New Business – The Ian Scott Group

the ian scott groupLate last year (2014), there were some reasons that I needed to seriously reconsider my business relationship of over 16 years with PairoWoodies. Sixteen to 17 years is a good run, and I’m thankful for all of the experience I had as well as the many things I learned while a partner in that business.

Things have been a bit hectic the past few months as I’ve transitioned into the new business – The Ian Scott Group – which will be offering the same services but in addition, with some great partners who are dedicated to quality and timely service, even more products and services to assist both existing and new businesses.

A new opportunity along with the ability to allow me to refocus and work on things I love to do! Services that we’ll be focusing on include:

  • Web Development/Design
  • PHP/MySQL Development
  • Web & Internet Marketing Consulting
  • SEO
  • Local Search/Local SEO
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Linux Server Management

The new website is still not complete – there is quite a bit of content that is still to come to more fully describe the various services we have to offer. But feel free to visit, and – of course, give us a call so we can discuss how we can help you!

The new website: The Ian Scott Group

Our office and phone number has not changed:

26 First Ave
Orangeville, ON L9W 1H8
(519) 940-3504

Many of our existing clients are aware of the situation and I’m thankful that they have expressed a great deal of excitement and encouragement! The transition is still taking place – often things come up that take a little longer than anticipated, or that were unforeseen, but the key is to keep moving ahead with your goals in mind.

One thing that clients can expect is improved communication and follow up. That’s always been a sticking point with me, and I know that I appreciate communication from businesses that I am a client of. To that end, that is a priority for me to ensure good communication, along with extensive testing of products and coding before they are delivered.

All of our partners and associates are committed to delivering top quality service while we bring business and solutions together. And while we may be located in a small town in Ontario, we can still provide services to clients across North America and Europe.

 

Google Deindexing – Slimstat Plugin?

I have been building a website that’s been doing quite nicely for some search terms (surprisingly well, actually) that is about a year old, has had no “Black Hat” SEO tactics applied to it, but does have very high quality well researched articles, many of which are over 1,000 words in length.

A couple of weeks ago though, I noticed that it was dropping in Google’s SERP’s like a rock thrown into the ocean, until finally, the entire site appeared to be completely deindexed. I quickly set up a profile and registered the site with Google Webmaster Tools, and as I suspected, Google reported that zero pages had been indexed. It was a rather astonishing situation that a site that  had been doing so well and was getting great feedback from visitors, would suddenly disappear from Google’s search.

There were no “warning” letters in the GWMT account, no security issues, and at first, nothing that I could see for being any reason to have it deindexed completely. Except, I then noticed that Google was reporting an inordinately high number – over 400 (there are about a total of 415 pages on the site) of “Soft 404″ errors! Just about every page was listed.

I then requested from within GWMT’s to “Fetch as Google” with the “Render” option selected. When I could see what Google rendered, I finally was able to nail down the reason – a plugin that I had installed called “Slimstat” seemed to be generating an error when the Google Bot visited, but not when I or other human visitors visited!
The error message that Google Bot received was:

Fatal Error: Unsupported operand types in /home/…wp-slimstat.php on line 728

I was using both the latest version of WordPress and Slimstat at the time. I did not have a chance to do much research into the error message, but I immediately deactivated the Slimstat plugin and then requested Google Bot to refetch the site. This time, I could see that the error message was gone and the full site appeared.

It took about five days, but my previous rankings are gradually returning. They are not all back yet, but it’s nice to see some traffic again from Google (traffic from Yahoo has actually increased in the past month).

So, if your site appears to have been deindexed by Google (when even doing an exact phrase search with quotes shows nothing in the SERP’s), it may not be for the reasons you first suspect. I had to admit I was wondering if perhaps someone had attempted to sabotage my site, perhaps by sending a ton of crappy links to it. But that was not the case. One of the first things to check is to see how Google is actually seeing your site, and then fix that asap if you see something wrong!

Let me know if I can help you.

Domain Names For Sale

Don’t you just hate it when you have an agreement with someone and in good faith, you stick to that agreement then discover the other has blatantly infringed the agreement?

That has happened to me recently with regard to domain names. It’s nice that I have the agreement in writing and is signed along with other supporting documentation, so I do have options.

In the meantime, I have decided to put up for sale, some domain names that I have held for a long time and have had different ideas about, but haven’t gotten around to doing. They are available at Afternic – some are priced, but if you want to make a reasonable offer, I’m welcome to suggestions.

The domain names are:

  • customtackle.com
  • commercecourt.com
  • dontsuffer.com
  • lifewithjeepliberty.com
  • rodsandtackle.com
  • surfthemind.com
  • webeducated.com

If any of these grab your fancy, head over to AfterNic and take a look. Again, I’m open to reasonable offers, even on those I have set a minimum price.

I have others that I am not quite ready to release yet, but I’ll update this if I do make them available for sale.

 

Orangeville – Third World Telephone Service

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rotary phoneI have to admit I don’t know all the details of how such a thing could happen, but twice now in the past two weeks, parts of Orangeville have been without both land line telephone and internet service.

The first recent occasion was on November 26th, 2014. I had awoken early at 5:30AM to get some work done on a client’s email server when I discovered I had no internet. My own network was fine, so I decided to call my service provider, Wightman Telecom. But alas, my office telephone had no dial tone! I couldn’t make any outgoing calls, nor receive incoming ones.

I managed to get through using my cell phone and was advised that Wightman was aware of the situation and were looking into it. A little while later, I learned that the problem was because of a circuit on the Roger’s Communications network which parts of are shared.

This particular circuit carries both internet and telephone traffic. The fact that different providers will share lines and equipment is not a surprise – even Bell Telephone shares parts of their infrastructure to others (whether there is a fee involved, I have no idea).

What was surprising to me though was that a critical service like land line telephone was so easily affected for a period of at least several hours. At first, I thought it was probably an isolated event, however once again, on December 12th at about 12:30AM, noticing my internet was down, discovered that I again had no telephone service.

A quick call to Wightman was made and I learned that they had identified a Rogers circuit (once again) responsible for no telephone and internet traffic. Work was being done to investigate further to find out the problem and have it corrected. At 3:00AM, I was advised that the estimated time of service restoration was 6AM.

In fairness, the service was restored at about 3:30AM (at least to me; I don’t know about other customers), but I was also told that it was caused by Rogers doing maintenance work. They apparently had selected the night time to do this work when it was less busy.

There are some issues with this though, assuming this account is correct:

1. Why did not Rogers advise anyone that was sharing that circuit of planned maintenance, in advance?

2. How on earth can Rogers account for taking out landline phone service, even if it was in the middle of the night? Surely they should have planned ahead so that somehow, phone service would not be affected.

While cell phones appear to be ubiquitous, not everyone has a cell phone. Indeed many elderly people -those who might be prone to a medical emergency in the middle of the night, do not own cell phones. Someone in distress who then attempts to call for help on their land line telephone would likely become even more distressed at discovering they could not make a phone call. What are they going to do?

I’ve lived with telephone service for all of my life, and I cannot ever remember, even as a child, being without telephone service for hours upon hours when we still used old rotary dial phones. Technology is great, but it’s pretty useless when there is an emergency and maintenance work has not been well thought out, which could possibly seriously affect somoene’s very life.

Come on Rogers, you can do much better than this, in this day and age, surely!

Google Search Engine Rankings Bouncing Around

The last week or see has seen a ton of weirdness going on with Google. I’ve been seeing a lot of stragness in the Google SERP’s on many many searches, and it looks like Google rolled out a “Penguin” update, and then did something else..  but they seem kind of messed up right now.

Another quick observation which I have to look more into is that I’m seeing a lot more traffic on a significant number of sites that is originating with Bing and Yahoo. I know that something has been in the works as far as an agreement between Firefox and Yahoo but am not sure if that is in effect yet, where Yahoo is to become the default search engine for new installations of the Firefox browser.

I won’t have time to delve into this for the next couple of days too much, but for now, it’s an interesting observation that has my attention.

What have you been noticing?