Changing the curtains

I will be moving my personally blog over to http://eppand.com. I will continue to post tips, tricks and other bits of info. That will just be available at a new URL.

As always I’m on twitter, facebook and linkedin: @eppand.

Thanks and Happy Holidays!

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How to Determine if an Element Exists with jQuery?

jQuery makes it easy to determine if an element in your DOM exists.

if ( $('#elementID').length ) 
{
 // do something
}

Simple enough, right?

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Tags: jquery tips code

Does the age of your domain determine your Google rank?

A long discussed topic as a factor in the infamous algorithm is domain age. This factor may cast a gray shadow over a new website and their ensuing launch because of the fear that the domain “isn’t old enough” to be ranked by Google.

Domain age is a factor in the Google algorithm but shouldn’t be a key factor in your SEO equation. Google tries to use their data on when they they first crawl and/or see links to you site to determine the age factor. Relying on what WHOIS data that is available is some loose ground in terms of Google’s crawl.

All this comes back to what your site is and how you create content for it. So keep your resources to build good content that people want to link to and Google will find and rank your site. Don’t poor all your money into that 9 year old URL from the site auction and then just plop some content online. Focus on content, first and foremost.

Google’s stance on ranking by domain age.

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Tags: seo google search

CSS Tip: style links for accessibility too.

It is easy to overlook, and quite frankly forget about, a:focus and a:active when controlling your link styles. When styling your a tags remember that the outlining applied by default in most browsers is a good recognition effect for users who tab through links or access the site with keyboard controls. Removing the styling on the a:focus and a:active will remove this visual indicator for those users tabbing, or otherwise accessing the links on your website.

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SEO Tip: Use Google Suggest for keyword research

There are a lot of great tools available, both free and paid, to conduct keyword research. However, one you might overlook is what is in front of you every time you go to google search. Aand if you are like me that is lot.

Google Suggest is the drop down box that appears with synonyms for your query when you type into the search box. What this shows you is relevant, and possibly alternative, search phrases to you keyword. Best of all, the suggestions are “straight from the horse’s mouth” being Google’s mathematically determined suggestions to your search query.

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SEO Tip: Don’t try to over optimize your web page

Build a page with a single keyword or phrase in mind. You should target on-page optimization for your website content in a 1 to 1 relationship not a many to 1. Logic says that a single page should be content specific to a single topic (e.g. keyword/phrase).

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Google Tip: Monitor Your Competitor’s Inbound Link Anchor Text

Use the “inanchor:” and “allinanchor:” operators to see which of your competitors have obtained keyword rich links to their site. This will help you analyse their link building effectiveness on keywords you target or should be targeting.

Example: inachor:"product keyphrase here" would return results with “product keyphrase here” in the link anchor text.

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Google Tip: Google Stops It’s Results at 1000 for a Given SERP

If you do an indexation search on Google you can only get 1000 results deep, or to page 100. An odd stat to uncover since most searchers don’t make it past page 3 of any given search query SERP (Search Engine Results Pages).

An alternative to this issue is the utilize Google’s search operators and begin your query with “site:” or “inurl:”. This will limit your results to the requests site.

Example: site:www.thedomain.com inurl:product

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Twitter Tip: How to Remove Yourself From Another User’s List

To prevent yourself from being on a Twitter list you must block the creator of that list.

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When Will I See the New Twitter?

Ev Williams, co-founder or Twitter,¬†¬†answered this is question in a recent #AskEv session on Twitter. The New Twitter is being rolled out worldwide to a randomly selection of users over the next few weeks. This cautious rollout schedule is smart measure on Twitter’s part. Most apps that have such a large user base rollout out in steps and I am sure that Twitter doesn’t want to show the FAIL Whale anymore than it already does.

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