Canonical Rel Attribute Just a Band-Aid

A while back the big 3 announced the adoption of a new relationship attribute for the header link tag in order to specify a preferred version of a page where there may be different ways to access it and to help avoid issues with duplicate content. It’s nice to have an option for when you take over a badly built site where there isn’t a budget to rewrite a lot of code and do a million 301 redirects but this is just a band-aid on a larger problem.

<link rel="canonical" href="http://example.com/main-slug/">

This is why architecture of a project is important and if you build it right the first time, you don’t have to worry about this being an issue. There are always times however that a bot will surprise you with some weird entry URL so as a guideline, it’s good to monitor your analytics and do simple 301 rewrites as they happen, if they happen. It’s good to know too that WordPress handles a lot of the heavy lifting for you already so if you have a WP site – you’re pretty much setup already.

Overtime we’ve seen canonical meta tags be useful in ecommerce applications, pagination, or for audits where you may not be able to change core site code. It’s helpful when there are child pages that don’t necessarily need to be indexed so you use the main product page as the canonical link for those, etc. But if you’re building from scratch – you had better not need them!

Read More:
5 common mistakes with rel=canonical
– Google, Specify Your Cononical
– Yahoo, Fighting Duplication
– SEOmoz has a really detailed write-up too.

Use Dashes not Underscores in URLS for good SEO

I need not delve into the technical details of percent-encoding to make my point regarding keeping your URLs clean as part of your on-site search optimization, but some basic coaching is in order. I see a couple repeat offenses that bother me and I would like to discuss them here briefly in hopes of raising some awareness of the situation.

TL;DR
– Use Dashes in URL’s NOT spaces or underscores
– Don’t use any special characters in your urls. Only letters, numbers, and dashes.

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What Foursquare 3 means to Small Business

Foursquare has always been about encouraging people to explore their town and discover new places and things to do and eat. By using tips and to-do’s and highlighting trending locations it provided an interesting way to find out what people liked, where they had previously been and what they thought about the place.

Version 3 of Foursquare has just been released and with it they’ve really revised the way users will interact and find venues – and because of that SMB’s have the ability to benefit more than ever before. Previously I wrote an article on “Local Search Marketing using Foursquare” which is still a great lead-in to this post as the same underlying reasons of why a business should use Foursquare to begin with still apply. But lets talk about what small business can get out of Foursquare 3.
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Local Search Marketing using Foursquare

I mentioned previously that I was speaking at the Local Search Summit in NYC during Search Engine Strategies. New York was great, met (in person) great people in the industry that I’ve only previously talked to online and more importantly was able to present on something I’m very passionate about – local search. My talk and accompanying slide deck focuses on Foursquare and using Foursquare for local search marketing. [Click to Continue…]

Notes on Self-Promotion by Peter Shankman

There was too much going on at SXSW for me to catch everything – I’m catching up on panels I didn’t see and Peter Shankman had a great talk on self-promotion and how to do it right. Honestly this stuff is very common sense but if you’ve been on twitter or facebook for more than a day you know that most people still don’t get it. Here are my notes from his talk.

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Speaking at 2010 SES Local Search Summit

SES Local Search Summit 23 March 2010 NYC

I’m packing up and heading to NYC to speak and be on a panel about Local Search Marketing, more specifically asked to focus on Foursquare and location-based mobile apps. To be honest I’m humbled to be on a panel with some wicked smart cats (@W2Scott and @Matt_Siltala) and going to New York to speak? Crazy talk!

If you’re going to be there, please stop and introduce yourself and say hi!  If not I’ll have my slides up for review and hopefully somebody is recording it.

SXSWi bound in 2010

SXSWi 2010 Logo It’s that time of year again when all the geeks in the web tech community converge upon Austin Texas and form insanely long lines for blocks to get into Facebook, Mashable, Digg and Foursquare parties to get free tshirts, tech gear and free drinkage and hopefully get to meet “internet stars”…  Something like that.

I got over that year one – but SXSW Interactive is a great time, good to hang out with all those you talk to online from around the world and build better relationships, meet other entrepreneurs and gather insight on their positives and failures in the startup world and more.

Austin itself is a really cool town, great downtown area and awesome music scene.  The conference is beyond huge and offers a lot of information packed into a week.

So with that I’ll link you to my SXSW schedule if you’d like to see the panels I’m hitting or you can track me down via the normal methods: twitter, foursquare, gowalla & brightkite.

Cheers

People Don’t Buy What You Do – They Buy Why You Do It

I found this post on rww about a TEDx Speech by motivational speaker and author Simon Sinek entitled, “Entrepreneurs: It’s Not What You Do, It’s Why You Do It”.  He talks about his concept “The Golden Circle” (3 circles representing the different ways we think about a product/goal (watch the video)), goes into the Diffusion of Innovations theory and explains it all quite well.

It’s a philosophy I have always felt and more recently started following myself for a while and, among other things, explains why past business partnerships I’ve made eventually failed and why I’ve decided to be solo for good.  This whole talk refers to and explains (MUCH better than I could) why I say “old school” all the time; this is what I mean, people I say are old school are working for the paycheck, not for what they believe.  Living in the top 10% and trying to do business with somebody in the last 16%… lets just say you don’t quite see eye-to-eye.

Anyways it’s good and I thought it needed to be here for you.

Quote from Speech:

There are leaders and there are those that lead.
Leaders hold a position of power or authority, but those who lead – inspire us.
We follow those who lead not because we have to but because we want to, we follow those who lead not for them but for ourselves.

Check out his book on Amazon:Start With Why

Watch the whole speech: (recommended)

Part in speech regarding type of people to hire: 08:02
Part in speech regarding the Law of Diffusion of Innovation: 11:05

November in Phoenix for Geeks

In the last couple of years we’ve done a good job in Phoenix of making things happen and getting good conferences with good turn out happen here in the valley and a couple of the annual big events have been making a home in November. This grouping has been dubbed Geek Week Az and there are a LOT of things happening and some big names and I wanted to organize that information and list what’s going on in one location. It’s not pretty but here’s what we’ve got coming for you in Phoenix in November.

High Profile Events

Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference
Thursday Nov 12 – 7:30am – 7:00pm, Register, hashtag: #azec09
Desert Willow Conference Center – map

WordCamp Phoenix
Friday Nov 13 – 8:00am – 5:00pm, Register, hashtag: #phxwc
Arizona Grand Resort – map

PodCampAz
Sat-Sun Nov 14 – 15, Register, hashtag: #podcampaz
University of Advancing Technology – map

Other Important Events in November 2009

Ignite Phoenix 5
Tuesday Nov 3 – 6:00pm – 9:00pm, Tickets, hashtag: #ignitephx
Tempe Center for the Arts – map

Tedx Phoenix
Friday Nov 6 – 6:00pm – 9:00pm, Tickets, hashtag: #tedxphoenix
Mesa Arts Center – map

Desert Code Camp
Saturday Nov 7th – 8:00am – 5:00pm, hashtag: #desertcodecamp
DeVry University – map

SustainaBIL Conference
Sunday Nov 8th – 11:00am – 7:00pm, Register
ASU SkySong – map

AZIMA – Build Your Tribe
Tuesday Nov 10th – 6:00pm – 8:00pm, Tickets, hashtag: #joinAZIMA
Tempe Mission Palms – map

Creative Connect
Tuesday Nov 10 – 6:00pm
Tuomisto Bell Studio Foundry – map

Gangplank Hacknight
Wednesday Nov 11 – 6:00pm – 9:00p, hashtag: @gangplank
Gangplank – map

Developer Ignite 2
Wednesday Nov 11 – 6:00pm – 9:00pm, hashtag: #devignite
Gilbert Community Center – map

Social Media Club Phoenix
Thursday Nov 12 – 6:30pm – 8:00pm, hashtag: #smcphx
Desert Willow Conference Center – map (after #AZEC09)

There are also some pretty interesting after parties to attend but currently we haven’t planned anything, YET… I’ll see you all there!
(map removed as events are over now – next year!) For highly rated web design and internet marketing in Cardiff visit www.redliondesign.co.uk.

Android to Iphone Part 2

google-android-htc-g1-vs-iphone-3gsI’d like to clarify things with the last post about my switch from Android to iPhone.  I didn’t get too specific because one, I felt stressed to get the post out quick and 2 I felt stressed about the video.  Partly why I suck at updating this blog, but whatever.

I keep getting asked to elaborate a bit and now that I’ve had the iPhone 3GS for a couple days I have some more details and insight that may interest those who have pondered a similar switch.

  • I had an issue with with apps on the G1 as they don’t store on the SD card and the actual handset has only like 256mb of on-board memory so I had to keep uninstalling apps to add new ones.  iPhone has a 16gb hard-drive – nothing to worry about (and a 32gb model is available also).
  • The keyboard typing logic is much smarter on the iPhone; less mistyped words and I seem to be faster typing on the iPhone than the G1 (while using the software keyboard).  I think the keys are better placed as the screen seems wider, but they’re not as tight together and I can type pretty quick and even better on landscape mode.
  • GPS on the iPhone locates me much faster than android and it seems much more responsive to movements and rotation.  The original G1 demo videos had Google maps rotating the little street view guy to the direction you were looking but for one, I never used that specific functionality (no need), and two, it was so far buried in the map menu’s it wasn’t fast enough to be useful in my opinion.
  • Apps wise…  and this partially ties into GPS but BrightKite and Foursquare actually work for finding where I’m currently located (despite their own individual software flaws).  The BrightKite app on Android would always keep me stuck at my last check-in point even if I hit “dismiss guess” 10 times.  Searching worked for finding and checking in but that’s not the point.  Only once out of about 30+ check-ins so far did I have to search for the place I was at on the iPhone’s BrightKite app.
    There wasn’t a Foursquare app (there was FourDroid but it was beyond horrible and FourSquared is in limited alpha at this point) on the G1 Android platform so I can’t compare apps, but the mobile version of their site didn’t have nearly the features the iPhone app has (but the iphone app doesn’t have venue search yet either so).
  • Battery life… perhaps too early to tell because I’ve been hammering my iPhone with new apps and download tons of apps/games to test and also beta testing for a new GPS-based game called 5thDimension so that has been sucking the battery down.  But with that said – I’m not getting any less battery life than the G1.  Batteries in gadgets in general suck so I know there will be no dramatic change either way.

iPhone quirks at the moment

  • Having some duplicate entries and split records with contacts that have synced from my Google Apps account.  I’ve heard from a couple iPhone users they have the same issue and I’m hoping that’s one of the issues addressed in the 3.1 update coming in a few weeks.
  • The lack of settings options for the system and individual apps.  For one I’m used to going into the app and then doing its settings, but iPhone has all settings for everything in one spot. Again something to get used to but I can’t have different sound volumes for sms versus ringer tones… can’t set ringer to a sound but then have sms/emails vibrate… it’s all things make noises or all things vibrate – nothing in between.  And certain alerts seem much louder than others.
  • Ringtones have to be hacked to work but there’s a great way to create free iPhone ringtones (thx to @amysellers and @leaky_tiki for the find)
  • Alert sounds… how do I get new ones? fail
  • The protective Incase case I bought was $37 bucks after tax… holy crap!

Anything I currently miss from Android?

  • the simultaneous background processes was pretty slick on Android, not gonna lie, but in all practicality I don’t really miss it and I have yet to run into, or foresee running into, any position I’d be in to where that would be a vital feature I absolutely needed.
  • I kind of miss Android’s ability to “tab” into other apps while they’re running, but I think that’s just a work flow issue that I’m not completely used to yet as the iPhone you have an app open or closed – nothing else.  Again nothing big that I foresee a problem with once I get more used to the flow on the iPhone.

I’m sure there will be more things I forgot (always is) but you can follow me on twitter for the smaller bits of info and all my other random stuff I post about.

Jan 2010 UPDATE: I waned to mention a great post on TechCrunch titled “An iPhone Lover’s Take On The Nexus One” that’s worth a read.

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