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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Keyword List Maker

I created ListMaker while I was doing some keyword research. I wanted to check the global monthly searches for something in each US State. Let's say the keyword was "travel destinations." I wanted to check for each:

"Travel destinations in Alabama"
"Alabama travel destinations"

"Travel destinations in Alaska"
"Alaska travel destinations"

And so on and so forth for each US State. Unfortunately there are fifty states and that requires a lot of data entry, so I wrote code that asks:

"What is your keyword?"

"Would you like your keyword to go before (b) or after(a) your state?"

The code will then map each state to "travel destinations" and print the keyword list to a new file. I decided to have the program name the file after the keyword, instead of just some static name, in case I want to map states to multiple keywords.

You can download Keyword List Maker. Or just check out the code.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

MBTI Program - Getting Started

I am starting on the MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) quiz program that I decided to write. I chose to write this program because I wanted to learn how to write a quiz.

One of the most interesting elements I want to include in this is the ability to hide which answer equals which type. This is to prevent against scraping. I first came across this concept when I was hand-scraping a quiz to see which answers equaled which personality type. One website programmatically writes the IDs for each question and leaves absolutely no information in the other parts of the mark-up that lets users know which answer equals which type.

Tonight I worked on getting the HTML and CSS written for this program. It's extremely plain right now, but I did at least create a minimalistic header for it using an image I found in Google search (very very bad girl) and PhotoShopped (err The GIMPed??) it with a Free For Commercial Use font I found.

If you are curious about how the markup looks at this point, it is below. I want to remind you, however, that it is very minimal at this point. Click on the image to make it larger.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


NoDoFollow is an amazing tool for Firefox users.
Here's how it works:
Red links are nofollow
Blue links are dofollow (these are GREAT for SEO)

All you you have to do to enable or disable NoDoFollow is to right click and select (or deselect NoDoFollow.) You don't even have to restart FireFox!

If you would like to see the tool in action, check out the image below (taken from this very blog post!

You can download the NoDoFollow Firefox Plug-in free.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Machine Up & Running + Received Ruby Books

My computer is up and running. I had a number of problems with it including the big one with the whole virus thing. I kept trying to format it, but the format failed each time. On a hunch, I opened it up and saw that both hard drives were set to master (they were put in by someone else shortly after my last format). Instead of setting one to slave, I just pulled it out and then I was able to format.

I've got everything up and running now and the machine runs beautifully. I still need to install software and pull files from my latest backup (which was a while back) but everything seems to be in order.

I guess it's a lesson... or rather two lessons:
Don't let other people mess with my computer
Back everything up regularly. (err more regularly.)

Big news, I also got all the Ruby books I'd ordered. I'm totally stoked about that... more on that topic down the road.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


It'll be a while before I can post anything useful as I have to fix my computer. :( I suppose I deserve it, since I let someone touch my precious computer.


Yep, my favorite machine, (the one named LoL) got superAIDs. I'm pretty sure I got it during the format when Windows 2008 was put on it. From what I've read, what I've comes specially packaged with a lot of bootleg operating systems or fake OS validator thingies. Not that I've ever bootlegged anything before. Yarr!

Despite the light jokes strewn throughout this post, I'm actually really frustrated. But alas, this time I'll DIY... err DIM?

Not a happy camper.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Google Bounce Rate on Wedding Blog Fixed

I fixed the page reloading problem I was having on my wedding website. I've been having the problem since February and now I'm finally seeing really traffic stats on the site instead of a bounce rate at around 0%. After the fix I'd proposed in an earlier post, I had to wait a few hours for Google to report my latest traffic and now that the numbers are in, I'm glad to say that the problem is gone.

Refreshing Problem on Website

One of my websites (not this one) has some sort of unidentified bug that is causing it to load and then reload part of the site before completing the load.

This normally wouldn't be a problem, but it's causing some reporting errors with Google Analytics. In particular, it's showing a bounce rate of 0.68%. The bounce rate was about 80% before February 20, so the problem (probably) started then.

And, of course, it's causing the site to load more slowly, as a whole, possibly costing the site its readership.

I went through the template and made some changes, removing some redundancies (there were a LOT of them) and I also removed Blogger's "share this around the internet" stuff, since I have a third party script that does the same thing. Since un-checking the box didn't remove it, I removed the offending code from the xml file.

I also removed and reinserted the GA code in the case that it had been put in wonky -- it'll be several hours before I am able to look at the logs and tell if my bounce rate is going up to a more realistic (sadly) number.

However, I can say that now the site is loading much faster. I also cut down the number of blog posts on the front page from four to two; moved my 'about', 'contact', and 'privacy' pages from blog posts to actual pages (as when the site was created, Google didn't have "pages" on Blogger.)

I also changed the ads from being little squares in the post, to small banners between the title and the post. While this area doesn't convert quite as much as in the corner where they were, it looks a ton better.

In the past, I'd put some text in the sidebar to help the ads become more "relevant" to the topics of the blog, but those two mini-articles to the footer and wrote a third on the footer. It sounds like it would look horrible, but it looks really spiffy.. I'm quite proud of it as the third article I added seems to help prevent the ads from being kind of off-the-wall and more relevant than with just the two articles. Also, it looks a lot nicer overall.

So loads fast + looks better + ads are more relevant... let's see how this converts.