Archive for the 'Blogging' category

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Speach Recognition to Accellerate Blog Posting

I’ve been meaning to catch up on my travel web site for many many months.  And so behind, it is ridiculous.  Meanwhile, have lost a small following of readers I used to have when I did right on the web site occasionally.

Have since found a great new way of keeping up on my travel web site.

I have finally got speech recognition software to work reliably and efficiently.  The trick, is to use a headset that works well with speech recognition software.  I’m using an inexpensive Logitech model which plugs directly into the laptop soundcard.  There are much more expensive versions that plug into your USB.  I am told they have excellent sound quality, but I doubt there any better than the cheap model.  Anyhow, the $20 pair works extremely well for voice recognition.

Since using this new setup, I have found that have been able to post to several blocks easily every day.  Although I can type very quickly, and have scorned voice recognition software for years, I do find it much easier to talk and type.  For this kind of content, I find it easier for my brain to compose by voice than by keyboard.  I’m sold!

I suspect it has been my lack of new content that is responsible for the plummeting of my page Rank on both this site, and my travel web site.  Since I enjoy going to my old travel journals, I plan to post to my travel web site.  In a few months, I will see how this affects my page eight.  Meanwhile, I am seeing a few more visitors to my travel web site, and they click a few ads.  Just a trickle of visitors, but if every click is worth what I’ve seen so far, and the number of visitors go up, then it will all be worthwhile.

REL=Nofollow Removed (so now I have a Commenting Policy)

Ever since I discovered the rel=nofollow attribute, which prevents Google from counting a link as significant as far as page rank is concerned, I have had mixed feelings about it. At first, I though it was a good thing, assuming that it would improve commenting quality and reduce spam. I have since changed my mind.

I have come to the conclusion that rel=nofollow is only good up to a point, and have removed this attribute on this blog, for those commenters who post at least three quality comments. This encourages people to come back and leave more than one comment, and gives me the right to ruthlessly delete any comment that is not quality.

For this reason, I have posted a policy on commenting on this site. If you leave comments which don’t appear or are deleted, reading this will give you a clue as to why it didn’t make the cut. I don’t plan to be ultra-strict or make it hard to comment, but I do expect good comments in return for commenters getting a page-rank-boosting link back to their site.

This allows me to be consistent with my initial opinion about rel=nofollow, and with my decision to promote blogsphere with meaningful links from comments.

In making this decision, I was influenced by posts on several other blogs, including JLH Design Blog, Sabastian’s blog, More Earnings via Search Engine Optimization, and weblog tools collection.

Which nofollow Eliminating Plugin?

Having decided that rel=nofollow is history on this blog, the question became: which plugin?

Via a short post on weblog tools collection, I discovered a succinct and useful roundup of plugins to remove rel=nofollow. Based Andy Beard’s list, I chose to use Link Love.

Link Love removes the rel=nofollow from commenters after they have made a specified number of comments. The number is rather high: 10 comments, but you can change this. I will explain how to adjust the number of comments in Link Love in a separate post, but the short version is that you have to change something in the code. This is easy to do however, and you don’t have to be a programmer to change this value. I have changed it to 3, in other words, if you leave three quality comments on this blog, links from your comments count for something as far as Google is concerned. Ten is high for all but the most popular and heavily commented blogs, I would think.

You may wish to operate differently. Read Andy’s roundup of plugins to remove rel=nofollow and decide which plugin works best for you and your site.

 


 

Links to other articles on this subject:

DoFollow plugins for WordPress:

  • DoFollow - a plugin that removes rel=nofollow from URLs in comments. “Optionally you can also set a comment age limit for adding the attributes.”
  • WordPress Plugin Database - links to several dofollow plugins - and many other WordPress plugins!
  • Andy Beard - lists several plugins with a brief description of each. Highly recommended.

rel=nofollow pros and cons

nofollowI recently ran across another article about whether to use rel=nofollow in links from your visitors comments. Jonathan, the author, advocates installing the Dofollow Plugin For WordPress, which removes the rel-nofollow attribute in comments.

Is this a good idea?

In a previous article on this blog, I commented that using rel-nofollow may improve the quality of comments. While this may be true, it may also discourage commenting in general, certainly among the link-savvy. At the same time, it may discourage comments for the sake of a link to the commenter’s blog.

I think I have a solution to this for anyone who wants to develop a plugin to make the following idea happen.

Extending the publish/delete comment function in a blog, how about being able to publish with or without rel=nofollow? This way you can reward on-topic comments with links to a related blog, but still publish comments that are a bit off-topic, or do not link to a related blog. Such a plugin would flag which comments are which, and publish your rel=nofollow policy next to the comment form.

I have not yet installed the dofollow plugin, but I am considering it.

What is your opinion about rel=nofollow? Would you like to be able to rate the comments left on your blog and reward the most relevant ones? Are you more likely to leave quality comments on a blog which does follow links back to your blog? Your comments please!

 


 

More articles about rel=nofollow:

Burry rel-nofollow - clearly against it.

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!

Weird Links To My Blog

What do kzby.com, nucx.com and qwye.com 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?

Improved WordPress Template

When I first set up this blog, I used a template adapted from my travel information website. That template isn’t perfect, actually it has some major problems that need to be adjusted, but hey, you’ve got to start somewhere! There are things I like about that template too.

Sooner or later though, the template for this site had to change, and that time turned out to be yesterday.

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