Tag Archives: SEO

Comments Reopened On All Posts

I’ve reopened comments on all posts, regardless of post date.

Two years ago, I closed comments on posts older than 60 days because generally speaking, they only attract spam.

That’s still true, for the most part. But between WordPress Hashcash (an anti-spam plugin I can’t flog hard enough; seriously, get it) and Akismet, there’s no real additional work load; it’s not half the hassle of dealing with the script kiddies trying to log in to the admin section.

(BTW, I deal with hack attempts via Bluetrait Event Viewer, which lets me know about (among many other things) failed logins; and WordPress SEO by Yoast, which lets me easily edit my .htaccess file and put the banhammer down on offending IP addresses.)

My most popular posts are well over 60 days old, and the majority of questions I get are about those posts. Also, I have a number of very old (3+ years) that need cleaning up; so it would be helpful to enable comments on them, for people to tell me when things are broken / don’t look right on the screen. Thus, it makes sense to open comments back up on all posts.
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Correcting Permalinks After Moving Content From A Subdirectory To Root

Ran into this problem with the blog:

As previously noted, I moved my WordPress install from a subdirectory to the root of my Web site. I tried the “Giving WordPress Its Own Directory” method, but I didn’t trust it, so I decided to go ahead with a physical move of the software to root.

As a result, all permalinks to the 200+ articles in this blog became broken, since the subdirectory /blog/ was part of the permanent path root. This was bad, because Google has all those old links wrong, and so does my YOURLS install.

So, I needed a fix, stat. Thankfully, Apache has the mod_alias module, which does a better job of rewriting URLs from subdirectories to root directory than mod_rewrite does.

I specifically used the RewritePermanent directive, which allows one to specify part of a URL string, and to where URLs containing that string should be directed. In my case, I wanted to direct all URLs that contained the  /blog/ subdirectory to the root of my site. Thus:

<IfModule mod_alias.c>
RedirectPermanent /blog/ http://www.dougv.com/
</IfModule>

The first argument after RedirectPermanent is the part of the URL you want removed. The second argument is the URL to which you want found URLs redirected.

This works far better for me than the handful of mod_rewrite rules I tried to accomplish the same basic task.

Your Web server must have mod_alias installed for this to work. Most shared Web hosts will have installed mod_alias, but some might not, or might only enable it for selected domains, as a lot of rewrites and aliases can cause trouble with search engine rankings. Check with your Web service provider.

A hat tip to julianmatz at experts-exchange.com for the tip. All links in this post on delicious: http://www.delicious.com/dougvdotcom/correcting-permalinks-after-moving-content-from-a-subdirectory-to-root

Getting QueryString Values From A Rewritten URL / ASP.NET Routing URL

During today’s similcast of the ASP.NET Firestarter in Atlanta, G. Andrew Duthie discussed .NET 4′s new support for routing — or, what everyone in Web development calls “URL rewriting.” *

Someone online asked, “If I use routing, can I access query string variables using JavaScript?”

The question isn’t as confused as it sounds on the surface. Of course, if one uses routing / URL rewriting, it’s to remove query string variable and make them part of what appears to be a permanent file structure.

In other words, this:

http://www.server.com/path/to/file.aspx?v1=foo&v2=bar

Becomes this:

http://www.server.com/path/to/file/v1/foo/v2/bar/

The questioner really means, is there a way, after rewriting a URL, to extract key->value pairs from it via JavaScript? The answer is yes; rather than using the location.search property, which allows JavaScript to get the querystring parameters of a URL, we use location.pathname to get the part of the URL that follows the domain, and use that to create our key->value pairs.

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Comment Spammed By A Big Boy, And I Don’t Like It

No matter how you slice it, it’s spam.

I received a comment today from a popular .NET blog (name redacted to protect the guilty), in response to yesterday’s post about scripting a backup of a remote SQL Server instance.

I’d be flattered if I didn’t know that it was almost certainly the a result of a Google alert.

The comment was, in short, a link to a post on that blog, which was itself little more than a link to another blog. The article on that third blog describes how to script a backup of a local SQL Server database.

The comment wasn’t really germane — my post is about remote backups; the techniques cited in the linked article wouldn’t work for a remote server — but it did deal with SQL Server backups. I figured it might therefore help someone who stumbled across my blog post, but who actually wanted a local backup solution.

So I initially approved the comment. And, in turn, I visited that link, to see if it directly links to my article.

See, that’s how linkbacks are supposed to work: I write content. He links to it in his post. A link to his blog appears on my blog as a result. As in, each of our articles link to the other.

We reinforce each other’s content. It’s a two-way street.

Unfortunately, the popular blog’s post did not link back to my post. In fact, the popular blog appears to have comments disabled entirely.

So what I had was a well-indexed site, which probably saw my post get indexed through some keywords it wants to target, and which in turn decided to dump a comment on my site in an effort to promote its search engine ranking. And did so without linking back to me, which would have helped my rankings.

If that isn’t the definition of comment spam, I don’t know what is. And it bothers me immensely that a site which is generally well-regarded in the developer community would do such a thing. Admittedly, I profit more from a mutual link exchange with a more popular blog; but I don’t profit at all by approving barely pertinent links as comments.

So, I deleted the popular blog’s comment. It will be welcome here when it allows comments and linkbacks on its site.

All links in this post on delicious: http://www.delicious.com/dougvdotcom/comment-spammed-by-a-big-boy-and-i-dont-like-it

RSS Feeds Now Show Full Entries

Update, 14 April 2012: The URLs to my RSS feeds have changed.

Blog entries: http://feeds.feedburner.com/dougvdotcom
Comments: http://feeds.feedburner.com/dougvdotcomments

As I’ve finally gotten the hang of Google Reader, I see the value in having full posts, and not just excerpts, available from an RSS feed.

It’s so 2000-and-late to think in terms of whether a Web site is “sticky,” and even in terms of SEO; it makes far more sense to think in terms of whether you are “loud” within your social networks, and whether you’re easy to find and appreciate to people who might be interested in your network.

In honor of which, I have changed this blog’s settings to provide full posts in the posts and comments feeds.

So, add http://www.dougv.com/feed/ (and, if you’re crazy enough, http://www.dougv.com/comments/feed/) to your favorite reader, and you’ll have the whole story!

All links contained in this post on delicious.com: http://delicious.com/dougvdotcom/rss-feeds-now-show-full-entries