Monthly Archives: July 2009

SEO: where is the proof for pr sculpting?

Oh SEOmoz, you continue to force be to have a love-hate relationship with you. You are not alone in your trollish nature of followers, but you seem to be a great example of it.

So the backstory – Yesterday I was catching up on the backlog known as my RSS reader and came across an interesting post from eariler in the week. In this post, Rand at SEOmoz presents an argument for “link consolidation”, or the grouping of pages into a single page sets. While the idea is not entirely bad, and certainly has it’s place, the thread of comments are just sad.

The premise of the disagreement was this: A group of SEO “gurus” have pushed the practice of pr sculpting and the benefit of this practice was recently debunked by Matt Cutts. If this group truly has solid numbers for the sculpting technique, (1) how could they not catch the removal Google’s use of this for over a year, and (2) why can’t anyone show real, factual data to support their claim?

This is the type of activity that makes SEO consultants looks like snake-oil salesmen. They are hurting what should be a respected industry and making my life harder by forcing me to spend massive amounts of time building trust with clients who have been bitten by these fly-by-night people. In both science and in business, you go through analytics to review data. In the case of science, you then go on to formations of theories and peer review. Where is the peer review element here? Why must people get defensive when you ask for solid proof? It’s really just a simple, valid request.

File Naming Conventions

Recently I’ve been working behind the scenes trying to come up a file naming convention that will receive formal support. I could play on the “designers are unorganized” stereotype here, but I won’t. Working in a mixed designer/developer shop you come to better understand the varying mindset that we all have in naming our files. Some of us use version numbers to differentiate documents, others use dates or letters. At this point the naming is dependent on the designer(s) assigned to the project. This can become a real issue when many designers come and go on a project, as well as when multiple designers work concurrently together. Can we always rely on the “modified” date? Of course not. The mobile nature of files, being copied from station to station removes this possibility.

So with the stage set, I am leaning on proposing a format similar to the following:

  • <version>.<revision>.<document_name>.<file_extension>
  • 01.00.mockup-a.psd

Coming from the code side, this is something that makes sense to me. I’m likely to modify this structure as I continue to talk to some of the designers, but I think it’s a good start. I see some clear benefits, including: automatic sorting and identification of latest files, removal of useless/confusing information like the designer’s name and date, and standardised document names (mockup, home, etc.).

While this process is sure to drag on through a number of dicussions and revisions, I’m looking forward to getting a standard in place and moving on to my next push – PhotoShop layer comps.