Archive for February, 2007

How to Choose a Good Domain Name

Choosing-a-domain-nameIt’s harder and harder to think of a good domain name that isn’t taken. I keep thinking of great ideas, only to find that they have already been though of and registered by someone else (or just as likely, a computer). This leads to thinking up alternative names that are not nearly as good.

I found this interesting article about domain names on the LearningCentre forum. The article covers ten types of domain name, with a description, pros, cons and examples of each. Here is a summary of the name types:

  1. Real Words
  2. Compounds
  3. Phrases
  4. Blends
  5. Tweaked words
  6. Affixed words
  7. Made up or obscure origin
  8. Puns
  9. People’s names (real or fictitious)
  10. Initials and Acronyms

The ideas in the Name Inspector’s article will help feed my lateral-thinking engine!

How The Rel=Nofollow Tag Will Eventually Reduce Spam

Most blog owners and blog commenters are probably entirely unaware that the links left in a commenter’s signature do nothing to increase PR (page rank) of the site to which they point.

I discovered this when I stumbled across an article entitled PopulaR in Turkey? on the Vanilla Mist blog. This blog has a very high PR, and attracted a lot of spam comments as a result. But as explained in this article, the spam does not help the spammers at all!

On many blog systems, you can leave a comment with your name and your site’s URL. When published, your name becomes a hyperlink that points to your site. This brings traffic to your site if readers click on your name.

Most people assume that this link also boosts the page rank of their site. However, in most cases it does not. This is because most blog systems (WordPress, Movable Type, Blogger etc.) attach an attribute to the like called nofollow. When search engines crawl the site, they do not count links tagged as nofollow towards PR.

This has several effects. The most immediate effect is that comment spam does not pollute search results.

If you are trying to leave helpful comments and at the same time boost the PR of your site, you will not get a direct boost in your PR at all.

trackbacks have a similar effect. If pings are enabled on the target blog, an article like this one (with a reference to a specific blog article) will earn a reference back to it, much like a comment. Again, these references almost always have a nofollow tag. But they are still worth doing if legitimate. Don’t waste your time though, if you are doing it just to boost PR of your site.

So should you stop commenting? Well, yes and no.

I must say, that at first read about nofollow, I was a bit miffed that commenters are not rewarded for commenting. But then when I thought about it, it I realized that it is the author who should be rewarded for writing a good post by getting comments!

By participate in the online community with helpful comments, you are making a contribution. That may attract people to your site, and if they like what they read on your site, they might refer to it on theirs. If the blog writer has a link to your site in the blogroll or in an article, that counts towards your PR.

So you need to write helpful comments, and you need to produce a website with good, well-written, original content. Commenting will eventually lead to good PR, but indirectly. Electronic karma at its best perhaps.

If more people are aware of this, the result of the rel=nofollow attribute should be to reduce comment spam and comment noise, and increase the quality of writing on the web, or at least push the quality writing towards the top of search results.

Happy blogging!

PS your comments are most welcome as always!

PPS I have changed my mind about much of what I have said in this article.

For an update, read:

The Problem with Becoming Popular

Everyone running a website wants high PR, but it does come at a price if you are operating a site with open commenting.

Here is a story about a site that got great PR, but then some website in Turkey put up a post that said this was a good blog to leave comments on pointing back to your website to boost PR. So now the poor operator gets loads of spam from Turkey. Not that it matters where it comes from, spam is spam.

The thing is though that links on this site are tagged “no follow” so the spam doesn’t even help boost PR!

Too Funny Not to Link

I came across this highly amusing website in my web travels - very artistic, and definitely off-beat (if you like that sort of thing - I do).

Anyhow, this particular post is really funny. It is especially funny if you either love or hate dogs, or if you love or hate cats. That should appeal to a wide rage of people …

Free Tickets to Wealth Seminar

A while ago, I attended a seminar that completely changed my outlook on wealth and money.

The reason I went in the first place was not because I felt I had to learn how to manage my finances. I always thought I did pretty well in that area. The reason I went was curiosity. I noticed that someone I know very well did a real 180° in her attitude to money. It was shocking, but in a good way. Here was someone skilled - no talented at mismanaging money, and all of a sudden she was going about things in a much more sensible way. She’d been trying to achieve a better handle on her personal finances for years, decades actually.

So I just had to see what it was about. I was curious as to what I could learn, even though I am not bad with handling money.

Well, this seminar knocked my socks off! I found there was a whole lot to learn, about money, and it has nothing to do with the money itself, financial instruments, the stock market, investing etc. etc. It’s all about what’s going on in your head, and how you think about money. Its about the psychology of wealth.

In case you are wondering about these free tickets mentioned in the headline, I have some to give away, find out about it here.

Here is an interesting basic concept to consider:

Thoughts lead to feelings, which lead to actions which lead to results.

If you don’t like the results, change the actions. But what leads to action? Our feelings. Feelings are hard to change, but what leads to feelings? Our thoughts. So if you change your thoughts - which is possible to do - you can ultimately change your results.

Simple but powerful. And it applies very well to personal wealth, an area many people struggle with.

I got a whole lot out of this seminar. So when I was given some free tickets to various seminars across the US and Canada, I was really excited about the chance to share them with other people who might benefit from this information and experience.

I have a limited number of tickets to give away.

To find out more and request your free tickets to one of these amazing seminars, click here.

World Happiness Map

World-Happiness-Map-sWhere are the happiest people in the world? Check out this article about the World Happiness Map. It is an interesting idea, but I suspect it tells us more about other factors besides actual happiness.

Excellent Fee Maps of Canada


I recently discovered this amazing map resource on line. Actually, it was my friend Stefan who put me on to it. It is amazingly detailed, provides endless exploration, and is completely free!

I have a more compete explanation of the free map of Canada on my travel information website. In that article, I explain how to find your way around the website. The website has some temporary problems, so better you read my explanation on my travel website before visiting.

If you prefer to ignore my advice and go directly to the map website, you can visit it here.

How to Compare a Kitten to a Video Card

I came across this entry on someone’s blog about kittens. It is a highly technical comparison between various living and animate objects, and a video card. Its funny as hell! If you find the article too technical or too cute, just scroll down to the bottom of the page, where the entire article is summarized in a convenient table.

Weird Links To My Blog

What do, and have in common? Besides being a meaningless four-letter combination registered as a domain, they do have one surprising and major characteristic in common: they have all been logged as having sourced traffic to my site via a link (one time only), yet if I visit any of them, I get an Internal Server error.

What’s up with that?

As I explained in a previous article, I like to keep an eye on my server log to see what kind of traffic I am getting and where it comes from. I guess these strange domains have been there all along, but they only just caught my eye.

Anyone else had such bizarre visitors?