Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I hate UPS today

I HATE shipping. I hate it. It never goes the way it should. Today the worst culprit was UPS. Their web site is so archaic! It reloads the screen when you change countries and loses your form inputs! Unbelievable. To top it off, their web site does NOT allow you to send my own envelope from the US to Canada.

Conversation with them as follows:

Latoya H.: Hi, my name is Latoya H.. How may I help you?
Customer : the form will not let me put in a customs value of 0 for my documents of no value.
Customer : >>>Customs Value is Required (UPS: 80455)
Latoya H.: Are they being shipped in a UPS Express Letter Envelope?
Customer : no, in my own envelope
Latoya H.: You will need to enter the value of at least $1.00.
Customer : but they are documents of no value
Customer : there?
Latoya H.: I sincerely apologize and I understand, but if you do not enter a value, it will not let you continue. Please contact our Internet Technical Support at 1-877-289-6418 for further assistance.

Customer : I HATE UPS's website
Customer : it's so damn 1999
Customer : it's terrible!
Customer : every single time I use it I hate it even more
Customer : it always fails me
Customer : I don't have time to call them
Latoya H.: Please note: When shipping from the United States to Canada, if not shipping in UPS Letter Envelope, you will have to include Commercial Invoices.
Customer : what customs forms do I need to fill out?
Customer : oh ok
Customer : why the difference?
Latoya H.: It is a stipulation that Canadian Customs put in place.
Customer : based on an agreement with UPS?
Latoya H.: I apologize, but I do not have those details.
Customer : how do I just send a damn envelope to Canada by tomorrow?
Customer : it's asking me about tariff codes
Customer : this does not apply!
Latoya H.: I apologize that I am unable to resolve this matter for you. Please contact our International Customer Service at 1-800-782-7892 for further assistance.
Customer : nor does "price per unit"
Customer : wow
Customer : I'll be posting this on the Internet by the way. An example of a really tragically backwards company.
Customer : Not your fault personally of course

UPS, if you're out there and listening, get a hold of me. I will redo your website for the 21st century.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

No follow me? My feelings on rel="nofollow"

Every blog seems to have implemented the ol' rel="nofollow" on their comments' names elements by now. What that means is that the old Web marketing suggestion – post lots of comments around the Web using strategic keywords for your name – doesn't do anything anymore. For someone in Web marketing this is rather frustrating, but two years ago when I first saw this being implemented on a large scale it was obvious how necessary it was. That was also the time when Indian/Out-sourced SEO companies were really getting their footing and, well, the low hanging SEO fruit was to be had through blog comment backlinks I guess. On some of my properties I saw comments triple or more, at least 50% of which was all backlink spam disguised as thoughtful rhetoric like "I agree with the author."

I've been thinking about it all weekend as I have two clients that need to build traffic and Pagerank. When I tell them to post comments on other blogs I know that they won't be building PR, but they may get a few people clicking through to their URL if you write an interesting comment. That's a good thing, but is it proportional to the comparatively massive input? I'm not sure yet, but perhaps there is still opportunity in the content of the comment (if content is still king).

I have yet to do a comprehensive look at whether blog tools are implementing rel="nofollow" (also known as rank denial) on links within comment posts. Many blogs still don't tell you what HTML is and isn't okay, or if they're using abbreviated pseudo-code. In the process of guessing which, your comment (50% chance of double posting) ends up looking like backlink spam and we're back to where we started. Since most of these links are the deep-link kind that SEO-ers love and yet will struggle more and more to create, I can only hope Google provides more ranking weight to internal linking structure so that people can be a little more honest about their actual URLs (by posting to their homepage instead of a deep link).

I just found a new rel: rel="external nofollow", courtesy of Matt Cutts' blog comments whose blog I haven't looked at in a while (it used to guide my SEO practices quite heavily). Now I have to figure out what that is.

SEO is still a fast moving game. That said, by following some basic good practices and emphasizing great content, my most valuable Web properties have continued to increase readership despite a sagging topic and regional economy. My PR continues to go up on some of those pages. I guess I'm doing something right. I have yet to incorporate rel="nofollow" however, so either I'm missing out on hoarded PR or I'm just generous.

Back to my clients; they're writing great content, updating it often, yet the traffic just doesn't come. I think there's a great-content snowball effect on their traffic that they're missing out on because they don't have the initial Pagerank or traffic. Solutions? I'm guessing Digg, Reddit, non-spammy blog comments, cross-publishing, adwords... Anything definitive out there? Other ideas?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Hot download speeds in the midwest

The fastest downloads I've experienced have been from a Cox connection in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Who'd have thought? How much faster would it have been in Springfield itself?

From speedtest.net:



By the way, their wifi technician said that the reason they need range extenders for the bungalow here at my gf's Uncle and Aunt's house is because of the lead plating in old mirrors. Have you heard of that before? I haven't.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Bad Google Ads

As an Adsense publisher, it concerns me when Google makes changes to their algorithms or their rules for ads.

This one concerns me on both those fronts:


Thursday, December 4, 2008

style mob

I hate it when my good ideas show up on other people's sites.