile and SSLCertificateKeyFile. Change these paths to the actual certificate and key paths and restart the Apache server.

Now you are all set!Cool


 

 
Optimizing the URLs using slugs PDF Print E-mail
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Search Engine Optimization
Written by Pranjal Srivastava   
Sunday, 02 December 2012 08:59

 

If you are using the URLs such as http://domainname/index.php?pid=12&uid=821 they do serve the purpose of opening the correct page however they do not provide any information to the user as to what page they are going to see and what they should expect on this page. Also, as we all know the URLs are also very useful for search engine optimizations, so unless the URL conveys complete information it is not of much use.

So in the above case let’s assume that pid represents the page (for example user’s profile page) that needs to be opened and uid represents the user’s id whose information will be displayed on this page, if we change the URL to something like http://domainname/userprofile/firstname-lastname

 

(Be aware google treats dash and underscore differently in the URL and dashes are better) then it conveys a lot of meaning to the end user and also is meaningful for search engines. However one point to note above is that a URL needs to be unique and in the above URL there is no element that makes it unique. So we need to insert another element that is unique in the above url. Generally each of the resource has an id associated with it, so that can be used to make a unique url something like http://domainname/userprofile/821/firstname-lastname

Now to achieve this change in URL all you have to do is map pid=12 with userprofile using htaccess rules and use the unique id to render the page. Also, you would want to create a utility function that will generate the user profile URLs. Within this function you can encapsulate the logic of URL creation, whether it is as simple as concatenating two fields or using a new table column as slug.

 

 
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