Archive for the 'Internet' Category

iLike, or perhaps not

Sunday, December 10th, 2006

I do not know if I would iLike it since the (similar to the and Pandora services) iLike client is for OS X 10.4 only.

So you Tiger users go out and have fun with it. Consider yourselves spared of my incessant Death Cab for Cutie playbacks.

[tags]ilike, ilike is only for 10.4,, pandora, social music recommendations, Web 2.0[/tags]

‘Tis the Week for Holiday Shopping 2006

Sunday, December 10th, 2006

This will be the busiest week of the online shopping season 2006. The UPS Ground shipping deadline is Friday, December 15th and Monday, December 18th, will be the busiest day of the season for the US Postal Service with over 280 Million First Class Cards and Letters to be sent.

In that vein, I received an email over the weekend from Amazon Associates (I had signed up long ago for the program) and there are two interesting tidbits of news from the largest online retailer.

First, the last day for Amazon Super Saver Shipping is Friday, December 15th to receive gifts by Friday, December 22nd. No word on any special expedited shipping services for those procrastinators out there.

However, Amazon Associates are being told to pimp the Amazon Gift Certificate. These gift certificates have a 6% referral fee and they can be sent through email, an e-card or snail mail.

With this emphasis on the gift certificates, I am wondering if Amazon got burned on their late expedited shipping offerings last year.

Figuring out online content

Sunday, December 10th, 2006

For all of you in the online content business… the Fark headline for this BBC article was “Newspapers discovering it’s difficult to charge readers money for content that some bastards put on the Internet for free”.

These are scary times for newspapers and a crucial time for society.

A fully functioning media needs more than fast reacting rolling news, it also needs newspapers which spend more time chewing over what the news actually means.

There is a problem with free: it often comes unpackaged and without the know-how to understand it.

A question I was thinking about when I was reading the BBC article was this - How does one value different online news properties?

For example, I could care less about what is supposed to be my hometown paper online, I feel that I should like it and that I should check it maybe once a day. But honestly, if the site ceased to exist, I personally would not be affected by it.

Then again, I love the NYTimes Online and the WashingtonPost Online but I am not sure I would pay for the access to either site. I don’t mind their current advertising schemes or that I have to register for each of the services.

And, I do gladly pay for the Wall Street Journal Online, but the Journal gives me news and analysis that I can’t find anywhere else.

So what are the NY Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal giving me that isn’t? Relevance, perhaps?


Thursday, December 7th, 2006

Does anyone know what MSN HRS is? I received the following referrer from a Qwest DSL IP address. If you go to the MSNHRS page referred below, you see the MSN logo with a HRS designation and a simple login page. The most recent info I could find out about this MSN search was from a post on SEO Roundtable and another one on this blog post from a few days ago.

Perhaps Microsoft is deploying this HRS (human research system or human relevance system) now? What I don’t get is why the user I saw didn’t come from a Microsoft IP.

Http Code: 200 Date: Dec 07 21:57:44 Http Version: HTTP/1.1 Size in Bytes: 263429
Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20060728 Firefox/


Thursday, December 7th, 2006

Filseclab appears to be a consumer oriented software firewall for Windows based machines. Allegedly the creator of the software has been around since 2001, but I hadn’t heard about it before I, of course, noticed the referrer of a visitor. As you can see, the firewall not only customizes the visitor user agent, but also obscures the referrer. For which I see no real exploitable reason to do so.

There’s free and paid professional versions of the software. Users on CNET seem to like it.

[tags]Software, Windows, Firewall [/tags]

Http Code: 200 Date: Dec 06 22:14:50 Http Version: HTTP/1.0 Size in Bytes: 60079
Referer: DELBY
Agent: FILSECLAB FIREWALL WWW.FILSECLAB.COM Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 5.1; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.50727)

GoDaddy Domain Forwarding

Wednesday, December 6th, 2006

More than a few of my readers have the following scenario. They have a blog hosted on one of the big providers like Typepad or and they want to redirect a custom domain name to the blog. So, if you type it will redirect to

What I am hearing on the street is that the home of famously cheap marketing tactics and the scourge of thousands of parked domains GoDaddy provides domain name forwarding. However, from what I could find online, GoDaddy only provides a 302 temporary redirect for the domain forwarding, not a 301 permanent redirect.

302 Redirected URLs could possibly be subjected to a domain hijacking and but for most people, the bigger issue is that Google doesn’t trust a temporary 302 redirect as much as a 301, which is why real SEOs use 301.


Monday, December 4th, 2006 is a not yet released service which promises to track the blogosphere and the buzz around it. Here is the blog entry translated from French to English announcing the upcoming service. In addition the creators do have an information page about the bot, which can be found here.

Http Code: 200 Date: Dec 02 12:36:18 Http Version: HTTP/1.0 Size in Bytes: 6702
Referer: -
Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; BuzzRankingBot/1.0; +

[tags]BuzzRanking, BuzzRankingBot, Robots, Crawlers, Spiders, Blogosphere [/tags]

SEO cagefight - Real Estate Marketing Guide SERP

Saturday, December 2nd, 2006

Recently I came across two Web sites - one a blog and the other a product page with real estate marketing products and I thought it would be interesting to take a look at how two different Web sites are doing SEO.

First, what I did to compare them was to take a look at a keyword combination where I could both find them on Google (because you should be able to find real estate marketers via Google, right?). So I used the keywords “real estate marketing guide” to see how each site would rank in the returned SERP.

-The Future of Real Estate Marketing blog appeared first in the “real estate marketing guide” SERP. What’s interesting, aside from the fact that it’s a blog, was that if you take a close look at the Google SERP, the keywords “real estate marketing” are highlighted in both the blog title and the blog URL. This goes to show how important keywords in your page titles and your URLs are to high SEO ranking.

Other SEO best practices that The Future of Real Estate Marketing does includes image alt tags, meta description and keywords (although the practice of including meta keywords isn’t a high priority) and plenty of copy content on the blog’s front page.

-The product page appeared 5th in the Google SERP. Which isn’t bad for a page displaying products, in this case real estate marketing guides for sale. To see why the page appeared 5th, let’s go take a look at the the Google cache for the products page.

What is making the page not show higher in the SERP includes the fact that the URL does not have any real estate marketing guide keywords in it. While the page title says “Real Estate Marketing Guides” and image alt tags exist in the page source, there are no meta description tags. In addition, for a product page, while the page has keywords, it doesn’t seem that the page has enough copy with related terms or synonyms. In addition, a recently identified Google practice is the importance of immediate text on either side of the link anchor text - basically, Google judges the context of your links.

Now you may be thinking that The Future of Real Estate Marketing Blog probably has many more incoming links to it than ArmingYourFarming. Not really. Using the link: command in Google, The Future of Real Estate Marketing blog has around 540 incoming links and ArmingYourFarming has over 1300.

To summarize, I think that keywords in the URL and page title and well written descriptive copy with keywords, keyword synonyms and descriptive anchor link text are very important in SEO practices today.

MetaEuro Blog Crawler

Friday, December 1st, 2006

A search engine I suppose that is targeted towards, well, Europe, MetaEuro also has a blog directory. I daresay that the blog directory is even better styled than the plan jane search interface. I haven’t personally seen a referrer from MetaEuro, but the MetaEuro blog crawler visited cleverhack a few days ago.

Http Code: 200 Date: Nov 29 09:53:01 Http Version: HTTP/1.1 Size in Bytes: 27088
Referer: -

Agent: Blog Crawler ( Java/0.3.2

[tags]Robots, Crawlers, Spiders, Web, metaeuro, metaeuro blog search [/tags]


Wednesday, November 29th, 2006 bills itself as a service which “helps you stay on top of the conversation by keeping you updated of new comments.” Basically, you bookmark comment threads you want to monitor. I haven’t used the service myself, but a reader of mine does, so maybe he will chime in with a (har har) comment about his experiences with it.

The one neat Co.mments feature which I like is the ability to track your bookmarked comments via a RSS feed.



Http Code: 200 Date: Nov 29 18:28:29 Http Version: HTTP/1.1 Size in Bytes: 18764

Referer: -

Agent: CommentTracker/1.0 (

[tags]Co.mments, blog comments, social bookmarking, social bookmarking service, RSS feed, Web 2.0 [/tags]



Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

It never fails to amaze me observing how the Web grows.

IlseBot is a crawler belonging to what I think is a Dutch Web portal called The crawler came to my blog, I believe because the particular post it crawled was linked to by a Dutch blogger. Ilsebot was very polite and only crawled the linked post.

Http Code: 200 Date: Nov 29 04:44:03 Http Version: HTTP/1.1 Size in Bytes: 6702
Referer: -
Agent: IlseBot/1.0

Http Code: 200 Date: Nov 29 04:44:04 Http Version: HTTP/1.1 Size in Bytes: 5728
Referer: -
Agent: IlseBot/1.0

[tags]Robots, Crawlers, Spiders, Web,, IlseBot [/tags]


Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

Yet another Web based RSS reader, but I really, really like this one called Newshutch. Newshutch provides another option for those looking for the perfect newsreader. While Newshutch isn’t quite perfect yet, it could be there soon.

What I really like about Newshutch is the the look and feel of the site. The colors and fonts that used are readable and not in a light color on light color, a design mistake that I see on too many Web 2.0 sites these days. Another feature I like about Newshutch is that when you hit your user page for the first time, there is a large box with clear and concise user instructions (including instructions on how to add Newshutch to Firefox and how to add your OPML feed). In addition, what makes Newshutch stand out is that when there’s that momentary pause of pulling an RSS feed, the page does not move or wobble or look like the DNS is not resolving. This is accomplished by pulling your userpage first, then pulling the subscribed RSS feeds. These guys are in the right direction as far as usability.

What these guys could improve on is that the front page is underwhelming and doesn’t sell the service at all. Very little text, lots of images. They could probably take the features and screenshots page and use that for the front page. Also, a really minor gripe in that the “Add Newshutch to Your blog” code was hidden on the development blog. That is something which should be available on the service itself.

As for design, Newshutch is using XHTML Transitional with CSS and the underlying platform looks to be AJAX and, according to their blog, some Ruby on Rails on Linux. I’m not a programmer, but I am wondering if some of that Javascript could be optimized. The navigation on the site is displayed simply, at the top of each page, in two groups - a left navigation tab group and a right content box that changes within context (for example, it will show each newsfeed individually).

In closing, I like the execution of ideas and the look and feel of Newshutch. Let’s hope the project continues and provides some much needed savvy competition in the online RSS newsreader category.

Add Cleverhack RSS to Newshutch

[tags] Newshutch, RSS, RSS feeds, RSS Newsreader, RSS Aggregator, Online Newsreader [/tags]