Web Jive - The Buzz on Web Development

Monday, October 30, 2006

18 Question Checklist Before Building a Website

So I came across a great article the other day called 18 Questions Your CEO Forgot to Ask When Building Your Website on www.stuntdubl.com. Not only does it hit the mark in outlining a "strategically correct" approach to building a company website, but it also provides some great resources with each source cited. Every web consultant should add this to their collection of resources.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Achieve Google Sitelink Status

About 1 year ago, while surfing the web, I came across a very bizarre but interesting feature in Google’s result pages with a phrase I queried. I noticed that the top result for that query was displaying 4 "meekly" named sub-links for the website. After doing some research, I discovered that they were officially called Google Sitelinks (aka - Google snippets, snippet links, or website categories). I took an interest in trying to figure how I could achieve sitelink status, so I decided to set my sites on achieving this for one of my client's websites. After 4 months of research and testing, I woke up on October 11, 2006 to Google's re-cached version of my client's site - it had assigned Google sitelinks! Whoo-hoo!
Google Sitelinks
I then took it upon myself to analyze what I had changed with the site since I set my sites on this... So what are sitelinks? As Vanessa Fox from Google puts it - Our systems analyze the link structure of your site to find shortcuts that will save users time and allow them to quickly find the information they’re looking for... Google claims that the process of generating sitelinks is completely automated based on the website's structure as well as the query relevant to the user. While Google has released very little information about how this process is truly generated, I have discovered some interesting theories concerning sitelinks. How do you achieve sitelink status? So Google claims that the process is completely automated, but I say that is false. The sitelinks under my client's site (as well as a few other sites) are not named in reference to their titles, sitemap links, navigation, or anything that I could find. The names are very clean, simple, and semantic. Somebody must be on the other end validating these and giving the final thumbs up. It is true that your site can lose it's sitelinks upon re-caching. In my research, cambriausa.com came up with sitelinks with the query "cambria". Then, just recently, the sitelinks were gone. I have no concrete explanation for this, but my theories lean towards possible broken links or decrease in traffic. The sitelinks come from the top-visited pages and the pages that have the highest PageRank on the website - false and true. Based on my research, sitelinks are a combination of the top-visited pages, most linked to, most funneled to, longest user time duration pages in addition to other significant benchmarks. Google may also be using it's toolbar for help in establishing sitelinks - possibly through it's "bookmark" feature. Basic Guidelines:
  • The site must show up #1 for a specific proper noun keyword (or keyphrase) - typically involved with a company name or brand Good: "nikon cameras" - Bad: "cameras"
  • The site must have maintained the #1 position for a substantial amount of time
  • The keyword (or keyphrase) must show up in the title and meta-data somewhere
  • Must include an updated sitemap - with no broken links
  • Easily spiderable and good, clean navigation
  • Additional pages must have a significant position in Search Enginer Result Pages
  • Additional pages have unique titles and meta-data
  • Site validates with few errors and few broken links

Tips & Tricks:

  • Avoid changing the site structure
  • Include an XML sitemap in your root directory
  • Heavily validate your site through W3C
  • Include robots.txt in your root directory
  • Create pages under semantic principles and naming convensions
  • Site achieves 1000 or more visits a day (on average)
  • Site must have a substantial depth of pages (25+)
What to do next? Focus on optimizing your website and establish a good plan for the sub-pages you'd like to include in optimizing. The great thing is that Google has expressed interest in possibly expanding it's sitelinks program to include webmaster input in the future. Resources & Articles: - Information About Sitelinks (Google Webmaster Blog) - How do you compile the list of links shown below some search results? (Google Webmaster Help Center) - Google Sitelinks: New Name For Those Links Under The Top Listings (Danny Sullivan) - Google Web Site Categories Explored (Search Engine Watch) - UI Fun: Better Snippets (Matt Cutts) - Google's New Sitelinks (SEO Buzz) - What are Google Sitelinks? (Jonathan Hochman)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Top Web Blogs

This is a compilation and repository for the best blogs of the web based on SEO, Web Design, Web Development, Web Marketing, etc.

Top Web Articles

This is a compilation and repository for the best articles of the web based on SEO, Web Design, Web Development, Web Marketing, etc. The articles are set in chronological order from top (most recent) to bottom (oldest) of when I posted the reference.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Rondam Ramblings - Top Ten Geek Business Myths

I recently came across this blog posting by a venture capitalist named Ron Garret explaining the Top Ten Geek Business Myths. If you're looking to start some new business ventures then this is a must read!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Click to Activate Flash Fix for Internet Explorer

Click to Activate

So by now you may have heard of Microsoft’s latest “pain in the”…I mean “patch” for Internet Explorer. Whenever a user comes to a page with embedded flash content, IE will display a “click to activate” message when you hover over the flash object. Here’s the latest fix/workaround for getting rid of the “click to activate” pain in 3 easy steps.

1. Place the following code in an external javascript file called external.js:

function LoadFlash1()
document.write('<object classid="clsid27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab #version=6,0,29,0" width="701" height="214" noexternaldata="true">\n');
document.write('<param name="movie" value="flash/car.swf" />\n');
document.write('<param name="quality" value="high" />\n');
document.write('<embed src="flash/car.swf" quality="high" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="701" height="214"></embed>\n');

2. Put this in the head of your page:

<script src="external.js" language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript"></script>

3. Put this in the place you want the Flash to show up:

<script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript">LoadFlash1();</script>

This should remedy your problem until Microsoft comes up with another way to make web browsing difficult on us.