ColdFusion Muse

Search Engines Series Pt. 2 - Coding The Header

Mark Kruger December 13, 2006 12:44 PM Hosting and Networking Comments (2)

In this post, part 2 in our search engine series, we will discuss important aspects of coding and designing that will facilitate easier indexing by search engines and create a higher likelihood of a rising page rank. In Part 1 of this series we discussed the concept that your web site needs valuable and fresh content to really be useful to search engines. Without useful content your web site will not be a destination that anyone wants to visit, and therefore it will not be something that search engines (who are customer focused) want to index. Keep part 1 in mind as we discuss what you can do with your code and with your pages. Unless you have solved the puzzle of maintaining fresh and valuable content on your web site, you will be spinning your wheels.

Of course, you can use certain techniques to get yourself ranked high - at least temporarily. But my guess is that you will spend just as much time changing your code in a running battle to keep yourself on top of Google as you would if you learned to write and maintain good information on your site. By the way, those "black-hat techniques" are not discussed in this post. This post is about preparing your valuable content to be consumed by a search engine that wants and needs it - not about tricking a search engine into indexing less than worthy content. With that in mind....

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Search Engines Series Pt. 1 - Content is King

Mark Kruger December 8, 2006 5:55 AM Hosting and Networking Comments (4)

Practically every day a customer of ours will ask us about search engine optimization (SEO). It usually starts with something like, "What can I do to get ranked higher on search engines?" or "Why doesn't my site show up on Google?" or maybe "How do I use this new fangled contraption called a mouse?" I usually begin by patiently explaining that SEO is kind of an art - a dance between developer coding techniques, business strategies, content and the search engine. It's a boxing match where everyone has a part to play and the ground is always shifting. I go on from dancing and boxing to several other metaphors involving movement and competition (and one involving cheese). Then I recommend a few changes. At this point the customer usually says something like, "...and that will get me on the first page of search engines, right?" To answer I usually tell the Joke about MTV asking Bob Dole the same question they asked Clinton, "Do you wear boxers or briefs". Seventy year old Dole responded, "Depends".

(Series: click here for Part 2 - The Header )

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Verisign and Kafka - Separated at Birth?

Mark Kruger October 31, 2006 5:48 PM Hosting and Networking Comments (0)

So you want an SSL certificate and your customer insists on using Verisign eh? Here's something to watch out for - the "domain registrant". In case you needed another indicator that the whole SSL "authority" game is a protection racket, let me fill you in on my tail of woe. I have a customer who insisted on using Verisign for his SSL certificate. I dutifully went to Verisign and purchased the overpriced product and waited for my new cert to arrive. Shortly after the purchase I got a note from Verisign support. My customer in his wisdom had made the domain private. Because a "WHOIS" query identified the domain as private, Verisign couldn't verify that they "owned" the domain. Our first step was to make the information public. That turned out to be only the beginning of our trouble.

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Domain Kiting and the Dark Side

Mark Kruger August 11, 2006 2:36 PM Hosting and Networking Comments (1)

I was referred by this CF-Talk thread to an interesting article on domain kiting by Bob Parsons, the founder of The basic premise is the same as that of kiting a check - with the exception that domain kiters don't ever cover the cost. You probably are already aware of the term domain kiting, but in case you are not aware, here's a rundown.

  • A domain kiter will set up shop by placing a large deposit at a registry (like verisign).
  • The kiter will then register as many domains as it can afford based on the deposit. These domains are based on misspellings of common domains, company names, trademarks, catch phrases and the like.
  • The kiter will use the domain to put up farms of link pages that drive ad-revenue.
  • Since the registries allow a 5 day grace period to cancel the domain without penalty, the vast majority are canceled with no money charged.
  • The domain can be immediately re-registered with no penalty in most cases. Amazingly, the registries allow this practice.
You can see that even modest success by the kiter could make it profitable. According to Mr. Parson's, of the 35 million domains registered in May, 32 million of them were part of this kiting strategy. Amazingly, although the largest registries (like Verisign) could stop it if they wished to do so, they choose to ignore the problem. I-CANN could probably stop it as well, but they move so painfully slow that they make congress look like Ricky Bobby. One other thing that occured to me is that search engines could lend a hand in this case. Google, for example, could simply refuse to index any site that is still within the 5 day period. The link pages would lose value if no one could find them - although it wouldn't solve the problem with people who are fat-fingered or lesdyxic.

This is why the internet reminds me of Star Wars. It's like an all powerful force with a dark side and a light side - with me as a part of a small rebel force....

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A Clean Install in a Dirty World

Mark Kruger June 22, 2006 10:44 AM Hosting and Networking Comments (1)

One of the things I often recommend when upgrading or troubleshooting is a "clean install". What I mean is that all traces of the previous product should be removed and a fresh "from scratch" installation attempted. If possible, this should start with the Operating system. Here's my tip list for a clean install of Windows 2000(3) server with Coldfusion.

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Queued Requests Hanging Coldfusion? Check Network Capacity

Let me set the scene. A client's server was set up with about 20 sites. One site in particular was quite busy. After what has been described as a "spontaneous reboot" the server began have problems. It would stay up with all the sites enabled except for the one busy site. As soon as that site was enabled, running requests would climb slowly till they reached the simultaneous request threshold, then queued request would climb until the server was unresponsive.

NOTE: There is a follow up to this post.

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Print Spooler Errors on Disabled Print Spooler (windows 2000)

Mark Kruger February 27, 2006 1:48 PM Hosting and Networking Comments (3)

One of the things you do to fine tune the performance of a server is to turn off unnecessary services. This frees up resources for your primary application. Unless the server in question is a print server you should turn off the print spooler service. On a windows 2000 server this sometimes results in annoying "printer not found" type errors in your windows event viewer. To get rid of them, use the following steps:

  • Start the print spooler service if it is not already running.
  • Go to Start-Programs-settings-printers.
  • Choose File-Server Properties from the menu.
  • Click on the "advanced" tab and "de-select" all the checkboxes listed there.
Don't forget to recheck these boxes if you ever do want to print from this server. Happy non-printing.

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Choosing a Good Domain Name and Avoiding Cyber Embarrasment

Mark Kruger January 31, 2006 5:51 PM Project Management, Hosting and Networking Comments (6)

I am often tasked with helping a customer decide on the domain name for a brand new site. This is a daunting task because people have very specific ideas it - even if they are not enthused about anything else regarding the site. The choice is an important one. Your domain name is sort of like the headline on a newspaper article. It should reflect something regarding the content and nature of your site. Here are my tips for choosing a domain name.

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