Fox Digital Search https://foxdigitalsearch.com Thu, 06 Jun 2019 11:30:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 DNS Turned Upside Down https://foxdigitalsearch.com/2019/06/dns-turned-upside-down/ Thu, 06 Jun 2019 11:30:39 +0000 https://foxdigitalsearch.com/?p=3315 I recently had a client’s vendor run their name servers on a antiquated system which allowed for the zone file’s SOA TTL to be set at 48 hours. This means that the authoritative name server told all other name servers worldwide to check in with it to make sure that this zone file’s records were […]

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name serverI recently had a client’s vendor run their name servers on a antiquated system which allowed for the zone file’s SOA TTL to be set at 48 hours. This means that the authoritative name server told all other name servers worldwide to check in with it to make sure that this zone file’s records were up to date every two days. This may sound reasonable, except that the SOA TTL was changed to 24 hours one day before the name servers were moved to another registrar which meant that not all name servers had been told to check in once a day and not every two days worldwide. As a result, the clearing of caches of worldwide for this particular domain was still blisteringly slow and we could not change over to a new website in a reasonable amount of time.

In an attempt o facilitate the transfer, I did something a little unorthodox and, perhaps, something that did not actually work, but I will outline it here. At the client’s new registrar, I created new custom name servers, pointing the name servers to a server in another country which had managed to switch over to the new authoritative name servers. Naturally, this caused an error in the dns, but it also yielded an error which quickly propagated. I would say that about 20% of servers worldwide switched over to the change in about an hour. However, propagation stopped at this point, the idea being that when they all switched over, I would  quickly correct the error and, hopefully, the new authoritative name server change would then be registered over the old one. But as I said, this did not work. Retreating, I set the name servers back to the old registrar, waiting about ten days before switching over again before the new authoritative name servers propagated worldwide in about four days.

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Maryland SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Vendors https://foxdigitalsearch.com/2019/01/maryland-seo-vendors/ Mon, 28 Jan 2019 16:15:36 +0000 https://foxdigitalsearch.com/?p=2538 I must say that I have had only negative experiences dealing with Maryland SEO marketing companies that parlay their digital marketing footprint into SEO. That is not to say that I do not believe that there are companies out there that do what they are supposed to do, it’s just that, in my not so […]

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I must say that I have had only negative experiences dealing with Maryland SEO marketing companies that parlay their digital marketing footprint into SEO. That is not to say that I do not believe that there are companies out there that do what they are supposed to do, it’s just that, in my not so limited experience, I have not encountered them.Model T Ford

More often than not, I’ve been presented with a very simplistic view of what SEO is all about without taking into account of how copy and structure of a website can benefit from those basic principles of SEO. Because it is not merely applying a cookie cutter approach to SEO that will win the day, but an intuitive and pattern centric approach.

What do I mean by this? It is clear on first approach that a website can be quite a complicated thing in terms of its uniqueness—it has unique text, images and site structure so that each change will be subject to this predetermination, not having the effect anticipated, leading to a temporary reduction in SEO or a boon, depending. A lot of the time, some careful experimentation is warranted, taking into account the tool belt that the SEO practitioner has amassed in his or her professional experience. Tackling SEO in this very fruitful manner is not a difficult thing to do, but it does require stepping back and drawing conclusions about what is going on in multiple arenas.

Trying not to sound too cynical at the end of the day, I don’t quite blame certain marketing companies that, fundamentally, don’t have their clients’ best interest at heart when it comes to SEO when the average business person seems to take their Google or Bing clicks for granted, never having fully understood how their Maryland SEO vendor or vendors had benefited them in the first place.

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WordPress Plugin Hooks https://foxdigitalsearch.com/2018/11/wordpress-plugin-hooks/ Sun, 04 Nov 2018 22:10:24 +0000 https://foxdigitalsearch.com/?p=2492 WordPress provides the web developer the ability to hook into both the WordPress install and plugins in order to change functionality or output of the website. Action hooks and filter hooks can be used either in the functions.php file of the theme or in a custom coded plugin for that very purpose. The benefit to […]

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WordPress provides the web developer the ability to hook into both the WordPress install and plugins in order to change functionality or output of the website. Action hooks and filter hooks can be used either in the functions.php file of the theme or in a custom coded plugin for that very purpose.Wordpress

The benefit to using hooks is that the WordPress or plugin authors are aware that these hooks are going to be used by the WordPress community and so will minimize code changes in future releases of their plugins or installs so that the hook functionality of existing WordPress sites is not compromized.

Utilizing hooks in combination with the overriding of theme templates with a child theme gives the WordPress developer great flexibility in accommodating the wishes of his or her client. However, it is my experience that the developer should not get too aggressive with hooking into existing functionality, particularly if it involves two or more plugins as the level of complexity increases dramatically as well as the possibility of the site breaking in future releases.

All professional plugin developers publish an online a summary of the hooks of their plugin application with an explanation of their use. WordPress also publishes online a summary of its own hooks that are particularly useful if the developer wants to hook into an action hook at a particular place in WordPress’ loading.

The difference between action hooks and filter hooks is quite simple. With an action hook, one may trigger a particular piece of custom code at one point in time. With a filter hook, one may add, remove or edit a string or array that is intended for output. Of course, to manipulate these hooks requires a fairly good knowledge of object oriented PHP, the language of wordpress and the programming language that runs most of the world’s web servers.

 

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SEO Challenges For Business Owners and Institutions https://foxdigitalsearch.com/2018/09/seo-challenges-business-institutions/ Thu, 06 Sep 2018 21:17:37 +0000 https://foxdigitalsearch.com/?p=2410 This article is an elaboration of an article I posted in December 2017. SEO challenges are not exactly few and far between. Leveraging website content in order to maximize SEO needs to be done exactingly. The greatest SEO challenges is overcoming the sense that SEO is made up of disparate parts when it really needs […]

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Keywords

This article is an elaboration of an article I posted in December 2017.

SEO challenges are not exactly few and far between. Leveraging website content in order to maximize SEO needs to be done exactingly. The greatest SEO challenges is overcoming the sense that SEO is made up of disparate parts when it really needs to be addressed as a whole. Given a website which is more often than not a very unique thing, tweaking particular SEO parameters can both improve performance and yield other avenues for exploration. One such parameter is keyword distribution for a particular page or the site as a whole. Often times, we try to niche our product or service within particular keywords in order to avoid competing with larger players. On of these SEO challenges might be at what time might we feel that we are ready to move from a niche keyword place to one that directly competes with larger businesses or institutions.

Often times, we find that a switch to a more competitive keyword might seem innocuous for a particular page, but when the decision comes to move sitewide in order to maximize SEO benefit, the benefit might not actually be there. Given this, it is very important, as we are attempting to improve scores on a website, to not muddy the waters, That is, to conscientiously evaluate each parameter change or pairs of parameter changes so that it is clear what is causing the benefit to the SEO score.

SEO challenges abound and there are many of them. The larger and more complex a site, the more complicated a search engine’s evaluation becomes. Given that we are also competing with other websites that are perhaps equally involved implies to us that SEO is an inordinately involved task and very unique to each website.

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Fox Launches New Web Application for Music and Math Lovers https://foxdigitalsearch.com/2018/09/fox-launches-new-web-application-for-music-and-math-lovers/ Tue, 04 Sep 2018 21:34:28 +0000 https://foxdigitalsearch.com/?p=2404 As of this past weekend, Music Mathematics has been launched. Really, a venture between my father and myself, putting online some ideas about the mathematics of musical melodies that have been percolating since my father’s retirement from particle accelerator physics. The application measures what we call “surprise”. That is, how surprising subsequent notes are and the […]

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As of this past weekend, Music Mathematics has been launched. Really, a venture between my father and myself, putting online some ideas about the mathematics of musical melodies that have been percolating since my father’s retirement from particle accelerator physics. The application measures what we call “surprise”. That is, how surprising subsequent notes are and the whole melody seems to be. The algorithm is based on collected data of many common melodies as well as the proximity between two notes in an uploaded melody. For melodies with much repetition (e.g. Philip Glass), there is an addition damping algorithm to remove repeated patterns so that those particular melodies yield appropriate results.

In addition, the user also has the ability to save a melody’s results to our database, thus making available a data set for others to look through. Also, this new site features a write-up of the mathematics involved along with appropriate references.

Our next venture will be to use a little of what we have learned analyzing past notes put to further use by predicting subsequent notes.

 

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Language Translation Services Now Offered https://foxdigitalsearch.com/2018/01/language-translation-services-now-offered/ Wed, 10 Jan 2018 15:33:09 +0000 https://foxdigitalsearch.com/?p=2283 As of January 2018, Fox Digital Search is now offering language translation services for websites. Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and French translation is now available at a competitive price. My partner (who has 20 years of language instruction experience including positions at the US Federal Government) and I (whose native written language is French) have decided […]

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As of January 2018, Fox Digital Search is now offering language translation services for websites. Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and French translation is now available at a competitive price. My partner (who has 20 years of language instruction experience including positions at the US Federal Government) and I (whose native written language is French) have decided that a market exists. We have already solicited and landed two translation gigs, one for a major corporate law firm in São Paulo, Brazil and another, more locally, for a decorative arts factory in Maryland.

We can turn around most small jobs (1-2 pages) in 24 hours or less. We are also able to correct poorly translated copy, returning a red lined Microsoft Word document for you to view the changes suggested.

Complementing this, I can also offer a multi-language site, if that is your goal, giving the viewer the ability to switch between language versions of your website with the click of a button.

You may email a link to your current site for translation or attach a document to search@foxdigitalsearch.com.  I will be able to supply you with a quote the very same day.

Remember that South America and Europe offer ample opportunity for a small to medium-sized business in the US to expand. International shipping rates calculated online and a little research into customs taxes and processing times can make the process go more smoothly.

From website conception, to development, to translation and SEO considerations, we can help give you company an international profile and also give you online functionality to make international sales a reality. If you have further questions or care to discuss possibilities in greater depth, please call us at (410) 934-1888.

And if you are a foreign company looking to set up a US profile, we would be glad to work with you as well.

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Competitive SEO Challenges for Businesses https://foxdigitalsearch.com/2017/12/competitive-seo-challenges-businesses/ Tue, 26 Dec 2017 14:16:39 +0000 https://foxdigitalsearch.com/?p=2263 Google inherently produces some competitive SEO challenges for the business owner. Google search queries for key products or services in a particular industry will be keenly watched by your competitors. As a result, it is important to keep an eye on where your website’s pages fall in Google search queries. Through careful analysis, we can […]

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Google inherently produces some competitive SEO challenges for the business owner. Google search queries for key products or services in a particular industry will be keenly watched by your competitors. As a result, it is important to keep an eye on where your website’s pages fall in Google search queries. Through careful analysis, we can figure out whether it makes sense to double down on a particular keyword in a search query or to move onto another closely related key word that may produce less impressions on Google, but for which the end result will be better for your site in terms of clicks produced.

Competing for competitive SEO keywords only makes sense when your site has the SEO wherewithal to overcome your opposition. That means lots of content, inbound links, age, etc.

Other challenges arise when you are unsure as to whether an upturn or downturn is a seasonal manifestation or indicates some changes in your site or Google’s indexing that you need to be made aware of. Sometimes, it is a combination of both, which means that the best solution is generally a wait and see approach.

Generally, two weeks would be the minimum required in order to see changes to the indexing on Google once website changes have been enacted. For those of you not in the know, Google Webmasters is the authoritative source of all Google publicly available data. All other sources are merely intermediaries. For competitive SEO challenges, keywords search queries in Google Webmasters itself are a good way to analyze existing keywords. For keyword ideas, the Google Adwords Keyword Planner is a very good tool for searching for new keyword opportunities.

The above competitive SEO opportunities are only good insofar as page structure and page quality are in good shape. Without the latter, changes in keyword targeting will only have a limited effect.

 

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Massive Keyword Replacement on a WordPress Install https://foxdigitalsearch.com/2017/08/massive-keyword-replacement-wordpress-install/ Thu, 31 Aug 2017 19:21:44 +0000 https://foxdigitalsearch.com/?p=2220 A client’s website that had not previously been competitive with the most competitive SEO keyword for their particular industry began being so, confirmed by noting that a related, but more competitive keyword was appearing in Google Webmaster keyword searches. Wanting to proceed cautiously, we swapped out our previous keyword for the more enticing competitive keyword on the […]

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A client’s website that had not previously been competitive with the most competitive SEO keyword for their particular industry began being so, confirmed by noting that a related, but more competitive keyword was appearing in Google Webmaster keyword searches. Wanting to proceed cautiously, we swapped out our previous keyword for the more enticing competitive keyword on the most highly ranked page of the site. The page maintained its SEO rank after the switch, confirming that we were, indeed, ready to switch to the more competitive keyword.

The issue now was how to do a full keyword replacement on the database inclusive of all links, URLs and HTML. The site was a very large e-commerce site with many blog posts and many products.

For years, I’ve been using a very useful tool for domain name switches in WordPress. As you may or may not know, simply switching the domain in WP-ADMIN does not change file URLs. Image links will break as soon as the old domain is switched off. And we cannot do a full database search and replace utilizing SQL, because so much of WordPress data is serialized.  The SQL search and replace would break the serialization due to string length changes.

However, the following product solves this problem: https://interconnectit.com/products/search-and-replace-for-wordpress-databases/, adjusting for changes in string length in the serialized data.

Now a full database keyword replacement can take place. For file names, however, we need to run a Linux command.

The following command renames parts of a filename by doing a search and replace recursively through directories:

find /your/target/path/ -type f -exec rename ‘s/oldkeyword/newkeyword/’ ‘{}’ \;

After running this command on one gigabyte’s worth of files, our Linux cloud server took about ten minutes to traverse the directory structure of our WordPress uploads directory. But once we reloaded the browser, the switch was relatively seamless. We cleaned up a few areas where the new keyword was not applicable before we submitted the whole site to Google Webmasters for immediate crawl and indexing.

If you are interested in reviewing your keyword strategy or want to know if the time is right to begin exploring your options, you can review my services here.

 

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When to Position for Competitive SEO Keywords https://foxdigitalsearch.com/2017/08/position-competitive-seo-keywords/ Mon, 14 Aug 2017 12:44:39 +0000 https://foxdigitalsearch.com/?p=2177 When related SEO keywords begin to appear in Google Webmasters, it’s a good idea to research those keywords in order to determine if the page or website’s keyword strategy should be changed. If these keywords turn out to be  competitive keywords, we should begin to explore avenues that might boost impressions /clicks. Generally, when making […]

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When related SEO keywords begin to appear in Google Webmasters, it’s a good idea to research those keywords in order to determine if the page or website’s keyword strategy should be changed. If these keywords turn out to be  competitive keywords, we should begin to explore avenues that might boost impressions /clicks. Generally, when making a switch to a competitive keyword, page rank will drop, but this will be compensated by an increase in impressions and, consequently, clicks. In this fashion, we preserve organic traffic to our site while laying the foundation for subsequent SEO opportunities.

It would also behoove us to check other linked pages on the site, as well, to see if the keyword focus change on one page has affected keyword search engine queries for other pages. If so, we may want to change keyword strategy on those other linked pages as well.

We also need to remember that inbound link text should ideally match the focus keyword—if we have a satellite site or any other site in which we can change HTML, we should remember to change link text there, as well (in addition to the URL, page title, header tags and that 301 redirect  on the original page).

We should always be careful when implementing substantial SEO changes on our site. Proceeding methodically, step by step, is always a good strategy. Checking Google Webmasters daily for changes in impressions, clicks or page rank (especially after major changes) is a must. I also like to check for Webmasters SEO changes sitewide.

More often than not, given the complexity of large sites and search engine algorithms, progress is often made intuitively using SEO guidelines as methodology. Google never actively publishes how it ranks websites other than in large brushstrokes.

it is the end result, however, that matters. Whatever SEO techniques work, we’ll sign on.

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Attempting to Establish Google Ranking with Few Inbound Links https://foxdigitalsearch.com/2017/06/attempting-establish-google-ranking-inbound-links/ Fri, 16 Jun 2017 15:19:59 +0000 https://foxdigitalsearch.com/?p=1953 Given the arduous and slow task of building inbound links as part of an ongoing SEO strategy, it would behoove a business to ensure that its content can muster what it can in order to have at least some visibility on the major search engines. From experience, many clients come to me with a brand […]

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Given the arduous and slow task of building inbound links as part of an ongoing SEO strategy, it would behoove a business to ensure that its content can muster what it can in order to have at least some visibility on the major search engines.

From experience, many clients come to me with a brand new site having few if any inbound links. They now expect miracles and tell me as much, assuming that it’s all very easy to get their site on Google page one.

My friends, miracles do not happen often except in rare instances and generally for a very good reason. Barring miracles, I ignore their please and set about editing their copy in order to attempt to rank, however modestly, on keywords that are not as competitive but still relevant to my clients’ industry. If my client is trying to break into the car rental field, for example, the keywords “car rental” would probably be very competitive keywords, cornered by much larger and well-established companies.

Another excellent strategy would be geographic targeting, particularly if a business is brick and mortar. In fact, any business where customers would visit or where employees would need to make service calls or deliveries would benefit from geographic targeting.

A retail store, for instance, or a business that dispatches technicians.

Finally, an aggressive content producing strategy in the form of a blog would also be very effective if not somewhat time consuming, targeting not so competitive keywords as we establishing better site authority.

I mentioned at the beginning of this post that creating inbound links is a long and tedious process. However, it is also absolutely crucial to any SEO strategy that it be done and done diligently, focusing on sites in the same industry and, preferably, high authority site.

An excellent introduction on link building has been put together by moz.com: moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo/growing-popularity-and-links.

So now read it and get started!

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