New 30 day challenge: get good sleep

For October 2012, I tried to practice the ukulele every day. I ended up doing more traveling than I expected, but I managed to play ukulele most of the days. I’m still a total beginner, but it was a lot of fun! My favorite song to play so far is M.T.A. by the Kingston Trio. My Dad used to play that sometimes as I was growing up.

For November 2012, I mentioned to my wife that I was thinking of trying to get good sleep this month, like eight hours a night. My wife’s reaction could be categorized as skeptical at best. Which just makes me want to do it, of course. :)

So I’m setting a goal of eight hours of sleep a night for the next 30 days. We’ll see how it goes! If you want more context, here’s what I mean when I talk about 30 day challenges:

Why not think about something that sounds like fun, or that you’ve wanted to start, and give it a shot for the next 30 days?

My Halloween costume for 2012: Matt Romney!

My fellow Americans, I’d like to introduce my latest Halloween costume: Matt Romney!

Mitt Romney? No, it's Matt Romney!

My five-point plan for the Mitt Romney Halloween costume went like this:

  1. Start with a suit and tie.
  2. Put a little silver in my sideburns. My wife used some silver and white eye shadow.
  3. Swoosh the hair up a little bit and lock it in with hairspray.
  4. Take off the glasses, and
  5. Add a flag. Boom!

This was a fun, easy, comfortable costume. I practiced a few of Mitt Romney’s catchphrases and I think people really enjoyed seeing “Matt Romney” around the Googleplex.

My wife and I are also trying something new for Halloween. I remember as a kid when I got a full-size candy bar for Halloween–it blew me away! I still remember those neighbors as really cool. Recently someone reminded me of that experience.

So this year, the first couple dozen kids who stop by our house are in for a nice treat:

A lot of full-size Halloween candy.

Happy Halloween, everyone! You might also enjoy seeing some of my other Halloween costumes.

WordPress Delete All Comments SQL

We get asked many times “Is there a way in wordpress to delete all comments using sql”?

Well the answer is yes, rather than having to delete around 50 comments a time using the backend of WordPress you can login to the database using a SQL program such as PHPMyAdmin or Navicat and run the following command:-

DELETE FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_approved = 0

This will query the database and find in the table wp_comments an entry that has not been approved yet and delete the entire entry.

An example on clients website there was 10,872 spam comments waiting to be approved. We ran this command to delete all the WordPress comments and the result:-

[SQL] DELETE FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_approved = 0

Affected rows: 10872
Time: 0.422ms

So it took 0.422 milliseconds to remove all 10,872 spam comments.

how to get backlinks

Google Disavow Links Tool

On Tuesday 16th October 2012, Google announced the launch of its new Disavow Links Tool. This new tool is intended for the use of experienced webmasters who are well-informed of aggressive SEO techniques. The tool aims to help solve the problem of “unnatural links” pointing to your site due to manual spam action.

Disavow links

Building lots of low quality backlinks to your website is not good practise and can be interpreted as black hat SEO. As it has a negative effect upon your page ranking, creating “unnatural links” is sometimes done as a means of attack from competitor sites. The Google Disavow Links tool aims to give website owners a chance to have these links discounted by their spiders.
The tools states “If you believe your site’s ranking is being harmed by low-quality links you do not control, you can ask Google not to take them into account when assessing your site.”

If you website contains links to unreliable sites, you will be notified of this by Google via email. The email will detail some of the types of links that are considered unnatural up to a maximum of three. These emails will not detail all of the bad links that you have associated with your website however; it is up to you to investigate them yourself.

It is important to note that the vast majority of people should not need to use this tool as they will not have a large number of unnatural links. The process takes weeks to be completed from the time your list of disavowed links is submitted to the time they are ignored by Google as your site will have to be crawled and indexed again, which takes time. You also need to be aware that reinstating a link that has been disavowed takes even longer than disavowing it in the first place; therefore please ensure that it is definitely the right decision to make before you disavow a link. The tool is designed to be used by experienced webmasters who have a good working knowledge of aggressive SEO techniques.

This statement is clear that Google are trying assist people with problems relating to a large volume of low quality links:-

Disavow links

The Google Disavow Tool is to be used as a last resort to stop your website being associated with unnatural links. Removing the link completely from the web is the most effective way of improving your page ranking; this is done by contacting the person responsible for the other page and having the link removed manually. There will always be a small amount of people that are unreachable and this is why the disavow tool has been introduced. This tool does not remove the link, rather suggests that Google ignore it.

If you believe your website ranking has being harmed by low-quality links that you do not control then you can ask Google not to take them into account when assessing your site rankings.

For more information about this go to:

How to Backup WordPress

If you have a WordPress website then you need to make sure you backup the website data just incase something goes wrong.

What to Backup in WordPress

WordPress is made up of the core files and a database. So you need to backup everything. seo websites . To Backup the WordPress Core Installation you will need an FTP client. If you take a copy of everything you will be copying:-

1. WordPress Core Installation Files
2. WordPress Plugins Files
3. WordPress Themes Files
4. Images and additional Files.
5. Coding fiels such as Javascript, PHP, etc
6. .htaccess file
7. Robots file
8. Sitemap.xml file

Taking a full backup ensures you have everything you need to rebuild WordPress and once you have these files safe you can also use them if you get hacked to quickly erase what the hackers changed.

You now need to backup the complete database using something like phpMyAdmin. WordPress provide an export facility to export the content of the website but this is not a complete backup of the data.

Out for a few days: my grandfather is in the hospital

My grandfather has been seriously ill this week, so I’m flying tonight to be with him in Tennessee. If you’re waiting on me for a reply about something, it will probably need to wait.

I still hope to attend PubCon next week but I can’t promise that I’ll be able to make it.

Added: My grandfather passed away just a few days after this post on Friday, October 12, 2012. I was glad that I got to fly out and see him, and to tell him that he was well-loved and appreciated. He lived to be over 100, so the funeral was more of a celebration of his life. May we all live so long and so well.

EMD Update – Exact Match Domain

Matt Cutts gave us another weather warning or should we say a warning about another update. This time it is the EMD update which is designed to remove low-quality and exact match domains from the Google search results.

The idea is to prevent people coming up with perfect domain names that match the keywords that they are going to be buying. Matt Cutts wants people to be a domain name that works for people.

If your website has suddenly disappeared from Google in October and the domain name is an exact match of keywords then you are likely to have been hit with the EMD update.

My secret 30 day challenge and my new challenge: ukulele!

Last month I did a secret 30 day challenge: everyday I did something nice for my wife. It could be surprising her with flowers, doing some chore around the house without her asking, or just trying to be present and focused when she wanted to talk. This challenge turned out really well.

At first, I thought of writing down the nice thing I did each day, like when I tracked my “month of kindness” challenge. But instead, I found myself adopting an attitude of trying to be more supportive throughout the day. My wife noticed the change in my behavior and remarked on it mid-month, so I guess I still had some room to be a better husband. :)

If you’re married, you should definitely consider this challenge. I was a little worried that when I revealed my challenge, my wife would feel like I’d been deceiving her or holding something back, but she was just happy that I’d been doing thoughtful things for her this month.

Okay, so what’s up for the month of October? I’m going a little more light-hearted. My wife got me a ukulele a couple months ago, and I’m going to try to play the ukulele each day. The ukulele is a great instrument because you can’t take yourself too seriously playing a ukulele. It’s a very low-pressure instrument.

I’ve never had much musical training, so I’m complete beginner. Don’t expect me to upload any YouTube videos or perform in public. I’m just having fun with it, which is exactly what you should do with a ukulele. Here’s a little video to get your day started:

If you want to join me in a 30 day challenge, just pick out something you’ve always wanted to try and give it a go!