Google prefers intent and semantics, not keywords

Google prefers intent and semantics, not keywords

For years, content creators and SEO specialists have focused on keyword-related tactics for improved Google search result rankings. Those days are ending. In yet another algorithm change, this one named Hummingbird, Google is devaluing the focus on keywords in favor of a semantic search, and driving more toward user intent. What do Google’s changes mean for website owners? The Hummingbird update doesn’t seem to have had the same type of effect as did Panda back in 2011. But if you’ve only been focusing on keyword-based content, you may eventually feel the impact. What it means is that you must do what you should have been doing all along: provide valuable, engaging content that’s of interest to your target audience. It’s time to get social . . . no, really Many B2B and small business site owners bemoan the thought of maintaining an active presence on social networks. The B2B crowd generally doesn’t see the value in it. And when they do, there’s too often no clear content strategy to guide the work. If their ROI perspective is too short-term, they deem the effort a failure. Small business owners, already wearing too many organizational hats, don’t have the time to take on another task. But despite what reluctance you may have, social media marketing will play a growing role in determining what content gets read and, in turn, what traffic comes to your site. Google wants to know more about how real people engage with your content, who follows you, and who reads your content. This engagement is likely measured across various social networks, but you can guarantee that Google+...
Magento installation database connection error

Magento installation database connection error

Installing Magento has been an uphill battle. Even the simple things are a pain. When installing most applications that have file permission requirements, you get a list of what needs to be changed. Magento doles them out two at a time.

mcrypt not loaded

mcrypt not loaded

I installed php on my Mac using Macports. I guess, at this early stage in my Mac experience, that it’s the equivalent of APT on Debian-based systems. It installed without a hitch, and php was up and running. But when I began installing a web app that required mcrypt, I noticed some problems. I used the ‘port’ command again to install the mcrypt package. Once again, no errors reported. But the web app (Magento) continued to complain that the “PHP extension ‘mcrypt’ must be loaded.” Running ‘php -m’ from the shell told me that the package had indeed been installed. So why was the web app seeing mycrypt not loaded? How to make dumb mistakes Here’s the long-story-short of it…set up a phpinfo() test page and make sure you have a value for the Loaded Configuration File other than ‘none.’ Apparently, when you install php via the ‘ports’ command, the php.ini file is not copied over automatically. I assume that’s by design, so you can go through the provided php.ini.default and edit before using it. The crazy thing is that I had already opened the default file to add the extension. Hey…new OS, some things are different. Gimme a break… Summary cd /private/etc/ sudo cp php.ini.default php.ini sudo vi php.ini In the Dynamic Extension section, add: extension=mcrypt.so And finally, restart apache… sudo apachectl -k graceful This is one of those moments where you feel like you’ve torn the whole ceiling fan apart, trying to figure out why it’s not working…when all you needed to do was reset the breaker switch. I hope there aren’t many more of those....
Setting up Mac for development

Setting up Mac for development

It’s been just over a week since I got my MacBook Air. Yeah…lovin’ it. But there are some adjustment pains I’m still dealing with. It’s not the differences in the OS. I’ve been working on *nix boxes for over 10 years, so I’m pretty comfortable with the CLI (command line interface, for those of you who stumbled here by accident). And the GUI is intuitive enough. The problems I’ve had setting up mac for development are in the details. Like trying to get mySql to run. Or getting mcrypt properly loaded in php. That’s why I’m writing under this new “Developing on Mac” category. It’s not really for anything more than notes for myself, but if you’ve reached any of these pages, please let me know if they’ve been helpful by commenting. And by all means…if you have a solution to one of my issues, please comment. I suppose I could divvy up this into subcategories, such as web development, iOS development, Java/Android development, etc. Maybe I’ll do that as content is added. For now, I have to start with where my work is: web development. Hopefully, the others will follow soon....

Remembering Perry

If you’re reading this, you’ve most likely responded to my call for memories of Perry. Rachael Springfield Bumpus passed along this as a Father’s Day surprise for Gordon. I thought Facebook probably isn’t the best place to keep something secret so… Here’s the story from Rachael: Hi everyone. I have a special request that I am helping out with and hope you all can help out if you can. We all remember Perry Tyler, some of you might not know that he and I were first cousins. Perry has a brother, Gordon that is all grown up and has a family of his own. His wife has asked me to help out with some memories of Perry and or pictures for Gordon. She is making a memory book for Father’s Day for Gordy. I am going to put her request on here with all her information. If you can think of anyone else that would like to help out please pass the info on. I really appreciate any help that you can give! Thanks!! …and from Gordon’s wife, Traci: i want to make a little memory book for Gordy that has stories and maybe some pics of Perry. He doesn’t remember much about his brother and loves to hear stories about him and things they did together too. I thought I’d try to surprise him for Fathers’ Day with it. If you don’t mind, if you think of any stories or know of anyone, can you have them message me on FB or email me the stories or pics to tracitw@gmail.com, please? I’ve left comments open below if you...

Password hashing API in PHP 5.5

After the recent discovery of a plugin vulnerability, I’ve been busy looking for ways to button up all areas of public-facing applications for my employer. The first thing I checked was authentication procedures, and was able to improve the way we store password hashes. The current functionality available within PHP left me feeling less than confident with simply calling crypt() with a salt. I added an algorithm to ‘enhance’ this, but thought that such measures should be built in. And then I find that’s exactly what’s on the way with PHP 5.5 in the form of a password hashing API. Now the question is when we’ll get it. November 15 marked the release of PHP 5.5.0 alpha 1, so it may be...