Articles tagged in webmastery

  1. ReviewMe and Text-Link-Ads - Time to Withdrawal?

    I have been using both ReviewMe and Text-Link-Ads to monetise some of my websites and blogs. However two recent discoveries made me re-consider whether I should continue to go with them.

    1. Text-Link-Ads Not Google-able

    Text-Link-Ads is one of the biggest text-link broker. Site-wide text-links cost my advertisers around $25-$30 greenbacks a month here, and I get to keep half of it while TLA keeps the other half as commission. Not much, but a nice petty cash to cover all my hosting expenses. Thank you sponsors, although I cannot say I actually endorse the sites that bought links here.

    The other day I googled their name and got a shocking response.

    Googling Text-Link-Ads

    They cannot even rank with their own name, and they have to buy AdWords campaigns to get into the search result. It cannot be the case where TLA is not well optimised for search engines (they rank #1 on Yahoo! and MSN Live), especially when the very nature of text-link-buying is search engine optimisation!

    Well, only one explanation makes sense to me -- Text-Link-Ads got sin-binned by the almighty G.

    Let us not talk about Google's motive. It MUST have everything to do providing search users the best experience and has NOTHING TO DO with forcing advertisers onto AdWords. But now they have killed the chicken to scare the monkey, and it does make other webmasters running much inferior sites wonder, should I buy links to game the system?

    2. ReviewMe Articles Become Supplemental Results

    ReviewMe, whom I reviewed and earned a few bucks, is a paid review broker. Too scared to anger the almighty G with paid links? How about links right inside the content so the PhDs in the Googleplex will never detect?

    So I was trying to search for the ReviewMe reviews I have written for Oz Bargain Blog. Here is what Google gave me:

    Google search result for my ReviewMe reviews

    Do you see what I see? Every reviews I wrote, ALL FIVE OF THEM, are in supplemental result! The above screenshot was taken last month before the recent PageRank change, and all above articles are out of supplemental index by now. But the fact that Google has identified all ReviewMe sponsored articles I wrote, and the rest of my site is indexed well -- that really scares me.

    After all I have merely passed my engineering bachelor degree and I am clueless. The PhDs might have their ways to figure out the paid articles and penalise them accordingly.

    So I quickly cancelled my ReviewMe account. No more paid review from me. So long, and thanks for all the fish. (Oh, the real reason could be that writing good reviews is just too time consuming and I am lazy, but just want to use Google ruining my monetisation plan as excuses...)

  2. Safari for Windows Released

    Yup. You all heard that? Safari, the default web browser on Mac, now also has a Windows version ready to be downloaded. It is a 8MB download without the Quicktime runtime, but still contains useless attachments like Bonjour and Apple software updater, although these are optional and you don't need to install them. Anyway, the installation is easy and quick, and within minutes I have Safari running on my Windows XP notebook.

    Safari running on Windows

    A few observations so far:

    • It is quick and slim. It uses around 18MB after bootstrapping to a blank page, which is a tiny bit smaller than Opera 9. I won't mention how much Firefox uses.

    • Everything looks like it is on a Mac. Every widgets, default fonts and UI elements have Mac's look and feel. Good thing is that it is how Safari developers would like it to look like. Bad thing is it is inconsistent with the rest of desktop.

    • It is not registered as a regular window, so my virtual desktop manager of choice does not work with it. D'oh.

    • I managed to hang it, i.e. not responding to any input and refuses to redraw itself, after 20 minutes playing with it. I guess they can excuse themselves with that "Beta" tag. Firefox is only a tad better in this department as well.

    • Functionality is pretty limited in comparison to Firefox and Opera. Worse, Safari for Windows does not yet have many plugins like Safari for Mac. Good thing is it is less likely to catch bad-ware this way, but I doubt many developers will want to use Safari as the main development platform though.

    • Key binding is not always inline with Firefox or Internet Explorer. That is annoy.

    I am still keeping it on my system so I don't need to fire up my old Mac to check whether some HTML pages I made is working properly for the Safari users. Webkit is certainly an impressive rendering engine, and I am hoping a better packaged Drosera and Web Inspector will be available on Windows soon -- that will definitely makes Safari a more welcomed browser amongst the web developer community.

  3. A Day of Bludging

    Instead of going to work like most people do on Mondays, I took a day of leave and skipped work yesterday. Vivian's ultrasound scan -- yeah, that's much more exciting. We arrived at 10:30am, and like all other public services here we waited and waited. We were then led into …
  4. WordPress Themes, a new SEO Technique

    It was on wp-hackers last week, and I have seen it numerous times before. If you are a good design artist, and CSS is your thing, then the best way to promote a website might be by adding links to your freely distributed themes for the content management systems of …
  5. Posting Flash Videos with FFmpeg and FlowPlayer

    Last night I have posted my very first flash video on the web -- and it was Anna sitting there watching, her own video for 2 minutes (which probably would only interest the parents and grand-parents). Anna's video aside, I was also having fun figuring out getting that video online. There …
  6. New Theme

    I have updated Playground to a new WordPress theme. It's pretty much derived from the old theme, 100% hand coded. These are the things I want from a new theme. Simple one column layout. White background, dark gray fonts, and nothing fancy. Bigger text font. Probably better for those who …
  7. One Year of AdSense

    Around this time last year I have signed up with Google AdSense, and implemented on this website. 12 months later -- yeah I have made some pocket money with it, but for me it is more of an experience in online marketing, contextual advertising and the whole Internet economics. It was …
  8. FOCUS Map is Almost Here

    Thank you all for posting your latitude and longitude for my little FOCUS Map project! However, so far I have only had three account created on the FOCUS website with coordinates filled out, and I myself was one of the three. :( Anyway, here is a little preview of what it …
  9. FOCUS -- I need your latitude and longitude

    Unichurch Together -- Extreme Makeover last Sunday, and it was all good. It was fun seeing how each fellowship "impersonates" one another (and how pathetic when we are trying to guess). It was great seeing many brothers and sisters in the same church whom you have never met, because they meet …
  10. CSS Reboot 1st May

    CSS Reboot 1st May 2006: Day to revamp your blog design and clean up all the hacks. Yeah it is another one of those "everybody sign up and have fun for no real incentive whatsoever". I was actually thinking about cleaning up the design the other day, but I …
  11. FOCUS Gallery Needs Your Photo!

    Since my hard disk died more than a month ago, I have been trying to rescue that dead Western Digit drive using various methods -- but so far they all appear to be in vain. Currently I am trying to copy the dead disk to another flesh one using dd_rescue in …
  12. New Naked Design

    Well, not new anyway, but just to have fun with 5th of April 2006 being the very first annual CSS naked day where websites everywhere takes their stylesheets off. You probably won't notice much difference anyway, as my previous style is so "thin" you probably did not notice it …
  13. Church Website a Buzz, or a Business?

    Via Simon, Andrew Lim wrote in Sydney Anglicans on buzzing your church using a well-designed, well-optimised, well-marketed, and get this -- well-monetized church website. If done right, Internet can be a very good ally of Christian churches. With marketer's cap on, Andrew listed out 3 points. Custom Signatures: Church staffs should …
  14. 3 Column Fluid Layout

    A List Apart demonstrated how to achieve 3 column fluid layout with main content placed before sidebars in HTML. It actually addressed my issue a few days ago. Might it a try in the next few days.
  15. Liquid or Fixed for your site?

    Darren Rowse the "ProBlogger" raised a question -- liquid or static blog layouts? I kinda agree with Chris' comment here that liquid layout is more difficult to master than fixed width (give me "flex" attribute in XUL!!), however I do not think it is webmasters are necessarily lazy if fixed width …
  16. Robots.txt Stuff up

    Stupid thing I did this week: In the process of moving Bargain Blog back to my own home server, I somehow rsync'ed my entire design/test site, including the robots.txt, which contains deadly commands to forbid all bots/spiders! No wonder for the last few days my AdSense ads …
  17. Web Standard (only) for the Perfect World

    Saw this interesting Dilbert comic yesterday. As the executive board of the consortium review board exists only in a perfect world, so is the web standard. Imaging the new Firefox 2.0 and Internet Explorer 8 that only serves XHTML 1.1 Strict documents. However, if the browsers are designed …
  18. Search Engine Referral Statistics

    Jeremy Zawodny looked at October search engine referrals to his site, and try to make sense why Google refers significantly more visitors to his site than Yahoo! or MSN, especially when the statistics released by search engines were actually comparable. He concluded that: There are two ways I can think …
  19. Blog Design Mistakes

    Via ProBlogger. Jakob Nielsen wrote an interesting article on the top ten design mistakes. While Jakob has been famous for not applying his own suggestions ( as evidence), he has actually made some very good points in those articles he wrote. Now, let's see what else I need to …