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    • bobjonkman repeated a notice by feld 29 January 2020
      RT @feld @mewmew @er1n If your goal is to be hidden from search engines you'll have things like valuable technical discussions lost forever. Yes you deserve the right to be forgotten. Yes you deserve to be anonymous if you want to be. Yes you deserve ownership and control over your data as much as is […]
    • Favorite 29 January 2020
      bobjonkman favorited something by feld: @mewmew @er1n If your goal is to be hidden from search engines you'll have things like valuable technical discussions lost forever.Yes you deserve the right to be forgotten.Yes you deserve to be anonymous if you want to be.Yes you deserve ownership and control over your data as much as is […]
    • New note by bobjonkman 11 December 2019
      Did you get the job?
    • bobjonkman repeated a notice by silverwizard 11 December 2019
      RT @silverwizard ♲ @anthonyvclark20@twitter.com: I am 100% against private Prisons Schools Utilities Healthcare Law enforcement Military Waste collection Water Internet Transportation systems Etc. Privatization continues to fail the public interest
    • Favorite 11 December 2019
      bobjonkman favorited something by silverwizard: ♲ @anthonyvclark20@twitter.com: I am 100% against private PrisonsSchoolsUtilities Healthcare Law enforcement Military Waste collection WaterInternet Transportation systems Etc.Privatization continues to fail the public interest
    • New note by bobjonkman 11 December 2019
      My computer already holds my coffee. Usually in a mug. Sometimes in the keyboard.
    • New note by bobjonkman 2 December 2019
      Don't worry about it. I know that's not really helpful advice, but I've had experiences like this too. I think of it as "the wheels falling off". I suspect everyone has these times, but most people won't admit it. An uplifting aphorism I heard in a movie: "It will all be alright in the end. […]
    • New note by bobjonkman 2 December 2019
      These all need illustrations for the box covers.
    • bobjonkman repeated a notice by nev 30 November 2019
      RT @nev i'm well aware canada's healthcare system is vastly inadequate, but just imagine if the housing system were anywhere near what the healthcare system was like. for-profit housing should be as obscene as for-profit healthcare. flipping houses should be seen as as unethical as hiking up insulin prices.
    • Favorite 30 November 2019
      bobjonkman favorited something by nev: i'm well aware canada's healthcare system is vastly inadequate, but just imagine if the housing system were anywhere near what the healthcare system was like. for-profit housing should be as obscene as for-profit healthcare. flipping houses should be seen as as unethical as hiking up insulin prices.

Archive for the 'search engines' Category

IxQuick and DuckDuckGo, alternative search engines

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 30th April 2012

Screenshot of IxQuick in Mozilla Firefox

IxQuick search engine

A friend mentioned that

I’m concerned about Google having a monopoly on search, and tracking their users for search terms, and much more.

So use another search engine.

I’ve been using IxQuick on-and-off for years, and almost exclusively for the last six months: https://ixquick.com/

First, I set the default Search Bar plugin to IxQuick from one of the many selections at the Mycroft project .

Then I also set Firefox’s address bar to do keyword searches on IxQuick:

  1. type about:config in the address bar
  2. Acknowledge the potential for damaging your system
  3. Search for the keyword.URL entry
  4. Change it to https://ixquick.com/do/metasearch.pl?query=

Now any keywords you type into the address bar will be looked up by IxQuick.

IxQuick is a metasearch engine, which searches All the Web, Digg, Qkport, Ask/Teoma, EntireWeb, Wikipedia, Bing, Gigablast, Yahoo, Cuil and Open Directory. Almost everything except Google. IxQuick claims that it does NOT collect or share your personal information, and keeps logs no longer than 48 hours.

All in all, I’ve been very pleased with the results IxQuick provides.

Screenshot of Firefox displaying the DuckDuckGo home page

DuckDuckGo search engine

DuckDuckGo (https://duckduckgo.com/) is another alternative search engine that claims it does not collect or share personal information.

To put DuckDuckGo in the Search Bar, browse to the DuckDuckGo site, pull down the list of search engines, then click on “Add DuckDuckGo”.

To set up DuckDuckGo as the default search engine for the address bar:

  1. type about:config in the address bar
  2. Acknowledge the potential for damaging your system
  3. Search for the keyword.URL entry
  4. Change it to https://duckduckgo.com/?q=

I haven’t used DuckDuckGo much at all, but I’ve only heard favourable reports…

Note that there are many other references to Google in the about:config settings, so if you make only these changes you’re still not Google Free.

–Bob.

Screenshot images created by Bob Jonkman, and released to the Public Domain

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Google, Google Free, Internet, privacy, search engines | 3 Comments »

Four things to improve your search result rankings

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 26th December 2010

A bottle of juice with a Google label

Google Juice by Johannes P. Osterhoff

Now there’s a spammy title for you!

 

There are many people who specialize in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). They claim to be able to improve your rank on search engines, but here are some common-sense tips you can apply yourself.

1

The best thing to maintain good page rank with ANY search engine is to have good content. This isn’t something an SEO company can do for you — you have to provide that content yourself. Repeating someone else’s content may bring you a few hits, but the search engines will quickly determine that the original site has hosted that content longer, and rank them higher.

Google is additionally funny in that they will count the number of sites that link to you, assuming that if you warrant many links, you must have something the Google customers want. If you switch Hosting Providers or change to a different domain name then anyone linking to the old domain name may have (temporarily) dead links. That will drain your Googlejuice right quick. If you have multiple domain names with the same content then the Google page rank is diluted. Better to have one domain with 1000 links than two domains with 500 each. You should ask your Hosting Provider to set up “301 redirected permanently” for any non-primary domains. Google is smart enough to figure out that http://www.example.com is the same as http://example.com, but I prefer no www. Why? See http://no-www.org/.

2

The second best thing you can do is to have valid HTML for all your Web pages. Sadly, many sites fail badly on that account (including this one). Have a look at the W3C HTML validator for this home page. As I write this, this blog’s home page has 29 errors. That will drain my Googlejuice right quick. If a search engine can’t parse HTML it won’t index content, or rank the page up high. That counts for all search engines, not just Google. I’ve written about this in Invalid HTML Considered Harmful. There are consultants that can help you correct invalid HTML; you may know one or two already 🙂

3

The third-best thing is to make sure your pages are accessible. If your site works well on alternative browers (PDAs, game consoles, cell phones) and assistive devices (braille readers, text-to-speech readers) and plain text browsers like Lynx then it’s a pretty sure thing that search engines can index the content too. Avoid Javascript, but if you use Javascript make sure that content delivery isn’t Javascript dependent — make plenty of use of the <noscript> tag. Don’t use non-indexable technologies like Flash, PDFs, Silverlight, or ActiveX. Google is getting pretty good at indexing PDFs and even Flash, but you’ll get better results with plain HTML. I’ve never seen a PDF that wouldn’t work as well-designed HTML. Non-indexable technologies won’t drain your Googlejuice, but they do nothing to boost it either.

4

The fourth best thing you can do is not play jiggery-pokery with hidden text, irrelevant keywords, cloaking, “sneaky” redirects, comment spam on other sites, or fake affiliate sites. If you try to outsmart search engines’ ranking algorithms to artificially boost your ranking, you may succeed for a few days or weeks before you’re banned altogether. That will drain your Googlejuice right quick. Besides, jiggery-pokery is a lot of hard work, better spent creating good content.

Update 1 March 2011: Told you so!

–Bob.

Google Juice by Johannes P. Osterhoff is used under a Creative Commons by-nc-nd license.

Posted in Accessibility, blogging, Internet, Javascript, Search Engine Optimization, search engines, valid html | 5 Comments »

 
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