Categories: "Full Stack Dev & Design"

Google & BlogNoise: the blogger's responsiblity

We have talked about the annoying BlogNoise problem before. And most bloggers have agreed that Google would probably be smart enough to fix the problem shortly in order to provide a better service to their users.

A great part of the BlogNoise is generated by the fact alone that we - bloggers - have so many unrelated posts/subjects on the same web page. And when we - bloggers - link to each other, we let the indexing robots follow these links and then index a lot of crap at the other end. This is because, most of the time, the permalinks we refer to, just point right into the middle of a monthly archive page with so many different subjects!

I have suggested a technical google-side solution using RSS, but the more I think about it, the more I am getting convinced that it is not Google's job to fix this! It is rather our bloggers' duty to fix this!

We have created crap on the Internet; now we just have to clean up!

The blogger-side solution is actually quite simple: all we need to do is stop using permalinks pointing right into the middle of monthly archives! We need to make the permalinks point to single posts (possibly with comments and trackback). This way, when someone refers to the post, and later the indexing robot follows the link, it will only index a single post. And all the keywords being indexed will actually be related to that post! No more indexing soup mixing hundreds of unrelated keywords from dozens of unrelated posts!

Still, some questions remain:

  • What happens with the old permalinked posts?
  • How do we exclude navigation from indexing? (this is actually a general question about indexing the web)
  • And last but not least: Do bloggers actually want clean indexing? Or rather, do they prefer to continue flattering themselves with all those illegitimate search-result-hits that so easily rocket up their monthly hit counts? And it's even better when you consider unique visitors!

    Let me add that this is very contradictory with another typical blogger trend stating, in the name of interoperability and public's interest, that the only valid markup is the latest XHTML DTD!

PS: I like interop. I like standards. I am doing my best to support them. And I AM working on cleaning up my permalinks. I'll get less google hits... but hits don't matter! What you want from now on is increasing your google-hit satisfaction ratio! You want no more visitors coming to your blog by mistake! :P

PHP oddities :(

Actually I had not really looked into PHP since early version 3 betas... I knew it had gotten better, but sometimes I wonder if I didn't overestimate this... :-/

Looks like PHP 4.3 still requires that you name a collection of checkboxes or a select multiple with a name ending with "[]" such as <input type="checkbox" name="collect[]" value="3" />. That [] makes it impossible to DOM-handle the objects with javascript... but if you don't include the [], you just won't get all the checked values, neither as a table nor as a list... only the last one! :!:

What year is this? 1995? :'(

As far as I remember, ColdFusion and ASP have been handling this elegantly since version 1.0!

Tableless Design: Not ready for prime time!

Here we used to have an article about how hard it was to deisgn an HTML page wihtou tables back in 2003.

Since the web browsers have evolved a lot since then I have removed the examples becaus ethey required custom CSS to be injected in the CMS running this site.

Here are still a few paragraphs from the original article that still make sense:

I will restrict my rendering tests to Internet Explorer 6.0.2800.1106, Netscape Navigator 7.02 and Opera 7.10 (build 2840) on Windows. I think everyone would agree that if something won't work with the latest versions of these three most used browsers, it is definitely not ready for prime time!

With tableless design - i-e with the use of CSS styles instead - you should theorically be able to not only preserve semantic intelligence and accessibility of your document, but you should also be able to improve the "liquid flow" of your design, that is to say, the second picture should go under the first one when the browser width is insuficient.

Well, at least, if it doesn't improve the liquid flow, you should be able to get the same layout. At least!

And you actually can get the same layout... sometimes!

Most browsers will not render CSS the same way depending on the doctype of your document. You need to watch that carefully to make sure you activate standards compliant mode in all browsers.

Then you can play... spend hours trying to get that damn thing to look like the intended design...

htmlArea

Turn any <textarea> into a WYSIWYG editor.

Quote of the day - Computers and programmers

“A computer is a stupid machine with the ability to do incredibly smart things, while computer programmers are smart people with the ability to do incredibly stupid things. They are, in short, a dangerously perfect match.”

– Bill Bryson.