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SEO Egghead Consulting Group is a web development firm dedicated to creating custom, search-engine-optimized web site applications.

We specialize in eCommerce and content management web sites that not only render information beautifully to the human, but also satisfy the "third browser" - the search engine. To us, search engines are people too.

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Jun 18
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Author:
Jaimie Sirovich

Archived; click post to view.
Excerpt: I've been digesting this for awhile.  Barry Schwartz of Search Engine Roundtable writes that the New York Times is cloaking content in the interest of  faciliating Google "to access, crawl, index and rank content that would require a username and password by a normal Web user."This may sound OK to most, but I fail to see the fairness in this; and it implies that, like the BMW affair, Google is once-again proving that they provide preferential treatment to large companies.  BMW.de was reincluded in what, a few days?  Good luck, mom and pop, with getting that type of service from…

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Jun 15
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Author:
Jaimie Sirovich

Archived; click post to view.
Excerpt: Suppose a webmaster excludes a duplicated page on his site using robots.txt or meta exclusion, but then a user proceeds to link to it anyway.  This is one of the problems with excluding the duplicate content on a site.  More specifically, this is the method I typically use to eliminate the duplicate content as a result of breadcrumb navigation — see this blog entry for more information on that. Redirecting duplicate content is possible in cases where the duplication is more of an error than anything else (URL canonicalization, etc.); in this case, the page is essential to navigation (and…

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Jun 14
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Author:
Jaimie Sirovich

Archived; click post to view.
Excerpt: I was just thinking that it really bothers me that some SEOs are avowed "white-hats," and don't bother with studying blackhat techniques. Not to do so is a crime of ignorance, and it overlaps with site security as well.  If those honkies don't know about spamming, they won't know the context with regard to, for example, link-condoms and XSS-related security. They also won't know about the backlink exploit in Movable Type blogs. This means they're not fully aware, and can potentially have their sites ambushed by those "evil" blackhatters.So why are people ashamed to put on a black hat, if…

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Jun 13
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Author:
Jaimie Sirovich

Archived; click post to view.
Excerpt: To be honest, I'm not even sure this matters much anymore, but I thought I'd mention it.  Like the issue with parameter ordering (?a=1&b=2 vs. ?b=2&a=1) I mentioned here, a slash at the end of a URL can pose a similar ambiguity problem.  Fortunately, at least for non-rewritten pages, Apache takes care of this issue.  If the resource is a directory, it gets 301-redirected to the-url/, and vice versa. But when mod_rewrite is used, we're not dealing with a file-system, and nothing is done automatically.  Ideally, we'd perform the same thing manually in our scripts and 301-redirect a URL "missing"…

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Jun 12
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Author:
Jaimie Sirovich

Archived; click post to view.
Excerpt: Aaron Wall of Seo Book states here that many sites have no way to easily garner links naturally, despite providing a useful service or information.  He cites traditional examples of link bait, like the Flying Spaghetti Monster.  These are amazingly effective ways to get traffic and visibility.  The problem with this form of marketing, though, is that it's usually not suitable for a site that has to maintain a semblance of professionalism.  For example, publishing a spoof article about "Aliens Stealing Sperm from Heavy Viagra Users" may amuse the public, but it will probably only attract irrelevent traffic, not to…

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Jun 10
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Author:
Jaimie Sirovich

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Excerpt: This is a question I'm currently researching. I have never looked into it before, because I haven't really used dynamic URLs for anything visible to a search engine recently; I always use mod_rewrite these days. The question goes as follows:When designing a dynamic URL and constructing it by hand (something I never do, but many do; using a function to make URLs will achieve a better level of consistency),  and number_of_parameters >= 2, you have n! choices for order.  Granted, for 2-3 parameters, that's only 2 or 6 permutations respectively, but are these the same?"?a=1&b=2""?b=2&a=1"It's actually an interesting question.  The…

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Jun 9
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Author:
Jaimie Sirovich

Archived; click post to view.
Excerpt: This neat little class can return the HTTP status code of a URL.  It uses cURL to do so.  Simply take the result of "parseResponseCode"  and see if it's a 200.  Depending on your requirements, 302 or 301 may also be a satisfactory answer, or you may want to update the record (at least in the case of a 301), or recurse.  If the answer is a 404, you know you've found trouble.  It's important to check for dead links, as too many of them can be detrimental to your site's ranking, not to mention it's annoying for the user….

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Jun 8
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Author:
Jaimie Sirovich

Archived; click post to view.
Excerpt: I was reading through the documentation for mod_rewrite, and I noticed that "G," the gone directive sends a status code of "410," which means "gone," and not "404," which means not found. Strictly speaking there's a slight difference in meaning.  I suppose "not found" implies it was never there, and "gone" implies it was deleted; but does anyone actually use it?  I don't think so.From mod_rewrite documentation (http://httpd.apache.org/docs/1.3/mod/mod_rewrite.html):[G] (force URL to be Gone) Forces the current URL to be gone. Send the HTTP response, 410 (GONE).Anyone care to comment? I know on my sites, I just send 404s when I…

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