Don’t Let Jerks Control What You Post

Recently, Lisa Barone of Outspoken Media wrote a wonderful post about Internet trolls. You know? Those fools who waste their lives trying to make others feel bad so they can feel better about themselves.

Since my websites have grown, I have had an increasing number of jealous trolls posting things in the comments sections of my posts. I’ve also had a few hateful tweets directed my way. They vary from “I can’t believe how you contradict yourself…” to “You are stupid…”

Over time, I have learned to ignore all these. In fact, now I get a huge kick out of deleting or blocking these fools. That’s step 1. Step 2 has been a bit more difficult for me. See, even though I don’t ever respond to these creeps, there is something about their words that stick somewhere in the back of my brain. It then festers there and starts influencing my actions.

A recent example of this happened when I wrote a Lockergnome post titled 10 Awesome Android Apps You Don’t Know About. I knew when I wrote that title that I would get at least one jerk writing me about how they’ve heard about those apps. Still, the post was supposed to be for the non-powerusers who use Android, not the people who load their phone up with 500 apps. With that in mind, I finished the post with the original title and sent it out.

As expected, after an hour I had a few comments where people told me “Idiot! I have 8 out of those 10 apps!” and “Dude, you’re a fag if you think anybody can get anything from this piece of garbage article!”.

These comments, though nasty and came from jerkwads, caused me to second guess myself. I thought, maybe at least there was some truth to what they were saying. Everybody has seen probably seen these apps. I then changed the title to say “10 Awesome Android Apps” then went on about my day. What I didn’t know at the time was the article had already gained quite a bit of popularity on StumbleUpon during the period I had the original title. People were thumbing it up! Since I changed the title though, the permalink for the article got changed as well, and the StumbleUpon users who arrived after the change received a 404 error instead of my glorious words.

Had I stuck with my original gut feeling about the title and not let anybody influence me, many more people would’ve seen and appreciated my post. By the time I changed the title back, StumbleUpon had decided my page didn’t exist anymore.

Once you make up your mind about a post, stick with it, and don’t let the jerks change anything about it. I’m gonna do that from now on and you should too!

See also: Facebook Trolls Are The New /B/TARDS

Check What Other Websites Are Hosted On Your Shared Server

I just watched a video where Matt Cutts of Google talks about shared web hosting and whether or not you should be concerned if your web site is hosted on the same server as spammy websites.

He says it’s only an issue if there are thousands of questionable sites hosted on the same IP address as your site. It’s highly unlikely that would happen, but I became curious about the other sites hosted on my shared server. Here’s how you can check.

1. Find the IP address you’re hosted on. You can do this from a CMD prompt by typing ping thedomainname.com. You could also ping the domain at network-tools.com.

2. Visit Bing and search the IP address by putting IP: before the IP address. (Example: IP:192.168.1.1)

3. The search should return all of the websites hosted on your shared server.

How Google Decides Your Page Is Worth a Top Ranking

Anything you post on your blog appears on Google almost instantly these days. Real-time search is becoming more and more important. After observing how some of my top articles perform in Google rankings for 5 years now, I think I’m beginning to understand a newer part of how Google ranks its pages. As with all people who try to figure out the Google algorithm, this is just what I think happens to my pages when I make a post based on what I’ve observed.

1. Google learns you posted something via ping. It puts it in the index immediately. If your site already has authority, you’ll appear in the first page of results for a related search term.

2. For about 24 hours, you’ll continue to appear on the first page of results because your post is timely and relevant. During this time, Google is also measuring the visitors that visit your site. Do they bounce? Do they search again after they visit?

3. After about 24 hours, your page disappears from the first page of results because it is no longer timely and hasn’t been fully evaluated by Google to stay there permanently. The page has either fallen to pages 2 through 20 or isn’t in the index at all.

4. After about 3 days to a week, Google has now had a chance to crunch the numbers on your post. It measures the true keyword relevance and how useful it was to the people who visited it during the first 24 hours. The post appears in its rightful position in the rankings. Hopefully on the first page. 🙂

So what does all this mean? To me, it means that the quality of your post matters now more than ever. Google is finding new ways to make sure your post is useful and relevant based on the behavior of your visitors. It’s not all just anchor text and PageRank anymore.

How 1 Guy Took a Site to Over a Million Hits Per Month

I found this to be the best part of Gnomedex 10 this year. Matt Inman tells you the creative things he did to earn millions of hits and pageviews per month on his dating site and TheOatmal humor site. Any website owner can apply these skills, so it’s worth a watch.

SEO Isn’t Only About the Keywords You Use

People spend a lot of time trying to figure out different combinations of keywords to use in their posts. There’s so much focus on using certain keywords that sometimes writers don’t pay attention to the keywords that shouldn’t be included in their posts.

I recently wrote a post about how to make it through a Nintendo DS video game called Diabolical Box. I was aiming to make the post turn up in search engines when they search for tips about this game. Instead, I was turning up in searches with keyword combinations that included the word “tap”. This was because I used the word “tap” (on Nintendo DS, every motion is done with the tap of the pen on the screen) several hundred times in my post. Because of this, Google came to the conclusion that my post was about tapping something apparently.

So in this post, it would’ve been a good idea to mix the words “touch”, “choose” or “select” throughout my post instead of “tap” or “tap screen” 100% of the time.

Google is smart, but it’s still really just a computer that is trying to judge what your page is about based on keywords. Keep the repetitive junk out of your posts and reap SEO rewards.

Your Avatar is Your Logo

Lately, people on Twitter seem to be changing their avatar a lot lately. It’s been difficult for me, because I often scan tweets and only stop to read the ones next to an avatar I recognize. When somebody changes their avatar, I get to wondering who the person is unless I’ve managed to remember their Twitter handle. I interact with thousands of people per week. It’s a heck of a lot easier to memorize a picture than it is a name out of thousands of people.

I’ve come to realize that an avatar isn’t just an avatar. It’s a logo. Take Jolie O’Dell for example. I started following her on Twitter only because a few of my friends were. One day while searching for tech articles, I recognized Jolie’s familiar picture next to the title of the post. Instantly, there was a new connection I had with her. A connection I wouldn’t have otherwise noticed  just by her name.

The ProBlogger, Darren Rowse is another person who comes to mind. His bald head and glasses makes his face a perfect logo for his business. I’ve grown a huge interest in his writing and my eye stops to read whenever I see his avatar.

So with all this in mind, I give my avatar recommendations if you’re looking to build relationships online.

  • Keep avatars consistent with every site you are on. Blogs, blog comments, Twitter, and Facebook. Keep ’em all the same.
  • Don’t change your avatar too often. Sure, it’s fun to change them, but people won’t have a chance to get to know your face if you change it every other day.
  • Get a Gravitar. Most sites use Gravitar to display avatars and it will help keep it consistent across different sites.
  • Smile! People like to see a happy things. I know I read more comments and tweets when the avatar next to them has a smiling face.