Why Google Doesn’t Care About Validation

One time I got an email from a “SEO expert” telling me that my site was doing so poorly in search engines because one of my pages had a few validation errors and that I needed to hire an “expert” like him to “optimize” my site so it would rank better. Here are the facts:

  • The site ranked in the top 10 for phrases like “free wordpress themes” and “wordpress themes” which are pretty sought after keywords in that niche.
  • The site averaged about 30,000 total visits per month from search engines (mostly Google) for other various long tail keywords.
  • The site had about 400,000 incoming links from various websites, quality content, and a good reputation within its niche.
  • The XHTML validation errors were because of a YouTube video I embedded. The default code YouTube provided caused a few errors in validation.

Anyone with half a brain when it comes to SEO will know that a strong link profile, quality content, and a solid reputation will trump a few validation errors on a page (with the exception of a few edge cases).

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Why .CO Is Destined For Failure

.CO is the country code for Colombia, and registration was just opened up to the general public yesterday. Yes, there have already been some big sales like e.co for $81,000, Twitter acquiring t.co, and Overstock buying o.co for $350,000.

Who Is Buying Them

As far as the biggest sales go, it appears large corporations are grabbing them up for vanity purposes. T.co, for example, will be used by Twitter for some sort of link shortening service.

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New Design by James McDonald

Just like Theme Lab, this site is now sporting a brand new design by James McDonald. For posterity, here’s a screenshot of the old design:

The Change

While I did get a lot of compliments on the old design, I wanted to go in a more “professional” direction with the site. I’d love to know what you think in the comments!

Oh, and if you’re one of the like…5 RSS subscribers I have here, come on out of your RSS reader and take a look.

Your Customers Read Twitter Too

I follow a lot of people in the WordPress community from my @themelab account, a number of whom run their own businesses based around WordPress. If you run a business on Twitter, there’s a good chance your clients and other (potential) customers follow you.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen Twitter postings from people which essentially mock their customers. Here’s some of the common ones I see from the commercial themer crowd:

  • Wow, this clueless customer of mine just posted a total newbie question on my support forum. Check it out! (screenshot link here)
  • Haha, someone who used a pirated version of my theme just got hacked and now their entire blog is ruined. Too bad for them.
  • This site just switched away from my awesome SEO-optimized theme and now it looks like total crap, say bye-bye to search rankings.

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Your Own Personal Online Todo List

Some of you asked how I set up my todo list after I posted a screenshot of it a few days ago. I set it up from a freely available script I found on TutorialZine.com, from a tutorial called AJAX-ed Todo List With PHP, MySQL & jQuery.

In the following screencast tutorial, I’ll show you how to set it up on a cPanel host (I used HostGator):

  • Set up a subdomain for your todo list page (optional, necessary in some cases)
  • Password protect the directory your todo list is in (optional, highly recommended)
  • Download the script from TutorialZine, extract the files, and upload them via FTP
  • Set up a database, create a user, and add the user to the database
  • Get the database connection details and put it in the connection file
  • Import the database structure through PHPmyAdmin

Screencast is after the jump.

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Twitter Reciprocal Follow Nonsense

This whole “I follow you, you follow me” mentality on Twitter has bothered me for a while. Basically, it goes like this: if someone follows you on Twitter, it’s “rude” not to follow them back. This is nonsense. Why? Here are a few reasons:

  • Interest Factor – You should follow someone on Twitter because you’re interested in what they have to say. People should follow you on Twitter because they’re interested in what you have to say. Period.
  • Spam Factor – A lot of your new followers are probably spammers just waiting for you to take the bait and follow them back. Then they’ll fill up your DM box with teeth whitening offers and phishing links.
  • Fake Ego Boost – If one of your followers is also following 50,000 other people, chances are they aren’t paying attention to anything you say. They might use a program like TweetDeck to filter a small list of tweets they actually do want to see. Who cares if someone follows you if they don’t even read what you have to say?

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Follow Friday Mistakes on Twitter

Every Friday on Twitter, users on Twitter recommend other people to follow using the #followfriday hashtag. This sounds nice in theory, it gives tweeters a chance to suggest and find other cool people to follow.

Unfortunately, some people do it so, so wrong. Do you make these mistakes?

List a bunch of people without any context – This is when you tweet something like the following:

#followfriday @arandomperson @totallyunrelatedperson @someotherguy @someothergal @whocares @nooneispayingattentionanymore

What’s the problem? There’s no context. Noone knows why you’re suggesting these people to follow. Who are they? What do they do?

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Ideas for Premium Screenr Features

First off, let’s get this straight. I LOVE SCREENR, and I would probably pay for it if it wasn’t already free. It is one of my favorite Twitter apps. I used to use Camtasia for making screencasts, and while that’s probably better for more advanced screencasting techniques, I prefer to use Screenr now.

Why? Because most of my videos were less than five minutes anyway (Screenr’s time limit), I never used any of those previously-mentioned advanced screencast techniques available, and most importantly, it’s crazy-easy to use. Just record and upload, nothing too fancy. And it’s all web-based, no software to download.

At the present time, there are no paid options for Screenr. Everything is completely free, but there are some limits. It only makes sense to have some paid features/upgrades to remove these limits. Here are my ideas:

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