Friday, November 16, 2012

Disavow Tool

Google is on the warpath against small independently owned web sites engaged in link development. Google's current attack is against web developers that charge for service (gasp). In Google's view, everyone except them should work for free. Google's News Release states:

We send you this message when we see evidence of paid links, link exchanges, or other link schemes

What a bunch of hypocrites! About half the links on a Google search are "paid links." Essentially, Google is using its monopoly status to penalize websites for using competitors. If you do business with small local sites, Google will use its incredible weight in the market to kick you down. Of course, this is not new. Google has always been the thugs of the Internet.

Anyway, in the early days of the Internet, I became worried that the net would be dominated by just a few highly funded sites; so, I started creating local web directories. Maintaining the directories is time consuming and expensive; so I decided to request a listing fee to cover the cost of listing sites. The listing fee is currently $12. I usually get one or two listing fees a month. My hosting fee and web access costs are about $100/month.

My goal is to list web sites local to a given town or county. I actually look through each site to see if I can find a local address or reasons to list it in the directory. This takes about fifteen minutes for each listing in the site.

My goal is to make the most complete human edited directory for given communities. I troll the web to look for sites and list any site I can find related to a town.

Unfortunately, since I do the unspeakable and ask for a listing fee on my Add Link page, listing in the directory has become problematic for the sites I listed. Google requires that these sites disavow all links from sites like mine.

Anyway, I created a form that allows web owners to request link removal. Simply enter your domain name. If I have links to that domain, the program will give you the option of adding tracking to the link or a complete link removal. Adding tracking will put any clicks to your site through a redirect that blocks webcrawlers. You can also request full link removal.

Disavow Link
Personally, it wrenches my heart knowing that Google is now penalizing web sites because I went through the effort to add them to my directory. But, lets face it, Google has always been the bully of the Internet, quick to kick down private efforts to enhance the value of the Internet.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Link Development

This is disappointing. The site bit the dust. The epitaph for the site reads: "Thank you for visiting For more than 10 years, ChefMoz was the largest international online directory of restaurants and reviews, covering more than 300,000 restaurants in 142 countries."

A lot of people threw effort into that project hoping to improve local restaurant selection. Now, it is gone, Vanished. Poof!

There is, of course, little money to be made in local link development which consumes substantial time and resources.

I've been worried about the fate of all small and pop web sites. I figured the best bet for helping the community would be to create a link directory for small local web sites. For the last ten years, I've been maintaining link directories for towns in the Mountain West. I currently call the project Community Color.

The sites cost me $150 a month and are time consuming; My goal is to list all the local sites I can find. It usually takes me about 15 minutes to review and add a site. The goal is to list local sites, I have to search through reams of submission requests to determine which ones actually are local.

I was doing it for free. I started asking for profit sites to pay a listing fee of (gasp) $10. I raised the fee to $12 in September in celebration of QE3.

Unfortunately, last month Google declared war on small firms engaged in independent web development. Google and Bing are now penalizing web sites that attempt to engage in link development.

I started this link development project well before Google became the ringmaster of the Internet. Personally, I think the main problem with the internet is that there is not enough people actively engaged in link development.

It makes me sick that Google is now directly engaged in trying to destroy the last remaining small independent sites.

Anyway, i am currently working on a tool to streamline the removal of links from the Community Color sites. I hope to have it up in the next few days.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Formatted Option List

Darn. Formatted drop down lists only work in FireFox.

The category lists in the Community Color sites had become somewhat unwieldy; So I decided to add some formatting to the HTML <select> form element. I list the categories in a hierarchical structure with the first level bold and subcategories indented. </select>

The three forms below show the category structure for Grand Junction, Denver and Ogden. Click on the select list. It shows you the full hierarchical page structure. Select a page a press the "View Category" button and you go to that page.

People are not used to using the <select> lists for navigation, but the navigation is so tight and quick I think I will add it to all my sites.