CRM software runs my life

Tag: SEO

What happens when a domain name expires?

Recently I noticed that the domain name was not being actively used and was about to expire. Having historically been on, I thought this would be a great opportunity to quickly grab it. It turns out the process takes a very long time, giving the current owner plenty of time to renew their registration. I found this chart to be the best explanation of what happens during the process:

Flow chart of the Domain Expiry Process

Flow chart of the Domain Expiry Process


As you can see it takes almost 3 months from when a domain expires to when it is finally available for public re-registration by a different owner. You can track the progress of a domain name towards expiry by using a whois tool.

Once it is available you can register it through any domain name reseller, or if you are really keen (like I was) you can use a domain name backorder tool which will automatically buy the domain name as soon after it ‘drops’ as it can. I have used the Godaddy domain backorder tool twice, and have been successful twice so I strongly recommend it. I still think however that the biggest risk is the current registrant renewing some time before the final deletion phase, which of course is unfortunately completely out of your control.

So as you might have guessed, as of this week I have secured! It expired on the 24th of March, so that illustrates just how slow the process is. The next question is whether I migrate my blog to that domain or not, and what effect this will have on my SEO… hmmm… too scared to do this until I do some more research…

Can Spam Improve SEO?

Scott Savage Akismet StatisticsFor some reason I seem to get a heap of spam on my blog. Even since I first started blogging spam somehow seemed to be drawn to my blog site (and I don’t even mention V!agr4 that often!). At the time I took the screenshot to the right 8,368 spam comments and trackbacks had been caught. That is a pretty ridiculous number. Akismet has managed to catch 99.764% of these, which is a testament to it’s effectiveness (and a major reason why I use WordPress). I sometimes wonder whether maybe allowing a few of these spam comments (which usually link to link heavy pages) would actually help my search engine ranking.

I found an SEOBook article that contained a lot of interesting findings that unintentionally supported my theory. Firstly the highest risk item is that your blog will itself get tagged as spam, however “A few bad inbound links are not going to put your site over the edge to where it is algorithmically tagged as spam”. In fact you can push this even further; “If you can get a few well known trusted links you can get away with having a large number of spammy links”.

The next step is to understand what kind of links spam comments etc. provide.  Again from the article “Spammers either use a large number of low PageRank links, a few hard to get high PageRank links, or some combination of the two.”. So how do you weed out the low PageRank links and seize the high PageRank ones? Well if everyone is running the same Akismet filter (it takes resources to build a blacklist/heuristic filter, how many are there?) then perhaps the high PageRank comments are those that are missed by the most common filters?

Therefore should I leave the Akismet filter on, but approve everything that gets through it even if it is spam? Or if I wanted to be more scientific should I analyse the PageRank of each link in the spam comment and accept those with high PageRanks? Surely in these 8000+ spam comments the spammers hit gold somewhere, the question is how do I find it?

WordPress URL Rewriting in IIS

If you host WordPress on an IIS Server then there is only one choice for URL rewriting, the Binary Fortress WordPress URL Rewriting tool. I have been using it for about 6 months now, but a shiny new v1.0 was released about a month ago. Time to upgrade I think!

URL Rewriting is one of the more critical parts of my attempts at SEO. There are a number of pages that discuss in more detail the benefits of clean links.

People employed to improve SEO have one of the truly great IT jobs I think. There is enough science to provide credibility, it is enough of a black art to avoid direct accountability and the target is constantly moving meaning your contract/role never looks like it has expired. Wow I really am feeling cynical tonight… 🙂

Yahoo Pipes and SEO

I was reading Seth Yate’s blog yesterday and noticed a few tweaks. One of them was the sidebar with a whole list of interesting bits of news and posts from other websites. This is a great way to boost your PageRank, seeing as Google loves you linking related content together. I started clicking a few links to find out how he actually pulled all the data together, and this is when I clicked “Recently Shared” and stumbled across his Pipe (you will need a Yahoo account to see it).

The basic idea of Yahoo Pipes is to pull together and mash up content. I would really suggest having a read of this guide to get a basic understanding of some of the possibilities. I have implemented it down the left hand column of this site, albeit after running the feed through Feedburner so I can assess it’s effectiveness.

The next step is to include the User Input element. I could pass the titles of my blog post into Pipes, which then searches Digg or some other blog indexer and gets the most relevant (and popular) articles? Who needs to add quality links into your blog posts when a well tweaked Pipe can do it for you? 🙂

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