Must Read SEO Articles and Tools

SEO is a really trendy topic. It’s also a topic that is misunderstood. I think this has to do with how the search engines are constantly refining their search algorithms for increased performance and relevancy but also to thwart black-hat SEO spammers.

I come across a lot of really good articles while researching SEO and thought I would share them with you. I will revise this post over time as I gather more SEO information. Feel free to post anything you come across as well!

pChart – a PHP class to build charts

pChart is a PHP class oriented framework designed to create aliased charts. Most of today’s chart libraries have a cost, our project is intended to be free. Data can be retrieved from SQL queries, CSV files, or manually provided.

Focus has been put on rendering quality introducing an aliasing algorithm to draw eye candy graphics. In fact, quality is slowing down the renderer engine… this is one of our way of improvement!

The first purpose of pChart was to provide an easy interface for drawing anti-aliased pictures using the GD library. Then alpha-transparency and shadow supports have been integrated in addition to all the primitive functions to draw basic shapes. pChart can be used as a high level drawing library if you only need to create shapes & text composed pictures.

Features

  • Native anti-aliasing
    pChart supports natively anti-aliasing for all basic object : line, curve, box, rounded box, circle, polygons. The anti-aliasing algorithm is an optimized version of the one created for the first version of pChart.
  • Shadow support
    You can enable or disable shadow support, define the color of the shadow, its distance to the object and its transparency factor. Shadows are drawn using the internal anti-alias algorithm.
  • Alpha-transparency
    Alpha transparency is supported by all the primitive drawing functions. It will allow you to create great visual results. Alpha transparency will not slow down the rendering of your picture as it is directly computed by the GD binaries.

To run pChart on your web server, you’ll need to use PHP compiled with the GD library support.

TipJoy – New service to leave tips for content!

TipJoy is a new service that allows users to leave small tips for content that they love. Once you have signed up for TipJoy you can leave a $0.10 tip with a single click and never leave the site!

Update:

This site is no longer in service. It seemed to be a good idea but maybe it was just bad timing. Read my article on why some start-ups fail.

Compare Traffic with Google Trends for Websites

Google Trends is a tool from Google Labs that shows the most popularly searched terms based on one or more keywords from the beginning of 2004 to now. Google Trends charts how often a particular search term is entered relative the total search volume across various regions of the world, and in various languages.

With Google Trends, you can compare the world’s interest in your favorite topics. Enter up to five topics and see how often they’ve been searched on Google over time. Google Trends also shows how frequently your topics have appeared in Google News stories, and in which geographic regions people have searched for them most.

This is an excellent tool to add to your SEO arsenal.

SPAW – GPL Web Based WYSIWYG Editor Control

SPAW Editor is a web based in-browser WYSIWYG HTML editor control. It is a replacement for standard HTML textarea fields for rich text content editing. Version 2 builds on great widely acclaimed features of the first version and includes lots of exciting new features and improvements. The following are some major features that are built into the editor.

Tabbed Multi-document Interface

Version 2 introduces new industry unique tabbed multi-document interface feature. Now you can edit virtually unlimited number of HTML snippets in a single WYSIWYG instance. This can save a lot of screen space, unnecessary scrolling and loading time compared to other solutions where you have to load as many WYSIWYG instances as HTML snippets you want to edit.

Floating/Shared Toolbars

Multiple instances of SPAW Editor v.2 can be controlled by a single toolbar. This toolbar can either be attached to one of the instances or float around the screen. This way you can save loading time and achieve a better level of integration of the editing area into complex designs (no toolbar overhead).

Resizeable Editing Area

Users can resize editing area of the editor both vertically and horizontally. Resizing directions could be controlled by the developers as well as users or disabled altogether. Content editors are able to see as much (or as little) content as they wish.

Modular Architecture

One of the main problems in SPAW v.1 was that it was very difficult to extend the core functionality. SPAW Editor v.2 was designed with extendability in mind. Rich API is available for developers allowing to extend the functionality to whatever your needs are. Publicly available plugins developed by Solmetra as well as 3rd parties will be posted to their plugin page.

Adding 301 Redirects using htaccess

It’s easy adding 301 redirects to your website using Apache’s htaccess. A 301 redirect is the most efficient and Search Engine Friendly method for web page redirection. It’s not difficult to implement and will preserve your search engine rankings as well.

Often when someone does a redesign of their website or puts it into a new platform, and little consideration is regarded for the difference between the existing an new link structure. You should have a redirect in place if your old link structure varies from the new one. This will help you maintain you search engine rankings and decrease the possibility if someone reaching a 404 page.

Below is one variant of a 301 that redirects when someone tries to access your website without the (www); It will redirect the URL to your website with the www. You should choose which variation your website should stick with because accessing your website both ways is bad for Search Engine Optimization.

So, to implement this type of redirect for your website, follow these instructions:

  1. Open up notepad or any other text editor and copy and paste the commands below.
  2. Change (yourdomain) to your domain name.
  3. Save the file with this name: (.htaccess). There is no file name. If you have a problem doing this on Windows, read this article.
  4. Upload it to the root directory of your website.

 

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