1and1 Dedicated Hosting: Cheap, but…

Some of you may have noticed that seologs.com and dnscoop.com were down last night. Both are hosted on the same dedicated server at 1and1.com. This server has been running like a charm for well over a year now. No problems.

Out of habit, I immediately called 1and1. They are always good about answering quickly (I also have several sites hosted on their shared hosting) . They transferred me to one of the server admins. While I waited, I logged in via ssh and checked the server. It was fine. So now I’m speaking with the server guy. He asked what the problem was. I explained briefly, and he basically said, “…yeah. You might want to fix that.”

Doh! I felt pretty dumb, but I’ve been dealing with Rackspace so much lately (for work) that I have just gotten used to support fixing pretty much whatever problems I have.

Then I thought to myself, “I should switch to Rackspace…”. It only took about .2 seconds to realize that that wasn’t going to happen. So I did a quick /etc/init.d/httpd restart, and went about my business.

I have to say, I’ve been very impressed with 1and1’s dedicated hosting. $100/month, and pretty danged sturdy, but if you don’t know your way around Linux, it’s probably not for you. You might try their managed option. You get support, but the setup is pretty limited (only one IP, vanilla CP, and no poking around).

Check Out Raven SEO Tools

RavenWhile at PubCon last month, I learned about several new SEO tools. One of the standouts was raven-seo-tools.com. Jon Henshaw (the product manager) was cool enough to let me try out a premium account.

Having made several SEO tools myself, I can appreciate the amount of work that went into creating this tool set. Raven SEO tools starts with a solid user account/ control panel, to which you can add individual profiles for each website you want to manage. From there you can add details about your website, including your keywords, links, and even your competitors. These details will then be available for use in Raven’s wide array of SEO tools and reports.

If I had to pick a favorite feature, it would have to be the SERP tracker, which takes the worry out of tracking rankings for your keywords. It was simple to upload a csv file with multiple keywords at once. It is automatically updated weekly, and has charts showing trends over time. Very well done.

And though I don’t deal with links a lot, I was also really impressed with the Link Campaign Manager.

– Store and track every link you request or make active, including purchased links

– Use the Firefox Toolbar to quickly analyze and record links in the background

There are several packages available, starting at free (gotta love that), depending on the features you need. For a full list of available features and to give the tools a test drive, head over to raven-seo-tools.com.

Fixing 404s is Fun (not)

Yesterday, I started on the daunting task of cleaning up 404s on SEOlogs. Fortunately, I have lots of experience when it comes to this task. Unfortunately, I’ve never thought to attempt in on SEOlogs.com until yesterday :(

A big part of the problem is actually in the comments. A lot of the urls that people use when they comment, don’t work anymore.

Luckily, I have some good tools to help me with this task:

For Windows Users (and mac if you run windows):
Xenu’s Link Sleuth is a great tool for finding 404s. Somehow, it’s free. Xenu is a real jewel, and actually good for so much more than finding broken links. Check out this great guide for many uses of Xenu

For Mac Users
Integrity is the best I’ve found so far for mac. The only problem is that it will only work for smaller to small-medium sites. I’ve tried it on a site with over 18,000 pages, and it doesn’t work.

SiteSucker is a decent alternative. It can actually handle larger sites. The only problem is that you actually have to download the whole site. SiteSucker is meant for downloading whole websites. It gives a nice log file with all 404s though. So it does the trick for finding 404s.

Remember to check for 404s, and check often.

BigWatah.com, Thanks for the Shirt :)

Just wanted to say thanks to Scott Polk for the BigWatah.com tshirt. I’m pretty sure it was Scott who gave me the shirt. Either way, I didn’t get a chance to wear the shirt out at any of the pubcon events, but I did wear it on the way home, and had a hotel receptionist ask about it.

“What does that mean?” she said. “Big Water” I explained. All she said was “Cute”, and smiled. :)

My awesome BigWatah.com T Shirt
My awesome BigWatah.com T Shirt