SEO Lesson Learned Category Subcategory URLs

In 2011 I made a design decision regarding a website I was working on. I decided it would be nice to have categories and subcategories in the link so people could see the hierarchy. A full link would look something like below.


Fast forward a couple of years.

As my platform matured (design change slowed down), I started adding a lot more content.

At times I would check Google to see where various content would appear inĀ  search. However, unexpectedly, I could never find any of my articles.

To test, I added an item that I thought for sure would show up in a search, but didn’t.

I had a suspicion it was the way I was creating links or URLs that caused the problem.

It seems rather obvious now, but at the time and for several years it never really clicked.

And here is what the problem was.

Google looked at all the words in the URL and made them one long title.

So, to Google, the article “taco shark cafe” was actually “cities jacksonville food taco shark cafe”. Even though my title tag and h1 tags had the text “taco shark cafe”. Google seemed to give priority to the link over the title and heading tag text.

I figured this out when I did a search for “cities jacksonville food taco shark cafe”. My article showed up on the first page!

If I didn’t include “cities Jacksonville food” in the search, then my article would not show up at all, not even after page 10 of search results, my link would not show up. Holy fail!

So my lesson learned, category/subcategory or hierarchical URLs are not a good idea (total SEO failure) when you simply want to search for a specific page like “taco shark cafe”.

Now it’s time to think about redesigning my entire URL naming convention. Ouch.


Google Adsense Alternatives

Google is building up a hefty amount of negative karma. That’s always a good opportunity for competition! After over five years with Google AdSense it’s time to plan the exit strategy.

Google’s AdSense support is horrid. Some people are so frightened they ask for prayer “Please pray for me that they should not disable my adsense account.”

Google has been spending the AdSense revenue on their mobile OS and forgetting it rose to the top because people liked them. Now more and more people don’t like them, including me.

So, what alternatives are there?

Roll Your Own?

iPad Split Dual Screen Web Browsers Review

This post focuses on using the iPad as a research tool.
Last update 2-12-2013

The iPad is a research machine. Unfortunately the applications that I have seen are half baked. Many created by individuals that got bored with development and moved on to something else. I’m sure the iOS development framework makes it fairly easy to create an app with a web browser and simple text editor. Most developers don’t go much further than that.

For me, web research isn’t about font size or rich HTML snippets. It is about search, capturing portions of text, making notes about the resource, and documenting the source of the information.

For months years I have been searching for a tool to make the worst part of research easier and faster.

The iPad Safari browser constantly refreshes when switching between tabs, or switching between notepad and back to Safari. What is worse is when I have a web form almost complete and click on another tab to get some data, I switch back and, poof, data gone, Safari decided to refresh the page. Apple prides itself in being the computer that gets out of your way. In this case, it fails miserably. So, I need a solution.

This post is for keeping track of my research. But maybe some iPad developer will stumble across it and solve my problem.

There are three main activities when doing research:

1. search
2. compare
3. capture

I do exhaustive searches. Typically twenty to thirty search result links per search criteria. I search until I run out of leads. I take write some notes and copy some text. I also document my references (links). I then use the research document as a map and go back over the information I captured and visit the sites that were the most promising.

I also create resource lists. And of course, look at other resource lists to see if they have something that I don’t. Side by side browsers like Duet are good for the compare part.

If I find some good information sources after doing research, I will then go back through some of the sites and capture some of the key information in a note. When I have gathered enough information, I will copy the text research into a larger document for later editing.

How I Work, and What I Want (iPad developers, Listen!!)
I usually copy a paragraph or some key text and also the link to the source. I do not worry at all about font or format. This simply gets in the way. This is where some of the note taking browsers fail. They also fail because the programmer/designer thinks the editor needs to share space with the browser, such as a half browser and half editor design. I would simply put a button on the browser that would pop open the current note. With the note open, I paste the current clipboard contents, do some minor arranging of text, then tap a button to make the editor disappear. This keeps the browser at its optimal size – full screen! (an even cooler feature would be to swipe the right edge to open the editor, then swipe to the right to close the editor)

The most powerful tool would incorporate dual browser capabilities and a popup up document editor that overlays the browser(s).

Review Queue:
Side by Side –
Split Note –
Dual View Browser –
DuoWeb – Russian only?
We leaf Smarttab
Note Hub
My Webnote
Two Browse

Sling Note – 2.99
formatted notes and dual browsers.

Two view .99
Last update 4-13-2011
Good reviews


Multiweb .99
Last update: 8-26-2011

Good, but Issues:

Duet .99 and Free version.
Last update: 10-24-2011
Evernote integration
Resizable windows
– press hold link did not work on google mobile links, and many other pages.
– displays wrong link in pop up navigation.

Webnotes 1.0.1
Last update: March 11, 2011
– Free to test drive.
– URLs don’t render as clickable links in non edit mode.
– How to create new notes? Not good enough.

HalfNote 1.1.1
Last Update: Jan 6, 2012
– Free
– URLs don’t render as clickable links in non edit mode.
* I sent the developer an email about a couple of issues and they were fixed in a few weeks. So Halfnote moved from fail to viable option.


Twin browser – .99
Last update: 5-2010 <;;–FAIL no recent updates.

Please Bring Back Good Developer Magazines

Please bring back good developer magazines. I’ll pay you!

When the web really took off and the sky was the limit, print magazine publishers lost subscribers like a plague. Why buy a magazine subscription when you could get free information on line?

Time passed, people don’t want to work for free anymore. Yeah, it was cool for a while, but people need to pay rent and feed their family. Advertising took over and solid content went away. Programming is a heck of a lot more complicated than it was fifteen years ago, for me at least.

It’s time to bring good development magazines back. I think most everyone is sick of the crap online and are willing to pay again, maybe even more. For example…

I found .Net Magazine has a print magazine available for $125 a year. Seriously, what happened to 9.99 for a 12 month subscription? At this point I might be willing to pay that.

A side note…

Is anyone listening? Enthusiast programmers need some real help. We code after work, and also have a life. We use hosted web servers. We have one development computer at home and we pray every time we boot up or install new software, in hope that it doesn’t hose the O.S. We need help with the basic and intermediate stuff of web development. Too many smart people write books and articles for other smart people. Please put a stressed out novice on your team and gain a new perspective.

ASP.NET Image Resizing GDI+

Image manipulation for most any ASP.NET web sites is pretty common. However, it is pretty depressing, frustrating to find quality, up-to-date guidance on how to do it. Just scan Stack Overflow and view all the questions from poor souls (like me). I still don’t have the answer. I really don’t understand why Microsoft doesn’t recognize this and put out some quality guidance that is updated on a regular basis.

One book I thought would have expert guidance was Building Social Networks with ASP.NET and .NET Framework 3.5. I thumbed to the image section, because surely I would find the solution. Everyone know social websites process and manipulate loads of images. However,the book was a joke with regards to learning about image manipulation.

Maybe as more years pass, someone will actually take on this task and save the world tons of time so we can do other stuff.

Stuff I might research in the future…

Meta Data Woes

About Digital Image Rotation

Rotate An Image

The above works if your image is square. Blog articles pretty much suck.

More Rotate Issues

A Different Rotate Approach

Edit EXIF Data??

EXIF Common Proper ties Reference
Nicholas Armstrong
FEBRUARY 19, 2010

Correct photo orientation using EXIF data with C#
August 25th, 2009 by David Veksler

Write EXIF MetaData to Jpeg File
Last Modified: March 4, 2009
Instructions: This code uses .Net 3.5. It uses JpegBitmapDecoder and InPlaceBitmapMetadataWriter. It checks to see if an InPlaceBitmapMetadataWriter can be used. If it can’t, it adds padding to the BitmapMetadata object and writes a new file.

EXIF Check out for many half-baked ‘solutions’ like:

Why do these people even bother to upload this garbage?

Shrink to Fit Span


You want to create one or more tab-like widgets for showing content based on tab selection. You maybe tried a DIV tag, but it always wants to take up the whole width of the containing block.

You try a SPAN tag, which works. Arrrg, but you find you can’t set the padding or the vertical margins.


Allow padding and margin to work on a span tag.

span tab
display: inline-block;

The Decline and Fall of Microsoft

The Decline and Fall of Microsoft. I sense it. I welcome it. The sooner the better. Microsoft is sick and it needs to realize it.

For many years it has been artificially propped up. But times change. They built their empire on shifting sand, and shifting it is.

Who will stand with you when you fall?

Your children will desert you, your friends will abandon you.

Your enemys will laugh at you.

Then your eyes will be opened. Maybe.