WordPress Meetup Summary

This weekend I went to my first WordPress Meetup which was held in PD Johnson’s in Dallas. I wasn’t too sure of what to expect; the summary of the group made it seem like it would be pretty informal. It was. Everyone trickled in, about ten of us, and while some of us ate and others pulled out laptops we chatted mostly about Twitter and WordPress plugins.

Most of my time is spent with people who know little about technology, forget about WordPress and blogging, so hanging out with people who I can actually talk to those things about is refreshing.

However, I know that Dallas has a much larger audience of WordPress fans and major (or at least more than minor) bloggers. I was disappointed that the group doesn’t seem to attract enough of the audience using blogging and social media to its fullest extent. Granted, the group hasn’t been meeting for very long (just since April I think).

What I’d like to see more of is a formal atmosphere where people are encouraged to share with the whole group about how they use WordPress, what benefits it has for them, and how others can improve upon their blogging. One of the reasons I wish for this is because I’ve spent the past three years learning everything I can about WordPress and I’m dying to share the knowledge I’ve gained. It would be neat if the meetups consisted of neatly packaged topics so that the goal is clear and people know why they are coming and what they’re taking away.

On the other hand, maybe the point of these meetups is simply to socialize with other WordPressers and something so formal is outside the lines of what is thought necessary for the group. In that case, I’d love to be part of a new group that encouraged the formal training/learning of WP while the meetup group existed alongside the new group.

Any thoughts?

Hyperlocal SEO Tips

Struggling to beat out your competitors on a national scale is tough to do – taking them on locally ain’t so tough!

You just have to know what to do.

Optimizing your content, but especially the markup of your page, is crucial to succeeding in dominating your local search results.

GeoRSS

Adding semantics to your page puts you leaps and bounds ahead of your competition (in most cases). geoRSS is great because it’s SO sepecific.

Example: Your company services 10 surrounding cities. Create a page specific to each of those cities and explain why your service is helpful to that city in particular. Add some GeoRSS meta tags to the header and now search engines know exactly what is meant to be going on.

Benefit: Search engines pick up on the standard keyword phrases that signal it to be about a certain geographic area but at the same time they are certain which area it is about because of the GeoRSS tags. AND there are lots of sites out there that crawl the web looking for GeoRSS tags so they can aggregate local news, entertainment, and companies and display them on hyperlocal dashboard-like sites. Make it easy for them!

GeoRSS also has a WordPress plugin called GeoPress that makes blogging and local optimization a breeze. Check it out.

Duh, Use Your Address

Put your company’s address somewhere on every page of your site. Google can be certain they’re plugging you into the right locality if you provide them it.

Business Search Engine Submission

Make sure you manually submit as much information about your site as possible to Google, Yahoo!, Live, and Yelp so they can return your company as a result in local searches.

Other Options

outside.in outlines a few more methods of making known local connections your page has. They suggest linking to a Google map even, or just categorizing or tagging your content with a zip code. SEO Igloo Blog has some copyrighting tips to help and so does James Harrison. HyperLocal Blogger outlines some strategy.

Microsoft’s Failure at Owning Their Keywords

TechCrunch posted earlier today on the irony of Apple owning the first two results for the Google search “i’m a pc”.

This is a lesson to be learned. Own your own brand, your products, and even those of your competitors in the search engines.

Microsoft could have easily created a site dedicated to the idea of “I’m a PC” and used it to counter the advertising of Apple. Unfortunately, they’re just now getting started in their fight back and are struggling to capture the awe of the viewers.

What Percentage of the SERPs Do You Own?

Just recently I’ve been putting a little bit of effort into developing my online reputation.

http://www.google.com/search?q=patrick+daly

A Google search for Patrick Daly (at least from Dallas, TX) shows that I own 70% of the top 10 results. The other three results are a MySpace page, a .gov site, and a biography of another Patrick Daly.

How much do you own?

Proof Your Online Reputation Matters, Employers Deny Applicants

CareerBuilder.com recently survey 31,000 employers and found that 1/3 of them have rejected an applicant because of poor reputation management.

  • Information about alcohol or drug use (41% of managers said this was a top concern)
  • Inappropriate photos or information posted on a candidate’s page (40%)
  • Poor communication skills (29%)
  • Bad-mouthing of former employers or fellow employees (28%)
  • Inaccurate qualifications (27%)
  • Unprofessional screen names (22%)
  • Notes showing links to criminal behavior (21%)
  • Confidential information about past employers (19%)

The study did find that 24% of hiring managers found content on social networks that helped convince them to hire a candidate. Hiring managers said that profiles showing a professional image and solid references can boost a candidate’s chances for a job.

Computerworld Article

FeedBurner Increases Subscriptions

Maybe.

So last week I activated the FeedBurner plugin for WordPress which redirects all RSS feeds to FeedBurner and allows them to serve my RSS feed and gives me access to stats and advanced features.

Redirected All Traffic to FeedBurner

What happened after that is weird. Either I had a great Saturday last week and my subscriptions doubled or these stats are fishy.

Now, to be fair I have been kind of….well…stupid with my blog in the past. I started the blog at developdaly.com and then I moved it to developdaly.com/blog and then I moved it back to developdaly.com.

So in the past people subscribed to all of these feeds:

  • developdaly.com/feed
  • developdaly.com/blog/feed
  • feeds.feedburner.com/developdaly

I’ve used FeedBurner in the past, but when I relaunched my site two weeks ago I hadn’t enabled FeedBurner redirection.

What Might Have Happened

What might have happened here is that people were subscribed to my FeedBurner feed from years ago and they have been showing up in my FeedBurner stats forever, but then when I activated the redirection last week all of my new subscribers (to developdaly.com/feed) were redirected to FB and my stats went way up.

Still Interesting

What is at least intersting to me is that if the above is true my subscribers doubled in the last two weeks. Way to go team!

The 25 Best SEO Tools

Also, see WordPress Tips 2009.

Accessibility Checker

Accessibility Check

Make sure your page validates for handicapped users and increase your site usability while ensuring the use of standard SEO practices.

Backlink Analyzer

Backlink Analyzer

Wondering what your inbound links’ anchor text is?

Check Server Headers

Check Server headers

Make sure your pages are returning the correct headers (i.e. 200, 301, 302, 404, etc.)

Code to Text Ratio

Code to Text Ratio

The higher your code to text ratio the better your site may look to some search engines.

Crawl Test

Crawl Test

Are your pages getting crawled? Make sure!

Disable Personalized Search Plugin

Disable Personalized Search

Google personalizes search results so when you’re doing your keyword research your results will vary on several factors. Eliminate those factors with this script.

Duplicate Content Check

Duplicate Content Check

Is your content being ripped off on other sites?

HTML Validation

HTML Validation

Your site is always better off if your pages are validating for correct HTML markup.

Keyword Extraction

Keyword Extractor

Find out what your page is really
about with this extensive tool.

Link Check

Link Check

Broken links are dumb. Find ’em.

Page Size

Page Size

Is your page too big for spiders to index? Find out the size.

Rank Chcker

Rank Checker

Get the rank of your chosen keywords accross multiple search engines.

Redirect Checker

Redirect Checker

Are your pages redirecting correctly?

Robots.txt Syntax Checking

Robots Syntax Checking

Robots.txt files are extremely important to directing the flow of bots – don’t screw it up!

RSS Validator

RSS Validator

Validate your RSS feed and ensure that other services can interpret it correctly.

Search Status

Search Status

Semantic Data Extraction

An assortment of incredibly useful tools installed as a Firefox plugin.

Semantic Data Extraction

Semantic Data Extraction

How well do the search engines really know your site?

SEO Book Keyword Research

SEO Book Keyword Research

A few different tools that can help in keyword research

SEO for Firefox

SEO for Firefox

A plugin that reveals all kinds of stats about a page in search results.

SEO Link Analysis

SEO Link Analysis

Google, Yahoo!, and MSN allow webmasters access to link data – using this plugin really makes that data come to life.

Site Link Analyzer

Site Link Analyzer

Check your internal and external links’ anchor text.

Technorati Reactions

Technorati Reactions

Find your blog and see how many people have “reacted” to it.

Text Analysis

Text Analysis

Is your writing style too intelligent for most searchers?

Trifecta Score

Trifecta Score

An awesome summary of how well your blog, page, or domain score based on a flurry of factors.

Track the Crawl Rate of Spiders on Your Blog

Anyone can figure out how often bots visit their site by sifting through their log files everyday and organizing each bot and checking on the timespan between crawling, etc.

But who wants to do that?

Patrick Altoft created the Crawl Rate Tracker for WordPress. It does the grunt work to 1) visually display the rate at which Google, Yahoo!, MSN, and Technorati crawl a site and 2) provide data about how often each page is crawled and how many links that page has pointing to it.

Patrick Altoft's Crawl Rate Tracker

The crawling of my site seems consistent with other web sites using the plugin. Yahoo! seems to crawl websites more often than any of the other bot, especially in cases where there are lots of incoming links.

My most crawled page is “WordPress 2.5 Almost“. It isn’t a particularly interesting post and it only has one inbound link. Why then is it so popular with Yahoo!?

When I wrote that post I referenced the screencast that Matt Mullenweg created and linked to the post. WordPress placed the trackback reference on WordPress’ PageRank 7 blog post. I know PageRank and Yahoo! don’t go together, but at least from Google’s perspective that page is pretty important, so surely Yahoo! thinks so too. Yahoo! crawls that page, on average, every four hours. The page is from March, has little content, and wouldn’t really be useful to anyone now, but maybe I can take advantage of that.

Taking Advantage of Crawl Rate Tracker

So if I know which pages are crawled most often, and subsequently which pages seem to have the most authority (at least with a particular search engine) then it would make sense to put that data to use.

On my most crawled pages I can now go back and add links that point to less crawled pages or pages I think that need to receive more authority.

We also learn that referencing other popular blog posts can be a great way to attract bot attention (maybe not from Google) and have your site indexed more quickly and possible receive more authority in the process.

There could be many more features to this plugin to make it even better, but what Altoft created is already leaps and bounds beyond what we had before. Go checkout his plugin. I’m hoping his plugin will allow for me to have much more control over the authority of pages and link juice flowing between those pags.