Canadian Web Hosting Blog and News
29Oct/090

Add Your Website to Local Search

If you are having a hard time targeting your keyword on the major search engines such as Google, Microsoft Bing or Yahoo, consider submitting to their local search categories.

A local search would be something like this on Google

Google local search

I search for the term "thai restaurant, vancouver, bc" and Google returns a local map of Vancouver with Thai restaurants including their telephone numbers. As you can see, these rank higher than the normal search results.

To get listed in this category, you can register your website by going to the following URLs:

Google Local Business Listing Signup

Bing Local Listing Center

Yahoo Local Listings

Unfortunately, Google is the only one out of the three that accepts businesses in Canada. However, if you have a business located in USA, you can register those websites into Microsoft and Yahoo.
They verifiy your business by calling your business telephone and an automated voice will give you a code that you enter on their website or they sms the code to another number.
Microsoft and Yahoo will send you a postcard with details on how to verify your information.

Besides adding your listing to local search, you can also geotag your pages.

For example, our company, Canadian Web Hosting is located at latitude 49.169499 and longitude -123.137040 in Richmond, BC.

Below is the meta information you would add in the section of your pages:

<meta name="geo.position" content="49.169499;-123.137040">
<meta name="geo.placename" content="Canadian Web Hosting, Richmond, British Columbia, Canada">
<meta name="geo.region" content="CA-BC">

Be sure and use upper case for the geo.region country and state abbreviation.

You can use Google Earth to find the longitude and latitude of your location.  Just navigate to the location in Google Earth and place the cursor over the correct location, at the bottom of the program screen you'll see the latitude and longitude displayed.

To view the latitude and longitude in decimal degrees on Google Earth, go to Tools > Options > and select Decimal Degrees, then Ok. Once you've changed this setting, the latitude and longitude information will be shown in decimal format needed for your meta tags.

Kevin Liang
CTO / SEO Guru
Canadian Web Hosting
http://www.canadianwebhosting.com/

29Oct/090

Google Offers Free GPS Nav System for Smart Phones

On Wednesday, Google revealed its latest GPS nav system for the Google Android smart phone that will be available in the next 2.0 mobile operating system.  It will first debut on the Verizon network next week and will be supported on other carriers.  It will definitely be a cause for concern for the market leaders, Garmin and TomTom which cost upwards of $100 for similar apps on the iPhone.  GPS app vendors will need to cut their prices drastically, offer ad-supported free versions or trot out amazing new features to warrant their high costs.  The free Google nav system is not a half-baked version either.  As this demo video illustrates, the nav program is a useful tool that deftly blends Google's map and street views with traffic information and voice commands.  Google said it would also like to support the iPhone with Maps Navigation but it would depend on Apple who recently rejected Google Voice app (most assumed it would cut into the phone carriers profits). But the one major disadvantage is that you always need to be connected to the internet. That might cost a lot on data roaming charges especially if you were to use this in USA. The ones such as Navigon, IGO and TomTom for the iPhone all have the maps loaded on the phone so you don't need a 3G internet connection. It might be cheaper in the long run than Google's free GPS system. I have an iPhone and I use IGO and Navigon and it's as good or even better than my in-car GPS system.

 

Kevin Liang
CTO / SEO Guru
Canadian Web Hosting
http://www.canadianwebhosting.com/

Tagged as: , No Comments
24Oct/090

Microsoft Selling Computers

With the release of Windows 7 yesterday, Microsoft is now selling computers and 3rd party software on its online store.   Browsing the store revealed laptops starting from $750 and also netbooks.  There are over 10 different models to choose from.  Microsoft is also selling Norton 360 and Adobe Photoshop, along with Windows, Office, and other Microsoft products. Accessories include a lot of Microsoft keyboards, mice, and Webcams, along with flash drives and blank DVDs from other companies.

Check it out at http://store.microsoft.com/home.aspx

PS: For those who are currently running Windows XP and bypassed Vista (me included), Windows 7 will bring welcome relief as it's fast, stable and intuitive!

UPDATE: Looks like it's only available to US residents.

Kevin Liang
CTO / SEO Guru
Canadian Web Hosting
http://www.canadianwebhosting.com/

Filed under: Uncategorized No Comments
14Oct/090

Latest Email Spam

We received several tickets today about a new type of email spam that is very personable and hard to ignore.

The email looks like this:

Subject: For the owner of the user@yourdomain.com mailbox

Dear user of the yourdomain.com mailing service!

We are informing you that because of the security upgrade of the mailing
service your mailbox (user@yourdomain.com) settings were changed.
In order to apply the new set of settings click on the following link:

link url that links to yourdomain.com

Best regards, yourdomain.com  Technical Support.

--

The link in the URL seems to a 404 not found link but for now, do not click on the link.  It seems these spammers are testing a new form of spam that grabs your attention as they use yourdomain.com.  Just DELETE it.  Do not reply to email, unsubscribe, etc.

---

Just click this Google link to see others who have received it too

http://www.google.ca/search?q=%22We+are+informing+you+that+because+of+the+security+upgrade+of+the+mailing+service+your+mailbox%22&sourceid=navclient-ff&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1B3GGGL_enFR296ES297&aq=t

Kevin Liang
CTO / SEO Guru
Canadian Web Hosting
http://www.canadianwebhosting.com/

Tagged as: No Comments
8Oct/090

Increase Your Web Site Speed With .htaccess

You can speed up the sites by caching  using the .htaccess file. Caching would improve the loading time of your site, as well as reduce the bandwidth usage on your host.

In order to implement caching on your website using Apache .htaccess file, at least one of the 2 modules, mod_expires and mod_headers, should be enabled in the server. You can prevent the contact with the server from happening at all by using the Expires header and the Cache-control header.

If a browser receives an image with the cache control headers that say the image can be considered fresh for 2 weeks, then for 2 weeks the image can be pulled directly from the browser’s (or proxy’s) cache on subsequent requests.This is noticeably faster than even a conditional GET and a 304 response from the server since there is no round trip. After two weeks, a conditional GET would be sent to the server to check the Last-Modified date, then again, no requests would be made for the duration of the specified freshness period.

Caching using mod_expires:

This module controls the setting of the Expires HTTP header and the max-age directive of the Cache-Control HTTP header in server responses. The expiration date can set to be relative to either the time the source file was last modified, or to the time of the client access.

These HTTP headers are an instruction to the client about the document’s validity and persistence. If cached, the document may be fetched from the cache rather than from the source until this time has passed. After that, the cache copy is considered “expired” and invalid, and a new copy must be obtained from the source.

<IfModule mod_expires.c>
ExpiresActive On
ExpiresDefault A300
ExpiresByType image/x-icon A2592000
ExpiresByType application/x-javascript A3600
ExpiresByType text/css A3600
ExpiresByType image/gif A604800
ExpiresByType image/png A604800
ExpiresByType image/jpeg A604800
ExpiresByType text/plain A300
ExpiresByType application/x-shockwave-flash A604800
ExpiresByType video/x-flv A604800
ExpiresByType application/pdf A604800
ExpiresByType text/html A300
</IfModule>

Caching using mod_headers:

This module provides directives to control and modify HTTP request and response headers. Headers can be merged, replaced or removed.

<IfModule mod_headers.c>
# YEAR
<FilesMatch "\.(ico|gif|jpg|jpeg|png|flv|pdf)$">
Header set Cache-Control "max-age=29030400"
</FilesMatch>
# WEEK
<FilesMatch "\.(js|css|swf)$">
Header set Cache-Control "max-age=604800"
</FilesMatch>
# 45 MIN
<FilesMatch "\.(html|htm|txt)$">
Header set Cache-Control "max-age=2700"
</FilesMatch>
</IfModule>

 

Kevin Liang
CTO / SEO Guru
Canadian Web Hosting
http://www.canadianwebhosting.com/

Filed under: Programming No Comments