Categories
blogging&wordpress on the web

SEO: how can you check if a domain has been burned?


Matt Cutts, from Google’s Webspam team, explains what to do when you want to buy a brand new domain name. It is a known fact that if a domain has been burned from Google’s index due to spam or hacking, then if you buy that domain you won’t be able to rank.

Few of my readers know that I’m interested in SEO, but I am because of my involvement in Reeija, a Romanian online shop that sells handbags. I know, i have a lot of things on my plate.

So, what should you do if you want to buy a new domain name? Do these:
1. do a search for the domain, like :
a. site:domain.com – if they have content on that domain, then this is an issue = this is for when you want to buy a domain from someone
b. do a search for the domain name. example search for “hoopashoes” if the domain you want to buy is hoopashoes.com
2. check the domain name in the Internet Archive and see if it was spammy
3. if you buy from somebody ask for Google Webmasters Tools access
4. if no info can be found, try to do a reconsideration request and disavow all the links to it

Have fun buying a new domain name.

Categories
blogging&wordpress opinion

Why do I keep blogging on TehGeekTive.com?

Just because. TehGeekTive.com keeps my English engines running, keeps me in check with science and geekiness, pays the hosting bills (check the ads on the blog) and allows me to reach quite a different market than the Romanian one, which is of less than 9 million people.

English speaking people on the web are billions, but there are also millions of blogs out there, so it’s not easier to blog in English than in Romanian. Maybe I’ll do a reach study sometimes, but not now.

I can’t really say that TGT – TehGeekTive.com – is really a blog, a website where some dude shows off his opinion about stuff. I post here merely news in geek/science world just to keep the blog running and from time to time i hop in with some opinion. I’ll have to change that. I’m not blogging since 2010 just to be a news proxy or some sort of ad anchor. This blog should do more than just pay the bills for the other sites I use on the server so….

So, yeah.

Things might be interesting and posting here what i think about stuff is a must have. I DO have some things to say about a couple of topics: ecommerce, tech support, SEO, WordPress, war in Ukraine (Romania is right next to Ukraine, o the western border), internet and maybe some video game and pc reviews. Guess I was just lazy until recently.

Posting 2-3 posts a day with the coolest stuff i see simply ain’t working. I feel that it is not enough so I’ll mix things up: 2-3 news like now and some random post about things that I’d like to talk about. Surely there will be someone to read what i say so… welcome 😀

Keep you posted. I’m only one step away form becoming well known blogger in Europe and beyond 😀

Categories
blogging&wordpress opinion

The best thing about outsourcing is…

.. that you can fire that sucker whenever you want and that you can complain that those “guys from the third world countries” are not dependable, all while you are using them to do your job.

Props to that.

I thought I’d just leave it like that, but no.

Dojo wrote about why she wants some companies that use outsourcing to fail miserably in her blog post (Romanian). See Google translated version here – proper title : Outsourcing or why I want some companies to go bankrupt.

Basically, US companies use Asian or European freelancers/companies to do their job and then some of these US companies complain about the poor quality of the outsourcees. Then continue hiring these guys, because, well, why not? They’re cheaper. Way cheaper.

It’s a known fact that Indians, Pakistans or Phillipinos don’t really do much work for the bucks they’re paid, but hey, you, a company that uses outsourcing, is paying them shitty salaries and, in return, don’t really ask for high quality jobs. Really.

If you were to ask me, US workers really do their jobs, although they won’t work on cheap. Even a tech support guy in some random company will ask for at least $1500/month so that can be pricey, but you get a guy that does his job.

And thus companies use outsourcing, although some will never openly admit it. When you see that the support team you’re used to gets crowded with foreigners you know that the company is cutting down on costs. If they’ll continue on this road and will not actively ensure that the outsourcees do their job, no matter how poorly they are paid, they[the company] will prepare a recipe for disaster.

Who cares? The money are rolling, customers are complaining, companies can fire those suckers whenever they want and then they can complain all over the place about the poor job those guys are doing. Of course, companies won’t really act too much in the direction of maintaining a high standard of work. Why? They know they pay shitty salaries and those freelancers know that too.

Categories
blogging&wordpress opinion

Britain, don’t be a dick

Recently I saw this speech of Phil Plait and it is called: don’t be a dick. This is also my message to you, Britain: don’t be a dick. I am a Romanian and not the proudest one, for sure, however I ask you this because of the recent xenophobic action in the media that you approved passively.

Phil Plait, a known skeptic, asked fellow skeptics to not insult people who do not want to accept science as the base when arguing about the Universe and the world around us. Skeptics tend to be mean if they see ignorant people around and thus Phil asked everyone to not act like dicks.

So, since Britain is a great country and with a lot of financial power I ask you to not be a dick. Most of your issues are with Romas, the gipsies, not with regular Romanians. Don’t have the courage to say that, eh? Better be called xenophobic than racist, eh?

Why won’t you come clean, dear Britain? We have the same issues with Romas here since some of them don’t want to integrate into society and prefer to follow their own rule: steal from the Romanians as much as possible. It should be noted that less than 40% of the Romas are actually misbehaving. Many others chose the path to romanization (ie accepting our rules and laws) and are taking part in the society as regular Romanians. We respect that!

As Sandra Pralong points out here, most Romanians, about 2.5 million, who wanted to leave our country already left it after 2007 and worked or even moved to Spain or Italy. About 4% of the people questioned last year said that they would go to UK to work and that would be a couple of tens of thousands at most.

Where’s the invasion, dear xenophobic *ahem racist* Britain?

Mero.co.uk has a good laugh at the xenophobic British media that was crying about the Romanian invasion. Best comment they saw on Twitter was the one from below:

Quoting:

Gerontius Maridunum ‏@Gerontius1 1 Jan
Bloody Romanians and Bulgarians – coming over here and buying up all our invisibility cloaks!

Well said, Gerontius.

A friend of mine wrote a protest blog post in regards to Britain and I loved most the following phrases:

So, Britain, until you apologize for the hysteria, you’re off my list of civilized countries. Your forebearers were wiser, and they built a country (an empire, even) that I admired. But you’re not that anymore. You’re just some spoiled brats, cashing in the efforts of your grandparents. You’re not the great country you once were, you’re not the civilizing force you once were. You’re the has-beens.

Ok, that hurts, but I do hope I (we) got the point across.

Britain, don’t be a dick.

Categories
blogging&wordpress geek

Copyfight: I’m entering Copyblogger’s Essay Contest

I write and read in English a LOT. Most of the time I read or watch movies in English, although I live in Romania. This blog was created, in part, to allow me to learn English like a professional blogger and to better understand the dynamics of the blogosphere outside Romania. I learned and earned quite some experience and money in last two years, since TehgGeekTive exists on the web.

Today I’m entering Copyblogger’s Essay contest and i have to write a 250 words essay that should explain “Why It’s Essential to Be an Online Authority”.

It is hard to write such a short essay and I will have to work a lot for this, however the prizes are really big. I care mostly about the thrill of the match with the native English speakers.

FYI: I wrote a bunch of real long blog posts on Afla Scelta or Spring Merchant about building websites, SEO, marketing. Blogging is awesome 😀

We’ll live and see who wins the contest. Wish me luck!

Copyblogger Essay Contest Poster
Enter the contest or get more content marketing tips from Copyblogger.

Categories
blogging&wordpress learn

Get Paying Clients as a Videographer

I have a friend who does videography, meaning videos of any kind, from slo-mo to nice sensitive ones. Constantin, by his name, has written a great blog post about 3 Ways To Get Paying Clients as a Videographer and he lives by what he preaches. See this video with a rail track in Brasov, Romania.

In the post I mentioned he explains a few things about the marketing a videographer needs to do. It’s not all about the tech you have or your editing skills. Many clients will pay you by your marketing skills.

Constantin mentions a few great books in his post and among them 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, a great book that should bring you up to speed with the basics in marketing. I just finished reading it and it gave me a birds-eye-view over my activities and some changes will result in the near future.

He mentions also three things you need to keep in mind if you want to get clients and the most intriguing is the first one: lie a bit, bend the truth. That is almost a requirement if you have no portfolio. If you believe in your skills invent something, then work on those and then go forward.

Words that I remebered from his post: “Marketing is a battle of perceptions“, “What you have to do is either work for free or for the right price but never be cheap” and “Getting clients is not always about doing the best work“. Just head on to this post and be ready to learn some marketing skillz 😀

Categories
blogging&wordpress

WordPress sued in Romania over an anti-Colonhelp article [partially NSFW]

Let me clear a bit the things: Automattic Inc, the company behind WordPress.com, the blogging network is sued in Romania over an anti-ColonHelp article written by an anonymous Romanian blogger. It seems that Zenyth Pharmaceuticals, the creator of ColonHelp (a colon cleansing product), does not deal well with reviews they don’t like, so they sue.

Zenyth bullies bloggers

The entire story is written in Romanian with the title ColonHelp nu ajută colonul and also in English and it is appalling and grotesque in the way the events are unfolding. Honestly, if you guys (most of my readers are from US) have your own internet bullies, the copyright trolls, we will get in line with that too and more in Romania.

See an excerpt from that blogger’s post:

The producers of the colon cleansing product mentioned in the posts contacted me a while ago (in the comments) claiming that I have damaged their reputation and should pay 100.000 euro for that damage. This was followed by me writing another post in which I explained why it’s generally a bad idea to sue people criticizing your company as it can only bring negative visibility.

VIA

Really?! 100 000 euro because you don’t like other opinions is way too much. It would be too much to even change a word in any of those posts.

The dumb asses from Zenith Pharmaceuticals didn’t liked to counter the bloggers post with valid relevant info about their product and how it helps people, instead they went hunting. They hired a local lawyer firm from Bucharest named Societatea Civila de Avocaţi “Badea, Popa şi Asociaţii” to do their dirty work. If you have a valid product, why the need to hunt and bully an anonymous blogger?

These type of actions are not really new in Romania, but it is the first time a company that knows they have crappy product went after an anonymous blogger when they could have left the situation as is. PR Lesson no. 1: if your product is shitty and you know it, then don’t sue people like ColonHelp does. The situation will get messy, the crappy version of messy.

Reactions to the abusive practice of crappy Zenyth

The reactions are many. From 100+ comments on the original English post from Insula Indoielii to many other blog posts in Romanian blogosphere (examples with G Translate: one, two, three, four and there are many more). Shit, ColonHelp, why does G Translate still has crappy translations? Did it look into your product or what?

Bogdan Manolea, the no. 1 to go person in Romania for IT related laws, says that Insula Indoielii (Island of Doubt) has used it’s free speech right according to the law and that Zentyh Pharmaceuticals have a weak case. Read more about it here (G translation).

Today, 19 December 2012, the trial will start in Bucharest. Automattic Inc. have hired a local layer for this case and we will see what happens from here on. The anonymous blogger has a page called Trial Updates and the conclusion is that Zentyh, with their crappy practice of suing bloggers, does not have a case.

This case is not Zenyth vs a blogger. It’s more than that. It has the free speech over internet at heart. The decisions from this case could affect how people blog and will outline why the heck we still need anonimity in 2012. And yes, we still need that today too.

A case for free speech and anonymity

I am not a hot shot blogger and do not take part in any activists group, but do not ever try to tell me what I should or should not write here as long as I write my opinions, things I consider being true and do not promote any kind of illegal activities. Try to mess with my work and you will hear some dear words: fuck off, jackass.

As you can see in the posts I mentioned in the links above, free speech is mentioned quite often. If a product is crappy (like ColonHelp) should I keep this for myself or not? If a service is shitty (like Go Daddy’s hosting) should I shut up? No way. When I saw that my blog loaded in 2 minutes on Go Daddy hosting all I wanted to do is to escape from there and wish them to burn their servers in hell. Occasionally I pick on Go Daddy for their crappy hosting on Twitter.

The issue is there, should I NOT talk about it? If I felt betrayed by such service I have paid for should I be kind? Free speech lets me say whatever I want under some conditions. That doesn’t mean I won’t be harsh as fuck about that. So, should I keep my mouth shut of fear that some guys from Zenyth Crapphaus will sue me if I say they have bad products? No way sir.

I did not used ColonHelp, nor was I ever interested in this product. People say it is good for prevention and only that. But if I see such reactions that means something is fishy. If you sue a blogger because he brings forth valid arguments, then this means you want to cover the shit. Then I am inclined to believe that blogger, not you. What I am writing here about is the bad practice of Zenyth suing people over their right to say that they[Zenyth] have a bad product.

Glad that the blogger is anonymous. Not because anonymity gives one the right to pick on everyone and hurt people around. No. Anonymity is good for such situations as Zenyth vs Romanian blogger. In 2012 we still need anonymity and I am glad we still see it. In one of the posts mentioned by me above commenters brought forth the idea of responsibility. If you use the right for free speech, then you should be liable for what you say. Perfectly agree. But what do you do when you bring perfectly valid arguments and then do not have money for a layer? And live in Romania? Eh?

More or less, we need anonymity and free speech. This case is proof that companies do not like to see opposing opinions on the web and, some of them, will hunt people like animals for that. If you have a crappy product, change it, or hire a Online Reputation Management firm, but do not sue people around.

Categories
blogging&wordpress

TehGeekTive is one year old

first-year-anniversary-andrew-j-swan-flickr

Last year, on 2nd October 2011, I started this blog because I wanted to see how it is to write daily in English and share my passion for science, nerdy, geeky and tech stuff. I hope my selection of posts has entertained you, taught you more about the world we live in and has made you to come back here daily.

Happy First Aniversary TehGeekTive.

Photo via Flickr.

Categories
blogging&wordpress learn on the web

Use javascript to create collapsible content in your WordPress site

Javascript, also known as ECMAscript, is a browser (client) side scripting language, which means that using this code you alter the behavior of the browser. The browser reads the code and does actions which are beyond HTML and CSS capabilities. If you have javascript disabled in your browser then you won’t see the demo at the end of this tutorial.

HTML, CSS, PHP, ASP and other languages are server side scripting languages which tell the server (as opposite to the browser) how they should send the page over to your browser. Javascript is loaded then in browser and extra actions happen because of the rendering the browser does.

Since I got to work on a few small Elance projects I got to learn a bit about the usage of codes, although I’m not javascript literate at all. Still, here comes the magic: with a little care you can use javascript codes, especially JQuery codes, to enrich the content of your site or blog. Remember JQuery and javascript are not different languages, JQuery is only a small part of javascript, it is a library of functions built on top of javascript.

Javascript code for creating collapsible content in your site

Javascript is all about doing a certain action on a given element from a page. In order to have a working collapsible content that hides when you click on it’s title you need to use three types of code:

  1. javascript code – this is very important as it tells what content to hide
  2. html code – this code will be the subject of alteration
  3. css code – give it some nice touch with styling

Below you can see the javascript code I used to do this. Put this code in header.php, right before the closing head tag </head>:
[html]
<script type="text/javascript" src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.7.1/jquery.min.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript">
jQuery(document).ready(function() {
jQuery(".collapsediv").hide();
//toggle the component with class collapsediv
jQuery(".collapseh").click(function()
{
$(this).toggleClass("selected");
jQuery(this).next(".collapsediv").slideToggle(800);
});
});
</script>
[/html]

The code above allows you to identify all elements with class=”collapsediv” and the hide them. After that it recognizes all the elements with class=”collapseh” (the headings, or titles) and, if clicked, they will trigger the action to show the content from the next element.

Also, using the action toggleClass(“selected”) you can apply some additional styling to the heading. This way, while the content is shown you can change the appearance of the heading by putting a minus icon on it’s left side.

Notice this line: src=”https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.7.1/jquery.min.js” ? It tells the browser where from it showd take the file with all the functions needed to make this happen. Right now it points to version 1.7.1 of JQuery, but in the future you might want to update the link to the proper version. For this just go to here and see the updated version of the link, by looking for path.

HTML code to use in your pages or posts

The following code needs to be used besides javascript code. This HTML code needs to be inserted in the post using the HTML editor, not the visual editor.
[html]
<p class="collapseh">Heading here</p>
<div class="collapsediv">
your text here
</div>
[/html]

Notice that your heading is in a p tag and has the class=”collapseh”. If you click on that on the live demo you will be able to unhide the content. Instead of “text here” you can put whatever content: images, videos, text, music.

You can use as many combinations of this code as you need. Do not forget to close the p and div tags as it may lead to unwanted consequences.

Use CSS code to style the heading and the hidden content

Bwloe you can copy and paste the CSS code. Please modify as needed the colors, images and maybe paddings. Each blog/site uses different styling so you may have to tweak the code, but it will look okay. Here’s the code:
[css]
.collapseh {
margin: 1px;
padding: 5px 0 5px 20px;
cursor: pointer;
position: relative;
border-bottom: solid 1px #404040;
margin-bottom: 1px;
font-weight: bold;
background: #1c1c1c url(here-link-to-icon-plus) no-repeat 0 7px;
}

.selected {
background: #1c1c1c url(here-link-to-icon-minus) no-repeat 0 7px !important;
}

.collapsediv {
padding: 5px 10px;
background-color:#1c1c1c;
border-bottom: solid 1px #ccc;
border-top: solid 1px #404040;
margin-bottom: 1px;
}
[/css]

You can see there the following texts: “here-link-to-icon-plus” and “here-link-to-icon-minus”. You need to update those with the plus and minus images I will provide at the end of the tutorial. Of couse you can use your own images, background and styliong, but you will have in the zip archive a text file with these codes and the two images files.

Collapsible text – working demo and files

Please know that this code is provided as is, with no warranty whatsoever. I am not the creator of this code, I used it and modified it. If you know the original source please put the link in the comments. And here is the demo. Just click on “Heading here”:

Heading here – click here to show the text from below

Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

And here is the zip archive with all the codes in it. Download here.