Christian Ross

How SEOs Spend Their Time

In many ways, I view Search Engine Optimization and its “experts” as modern day snake oil and snake oil salesman, respectively. There are far too many people out there that express that they are experts that end up duping gullible clients into thinking that they will score the world for them.

Clients should know that there are practical steps that can be taken to potentially help their site rank better but there aren’t any guarantees and should never be signed up for if guarantees are offered. There are practical things that can be done to make your site look its best for search engines and users alike but they aren’t anything that a client couldn’t research and/or do themselves. I offer my clients the service of SEO but never at a price that many “experts” claim to get and never any guarantees of positioning.

My services include: helping to draft quality content, searching and targeting good keywords, educating the client on the positive aspects of quality inbound/outbound links and helping them to understand how to use social media for positive results and not just wasting time or spamming potential clients.

Other than that, there’s not too much more that Google or any other search engine cares to see. There as open about it as they can be without giving too much away for people to figure out ways to scam them into high rankings.

Which leads me to this, a nice little infographic from SEOmoz today portraying most of what I already thought and outlined above. This SEO oil is a cure all.

Importance of HTML Headings for Accessibility

I can admit that I still have a lot to learn about what I do. One of the areas I need to improve my knowledge in is accessibility of my sites for those with disabilities. The following is an impressive 9 minute video demonstration by Aaron Cannon who among other things is blind since birth.

Aaron takes the time to walk a user through how he “sees” a website. Through the use of a screen reader, he can navigate the web and surprisingly to me, do so very quickly.

For my non-developer readers, the H1 tags that he mentions are the most heavily weighted section of a web page in terms of code. By using semantically sound coding practices, I can benefit my clients in how their web pages are displayed, in how their pages are index by search engines, and in how those who visit the site unconventionally (ie. Aaron, mobile users, RSS Readers) can be accommodated. (more…)

Netflix, behind the scenes

We have been Netflix customers for a while now and have no complaints about the service whatsoever. The wife and I have discussed it before noting that package design and the timeliness of each order must be due to the fact that they are automated in some way or another. Boy was I off.

46 warehouses with approximately 50 employees in each. At an average of 700 DVD’s an hour the sum total of DVD’s sorted and delivered daily is about 1.6 million. Wow. I’m not all for cutting those jobs but surely someone could help them with a better system.

Slightly related:

The Netflix DVD sorter/re-packager job reminds me slightly of a story my buddy Rob told me a while ago.

When he was a kid, he moved to a small Texas town and attempted to make friends. On one occasion he asked a local boy what his father did and the response was something along the following…

Rob: What does your dad do?
Kid: You know how some nails are silver?
Rob: Yeah
Kid: Well, you know how some nails are gold?
Rob: Yeah
Kid: My dad paints the silver ones gold

Umm, as much as I hate having students loans still, I am slightly thankful for them just in the fact that I’m not painting nails for a living.

IE8 to be officially released today

Thought it won’t be pushed to auto updates right away, you can get your copy from Microsoft’s site around Noon EST.

Here’s to hoping I get the opportunity to bad-mouth it far less than I have for their last two versions.

It is now time for IE6 to go away forever. Hear that corporate America? That’s death knocking on your technological door.

Even with all the hoopla of a new browser, I can confirm that you will always browse happier running a certain open-source web viewer.