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Monday, April 30, 2007

Is my blog indexed, and if not, how to get it indexed quickly

Many new bloggers are impatient. They just start a blog and then immediately expect to find their blog in search engine result pages. It takes time for a site to be indexed. To find out if your blog have been indexed by a search engine, type
site:blog URL
into the searchbox and press the enter key. To make it clearer, to see if this blog has been indexed, type
into the searchbox

If you find you blog cannot be found, it means it has not been indexed yet. If you see the blog in the search engine result page, then it has been indexed.

However, some may type, for example, the title of their blog into the search box and then expect to see their blog. Even if your blog is indexed, it may appear so deep in the search engine result pages, it will be very hard for you to find that link.

How to speed up indexing by search engines

The most effective way to get you site indexed by search engine is to get an inbound link from a site which have already been indexed and which is crawled regularly. If you have a friend who have such a blog, perhaps you can ask a favor for a link to your blog to be placed in his, even if only temporarily until your blog has been indexed. Others think that adding a Google sitemap may help. To add a Google sitemap to your blog, see Adding a Google sitemap to your blog

Other ways to get links are to submit your blog to directories. The most important and hardest to get listed is DMOZ (Open Directory Project) now also callled Google Directory because DMOZ has been bought over by the giant Google. BTW Blogger Tips and Tricks got listed in DMOZ even without submitting the blog to DMOZ. Read about it by clicking the link. I had actually tried to submit a long time ago. I couldn't decide on what categories to submit it in. For submission to DMOZ, choosing the right category is very important. It takes a very long time to get listed in DMOZ, and your blog may not even be listed after a long time if it is found not suitable. Google Directory is based on DMOZ. This means that if your site is listed in DMOZ, you immediately get 2 inbound links from 2 high PageRank and authority sites. Plus other search engines uses DMOZ as a reference, and if your blog is listed there, it will definately be searchable in other search engines.

Other directories will be easier to get listed. You can find probably 10's or even 100's of them. Try them. They are easy to get listed. I have thought of preparing a list of blog directories, but figure you can find them yourself easily. Type "blog directory" into the search box above, tick [ ]Web and search. It is advisable to prepare a "directory submission" file with all the information normally required by the directories such as URL, description, tags (keywords), etc. in a Notepad file and save it in your computer where you can quickly find it when you need it. Then, you will not need to retype the same thing again and again.

Recently got a complaint in the comment. He said he tried but still cannot find his blog in the search results. Perhaps if you like to see some of your posts at the top of the SERP (Search engine result page), make a post or posts about some obscure topic which few people write about. Then your chances of being in the top 10 is very high. But note that if it is an obscure topic, it probably will be searched for by very few people.

Update 3 September 2007: for more information, refer to How to get good PageRank

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

How to remove labels and label count

Update: Blogger has introduced an easier way to delete labels. Sign into Dashboard, go to POST > EDIT POST which will cause all the posts to be displayed. At the top, next to the LABEL ACTION drop-down box (see screenshot below), click SELECT ALL, click the drop-down arrow, scroll to the lower half where you can see REMOVE LABELS with the list of labels below it. Click on the label you wish to remove and the selected label will be deleted from all posts:

Using lable action to remove label

To remove a label is simple. All you have to do is to edit all the posts that contain the label you want to remove, remove the label from the "Labels for this post:" at the bottom of the post and publish. When you are done, the label will be removed from your Label List.

To edit more than 1 post at the same time, refer to Remove labels the easy way via Label Action in Dashboard

Note: The easiest way to edit all the post with a particular label is to, first sign into (Dashboard), go the the blog where you want ot remove the label, click on the label in the Label List, which will then display all the posts with that label in the same page, Click the quick edit pencil icon New Blogger quick edit pencil icon and you will get into the post editor window of that post. At the bottom of the post editor will be a box with all the labels tied to that post. just delete the label you no longer want. Repeat this with all the other posts that have the label you want to remove and when you have finished, the label should be gone.

If you don't see a quick edit pencil icon at the bottom of the posts, you have not enabled quick editing for that blog (this should already be enabled by default if you have not changed this setting, but it is hard to say). Click the SETTINGS tab, and by default, you will straight away be in the BASIC sub-tab. Look for "Add your Blog to our listings?" which should be the third settings, click the down arrow in the menu bar (box) to the left and select YES. At the bottom, click SAVE SETTINGS.

How to remove label counts

From a commentator:

Sign into Dashboard, click LAYOUT then EDIT HTML to open the template editor. Look for the line of code (use ctrl+F to quickly find):

<span dir='ltr'>(<data:label.count/>)</span>

Delete that line of code to remove label count (see screen shot below):

code to display Blogger label count

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Special fonts for your blog clickable graphic header without removing the important text blog title

Important. Font is mentioned below. Don't ever try to make the font invisible by making font color same as background as that can get your blog banned from search engines for practicing black hat SEO

Want a special font for your graphic header like this blog: Anything Chinese? You can get special fonts from urban fonts. That is where I got that "Chinese Takeaway" font for the graphic header. Perhaps the best way to explain what I want to explain is to explain how I did the graphic header and still retain the text title for the blog (this in my opinion is important if you want your blog to be easily found by search engines. Search engines place great importance to text title of blogs to help determine what the blog is all about, and in my opinion, totally removing the text title like what many bloggers do is a bad idea).

Amazon products for search engines

OK, here is the explanation on how I did the graphic header for Anything Chinese. First, I went to urban fonts from which you can download for free (some are paid) fonts and dingbats. urban fonts have over 8,000 free fonts which you can download. There are many categories of fonts there. I wanted a Chinese looking font, so I click on the category Chinese and downloaded the "Chinese Takeaway" font. I unzipped the file and then follow their urban fonts FAQ to install the font into my computer.

In standard New Blogger templates, you cannot add anything into the Header other than the text title and a description. You also cannot add anything above the main column. To be able to do these, you will have to follow the instruction in this post: Adding Graphic to your New Blogger blog Header. If you do what is instructed there, you will have 2 additional "Add a Page Element" in the Layout, one for the Header, and one for the main column (posts).

I then opened MS Word and typed the graphic title "Anything Chinese" using that font and the relevant color and font size. I clicked "printscreen", opened the free and very good Irfanview Photo Editor (click "BACK" button to get back to this page) and pasted the content of the clipboard there (menu bar > Edit > Paste). I then cropped the text "Anything Chinese", saved it into the computer and uploaded it to my Google Page Creator (Update: Google Pages has been discontinued and now replaced by Google Sites). After uploading it, I right-clicked on the uploaded file and selected "Copy Link Location" to copy the URL into the clipboard (you can also click on the link and then in the page displaying the graphic, copy the URL from the address bar at the top of the page). I then click the "Add a Page Element" for the Header in the Layout, selected HTML/Javascript, then typed <a href="URL of homepage of blog"><img src="graphic URL" alt="" width="730"></a> into the HTML/Javascript window (the width of the Header is 750). This I found by getting into the template editor and looking for this block of code:

#header-wrapper {
margin:0 auto 10px;
border:1px solid $bordercolor;

If this is not clear, I will put the actual HTML I used to display that graphic header in the scroll box below:

<a href=""><img alt="anything chinese" width="730" src=""/></a>

Now the trick on how to have a title incorporated into a graphic header, and still retain the text title: In the Dashboard, I clicked SETTINGS > BASIC and instead of typing the title of the blog in the field for the title, I typed a description and reduced the font size so that the text title appear like the description. I looked for this block of codes in the template editor:

<Variable name="pagetitlefont" description="Blog Title Font"
default="normal normal 200% Georgia, Serif" value="normal normal 200% Georgia, Serif">

and changed it to

<Variable name="pagetitlefont" description="Blog Title Font"
default="normal normal 40% Georgia, Serif" value="normal normal 40% Georgia, Serif">

Now I have a text title serving as the blog description which can be read by search engines.
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