Categories
Tech

How to Install NewzBook on XBMC Live

NewzBook is an application I wrote to centrally manage my downloads and media. It has integration points with various indexing sites, SABnzbd, media management, etc. I originally designed the application for the Popcorn Hour, but I am now using XBMC again. I personally use the XBMC Live variant, so I’ve written up some instructions so other XBMC Live users could also use my NewzBook app.If you haven’t heard of NewzBook before, I would recommend checking out this thread on the NMT forums which describes what it does… I’ve also attached a few screenshots after the jump below.

2009-11-29_202539

Categories
Tech

Search Engine Ranking and Meta Information

I recently received a question from one of my friends regarding the use of keywords and descriptions within meta tags on a website to improve ranking of their site. They asked if they could increase the frequency of how often those tags were shown so they could improve the ranking of their site. My response was as follows:

Categories
Josh Lyon

Josh Lyon Search

My last goal was to make my website the top search result when you searched for ‘Shiner Lyon’ (at least on Google – that’s all that counts right?). I have successfully overtaken the Kansas and Kentucky Wildlife Commissions and a discussion forum about fishing bait to achieve the top position. At least for now.

My new goal is to make my website the top search result when you search for ‘Josh Lyon’ – afterall, this website is pretty much dedicated to my thoughts, my photos, my technical discoveries, etc. Hopefully google will re-index my site and will pickup on the new changes I’ll be making over the coming days.

I would mention the names of the websites I’m below, but for now I don’t want to give them any type of advantage. I’m talking to you Mr. Leet Speak and Mr. Horserider.

Maybe I could put some more pictures of myself up and appropriately label them. If you have any ideas how to make my site more oriented towards me in content (like the use of my name in text, descriptors, etc.) please leave a comment.

Categories
Josh Lyon

Shiner Lyon Google

I just wanted to let everyone know that my next goal is to make some pictures or information about my dog the top link on Google when you search for "Shiner Lyon".  Laura seemed to think it was ridiculous that I was doing some search engine optimization on my photo gallery tonight primarily for that reason, but I think it’s fun. Hopefully she (Shiner) will the top result shortly.  As a side effect of getting Shiner promoted, I’ve fixed some of the issues with my com_search component and an issue it had with OpenSEF. If anyone is interested in the apache htaccess hack, let me know via a comment and I can post some information on it.

Categories
Josh Lyon

New Site Features

I recently added some new features to the website that will hopefully make your experience more enjoyable.  The main things I was looking to do were add a commenting system to the articles and make it easier to find interesting articles.  The comment system was a simple add-on of a module to the site, but increasing the navigability of the site is a constant activity.

If you’ve been reading my blog within the past few months, you’ve probably noticed I’ve been on a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) kick.  While a big part of this is to increase search engine ranking and traffic, the other part is to increase the quality of the site.  If google likes your site, people probably will too.  To some of you this may seem a little odd, but it’s true.  I won’t go into the details in this article, but google has a lot of features in its algorithms that make sure your site is as search engine popular as it is socially popular.

Categories
Tech

Joomla SEO on 1and1

I had some issues using the first set of instructions I found for setting up Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on my 1and1 account.  I had renamed the htaccess.txt to .htaccess and made some small changes, but I was still having issues.  The information below got me up and going.

Setting up .htaccess file
Rename the htaccess.txt file bundled with the installation to .htaccess.

You will need to make a few changes to the .htaccess file so it is configured correctly.  The change descriptions are noted in bold below. Also, note that RewriteBase is relative to the URL of the site, not the absolute path. If you have Joomla! setup in the root directory, this shouldn't be an issue for you.

## Can be commented out if causes errors, see notes above.
Options FollowSymLinks
RewriteEngine On
# Uncomment following line if your webserver’s URL
# is not directly related to physical file paths.
# Update Your Joomla/MamboDirectory (just / for root)
# Uncomment this line
RewriteBase /

#comment all of the lines of the below section
########## Begin Standard SEF Section
#RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
#RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
##RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^(/component/option,com) [NC,OR] ##optional – see notes##
#RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} (/|\.htm|\.php|\.html|/[^.]*)$ [NC]
#RewriteRule ^(content/|component/) index.php
########## End Standard SEF Section

# Uncomment all lines
########## Begin 3rd Party or Core SEF Section
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} ^(/vietnam/component/option,com) [NC,OR] ##optional – see notes##
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_URI} (/|\.htm|\.php|\.html|/[^.]*)$ [NC]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule (.*) index.php
########## End 3rd Party or Core SEF Section

Categories
Tech

PDFs Disabled – SEO

I decided to disable the PDF creator on the website.  The current version of Joomla doesn't support nice looking PDF output anyway, so any content that is converted to PDF ends up looking like crap.  The decision to disable the functionality came from my recent kick on search engine optimization. The URLs on the site are now easy to read, understand, and remember by a human thanks to OpenSEF.

Using some tips from JoomlaAtWork, I've modified some of my core code so meta-tags for pages are now dynamically generated based off some tags I enter.  For those of you unfamiliar with this technology, meta data is basically just "data about data". For websites, it's typically used as a short summary for a page.  I automatically generate the summary's based on the article I've written and I usually go in and manually define the keywords.  I just recently did this, so hopefully google will crawl my site soon and get the new data.  When they do you can type "site:boshdirect.com" in a search to see how the meta tags create the search engine descriptions.

Anyways, back to the issue at hand.  I was looking at all the content listed for boshdirect.com on google and I noticed that the PDF content was showing up higher than the actual content.  This is an issue because the PDFs (1) dont look good, (2) dont link back to the site, (3) aren't as interactive. I could have simply modified the robots.txt file so google wouldn't index the files, but they still look like crap so I decided to just get rid of them.

I'm still considering removing the Print option from the pages to reduce the amount of "duplicate" content that search engines like yahoo, google, and dmoz see, but that will wait for another day. 

 

edit: For those of you who never even realized there was a PDF and Print option, there is also an "E-mail this article" option as well. All of these options are dynamically created at the top right of blog article pages. (However, they are not currently on the front page)

Categories
Tech

Gallery2 Joomla Bridge – Search

In case you haven't read my other posts about search engine optimization, I've been on an SEO kick lately.  I've renamed all my images in the photo gallery so they all have some context now.  Google indexes galleries, but the next step was to be able to search the images from within my own site.  I installed the gallery2 search mambot plugin for joomla, but it wasn't doing anything.  Here's what I did to get it working.

  1. Install the mambot
    -Administrator Backend: Installers > Mambots
  2. Enable the mambot
    -This is the part I was somehow forgetting, but it's critical
    1. Admin Backend: Mambots > Site Mambots
    2. Click the X icon next to the Gallery2 Search mambot to publish it
  3. Change some code that comes default with the Jan 6 release:
    -Go to the searchbot PHP file
    mambots/search/gallery2.searchbot.php

    Look for the code around line 63 like this:
       $info->created = utility::g2DateToMambo($time);

    Change it to this:
      $info->created = utility::formatdate($time);

Categories
Tech

Theme Mod: Search Box

As some of you may have noticed, I've recently added a search box to the top of the site.  This is a default module in joomla, but the template I'm using didn't have support for a search bar right out of the box.  This blog post describes how I added the modified the WR_Futilus_Situs theme so it would have a search box that looked like it fit in.

At a high level, the steps involve:

  • Enabling the search module and setting it up
  • Modifying the theme's index.php file to include the search box

 

And here are the details:

Setting up the module: 

  • Enter the Joomla Administration page.
  • Click Modules > Site Modules
  • Click on the Module named "Search" (of type "mod_search")
  • Make sure the item is published by clicking the appropriate radio box.
  • And change the Position Drop Down box to position User8
  • Click save at the top

Modifying the index.php file:

  • FTP into your server
  • Access the joomla_home/templates/wr_futilus_situs folder
  • Download the file index.php (from the above folder) for editing
  • Find the section called <!– START: SUCKERFISH –>
  • Below : <div id="nav">
                            <?php mosShowListMenu($menu_name);    ?>
                </div>
    Insert:     <div style="padding-top: 5px;" align=right>
                            <?php mosLoadModules ( 'user8', -1 ); ?>
                  </div>
  • Save the file and upload it via FTP
  • You are DONE!