Create backlinks for SEO

SEO is iterative and is very important to make your site reach its customers. There are many techniques by which you can achieve this goal. Apart from search engine optimization on your site or page, you must also create backlinks for SEO by submitting articles to various websites that allow you to do so.

Approach to Create backlinks:

Register and submit quality content on articles submission directory sites. This helps you become visible on the world wide web.

You can also have answers submitted in forums. The best way is to include links in your signature. With this it gets added to each and every answer you post. Target to provide the solution to the questioner than targeting to create backlinks while responding to a question. Your answer will automatically gain popularity (hence your link in signature) if your answer really resolves the problem.

So, people who are specifically looking for that solution, will ultimately read your answer and may also follow the links. In any case, your link becomes visible when users come to your answer when especially through a search engine.

There are tools that allow you to share links to Social media including Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Bibo, Digg and many other. One website that provides you this service is onlywire. It submits your articles to various social media (52 sites!! as of today) saving your time to visit each social media and post your link. Popularity is the key to SEO. Hence, creating backlinks is the key to popularity.

Top Windows 8 apps must have

Apart from the  basic apps that come with your PC, I find the following apps quite useful and interesting and they are in my top windows 8 apps list.

Check the top windows 8 apps and install them on your Windows 8 today!

Top Windows 8 Apps

Norton Satellite (Free)

Norton Satellite Top Windows 8 AppsIdentify unsafe files in Dropbox, on your PC, and external storage devices before sharing with friends. Scan your Facebook feed for malicious links. You can customize to scan specific stuff.

OneNote (Free)

OneNote app for Windows 8Take notes that save to the cloud so you have them when you need them. Quickly write up to-do lists with check boxes. Use your device’s pen to draw in your notes as you would on paper. Take photos with your device’s camera to put in your notes. This is one of the essential top Windows 8 apps. You might need this often everyday.

Wikipedia (Free)

WikipediaThis app doesn’t need any explanation. The child in mother’s womb also knows about Wikipedia. So, simply have it on your Windows 8.

Sky News (Free)

Sky News Sky News brings you the latest breaking news and top stories, together with Live Sky News TV, so that you can keep up to date with all the latest stories, whatever you are doing.

What’s new in Windows 8

Now that we discussed about windows 8 reviews, let’s take a look at the features and what’s new in windows 8.

These are general features of overall Windows 8 offerings. For version comparison, visit comparison page on Microsoft.

What’s New in Windows 8

Start Menu

The Metro Tiled start menu is the main attraction of windows 8. The start menu comprises of Live tiles arranged in metro style.

The live tiles shows the content randomly or latest from the source. For example, it will show you the latest emails subject on the email tile. Similarly, it will show latest unread sms on messaging tile. This feature is cool unlike the static icons.

Messaging

The messaging can be used as a hub that combines messages from various sources like Facebook, Gmail, Windows live, etc.

Startup / Login

When you start Windows 8, it asks you to start with live account, now known as Microsoft account. If you don’t have an internet connection, you will have an option create a local account.

When you link the Microsoft account, the data like contacts, emails, etc start getting synchronized. You can control what to and what not to synchronize.

Ease of use on multiple computers

If you have multiple computers lets say one at office and other at home, both having Windows 8 and if you access that using same Microsoft account, you don’t have to arrange that again in another PC. It automatically synchronizes the settings. Of course you can control this too.

Internet Explorer

Windows 8 comes with new Internet Explorer 10. The new IE10 is quite fast and responsive. Enhanced privacy, optimized for touch ease-of-use.

Apps

There are a lot of apps in the apps store and you can download apps – free and paid. Check out the top must have apps on Windows 8. These apps appear as tiles on the start menu of the new Windows 8. Instantly download new apps for Windows 8 and Windows RT.

Some apps, like People, Mail, and Calendar, are built in to Windows 8 and Windows RT—they’re already on your Start screen when you sign in to your PC. See a list of basic apps that come with your PC.

Corners of the screen

The corners of the screen on Windows 8 are sensitive. Moving mouse on right top or bottom shows the general menu of settings, devices, etc. Touching the left top shows the tabs that are open. The bottom left shows the Desktop on start menu and vice-versa.

Picture Password

The new way of screen lock is a divine feature. You can choose your favorite picture and draw a pattern on it to unlock it. Check the video below to know how to use the picture password.

Windows 8 Reviews, the first glance – Microsoft is back in the market!

Microsoft is back in the market with Windows 8. So here are my Windows 8 reviews.

It is an amazing new operating system. I installed it yesterday and still can’t get over it. The new tiles on start menu is amazing. The live tiles keep you alive unlike the older static icons. The metro user interface makes it more appealing.

Continue reading “Windows 8 Reviews, the first glance – Microsoft is back in the market!”

Caching – The good, the Bad

All good things created on earth may not be good always. For example, milk may suit some people but for others it may cause skin irritation. Similar is the case with caching.

Caching – Good or Bad?

Caching is not always a good idea. If the site traffic is less and caching is enabled and your website hosting is on multiple servers, the users may experience high load time and may become impatient. This is because the application pool resets and then when users try to open the page the cache is rebuilt because the old cache is expired due to inactivity (low traffic).
caching effects on website load time
So you should enable caching only if the site is having good amount of traffic. And you don’t have multiple applications running on shared basis.

Caching is important for a better load time but at the same time it may not be good for low traffic website.

Unwanted Characters on Website Page

If you see any unwanted characters on any of your pages on your website, check the encoding of the page. If the encoding is not proper, it may add noisy characters to your pages in website. If the unwanted characters are like , which is called byte order mark (BOM) simply open the page in notepad. Go to menu File>>Save As. In the file save as dialog box select the encoding as ANSI And then save the file with the same name.

Also, if the characters are something else, save the file with the encoding as “iso-8859-1”. And it should work the way you wanted.

If you have some new unwanted characters please post them on this site through ‘Leave a suggestion’ section at bottom of any page.

Upload this modified page to the server or where ever your files are and then check the page again. Try deleting the browser’s cache and check again if it didn’t work for the first time.

Household Tips

Ant Control:
Spread some ground cinnamon where you think the ants are coming in to the house.
Basil repels flies and mosquitoes. To deter ants, use catnip. Sprinkle it in their paths.
Make a mixture of 2/3 cup water, 1/3 cup white vinegar, and 2-3 Tablespoons dish soap. Spray where the ants are marching.

Natural Mosquito Repellents:
Splashing plain rubbing alcohol on yourself and allowing it to dry will deter mosquitoes from biting you.
Rub Vick’s Vaporub® on your pants and legs to ward off ticks.
Use half vanilla (has to be pure vanilla) and half water and for a mosquito and tick repellent.
Dab lavender oil on your pulse points; it smells great on you but repels insects.

For Mouse Control:
Place USED kitty litter from a litter box in small tubs in several places around the garage. Mice think… “it smells like a cat–must be a cat – I’m outta here!”.
Buy a mesh/net laundry bag that you would use for washing nylons and 5 boxes of moth balls. Put the moth balls in the bag and hang it in your garage near the door to get rid of mice, birds, and bugs.
To prevent mice from gaining entry to your garage, stop up any openings with steel wood pads. Mice will not chew through these!
Sprinkle ground cayenne pepper around the garage (inside & out), and especially near entry holes. Pests don’t care for the smell of it.
Mice hate the scent of peppermint extract. Simply sprinkle *pure* peppermint extract on the items in your garage you don’t want the mice in or on.
Before you wear a new garment, put a little clear nail polish on the front and back of each button. Buttons will stay on longer when their threads are sealed.
Zippers won’t stick if you rub them with the edge of a bar of soap.
To remove a hem crease, sponge the material with white vinegar and press with a warm iron.
Nail polish remover removes tar and grease from white leather shoes.
White shoe polish will apply more evenly if you rub the shoes with a raw potato or rubbing alcohol before polishing.
White shoe polish won’t smear if you spray the shoe with hair spray after it is dry.
Vinegar and water will remove salt stains from shoes and boots.
New white canvas shoes will stay that way if you spray them heavily with starch.
Clean rope trimmed shoes with a toothbrush dipped in rug shampoo.
For longer lasting pantyhose, try freezing them before you wear them. Just wet, wring out and toss in a plastic bag to freeze. Thaw and hang to dry.
Fresh eggs are rough and chalky . They will sink and stay horizontal on the bottom of a glass of water. The egg-white is viscous and close around the plump yolk.
Old eggs are smooth and shiny. They will float in a glass of water. The egg-white is watery and the yolk is flat in an egg roughly 3 weeks old.
Dried Herbs and spices lose their potency quickly. Buy only a small amount at a time. When using fresh herbs an spices, use 3 times the amount of the dried.
Perk up soggy lettuce by soaking in cold water with some lemon juice. To store place in a zip lock bag with paper towel to absorb moisture.
Never, never pour water on flaming fat or oil you’ll spread the fire. If the fire’s inside a pan, slap on the lid. If outside, turn off the heat and douse the flames by tossing on a handful of baking soda or salt.
Wax paper is endlessly useful. Use it: To catch grated cheese, to place under seasoned flour for breading or spices for blackening, to tear into strips to slip under a cake you are icing, to cover a dish you are microwaving.
Collect a large assortment of Chinese wooden paddles and spoons. Use them to save wear and tear on your good stainless steel and copper pots.
Instead of using plastic wrap to cover bowls in the microwave, cover a round heatproof glass bowl with a round heatproof glass casserole cover or with an inverted heatproof glass bowl of the same size. A heat-resistant round glass pizza pan also works well, and the overhang makes removal and recovery both safe and easy.
Use a lightweight pot for boiling pasta; water will come to its initial boil faster and will return to the boil faster, too, saving time and preventing the pasta from clumping at the bottom of the pot.
Before heating a nonstick pan, always coat it with nonstick vegetable cooking spray and never heat the pan more than 3 minutes before adding food.
To remove pesky bottle tops and jar lids, don a pair of rubber gloves. Or twist a fat rubber band around the lid, then twist open. Works like a charm.
If you store your best silver in self-sealing plastic bags, it will tarnish much more slowly.
When your cookbook won’t lie flat when opened on the counter, place a glass baking dish on the pages (you can read through the glass) or secure each side with a rubber band.
Use top-quality typewriter correction fluid to cover nicks, chips, and scratches on enameled ranges and refrigerators, porcelain tiles, and sinks. Works like a charm and it comes in a variety of colors.
Never use disinfectants to clean the fridge, foods will pick up taste and odor.
When laundering clothes, add detergent to the washer first. Pouring detergent on clothing can cause fabrics to fade.
Apply spray starch to doors and to painted walls along hallways and stairways where fingerprints accumulate. The coating will resist marks better.
Place a piece of white chalk in your silver chest or jewel box to absorb moisture and help prevent tarnishing of silverware and jewelry.
Freezers run more efficiently when they’re three-quarters or more full. When provisions drop, fill milk cartons or jugs with water and put them in the freezer to take up empty space.
Wiping the inside of the fridge with vinegar helps prevent mildew because acid kills mildew fungus.
For a fresh smelling fridge, keep a box of baking soda, a can filled with charcoal or dried coffee grounds or a cotton ball soaked in vanilla extract inside of it.
Crumbled newspapers lining the vegetable compartments of a refrigerator will keep veggies crisp.
Those beds of pansies will bloom more prolifically if you take a few moments to pinch out early buds. This encourages plants to bush out and, in the end, produce more flowers.
To keep your extension cords from getting tangled, insert them into a empty toilet paper roll to store.
Drain de-clogger: 1/4 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup vinegar. Pour baking soda down drain first then follow with the vinegar. Close drain and let sit until bubbling has stopped then follow with a bucket of hot boiling water.
Store eggs with the large end up to keep the yolk centered.
For perfect hard-cooked eggs, cover the eggs with cold water and bring to a boil. Then turn off the heat and let the eggs sit on the burner for 10-15 minutes.
Refrigerate candles for several hours before lighting; it will cause fewer drips.
Have you ever peeled garlic or handled it and your hands smell to high heaven? The next time that happens, take any stainless steel bowl, pan or other stainless steel kitchen gadget and rub your hands on it. It will take away the smell of garlic.
Lemon extract will remove scuff marks from luggage.
Dry Mustard will remove onion odors from your hands or cutting board. Rub in, then rinse off.
Place bay leaves in kitchen drawers and in flour and sugar sacks to keep crawling insects away.

Submit Sitemap Search Engines

Sitemaps are an easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about pages on their site that may be crawled by the search engines’ robots. This Sitemaps are in xml formats.

A typical Sitemap file lists every URL, together with information about when it was last updated, how often it normally changes, and how important it is, relative to other pages in the site. This helps search engines to more intelligently crawl the website.

Creating sitemap

First of all, create the sitemap for your website, listing each url in it.

You may have a look, as an example, at the sitemap of this website that lists the url with other attributes: Sitemap

After you have created the sitemap for your website, its the time to submit or inform the search engines about it. Below are the methods to submit to various search engines.

Submitting the sitemap to Google

Google developed a schema for sitemap and has a portal for webmasters Google Webmaster Central.

First of all, after signing into Google accounts, you have to verify the ownership of the website. This is done by uploading an html or updating a page with the meta information that google.com/webmasters provide. The meta tag looks like –

<meta content="unique code provided by google" name="verify-v1" />

Submitting sitemap to MSN

MSN uses Moreover.com for Live search to get informed about the sitmaps for various sites from webmasters. The following URL would directly submit the sitemap to MSN:

http://api.moreover.com/ping?u=http://yourdomain.com/yoursitemap.xml

Submitting Sitemap to Yahoo

Yahoo provides this service through Yahoo Site Explorer. You can submit the sitemap through the following URL

http://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com

As with Google, Yahoo too provides a verification HTML file or meta tag to verify ownership of the website. Once verified you can use the services provided by Yahoo Site Explorer. Submit the sitemap as a feed by providing your sitemap url on:

http://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/submit

Submitting Sitemap to Ask

Ask follows a similar approach. The following URL submits the sitemap to ask.com

http://submissions.ask.com/ping?sitemap=http://www.yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml

Happy Webmastering!!!

Automatically Submit Sites to Search Engines:

Just provide your site or individual page URL and other details and submit. Phone number is not mandatory. It’s free! No bluffing at all! I personally use this tool. It is provided by Free Web Submission

Sort XML Attribute using XSLT | Sort XML by Date using XSLT

This is an approach to solve the date sorting problem in XML and XSLT. This article gives an example to sort XML attribute using XSLT. The attribute is date here – so it XSLT sorts the XML by Date. The date is a simple string “dd.mm.yyyy”. The following example is a code snippet to solve this problem.

Code to sort XML attribute using XSLT

To check this, copy the xml below in data.xml, copy the xslt code in style.xslt. Store them in same directory and view the XML in Browser.

The XML

          <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<?xml-stylesheet type="text/xsl" href="style.xslt"?>
<birthdays>
<item>
<date>13.05.2005</date>
<title>John</title>
</item>
<item>
<date>06.02.2000</date>
<title>Steve</title>
</item>
<item>
<date>13.01.2007</date>
<title>Lisa</title>
</item>
<item>
<date>29.05.2010</date>
<title>Sarah</title>
</item>
</birthdays>

The XSLT

          <?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<xsl:stylesheet version="1.0" xmlns:xsl="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Transform">
<xsl:output method="html" encoding="utf-8"
 doctype-public="-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
 doctype-system="http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"/>
<xsl:template match="birthdays">
<h1>Birthdays</h1>
<ul>
<xsl:for-each select="item">
<xsl:sort select="normalize-space(substring(date,7,4))" order="descending" />
<xsl:sort select="normalize-space(substring(date,4,2))" order="descending" />
<xsl:sort select="normalize-space(substring(date,0,2))" order="descending" />
<li>
<xsl:value-of select="date" />
<br />
<xsl:value-of select="title" />
</li>
</xsl:for-each>
</ul>
</xsl:template>
</xsl:stylesheet>

You’ll see the following output

The Output

Birthdays

  • 29.05.2010
    Sarah
  • 13.01.2007
    Lisa
  • 13.05.2005
    John
  • 06.02.2000
    Steve

The parameter order=”descending” sorts the date in descending order. To sort in ascending, change descending to ascending. Normalize space is used to ignore or trim the leading or trailing spaces to help perform the sort function correctly. Substring chooses the particular part of date from the date string. If your date is in a format other than dd.mm.yyyy, you’ll need to change the values in substring function call above.

Running into issues?! Discuss below.

Search Engine Optimisation – SEO

SEO – Search Engine Optimization

Make the site easy enough to find the useful information that a user would seek. Try it by yourself by navigating through the site contents. SEO is not a step-by-step method to follow. It’s an ongoing activity.
SEO - Search Engine Optimization

All the pages within your site, should be reachable by a static link. However, make sure that you don’t just put all the (100s of) links on pages for this reason.

Use simple and short keywords. Keep 2-3 phrases for keywords. Longer phrases are sometimes ignored by the crawlers. The phrases can be made simpler by deciding the common keywords that the users could put in the search string. The set of keywords on each page should be unique. DON’T use words like www, com, a, the, an, etc these keywords are ignored by the crawlers.

The elements like title and alt attributes for images should be used appropriately. They should be descriptive and properly phrased. The <title>, for example, summarises the content on your page. Similarly, the alt tag should have the proper image description. Put your main keywords in the title, hence making the room in the keywords list for other keywords.

Example –

<img src="search-engines.jpg" alt="search engines" />

Use the heading tags to put the headings on your page. The heading tags are emphasised by the crawlers more than other tags. If the heading is put in the div or span tags, the crawler would treat them as normal text. Imagine yourself reading a book, the first thing you do is you scan through headings rather than reading the text under it.

Clear all the broken links from the site. Create a permamnent redirect for these broken links. You may use htaccess to allow the crawlers understand this.

Make your pages valid. Make sure no tags are missing their end tags, in other words, make sure the tags are properly closed. Crawlers do not consider such pages even if browsers display them properly. Validate your website against w3c standards with the help of online tools such as http://validator.w3.org/.

Not all crawlers crawl dynamic pages. When your page has some parameters passed in it, it should be rewritten to some proper/sensible URL. For example, http://adityabajaj.com/weblog/buying-new-mobile should have been re-written to something like http://adityabajaj.com/pages/buying-new-mobile.html. This makes the crawler treat this a static page.

Keep the link names consistent throughout the site.

You may use the top-level domains for bilingual site content. The chances of finding your hindi language website would be easier by making it http://adityabajaj.in rather than http://adityabajaj.com/in/

Use robots.txt file to help or prevent the crawlers crawl your website. Major search engines use this text file as a guide while crawling the website.

Example:

Allow all crawlers crawl complete website:

User-agent: * 
Disallow:

Do not allow crawlers crawl / keep them away:

User-agent: * 
Disallow: /

Disallow select directories from your website:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /admin/ 
Disallow: /private/

To help crawlers get the links within your site easily, create a sitemap and submit it to search engines. Have a look at this sitemap:
http://adityabajaj.com/sitemap.xml

You may use the following link to generate the sitemap and make your job easy.
Google Sitemap Generator

Submitting your site to as many as possible search engines is a good idea. Alexa is another site that you must concentrate on. Check on how to increase alexa rank

There are various online sitemap generators, validators, etc. This helps in assuring that your sitemap is valid and would not be ignored by the search engines. Similarly, robots file can also be generated and validated. Get more information on how to increase organic traffic.

Avoid redirecting links in your website using Javascripts. Crawlers avoid javascripts. Hence it would not know the redirections in your website properly.

If you are rewriting URLs like http://adityabajaj.com/weblog/unwanted-characters-on-website-page.html to http://adityabajaj.com/weblog/unwanted-characters-on-website-page, Make sure that crawler is informed that this is a permanent or temporary redirect, otherwise it will be treated as duplicate URLs and you might loose the page ranking.

Avoid the duplicate content strictly. Crawlers and users are confused by this. Instead of making altogether a different page for the printer friendly version of your page, create a different CSS that may be applied when user would like to print the page. Another example is instead of putting the disclaimer text on the bottom of every page, create a different page and put a link to that page on the pages you would like the disclaimer to have. This would help avoid the duplicate content on your site.

Hosting companies can also affect your page ranking. If the same hosting server hosts some ‘bad hats’ also called as spammers, pornographers, etc, your site ranking may also be banned. The crawlers treat them as the same kind of site as they all share the IP address of your hosting server.

The IP address of your website should not continuously keep changing. Such websites are avoided by the search engines’ crawlers.

Try to make your site interactive. The more the site is interactive the more chances are that users or site visitors visit your site again and again. Keeping the forums, news, etc or such dynamic content will keep the users visiting site again and again. Give your users a reason to visit the page or website back again. You visit your email expecting that some new emails or new replies may have arrived. Same is the case with visitors visiting your site. They should expect something new, may it be reply or some answers to their questions or comments.

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