The Web Authority
Tuesday, July 31
  Get Your PDA Synced With Vista
You can do it! You can sync your HP iPAQ with Windows 2003 on your Vista computer and a computer using Active Sync and Windows XP. I have recently upgraded my office computer to Vista, but my home computer is still Windows XP. My PDA is an older version it is an iPAQ 1935 but it has Windows 2003 installed on it which is the last version supported by Vista. On my XP computer I use Active Sync 3.7.

I tried initially to set up partnerships with my PDA and had decided that my PDA was simply not compatible with Vista. Then I did some Google research. There I found that you need to set up a partnership in the Vista Mobile Center before you use the Sync Center. So I tried again. No luck. I am very persistent and so off to do more research. I saw screen shots on one site of someone just like me syncing their PDA just like mine with Vista. Now I knew that if someone else could do it I could too. Now I am synced totally with my PDA and two computers.

This is how I did it.
  1. Connect your PDA by USB to your Vista computer. Click start, control panel, security, and then check for updates. This will send you to Microsoft Update so that your computer can download new drivers to help your PDA be compatible with your new system.
  2. When the driver installation is complete, Windows Mobile Center will automatically open. You can then set up your PDA partnership as usual.
  3. I did not initially do this next step and so I thought that this had not worked, but it is best at this point to restart your computer, unconnect your PDA, turnoff your PDA, and then reconnect both again. Initially when I did not do this, when I tried to sync I got the message that Outlook was not installed on my PDA and so I could not sync my contacts or calendar. Well today I decided to try to set up sync again and when I reconnected my PDA, new drivers were automatically installed from the Mobile Center and I was magically able to do a total sync without any fooling around on my part. So I think that the key is to restart both your computer and PDA after getting the drivers and then trying to reconnect.

So know that you can sync an old PDA with Vista, I have done it and others on the Web have too. Just make sure to be patient and let Microsoft Vista do the heavy lifting for you of getting the new drivers for you automatically.


Monday, July 30
  Yahoo Advertising and New Demographics
It's called Smart Ads and they are new from Yahoo. But don't get too excited yet, they are not for the Yahoo Search Marketing pay per click program. Smart Ads are for the content network and are image ads. So sorry but if you want to show ads with demographics, you will have to move to MSN adCenter or wait and see if Yahoo will move this new technology into its pay per click program in the future.
Thursday, July 26
  Pay Per Click Landing Pages
Yahoo has said it, but I couldn't have said it better myself. Why should you have an ad landing page and how to make a good one.

Once you read the article you will understand that to drop your pay per click reader on your home page or a peripheral page in your website is just not a good plan. Landing pages should have a tight match between your pay per click ad message and your keyword ad trigger list for the best conversion results. Not only will conversions increase, but all three pay per click giants have a quality score with some even spidering the landing page to determine your score. The higher your score, the potentially lower your click cost, and hopefully the better your conversions.

If you are not getting the conversions that you think you should be from your pay per click program, make sure to read Yahoo's list and update your own landing page strategy.


Wednesday, July 25
  Watching Google on Hidden Keywords
If you don't monitor Matts Cutts blog, you should. He is the mouthpiece to our industry from Google. Here are his current words of wisdom:

If I were wondering why I didn’t show up in Google, I would review our webmaster
and read the information listed under Don’t
load pages with irrelevant keywords.
As always, webmasters are free to do
what they want on their own sites, but Google reserves the right to do what we
think is best to maintain the relevance of our search results, and that includes
taking action on keyword stuffing.

When you read Matt's full post you may get a laugh, but legitimate sites are using these techniques too. I just found a lawyer site that I do e-newsletters for that has white on white text on the home page stuffed with keywords.

You know some of these techniques used to be mainstream in our industry years ago to get placement, but now Google has gotten smart - very smart. If you use these techniques now, really you may be banned from Google as this one was. Then you'll be hiring me to remediate your website and to contact Google and to get you back online. Services of that nature are expensive the best scenario is to simply not use them and to remove them if you are using them with a sense of urgency.


Tuesday, July 24
  Email Links Turned Off in Outlook 2007 Vista
Don't you hate these kind of problems? Here's the scoop. If you have Firefox installed plus IE 7 have Vista and Outlook 2007, you may have run into this. All the sudden you can not click links in your emails and you get a message saying that there is some security policy on your computer that has disallowed and see your Network Administrator.

Okay that's me and I don't know what to do. Thanks to Tech Net, here's the solution. When you install Firefox, something happens to your Microsoft system.

Go to the start menu and then select program defaults. Set IE up as your default browser. Close IE, close Outlook and voila, links are again clickable in email. I have just spent hours looking for the solution from Outlook settings to IE security settings. So you get the fruit of my labor. If this doesn't solve your problem click the link in my post title and look at the registry key repairs that you may want to do as well, but for me this totally fixed my system.


Monday, July 23
  I've Moved to Vista
I've made the jump to Vista and Office 2007 this past weekend. Actually I was pretty scared going to Vista based on what I have read, but all has gone pretty smoothly. I have a bit of a crashing problem, but hopefully that will work itself out over time.

I think the best description for Vista is silky smooth. I like the new interface, and the visuals as well as the new gadgets. I am having trouble remembering that there is no My Computer button and that all files are now in the Nancy user file. I do have to say that I am not irritated b the so called nag boxes. I see them as an extra measure of security and do not mind them.

All of my applications have worked in Vista without a hitch. I did need a few new drivers and my Maxtor backup needed new software. I did even get my four year old PDA to sync with Vista as it had Windows 2003 for pocket PCs. I am upgrading a few pieces of software, but not the huge hit that I thought that I would have.

If you are thinking of moving to Vista, I say "come on in the water's fine"!


Friday, July 20
  Police and Sherriffs Are Watching the Web
I know this for a fact as I was told by a Sheriff that Charles County Maryland officers are watching the Web. In fact this officer told me that they were actively monitoring MySpace sites and YouTube for videos of teens breaking the law.

The officer went farther to tell me that if they find a video where your teen is breaking the law, they can actually ticket your teen for up to one year after the video had been posted and even prosecute them for the offense. If someone is injured, there is no time limitation. Even if the video is removed by your teen, YouTube and MySpace still have a record of it and they can request it through the County Attorney's Office!

If your teen is loading videos to MySpace and YouTube as mine is, it is very important that you as the parent review what they are loading. My teen had loaded videos of himself driving fast, and I mean really fast. Foolish, yes, life threatening yes. This is how I know what the Police and Sheriffs departments are doing, as I asked for help to intervene with my teen and instruct him in safe driving. Little did I know that I was potentially getting him into trouble to the tune of a $540 ticket and 5 points on his license.

The officer said he didn't care if my son told his friends if it would stop reckless behavior and possible the death of a teen, it would be worth it. So my advice to you is to become aware of what your kids are posting starting in stealth mode. Then help them to understand their foolishness if you catch them and work actively to keep them safe.

It was bad enough for my teen to have consequences for his actions from his Dad and myself, but to have a possible traffic court record from a video is just really bad.

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Thursday, July 19
  Hotmail Easier Than Yahoo Mail Beta
My Mom is just now trying to understand email and I really needed to find the simplest yet most powerful email client available to assist her. Our parents generation is technologically challenged. Some people my parents age have jumped on email as a way to connect with kids and grandchildren and others have really hit a brick wall and refused to embrace the technology that keeps them connected to others.

So, based on that what is unequivocally the easiest email application for the technologically challenged. Hotmail has the others beat hands down. For my Mom to try to even explain how to use Outlook Express and set up a mail download is way complicated. So I decided to set up an online mail service that she could check from any where, but it had to be simple.

My sister said, get Yahoo beta mail, it's great, but oh boy for the technologically challenged, the interface is way complicated. Enter Hotmail. Super simple, clean, no clutter, intuitive controls, super easy configuration, one click actions and voila, my Mom is using email.

So if you have a parent, friend, grandparent, aunt, or uncle who needs to embrace the information age, try Hotmail first. What seems so incredibly simple to those of us who use the computer every day is like rocket science to others.

One sidebar on this, I found that I needed to even take time to instruct my Mom on how to use the mouse. As you help your relative, you may want to make sure that you cover this simple yet very important step, they may not even know to ask.


Tuesday, July 17
  Best Practices on Content
It should be said that there really is a best practice to quoting content on the Web. If you did not know it already, all content on the Web is covered by copyright laws.

One can not simply copy an article in entirety and then paste it into a blog or web page even with credit to the original author. One can copy one or two paragraphs, quote it, and then link to the full article on the original author's website, but to copy and paste the full article into your own web page on your own website is a big no-no.

Unique content on your website and blog are important. There is simply no way around copyright laws or taking the time to create good content.

We routinely check to make sure that our content is protected and properly documented and linked back to our site on the Web. If you were not aware, there are even free online services that will scan the Web for content that matches your own pages. Don't get yourself in trouble needlessly, make sure that you are following the best practice when it comes to content.
Thursday, July 12
  Google Algorithm Change This Past Week
I follow SitePro News. This is super e-newsletter. You can get the feed by clicking our post title. In the recent newsletter a very savvy author was speaking about the algorithm change on Google that just started this Thursday.

In the article, he mentions that Google has created a trust factor that is placing site's with older domains preferentially above new domains. He also mentions changes in the weighting of PageRank shown on the green bar on the Google Toolbar or within the Google Sitemap control panel and also inbound links.

Clearly in the next several days we will continue to see a shakedown and mix up in the index. Are all of these changes good things? Well to scrap the PageRank indicator in the Google Toolbar is a good thing. PageRank has been an area that can be gamed by search engine optimizers and so to get rid of that I personally feel is a good thing. It appears that TrustRank may be the next big factor and this may be a better indicator of real value of a site and therefor a strong indicator of good organic search placement.

Although this newsletter is not online yet on the SitePro News site, when it is in the next several days, it is a must read. The title is "Google Algorithm Update Analysis" and is written by Dave Davies. You may not agree with everything that he has to say, but if you have been following the various Google patent disclosures over the last several months to one year, what he says makes sense based on the technology that Google has been actively patented.

From my viewpoint all of this information just reaffirms that excellent and unique content on your website is important. If you take time to create and build a great site, it should not stop when you launch, new content, a blog, an e-newsletter that are done on a regular basis build new content and authority over time.

There is no quick fix for great organic site placement on search engines, but once it is achieved, you have hit a tipping point and your business and market presence increases dramatically because of it. So specifically working to improve organic placement is crucial for all growing businesses.

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Wednesday, July 11
  We're Writing For Some Great New Blogs
We are ghost blogging for some great new clients and wanted to highlight them for you to check out.

Trucker to Trucker - a blog for semi-truck drivers and freight line operators. You'll find this blog helpful and interesting from popular local truck stop restaurant reviews all the way to fuel economy savings and new equipment available for purchase.

Wirester - a blog for a premium wireless phone and accessory store. We've just started blogging for this site, but stay tuned for great reviews on new phones, cool phone accessories, and super saver promotions on cell phones, charges, phone covers, and much more.

Parker Web Marketing - a question and answer blog on topics important to website owners. Got a question tell us and we'll tell you the solution or offer suggestions.


Tuesday, July 10
  Blogging for Search Engines
Many of the same techniques that you routinely use for good search engine optimization on your website should be used on your blog. Here are some of our top tips.

There is no right or wrong way to write your blog, but there is a more effective way to get better search engine placement using your blog.


Monday, July 9
  Unique Sessions More Important Than Page Views
Many clients have thought that page views was a measure of success in website traffic, but with new technology in use like AJAX, page views are not considered a real measure of site popularity.

I have always monitored unique sessions as my benchmark for success on a site. Page views may be preferable for some as it is typically a higher number and so looks better, but in truth, sessions is a more accurate figure.

Yahoo News which is linked to our post title discusses how even Nielsen/NetRatings is changing how they monitor sites and dropping page views as their measure of site popularity and moving to unique sessions. This is in part due to the introduction of new Web technologies which have significantly skewed page view results.

Personally I think that it is about time. Utilizing page views as your key metric simply does not make sense. I like to watch unique sessions and then average time on a site or average number of pages per unique visitor. I feel that this gives a more rounded and accurate view of a site's popularity.


Friday, July 6
  Our New Blog Template
Check out our new blog template for Web-World Watch. I was testing to see just how difficult it was to create a seamless blog template and came up with this new look for our blog. I've tried to include all the great features from our old blog, but without the smack you in the face monetising links.

I have tried monetizing my blog and now have decided that it is simply just not worth featuring the real estate and so have relegated any money links to totally subordinate positions. I think that our new look is cleaner and doesn't distract from the content.

Let me know what you think?
Thursday, July 5
  Home Page Corrupted and Showing Chinese??
I have just corrected a very serious problem for a website and I wanted to post about what I found so that others who may have had a problem will find my post and know that they are not losing their minds and how to correct the problem.

I have a site that I just started to webmaster. I do not know the past webmaster history of the site, but it appears to have been problematic, maybe done by volunteers, may be done by someone who left on bad terms, I am not sure. What I do know is that there was no thread of continuity on the site, no one to call and ask a question or get old files from.

This site has had a long term problem with the home page not showing properly. Even Google's page cache had the all important home page showing nothing but Chinese characters. Google Sitemaps couldn't crawl the site, they stopped at the index.html page and could go no further. When you visited the site the page showed Chinese characters and then with refresh sometimes as many as three times, you could see the real home page.

The old webmaster did a work around by trying to create a home page mirror with a different name and linked any references of home to this mirror page. That is if a new visitor could even figure out how to get past the home page to even see the site. A very queer problem.

I worked with the web hosting support team. I was sure that there had been a script embedded or server setting changed to impact how the home page displayed. I even researched to see if the site had been scraped and spammed in the search index. Nothing I did allowed the home page to show properly. I was ready to move the site to a new web host as the host said that every time I uploaded the files were corrupted and it must be a problem on my computer.

I webmaster for many clients nationwide and have never had an issue like this. I am a code purist and had torn the home page code apart looking for problems and validating it. Still the same problem. What was even stranger was when I created a mirror of the index.html page and called it default.html I could view it just fine. When I imported the whole site to my own server on another web host I could see the index.html page fine without corruption.

Now here is the resolution that I would like to share to this incredibly bizarre problem. I use Adobe GoLive. I do not know what HTML editor the other webmaster who had the same problems used, but many editors like to have you set the home page in the site control and navigation. When I set the index.html page as the home page, on upload the files are corrupted and the site shows the Chinese characters. So what I did was create a home page and tag it instead called index-7-4-07.html and not tag the real index.html as the home page. This way the HTML editor was happy, but yet when I loaded the index.html file to the live server, what ever was applied to the file that was unseen that caused the corruption to tell the browser to show the characters that it did not understand in Chinese was gone. Problem solved.

This is one of the most unusual and bizarre problems that I have ever come across and do now know why this is a problem on this web hosts server. So if you have had this problem and think that you are going crazy, now you know that there is a real solution and that it is not a snippet of code or a server setting that you missed, but something unseen that most HTML editors will do that some servers will translate into a file being corrupted.
Monday, July 2
  July Newsletter is Out
Click in to read our July Newsletter. You can download our free Yellowstone National Park Screen Saver or download our updated Google AdWords Compared to Yahoo Sponsored Search White Paper. We also have an article on guided PC repair that you will want to check out as well.

Guided PC repair does it all, so next time Mom or Grandma call to say "I need a few hours of help with my computer" you can point them to Microsoft's guided PC help and Microsoft will do it for them.


Follow Web Diva, Nancy McCord, as she teaches you how to develop Web authority for search engines and to improve your Web visibility by positioning your company for strategic success.

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I am the President of McCord Web Services LLC. My firm has been providing Internet services for over seven years.

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