CMXtraneous: Blogs and Blogging

Right on the edge of useful

Blocking the Value of Comment Spam

Posted Tuesday, January 25, 2005 3:28:17 PM by Stephanie

Stephanie

Those of you with blogs know what a pain it can be when the spammers send their bots out to muck up your comments with links to their own sites. They know the value of a link in Google and they frankly don't care whether they're messing with the rules or messing with you -- they simply want links from anywhere to raise their search engine placement.

Maybe not anymore -- Google has an idea! A new attribute that stops the Google spiders from following a link. You can place it dynamically every time someone leaves a link in your blog. Google says:

From now on, when Google sees the attribute (rel="nofollow") on hyperlinks, those links won't get any credit when we rank websites in our search results. This isn't a negative vote for the site where the comment was posted; it's just a way to make sure that spammers get no benefit from abusing public areas like blog comments, trackbacks, and referrer lists ... We think any piece of software that allows others to add links to an author's site (including guestbooks, visitor stats, or referrer lists) can use this attribute. We're working primarily with blog software makers for now because blogs are such a common target.

Blog software makers are whole-heartedly jumping on the bandwagon to implement this strategy. If you've created your own blog, you may want to add this attribute in yourself. You can read all the details at The Google Blog.

Category tags: Blogs and Blogging, ColdFusion, Dreamweaver, Search

Stalking the wild Firefox

Posted Wednesday, January 12, 2005 1:45:43 AM by Big John

Big John

I have been into Opera for some time now, and it's an excellent browser, particularly the "zoom" feature. Unfortunately I am sometimes prevented from operating certain sites, and I have found that Firefox reliably handles them, so I know it's not just IE-specific code at fault.

So, I have been toying around with FF1.0 a little, and I didn't care for a few of the ways it behaves, so I was reluctant to switch over. Well no more.

Today I went for it, and started gleaning thru the hundreds of new FF extensions to be had, and suffice to say, my mind HAS BEEN BLOWN. Right now an explosion is happening in the FF extension field, and the sky is the limit.

I'm literally chortling with glee (and I don't do that too often) over all the cool functionality now at my beck and call. Irritating Flash ads? Zap 'em. Don't like a particular image or text block? Kaboom. Ads in general giving you hives? Blacklist them, complete with wildcards. Woohoo! Blog tools galore, RSS stuff, developer tools, you name it.

And that's not all. There's a popup counter, showing just how many popups FF blocked for you on a page, along with the "all time high" # of popups ever blocked at one time. "Madge, I THINK I'm going to be sick!" You can select a plain unlinked url on a page, right click and off you go. Does it irritate you to have to register at every Podunk paper just to see some linked story, only to never visit again? Arrrr, ye be covered, Matey. >;-D One extension employs algorythms to make the mouse wheel scrolling butter smooth. Ahhhh.

This only scratches the surface of what's available, and the fun is just getting started. Consider "Fangs", which gives a text representation of what a screen reader would speak. Awesome. One extension even replicates my beloved "restore closed tab" feature from Opera. Happy happy happy! Joy Joy Joy!

Yes, I now feel a true master of my domain (no pun intended). It's good to be King.

Category tags: Accessibility, Blogs and Blogging, Community MX, Designing for the Web, Extensibility, This and That, Using the Web

Search Engine Blogs

Posted Tuesday, January 11, 2005 10:34:05 AM by Stephanie

Stephanie

Though Search Engine Optimization isn't one of my favorite things to do (gurls just wanna write code!), I do basic optimization for select clients. Of course, this forces me to keep up with the latest news from the Engines to do a good job. Recently, I ran across the Search Visibility Report. SVR is a blog that shows me all the search engine blogs at a glance. So instead of visiting Google, Yahoo! and other blogs one by one, I can simply hit the SVR site (using the Sage extension in Firefox -- my personal favorite), and instantly see what's been said today. Very cool!

Category tags: Blogs and Blogging, Dreamweaver, Search