July 31, 2022

25 years on the net

 It was in 1997, 25 years ago, that I got myself first Internet connection. It was a difficult time in my life because I had a problem with mz emplozment. My company existed and I worked, but the salaries didn't come. This period lasted almost a year and I did everything to overcome the financial crisis. I had created an application for the PC, which had nothing to do with the web, and was trying to sell it. I used the Internet for advertising, but since this was in its infancy and not many people had it, I also did traditional advertising: some cheap advertisements in newspapers and brochures in mailboxes. Everything was going relatively well and it was the only income at that time, but still not enough to cover the expenses. What few savings I had were dwindling all the time. It didn't take me long to understand that the Internet can be an additional source of income and so I started with the first sites where I displayed banner ads. Given the lack of financial means, the sites I opened were at no cost, that is, on the platforms that offered hosting and a free domain.

In September of that year my savings went to zero, I had paid the rent for the apartment for the next three months, but luckily Ifound a new job and so my economic situation returned to normal. The application I had produced was still selling, and in November the first check from the United States for advertising I ran on my sites arrived. Yes, in those days they sent checks by post; electronic wallets did not yet exist. The check showed the figure of sixty dollars. I was delighted. I had read everything I could find on how to increase the visibility of the site and the number of visitors and I was putting it into practice. As visitor numbers grew, so did the number of clicks on banner ads. Six months after the first check, I made two thousand and five hundred dollars in one month, more than my salary at the time. The prospects were great and I was super optimistic about the future, but ... I flew fast, but soon I started the descent too. I worked badly because I was satisfied with the results achieved very quickly and when you work badly, the income drops.

Years went by and things got worse and worse. I decided to change the way I work. I had invested in hosting and registered my first personal domain. I opened the new free sites, mainly blogs and toplistas, to have my own links. I made some Visual Basic applications to help me manage my work and to automate some network operations that I used to do manually. So I freed myself up some time to devote myself to more creative things. I also found new sponsors to diversify the field of work. The result was not seen immediately, but I had patience and worked hard. I was earning between five hundred and nine hundred dollars a month on average. I was relatively happy, but I felt that more could be done. So the year 2006 arrived. Things started off great. I had tripled my average earnings and two years later, 2008, I reached my peak; in one year I have collected an amount with 6 digits. I was good at this job but also lucky. The conditions were good; we were at the beginning of the Internet economic boom in certain sectors and not many understood this. When word got out of the skyrocketing earnings, everyone wanted to take their share and the competition multiplied. As expected, income started to decline, but in the meantime I managed to build my financial security for the future and continued to work with less intensity. I worked late into the night and often went to bed at 2 or 3 in the morning. It was time to relax a bit.

Today I still work as webmaster. I have more than 100 sites, including those with my own domain (currently I have 8 domains) and free ones. I have optimized my work so as not to have to do too much and to be able to do when I feel like it. Financial success is no longer so stimulating for me and I also want to have free time for other activities I enjoy, first of all for travel. I have prepared a table with the tasks to be performed: simplifying, for each site add 2 links per year and make two new pages or two updates. It doesn't sound very demanding, but considering more than a hundred sites, it's not really that I'm bored. The average earnings are below what it was at the beginning and it could be said that I get an additional allowance per month. Even null months occur, where nothing arrives on the dedicated electronic wallet. Not long ago I also made myself a gift for this quarter-century anniversary; I bought myself the new PC. The old one was from 2007 and after 15 years it ended up as a relic of history in my cellar; it is still functional.

August 27, 2021

Useless site

 For years I do the webmaster, but I never made investments in this activity. Only costs that I have are two hosting providers and my multiple domains. I would surely have the cost of my personal computer with an Internet connection without doing this job. I never bought links, which many of you do, never invested in a SEO campaign, or a kind of promotion. But two years ago I have been offered 50 euros from Google AdWord to test their advertising program. Since it was an offer I decided to try, to broaden my horizons. Once I subscribed the program, they asked me to add my 5 euros and I made this little sacrifice.

I decided to promote my Forex site and I was following the results. Nothing! Nothing! I had a bit 'of visitors, some of them from the various sites that use AdSense and lend their space to advertising and some directly from Google search pages, but the financial result was nil. I thought I could invest, let’s say, 1000 and receive 1500 euros, have a capital with interest, but this test was entirely negative. Last year, returned from vacation I found another promotion that Google gave me 100 euros and without any additional request. Because it is totally free, it would be silly not to try again. But this time I chose a different tactic: I didn’t promote my site, but directly my sponsor. I entered my sponsor’s code directly into AdWord and I started to follow the result. Very hopeful, I must say, because the idea seemed to me very good. Why send a potential customer to my site if I can send him directly to the sponsor?

The statistics that provide my Forex sponsor are quite detailed and I can see where the traffic originates. And the visitors came, and all matched very well with the stats I had from AdWord: you know that we affiliates are a bit skeptical about the correctness of what we pay and what we pay for certain services, but in this case all were perfect. Except the main thing: 100 euros invested, which fortunately were not mine, 0 cents earned. I heard that there are people who earn in this way, but to me this didn’t happen. Because it simply does not work, at least with the services that I promote myself, or I have made mistakes in my ignorance. But I gained a new experience, sorry two.

While the campaign was underway, I had a communication from the staff of AdWord which referring to my site that was present in the account two years ago, but was inactive in the current campaign. They simply said that my site was useless, because it did not give useful information to visitors and I had only one sponsor, that the visitor did not have much choice where to register to trade with currencies. They also gave me an address with two examples of utility / futility of two similar sites.

Bad thing, supported by the fact that a month before my site is out of the first page of search results and finished on fourth. I did not know what to do, how to make "profit" from the point of view of Mr. G. Obviously the human verifier has not peeled the pages well and examined in detail the content, because there are things that cannot be found elsewhere. I needed something visible and accountable to the "inspector" at first glance that there is something that is valid and original for a surfer. It took me some time to get there: I created a free Forex software that follows the trend of currencies and that visitors can download for free. It took me two weeks of work and I hope that this job will be paid in terms of utility. I just have to wait for future development: I will let you know my conclusion in one of the subsequent posts. 

February 14, 2021

Hosting and domains

 I started my career as an amateur webmaster way back in 1997, 14 years ago, but I opened a truly mine site for the first time in 2000. Up until then I have used free hosting, but there were always problems with them. Sometimes happened that it just stopped working, or that after a couple of years they asked to pay for the service, or that the service was initially fine and then became unreliable. Finally I was able to understand how the whole system works and I made some money through sponsors, so I decided in the new millennium to become a little more professional and open a site with my own domain and have professional hosting. Of course, I have to pay for it. Since I had earned some money, it felt right to invest some of that money to improve the business. The first problem was how to choose a good hosting. I searched for information and studied various solutions for almost a month. Many factors had to be taken into consideration and the decision was quite challenging. I finally decided to entrust my web destiny to the WebAir provider, located in New Jersey, USA. All companies offer multiple plans, depending on what the user needs. First I opted for a virtual server, meaning my site would share it with other sites. Of course, my free sites have always been on such servers. It costs a lot less than a personal server and this was the main reason for this decision. Two other important factors that determine the price are the amount of memory and the amount of traffic included in the base price. I didn't skimp as I was full of hope for the future development of my business and I chose a plan that greatly exceeded my needs at the time.

In the end, I chose an option that cost me 39.95 dollars per month. I also registered my first domain with the same provider. My semi-professional career started in my free time. I had various problems with this provider, especially with the memory, because I often found myself unable to insert new content because there was no space on the server, even if the memory I used was ten times less than what I had paid for. The problem was theirs, so as an old customer they moved me to a higher level, but for the same price. In early 2020, I received a notification that WebAir has been purchased by a larger company and that from a certain date I will have to do all my business through it. Its name is Nerivon. In the end, I don't care too much; it is important that everything works as before. And so it was until the end of the same year.

Then the people from Nerivon informed me that they would charge me 5 dollars for each domain I host, to use the email server. I had 4 domains with them, so that meant an extra 20 dollars a month; more than half of what I was paying for the hosting itself. My protests, the e-mails exchange, but they are stronger: in the end they sell a product and it's up to me to decide whether to buy it or not. The problem is that I'm very lazy sometimes. I prefer to spend more, so I don't have to do everything necessary when I switch suppliers. Then they told me they would transfer my domains to an other register. The problem is that registering with them costs 3 times more than the average price on the Internet. That fact turned everything upside down and made me decide to start looking for a new solution.

About 10 years ago I opened another hosting with a Dutch provider. I have always been very happy with the service provided and I pay less than half what Americans cost me. One possible solution was to move my 4 sites from them, but... I prefer not to put all my eggs in one basket, so after a few days I finally decide who will be my new supplier. The choice fell on the French hosting company Ikoula. Half the price of Nerivon, plus it also includes free HTTPS. For domains I decided to choose Namecheap so that it is independent from my hosting providers.

With Namecheap everything went very smoothly, as expected: it's just a domain registration. They were also very kind and contacted me personally, it was not an automatic email, to thank me for the trust and offer their help. Initially I had some small problems with Ikoula and I found that their technical support is not the best, but in the end I managed to solve the problem and at the moment everything is working fine. As for support, before choosing a service, I always contact it via email: I want to see if there is anyone on the other side. I turned down two hosting companies due to a late response, in one case, and ambiguous response, in another. I hope this experience of mine will help some of you webmasters, especially the newbies entering this area.

July 23, 2020

New age

My wife got up before me and made coffee in the coffee pot. After a while I got out of bed too, I washed my face and did other activities in the bathroom, after which I sat on the balcony. Some might even call it a terrace: 2 meters deep and 4 meters wide. It is a beautiful and large space. I'm on the seventeenth floor, the top floor, and I have a spectacular view, like from some roof-top bar in the center of the city. This is our new apartment I moved to about month ago. It’s not in the center, but in outskirts of the city. The dimensions are the same as in the old apartment; about 80 square meters. The old apartment had its advantages and disadvantages compared to this new one. The most important advantage is this balcony and the view. In the old apartment I had neither. I drank my coffee, got dressed and headed for the office. Just about half an hour by walking. This is another big advantage. I lived outside the city and it took me about an hour to get to the office: 10 minutes on foot to the train station, half an hour on the suburban train, a subway change and another 10 minutes of travel, and finally 5 minutes on foot to reach the office. An hour to get to the office and an hour to go home. The reason is simple: now, I have an hour of extra free time a day.

We are in early summer and it is quite warm outside: in the apartment I have air conditioner. So my walk to work is conditioned by the search for shade along the way I do every day. While I'm on the move, my brain works better, so in half an hour on foot I think about what I will have to do in the office, what are the plans for other days and sometimes even some reflection on politics or sports comes to my mind. Today the memories of the past days were spinning in my head; the main activity was related to the moving house itself. During that time, I bought a new apartment and sold the old one. In fact, everything had already been organized and agreed before, but it was necessary to sign contracts, pay for the purchased apartment and collect the money for what was sold. A lot of administration and bureaucracy. I had to pay two real estate agencies, the purchase tax and the notary also asked for his fee. It seemed to me that I was only filling checks and transferring money from my bank account to the accounts of other persons. Then came the physical part of the job. I had to prepare the boxes with the things to move, find someone who will move them and finally put everything in the new apartment. Since we purchased a practically furnished apartment, apart from the living room, we hardly purchased any furniture, which greatly solved the already difficult situation. In the end, everything went rather well and I am satisfied with my wife's choice. It's all his fault. It would never have occurred to me to change the house.

Sunrise from my balcony

During all this time, the webmaster's work was practically suspended, remained in a latent state. I often thought, with a certain sense of guilt, that this period of non-work was too long and that I should have done something, but I could not convince myself to start. The limited free time I could devote to work, at the end, I didn't use. The days were always full of various events and in the evening I was too tired. The most important activity I could manage was watching television. Often I simply looked at the screen without really realizing what I am seeing. For the first two weeks after I moved, I was without Internet connection, so this further affected my inactivity. The people say there is no life without WIFI.

A week ago, I finally had the connection; a real fiber. Before I had a normal ADSL. I finally woke up and started taking care of my web business. The biggest works in the apartment have been completed, so I managed to relax and started to analyze what had to be done online. First I checked how I was positioned on the search engines. I usually do this check once a month, so I can easily compare it to my previous condition and see if things get worse or better. I have been stagnant for many months. What worries me even more is that for some keywords in the placement, the main index page is not listed, but some internal pages that don't have much to do with the topic itself. In addition, I have noticed that many of my sites have been copied by other webmasters, especially the home pages.

After a long reflection, I made a plan and went into action. I concentrated on the initial pages. I completely rewrote some of them, completely changing the text. In other cases I changed some paragraphs and the simplest job was to update the remaining ones. Sometimes I just added a new paragraph to the bottom of the page, or I inserted it somewhere in the middle. So I saved myself many hours of work and such a diversified job will allow me to see what is the right path to follow in the future. I need to see some progress to get momentum for further work. Today I saw that the home page of a site dedicated to Forex is no longer present in Google's cache, but I am confident that it is an intermediate step and that it will return in a few days.

November 30, 2019

The history of the blog

When there is nothing to write about, something must be invented. A possible argument is to retrace the path taken from the beginning to the present moment. In other words, describe the history of a work since its start. If a blog has been around for a long time, enough material will always be found to fill a page. Give me a moment to browse through the pages and see when the first post was published. It was September 17, 2007, more than 12 years ago. It's a good start because the time frame is long enough to find so many interesting moments in its life that I can talk about. Speaking of statistics, my file in which I keep all the posts is 35 pages and about 16 thousands words. To be honest, it's not a big production; something more then thousand words a year. But let's start from the beginning.

I opened this blog, my first ever (after many others will come), because I heard that there was a lot of talk about personal logs on the Internet. I had visited some and I was not particularly impressed. There were places where people described when they got up, what they ate for breakfast, how and on what basis they chose clothes and shoes to use that day, and all that, and even with intimate details. These diaries were terribly boring to me. There were thematic ones, in which someone presented a secret, tips and tricks of their personal profession and I liked them much more. I decided to try writing on the blog. What will I offer to my potential visitors? The biggest question was: why should I waste time with this? At that point, I realized that websites like this can be very useful to link other sites. Who will I link to? My other works, the most important for me, because their financial potential.

The networks are all around as

When I start a new project, I try to do it well. I'm such a person. Besides, I've always liked giving something to others, being selfless. It is always wise to choose a topic that is familiar, so it is easier to work because the inspiration is based on a particular knowledge that one possesses. Since everything is also directly connected to the Internet, and from that moment I realized that the money came from search engines, the decision fell on writing something that was potentially useful to those who do the same things as me, to webmasters. In my future this decision will create some problems that I didn't immediately comprehend.

At the time my principal activity was programming, creating applications for computer, because it was also one of my favorite pastimes. Not only that I was enjoying myself, I was also doing something useful to get a financial return from this activity. At that time there was a lot of talk about PageRank and I thought it would be nice to be able to calculate the value of the same by myself. It was immediately clear to me that this could not work perfectly because I did not have enough information and, above all, I did not have enough computing power. So I had to do something approximate that could use the data I could easily access. My first articles are almost mathematical in nature, because I was explaining the calculation algorithm, the real one and those mine, simplified. The idea was to make the application available to my visitors, after its completion.

After completing the software, testing it in detail and checking that it was really a good product, I began to have doubts. Giving it away for free means that my competitors will also have useful information. He seemed stupid to me. At one point I thought I'd put it up for sale, but it required extra work that I wasn't ready to accept at that point. A similar problem would occur if I discovered something that most others did not know or did not want to tell to other webmasters. My ego urged me to publish and explain everything so that the whole world could celebrate me, my ingenuity. At the end, I would always conclude that it is better to keep a secret and turn it into money, rather than enjoy the glory; we all know that it lasts briefly. However, in the end I sometimes found a fair compromise between saying and not saying. Those who understood a little more were able to find out where the trick was reading between the lines.

I'm not a literary talent, so I often find it difficult to write a text. I know what I would like to say, but I can't synthesize it and express it in a simple and understandable way. Over the years, my writing style has also improved. Everything went smoother, directly from the brain to the paper (sorry, to the keyboard and then to the screen) and in the end it made sense, at least sometimes. Even today I happen to write something extremely ugly, but my creative process has been greatly improved thanks to years of training. My goal was once a few hundred words, but I often committed even two to three hours to reach that goal. Today I fill out an A4 page in less than an hour, including checking what I wrote.

Social networks
I want to use this space to express my opinion on the phenomenon that has been dominating our civilization for years: social networks. This is my great disadvantage; I simply don't use them. One of the excuses, which makes sense, is that I don't want to make another commitment. It is known that this is a great way to promote the services offered online, but it requires a lot of work and this work must be continuous. It is also convenient to promote something that is really going well and I have some sites that could fall into this category. I gave myself the charge, but I’m not sure that I will respect it, to launch at least one channel next year, to advertise one of my humorous sites. What rejects me from all this, regardless of the need for further effort, is the issue of privacy. Today social networks are the main collectors of data on potential customers and I have no desire to spontaneously enter this category. I have to find a good reason, I would say that the money could be one, to throw me into such an adventure.

It misses only few lines, this that I write now, to reach one of the goals that I rarely reach: write a post with over a thousand words. Today is a really beautiful day. Even the sun shines timidly in the clouds. May it be with you all.

November 30, 2018

How to achieve a good ranking on Google

Google insists on the concept of spontaneous linking. Users who have visited the site remain fascinated by the content and insert a link in their site, or blog. Nice, but there are certain types of sites that nobody wants to link. Let’s take for example those dedicated to online casinos. The competition would never think of linking a rival site. The players, to whom the site can really like, are interested in the game and do not have their own resources on the net where to link. Maybe someone mentions you from a forum, or some social media, but even this is not very likely. Therefore, if you want to survive you have to work hard. But the work must be very intelligent: Mr. G. must have impression that there are others who link you and not that you personally produce auto linking, to get more external links. The main order is to diversify as if it were done by many other people.

What does diversify mean? Reading a bit here and there and having some experiences of my own (21 years as webmaster), I will try to list some stuffs on which we must be careful. Let's start with the keywords connected to the links. If my memory is still good, the rule about keywords density was introduced at the beginning of 2012. The thought was: if many people link a site spontaneously, the title, i.e. the keyword with which it is linked, will vary. Investigating the sites that looked good and authentic, the staff of the most famous search engine in the world came to a conclusion that at most 50% (approximately) of the titles used can be equal. In that period, I have heard on my skin the introduction of this rule: my numerous sites have lost many positions on Google. The people that following development of Google’s procedures had a great reaction and they were able to quickly understand the problem and the spread of information was fast. Today I try to keep my main keyword at 40%, to have a margin of safety. If you are very close to the limit, just lose two or three links you can overcome the limit and be punished for that. The links that use the site's address as a keyword are very important. From my experience, you need to have a minimum of 5% of these titles, but I try to stay even on 10 or 15%.

Another necessary diversification is to have a certain percentage (I am inquiring about it and I do not know at this moment to express a number) of the nofollow connections, i.e. those that do not pass PageRank. This is part of the spontaneity: not having any link with nofollow, since this mode of linking is quite common in the network, puts the doubt to Google that all links are created by the same person. Be clever and simulate spontaneity, always. There are also other small tricks. I find it quite productive to link using the address as the name of the link and inserting in the code the tag "title" with the main keyword. Not always, to leave the feeling of naturalness. This is even better if you are linking with an image. In this case, I also exploit the "title" and "alt" tag of the image itself. Another trick that I apply is to use the address, where possible, with the different syntax. For example, sometimes I use “http://my-site.com/”, but sometimes I omit the slash, so I have “http://my-site.com”.

The last thing. I have many blogs I use them to link my main sites. Not that I fight for the position but having a good one creates a bit of traffic and also gives the possibility of getting a few clicks to those places that can produce some profit. Analyzing lately some of them, I noticed that it is not enough to have the links with the keyword, but also in the pages the same keyword must be present. If not, no placement at all. This rule was introduced to avoid the unpleasant inconveniences that for some vulgar keywords comes out on the first page the site that has nothing to do with it. You will remember that several years ago, looking for certain shameless words, in the first place came the website of the American president, not much loved by his citizens. From now on, I will insert the necessary keywords in the texts I post. Indeed, in some cases I have resumed certain posts and corrected them, adding the keyword in the article so that it looks all natural. So, remember and repeat the catch-phrase: spontaneity and naturalness.

May 22, 2018

Time that passes

Organ of time
There are various theory about the sense of life. Some of them are opposing. For example, one says that life is very short and that every moment has to be exploited. In other words, there are so many things to learn, to read, to experience that staying on the beach with a drink in hand passes for the lost time. In that hour I could deepen the library system of medieval France, or learned about the reasons that caused the First world war. Being in front of the television falls into the category of lost time, with some exceptions, like documentary films. Following Big Brother is an unforgivable waste of time, because there is nothing to learn, there is nothing intelligent to see or understand. You have not produced anything! In those 3 hours you could find 2 good links for your site (if you were lucky) or write a new article for some blog, such as this. Until a few years ago I was among the supporters of this concept. A more careful reader, looking at the dates on the left, could by itself come to the conclusion that in the meantime my philosophical orientation has changed. It's been 16 months since my last appearance in this place.

The opposite doctrine to that previously exposed is that everything you do is useless, at least it becomes at some point of the events. Doing things that you do not like, that you force yourself to do, are not fun and are just the ones that can fall into the lost time category. Here we must exclude the activities necessary for bare survival. We need to earn money to guarantee the existence of our body and our soul. Unfortunately it is so and we cannot escape from the eternal condemnation. But I have reached the point that this constraint has become unimportant: I have set aside the necessary financial resources for the rest of my life and I do not desperately need to continue accumulation process. However, to be honest, this constraint of doing something useful has remained within me, for the most part. I’m grown up and educated in that mode and it is difficult to change the direction, even when you become a mature person. Now it is enough with confession and let’s try to say something on the subject of the blog.

Blogspot, where I am hosted, is part of the widely defused free services that must cover the expenses of the resources that they make available to customers and also make some profit. But how do they do it, if it's all free? Collecting users data. So many scandals have come out, and they often talk about it. These days there is a new European legislation on data protection. In my opinion it is only a smoke to mask the activities of collection and use of data. Until recently, Blogspot was desperately trying to get my mobile phone number. When I logged in, with the username and password, Blogspot informed that such action could be performed by someone else who stole the keyword from me. Therefore, for my safety, they asked me for my cell phone number to send me a verification text message attesting my personality. How much care to protect my blog. But I do not give you my number, understand! There is another fact; I simply do not own a smartphone. Never had.

In recent times they have lightened the pressure and send me an e-mail in which they give me a code that I must insert as a third element of recognition. A boring staff, but with this procedure I can go on. Here is one of the reasons why I had not been writing here for months. I did not want to give my data and for this I could not update the blog. But my patience won this "tremendous" battle and they had to give up. My small personal victory against a giant of the modern cyber age. For those who do not know, Blogspot is the property of the most popular network search machine, as well as many other things, more or less known.
With the network researcher there are problems, from my point of view. Without the PageRank, it has become a difficult job to find links and understand if these are good or not. Among other parameters, I also rely on the fact that a page is in Google's cache. If it is not inside, it is not considered by the algorithm and therefore it is useless to waste time. But for over a year I realized that it's not always like that. There are many pages out of Mr. G's memory, but they appear if you search "site:domain.com". This discovery surprised and confused me a lot. I tried to understand what it is and to see if the other webmasters have noticed the fact. Maybe my trials were bad, but I did not find a trace of this problem in the various forums.

I became obsessed with checking the presence of my sites in the cache, at least once every two months. But that's not enough, because I have to check also those pages that link me. A duty that never ends. I have also discovered a page of mine that is the first in SERP for a certain word, but it does not appear in the cache (search with "site:" is positive). After many investigations and a deep reflection I concluded that the pages updated a long time ago and those without having had new links in the previous months simply disappear from cache. If the site to which they belong has a certain value, however, they are traceable with "site:", otherwise they also disappear from there. I hope this information can be fruitful for some of you who read me.

January 10, 2017

Free blog

Happy new year to all of you. Personally I hope in one better year respect the past. I had a lot of problems with my health. This is due to my advanced age: I’m not far from sixty. Nothing really serious, but rather unpleasant. A lot of pain and spent money, for doctors, analysis and medicines. But the money was the last problem for me. I still have some difficulty with teeth and my dentist didn’t discover the reason for the pain I feel. Well, I don’t want to transform this blog in health one, so let’s speak about webmastering. I work about, but slowly, without conviction. I feel that I have not enough stimulus. There are periods that I work without knowing why and what is the purpose of work. Often I do useless thinks, as an excuse that I do something, however.

To wake me up I decided to visit fair of gambling and financial industry online, in Berlin, at the second half of November, past year. In parenthesis, there I begun to have problem with teeth. The expectation was to see the news in the field made by provider, listen the experts of SEO and obtain new inspirations to find the right direction and the creativity. The first day I had a bad surprise with the organization of the fair: the opening and registrations of participants were delayed for an hour. We are in Germany, I wondered? I didn’t find known people,  the third day I had already done some knowledge. The interesting and nice people, but too tied to work; there are no other issues on which you can chat with them. The usefulness of the trip was very relative. It had more touristic value, I visited for the first time the capital of Germany, then business utility. I found a new sponsor for Forex, on the advice of my current sponsor, but the experience for now is not very cheering.

Many of us used free blogs, to secure links to sites that belong to us. I call them support. The best thing would be to have possess of own domain and hosting, but this would cost, so we go for free solutions. The problem is that not all hosting are good, for various reasons. One of the problems is that the provider will often drop the service and we have to find a new one. Sometimes the system automatically adds a nofollow tag to links that we insert and we do not like However it can be acceptable because it ensures a diversification of types of links (it seems that Google appreciate this). Sometimes the inserted links become a dynamic address, virtually unrecognizable.

This is the case of the blog hosting by jimdo.com. One we might say that this is part of the differentiation, and might be acceptable, but there are other inconvenient. Just yesterday I closed my web log on this host and the main reason was the barely comprehensible and controllable interface. First problem I had to log my account: the form contains all the fields, without distinction, for both the logging and registration of new users. I tried it with different browsers, but the problem persisted. Once inside, I had this problem before, you could not figure out how to insert pictures in the article. At the end I succeeded to fix everything, controlling well. In the afternoon, probably I had an intuition about, I opened the page and the pictures were missing. Except one, but that presented only half of original photography.

Fed up of the matter, I decided to cancel the account. It took me more than 15 minutes to figure out how to do it. This has nothing to do with intuitive interface. The only reasonable approach is to try to click everything and hope to find what you need before the last attempt: the misfortune here often puts his finger. The blog I am talking about was at his third host; the first two have closed and jimdo.com I closed myself. Now I'm on the fourth attempt. But it does not say that trouble always comes in threes? In the new information age it seems that we also need to change the popular sayings.

May 4, 2016

Invisible pagerank

The introduction of the concept of PageRank as a measure of the popularity of a site is one of the key points in the history of online search. Until then it was enough to copy a site that was at the top of the results and it was done. But with the establishment of the pagerank concept it has changed dramatically: it was virtually impossible to have the same link that had the copied site. At the beginning of the period in the first pages of the search you could only find sites with a very high pagerank (atr least 3 or even 6, depending on the commercial value of the search words): in fact, among the many parameters influencing the ranking, the PR was one of the most important. So, it was logical for webmasters to try to obtain a big number of links, and here begins the problem of which the solution is the latest invention of Google; do not show this data.

The idea of mister G was really simple: better is your site and more people will link it spontaneously. But who is linking to me spontaneously? It 's a very uncertain possibility and I can not afford to base my business on a such uncertain fact. Therefore, it has started to spam blogs with comments that always had a link in it and the most wealthy people have started to buy links. The original idea began to lose sense because webmasters have begun to influence the SERP. Google reacted by penalizing sites where he saw the wrongful acts even if, in the end, Google gave less importance to this parameter. Lately, pagerank has a very low influence classifications and results have become even worse. Of this fact, users are complaining for years.

And that's why the pagerank value disappears from the view. For several weeks Toolbar works as before, but it shows a PR 0 for all the websites. Google has officially announced that the pagerank still exists and is still part of the parameters that influence the positions in the SERPs, but is no longer visible. In other words, the users don't know which sites have a low or high PR. As time passes the historical traces of the values will be lost, although it will be always possible to guess the value of a site. From this point of view probably in a couple of months Google will begin to increase the importance of pagerank in the ranking, hoping to recover the search quality and trust which, at the moment, is a little bit lost, through its own users.

And what the webmaster will do? It's not easy to assume but I have an idea about it. All those who, like me, believe in the enhancement of the importance of the pagerank, will reopen the hunt for links, even more ruthless that it was before. This hunt has dropped significantly in the last 2-3 years and many webmasters focused on the internal work on their pages. But now we'll come back in search of links much more intensely; for the fact that we don't know the value we will get, we will need to obtain the largest possible number of links.

The quantity will become more important than quality for the simple reason that the last one has become unknown. And there will be attempts to reconstruct the value with which Google operates, by simulating the calculations that lead to it. To perform these simulations it's necessary to have the data on the millions of sites and perform the processing that will last for days. Who will manage to achieve this, definitely won't give the results of the research for free but will try to earn a good money for their work. At the end, those with a pocket full of money will take advantage.

November 15, 2015

Cell phone solution

I am a webmaster since more than ten years, the next year I will be celebrating twenty years of my career. Right now, I'm a little bit exhausted. For a long period my main purpose was making money, as much as possible. There were other aspects that I liked, e.g, being in the first position on the search engines. That was a great satisfaction, confirming my skills or maybe, my fortune, who knows? However, I was making money. After putting aside a good earning, here they are, the though times came. So many young competitors, very creative and stimulated to do their best. My personal excuse was that I reached my goal and I decided to relax. I started to take it easy, without analyzing the market. Someone told once the knowledge is everything. In the last years I'm using the old bases, without any updates and new rules of this business.

Last spring, mister G send me an e-mail informing me that one of my websites wasn't optimazed for cell phones, the so-called, smartphones. I've heard, not a long time ago, that the number of Internet users was higher from mobiles than from PC's or notebooks. I had to do something for my business, hoping to improve my returns. I was advised to visit https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/ for checking the pages. It's enough to insert the URL of the web page you want to check and Google analyzes all the important aspects for a mobile user. The final response is a mark to the user experience, ranging from 1 to 100. If the mark is high, from 85 to 100, the green color appears. If the value is from 70 to 85 we are in the yellow area, which means, pay attention. If the mark is even lower, the red color will appear. In the case of yellow and red colors, Google will befall the score of the web page and backwards it on the search engines for those who use their App on the mobile phones.

All my web pages were in the red area and that was really a bad strategy for trying to make more money from smartphone users. Also the classic positioning was no good. In a few words, I was no longer existing for the net. I didn't care about this new technology, especially because I don't have a cell phone. Incredible but true. However, I realized the importance of being present in this new area. And so I did. There is a key sentence in the header of the page's code:

<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">

This code tells to the cell phone to represent in the best possible way the web page by using the full width of the screen, maintaining the scale 1:1. Everything seemed very contradictory for me but in the end I figured it out. If you are working only by using texts and tables that are not fixed as width, and the font is big enough to be readable when the text is reduced, everything is ok. The probability of this happening is very low. If you have a fixed web page with a width superior of the cell phone, one part remains out of the screen and Google gives you the yellow or the red color. Another problem are the images and videos, they have a fix width and they don't fit in the viewport.

After I had analyzed all these things, I fixed three of my web sites. I applied variable tables by fixing the proportion between the columns as they were percentages, not pixels. Regarding photos and videos, I had to insert the javascript code to range the width in function to the screen where they were shown. This step was really a hard one, for me. I found quickly the code I needed but, the one I found was ok for Chrome, not ok for Internet Explorer 8, the old one I still use for the compatibility for all versions. After three days, finally, I found the solution: at the beginning of the page you have to insert <!doctype html> and your work will be fine for the both browsers. I put a lot of effort to understand all these new tips and tricks but I had no results. Probably, it's my fault. Other Google optimization are still missing.

October 14, 2014

Verify the facts

On the net a lot of information can be found, you can find a bit of everything, in particular webmasters can find what they need for working, the most important of all are tips and tricks on how to improve SERP, on national or international level. Despite all these information regarding webmasters work, many of them are not verified so their "value" is dubious. Often someone idea is to interpret certain things in his own way. If the person is able to explain that idea using "convincing" words, the hypothesis becomes a truth, even if in fact it is not. The best thing to do is to verify by ourselves, where there is possible and check the facts. So lately I worked hard to find the evidence relating to the question of "bad links”.

One of my websites dedicated to the market of gambling online, dedicated to a small country, was for years the leader of SERP: the first position for almost all the significant keywords. This was possible because this market wasn't so interesting from the economic point of view and the competitors were almost non existent. Thanks to the issues related to the legislature of many countries that have regulated this market, the revenues have declined markedly and so even those smaller states have become attractive, both for providers and for the webmasters. In July 2013, for the first time I've noticed a change; my website went down to the second place on the Google and then the things proceeded even worse (actually I am on the end of the first page) because I had new, and powerful, competitors, reason why I was forced to deal with my own creativity.

I have identified one of the sites that was before mine and decided to put on it undesirable links from sites dedicated to the adults, most of all, men. At the begging, I've put 6 links, 12 and at the end 24, that is all that were available to me and that I could take advantage of. I was really surprised with the results: my “aim”, after the first 6 links went up from the third to the first place. So, I thought: "Perhaps it's necessary reach a certain percentage of bad links. Even guys from Google should have a little bit of heart, they can't penalize you for a couple of bad things." Reason why I continued to add links but the result was always the same.

Nowadays there are no means indicating how many backlinks has one site so I tried to do the same thing using a lower ranked site. What happened was identical: my "victim" went up to the second place. How this can be possible? Maybe sites for adults are put in the same trash with casino sites so it's valid be linked between them. I should try with other category, the financial services. I reuse previous links. Are you curious to know the result of this experiment? The persecuted has disappeared from the pages of the most used search engine. So the concept of "bad links" is valid but it is necessary to consider the belongings of sites that you link to see if this will be treated as you want.

Someone have already hypothesized that in the end I used the 24 links to my website and that I'm currently on the pedestal. Wrong! I thought about that so many times but I wasn't brave enough to try. And what if I missed some parameters that those with whom I had tried had and I did not? It may be that the reasoning on the percentage of bad links is correct and my "victims" had many more links compared to mine. There are so many questions, only a few answers and just one sure: my site bring me still some money even if it's in a bad position. Making now mistakes could take me away my small profit, one of the last remaining after years of glory. So, why take a risk? I stopped. Because of the fear. Nothing else.

April 10, 2014

Webmaster in vacation

In this period there is the lack of news regarding my webmaster's job so I decided to tell you a story, related to the issues present in this blog. Here it is!

A successful webmaster, became rich thanks to his job, decided to take year off from the work. He always wanted to go around the world in a luxury yacht. There was no need to buy it; he decided to hire one. Obviously he couldn't leave his business without monitoring it and, therefore he took with him the laptop and for remote areas in the middle of ocean, where internet connection was impossible, he bought the coolest model of satellite phone present on the market. It was really expensive, the phone and the connection. Luckily he hadn't financial problems.

The journey started from the west coast of the United Stated. In those two month, everything was relaxing, he had no rush. Actually, he was happy about his decision to take some time off and elated about his new page ranking. He realized how productive was to work in such a beautiful atmosphere. Thanks to his new spiritual energy, also the creativity became more powerful. He was in the middle of a Pacific ocean when his yacht was overturned by a tropical storm. Immediately he understood there was no other way than wear the lifejacket and so he did. That was the last thing he remembered. When he opened his eyes, he was laying on the white sand, so he realized he was in the remote island in the ocean.

He lived on the island struggling against hunger, weather conditions, the nights were cold and days hot, but he had hope that one day, someone would have found him. After six months the hope was becoming weaker and he was desperate. Since he was a rational man, very aware of his situation, he decided to build a hut and protect himself from the weather events. One morning, he woke up and he saw in front of his eyes, a beautiful, tanned, blonde woman. She explained the man she was a castaway, on the other part of the island.

After two hours of walking, they reached the hut built by the woman and inside everything was very luxurious! There were no branches and palm leaves but metal and plastic panels. She also had a fridge, a gas cooker, table, chairs and many of kitchen tools. In the bedroom there was a bed with mattress, wardrobe and behind the house there was a diesel generator that produced electricity. She explained to the man that all the stuffs were recovered from the ship on which she was traveling, sank two years earlier.

The man, amazed by this unexpected miracle, took a shower, ate something and took a nap on the hammock under the palm tree. When he woke up, the woman was standing in front of him, completely naked. She told him:
- Now you will get what you dreamed for the past six month alone on this island.
He, excited:
- Really? - I can't believe it! You have also an Internet connection?

October 31, 2013

Unfair rules

The summer has passed and the days are getting shorter and colder, so much of us will turn back to work with new enthusiasm. During the summer I did two separate vacations of two weeks: one travel in China and Tibet and one holiday on the see, in Croatia, under beach umbrella, enjoying clean sea and good Croatian beer called “Ozujsko pivo”. So I loaded my batteries for this autumn and the coming winter.

When I was back to home, I found a very bad surprise: two domains, from where I had a lot of links were closed; the webmasters didn’t renewed them. So I lost few tens of links, and this notice means that I must work very hardly to recover them. This happened rather often. As in the life, neither on Internet there are fix points on which you can bet forever. Due to my SE positions, there were no much news; a lot of my pages were still penalized, and I want to say something about the mode in which Google apply penalties.

My modest opinion is that each webmaster has full responsibility for his own site; for the content and the link present on the pages, but can’t has any obligation versus the factor that are external to the same site. For some times I hear the voices about Google’s penalization relative to the bed incoming links. I always refused to believe in that, but my sites want off, and finally I decided to verify if there is truth in that speeches. Two of my sites had very bad positioning in SERP and I had nothing to lose, so at April I removed some links that could be considered wicked. After 3 weeks I noticed improvements of my ranking. I was happy for that improvements, but very unhappy for the discovery I did.

To have a final prove of this fact, now I should try to link one or two sites with some wicked link and be assured that their position go down. And this is the main problem, because this interpretation will take us in a global war against our concurrent. It wouldn’t be enough to simply neglect eventually bad links, and not operate penalization? In that mode nobody can’t hurt other sites, and incorrect webmaster would only waste their time trying to earn such kind of connections, that don’t give any rate.

Last news from Google

Google’s speaker Matt Cutts said this days that Pagerank Toolbar will not be updated this year, and avoided to respond to the question about next year update. This notice immediately caused some webmaster to conclude that the Google ranking of pages is dead conceptually, and this suspect turn back frequently. But one can draw a different conclusion; that Google want to hide it’s really intention, and to give in future bigger value to this parameter, without letting know to webmaster the real worth of the sites, leaving visible on Toolbar old Pageranks.

April 21, 2013

Disappointments continue

Thanks to my own activities on Internet, well, actually more the past ones then the recent ones, I don't feel the European and the global financial crisis. I bought my own apartment, the car (even if from 1999 it's still functional) and I have some savings in the bank. Recently the revenues of my sites declined but I'm not complaining about that, my past work allows me to live well. A few month ago I realized problems my sites encounter but I'm trying not to give too much importance to the thing. I love my job and I'm grateful for that, I don't think excessively to the final purpose, I mean the money.

One of my activities that continues without interruptions is the research of the new backlinks, from domains never used before. Two days ago I found a great source, useful to reach thousand of links, that have a pagerank with a certain value. I firmly believe backlinks together with pageranks will have again the importance they had in the past; actually it seems to me this is the only possible way to distinguish between different sites. The devices used by Google in the last year seem to me not so punchy and they don't improve the research results.

Recently I discovered the penalties inflicted to those sites who have advertise banners on the top of the screen. According to one of my analysis it seems Google apply sanctions even if on the head of the page is present a big image. The excuse for doing this are the presumable complaints from users that don't like to scroll down the screen to get to the topic of their interest. There are sites where the user don't have to drag down the scrollbar because all the information he needs are already visible, in another case, doing a little physical effort, you can find what you were looking for. I think there is a little bit of mess in all that.

Not being able to reach the visitors arriving from the best search engines, I try to get them from the other resources, for example, from my sites that don't have sponsors or any kind of economic advertising, they have a small number of visitors but also some decent SERP placement. It's clear that users who visit those pages are not looking to buy something, in any case sometimes they can be a source of income; it's like building a house, a brick above the other and at the end of the work you have your own home.

Another method I use is to subscribe in top lists and try to be in first positions helping me by manually clicking, sometimes even using proxies. I admit, it's not correct but as the Bible says "who is without sin cast the first stone". Am I right? Everything I do is to be present on the first page of the most important search engine in the world, waiting to be judge positively and be able to keep my life style the same as it was in the past years.

December 17, 2012

Density of back link’s keywords

At the init of previous month I was in holiday in Namibia, spending my cash (before departure somebody violated my credit card) in my preferred entertainment. When I was back, I found that the toolbar pagerank contains new values. I made a quick control to see how my sites were passed this exam, and I ascertain 18 sites with PR5, and others (I have it about 85 in this moment) between 3 and 4. A nice satisfaction for the commitment I put in. But I already known that this success will not be respected in the SERP, and unfortunately I had right. But finally I think that I know where is the catch.

All the measures and procedures undertaken in past period by me didn’t give any certainty that I’m on the right way and I could not convey much desired traffic from search engines. I continued with the tests, verifications and checks, but also with research in the forums. In conclusion I think that I figured out where is the cause of my trouble. To tell the truth I already knew the concept, but I missed some parameters.

With the upgrade of Panda (I begin to hate that animal, small, ugly and lazy) in April 2012, Google introduced the penalties for sites that are too much optimized. There are two kinds of optimization, internal and external to the same site. The inner one mainly refers to the construction of site and concentration of the keywords on the page, while the outside is seen as the density of keywords with which the page in question is linked in. I guess the concept is as follows:
  • Let's say that the limit accepted of keyword density is about 4%, and if you go over a penalty immediately triggered. Google divides the actual percentage to the limit, and thus obtain the coefficient of inside optimization. The maximum is 1.
  • Considering all keywords with which the site is linked, the percentage for each one is calculated. Assuming that all the links use the same keyword, you will get 100%. Dividing with the physical limit, 100%, is obtained in this case an external optimization factor par to 1. It would seem that beyond the value of 0.5 (ie 50% - in the past I considered 70%, and that is my mistake) take a punishment automatically on this item alone.

Moreover, multiplying or adding these two values gives a number of unitary page. If this number exceeds a certain limit, I have no idea about this entity, take the punishment and the page moves back in placement. My niggles are backlinks and I'm trying to dilute the density of them.

Sometimes one is not really sure if he has been assessed a penalty or other worked better and they are in front for the placement. An aid to understanding the situation is visit googleminusgoogle.com, which existence I discovered recently. It 'a branch of Google that does not apply Panda filter. If your site there is much more advanced in the rankings than on Google itself, you can be almost certain that you are castigated and your life will become very hard in your attempts first to understand the problem and then to overcome it.