Twenty years ago I sold a company that was grown from scratch. A responsibility for four hundred staff and God only knows, how many clients. Something that I have had to remind myself, on more than one occasion, that was not fun.
Never to be repeated.
At the time I swore I would not employ another person for as long as I live and off I went; to fish on the net.
But like most fisherman, the tales I have, are about the ones that got away.
There are no shortcuts. Most ideas have already been tried and very few ever succeed. Despite this, over the years, I have gained a wealth of experience and built a hobby into a small home run business..
Experience I have to share.
It is the way the internet works. The story of the Greek Fisherman and the American Tourist.
Google’s Search Console and the Community Forum
Have opened an account for Emsworth Local and have made an index request for The Coffeeman’s advert as well as the Medical Practice post .
I then opened a different account and added An English Breakfast making an index request for the First Meal of the Day. I have also added Selsey Local and requested indexing for Places to BBQ.
All indexed within 12 hours.
Have requested that the three outstanding posts on Emsworth Local are crawled as well as Charley’s Jobs Wanted and Rafbar Plumbing adverts. Wanted to add Workshop Web but can’t verify so added African Story and requested the addition of the three outstanding posts.
Workshop Web verified after twelve hours. But had a problem opening site map list after enabling Site Maps. Wasn’t able to display a page returning an Ooops error report. Waited another twelve hours and problem resolved. Submitted site maps and outstanding posts. All updated
Submitted crawl requests for the rest of the Adverts on Emsworth Local . Also submitted Chichester Harbour.
Some but not all Adverts now indexed on Emsworth Local. Boat Trips on Chichester Harbour not indexed yet. Have submitted site maps for all Local sites. But not crawl requests for the posts.
Every now and again the Search Console comes back with a read error when trying to submit a Site Map. Sometimes clears simply by clicking the record, other times by resubmitting.
When checking Chichester Local Info I found two urls that have been crawled but not indexed.
One is a post with a do follow link to Emsworth Local which was previously indexed
The other is a blank page as it is supposed to be a category for listed child pages. However I have recently changed the url of a parent page and am not certain if it was previously indexed.
I requested indexing of both as well as posts and pages which have been Discovered not currently indexed and are mostly blank.
chichesterlocal.info/authentic-thai-food-in-chichester/ which is a blank post Discovered not currently indexed.
There is also the http version of a couple of urls which should be redirected. These would have previously been indexed. Have not requested indexing for them
As well as a url chichesterlocal.info/wine-tasting-chichester-west-sussex/wine-shops-in-west-sussex-and-hampshire/ which Google appears to have made up. From what I have no idea. Have requested removal
Have also requested the removal of a page which cannot be found as the parent page url was changed
Am beginning to think my indexing problems are related to the need to redirect urls to the https version.
I have ‘forced’ a redirect on The Food Route for all domains and requested that the outstanding post as well as England and Channel Island pages are indexed.
Way out of my depth here.
Am getting mobile usability alerts for one obscure page on On the Coals. Understand it should have something to do with the template and the settings. So I have installed Neve which is supposed to be mobile friendly and have fiddled with the settings under Header layout – Title alignment. Although I am not sure what that does or does not do. Makes no difference to what I see on the laptop.
At the same time I have installed Neve on Kids at Play and Great British Banger. As these two sites are on the same server and search console dashboard and have or I think had the same problem. But have not edited any of the settings.
I think had because after interogating the Search Console I see no mention of mobile usability problems. What I did find on Great British Banger were references to the Photographers pages I removed. This prompted me to submit a blanket removal request for /commercial-photographers-in-the-uk/
I also found two urls that ‘have been crawled’ but not indexed.
How, once again, I have absolutely no idea. The one greatbritishbanger.co.uk/premium-cumberland-sausages-in-the-uk/artisan-gourmet-sausages-in-the-south-of-england/ is a double up of two existing urls. Both of which are indexed. However the extension artisan gourmet reads gourmet artisan in the live post.
Similarly with greatbritishbanger.co.uk/the-english-sausage/legges-of-bromyard-artisan-sausages/ I have no idea where the add on legges-of-bromyard-artisan-sausages/ comes from.
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Where does this all it take one?How many is too many?
You don’t want to be the next Amazon or Facebook or Tik Tok infuencer. Too much pressure. Too much hype, double speak. Far more sensible simply to be you. Free of the burden that comes with being ‘responsible’.
As most of us do, I spend a lot of time looking for the stuff. Searching and scouring the net for this and that.
Turning page after page. Taking wrong turns, missing what should be obvious until I trip over the one link I need. Generating traffic, clicks and hits. The very stuff that drives the web and adds value to all we do.
Information and know-how that we could share. We have all the tools we need to make it happen. To offer a service. To make ourselves useful. To add value, improve and grow a resource we all use.
Local knowledge, local experts, local advice and assistance – Web Guides
Somethings never change.
What was obvious to Sergey Brin and Larry Page when they started tinkering about in their Garage, was as true then as it is today. The need to communicate; information, experience and knowledge.
The ability to ask questions and get answers. The search for answers.
Targeted quality traffic. The ultimate key needed to open doors to the opportunities that are waiting on the net.
What was not so blindingly obvious though, was how what they were doing would change the way everything gets done. How it would evolve and vest such enormous power and responsibility in the hands of so few.
But at the same time changes which have also given all of us, almost free access, to every tool we might ever need. Tools to challenge and compete. The means and the ability to influence everything we do, what we buy and what we think.
So if things are not quite what we would like them to be, we being who we are, are the ones responsible or who are supposed to be responsible, only have ourselves to blame. We can, we should be doing more. Building virtual word of mouth information hubs to share our experience. Where we facilitate the exchange of skills and know how and to do that, the first step is to start sharpening those tools.
To demonstrate that we can change whatever can be changed.
I experienced a problem with one of my Add On domains. Every time I tried updating I would get locked out. This we sort of resolved by deactivating the Mod_Secuity setting.
But there was still a problem. I couldn’t upload an image until I figured out that I needed to upgrade to the latest version of php installed on the server.
A little thing that takes up way too much time to sort out.
There is a section on the Dashboard called Site Health which lists any exceptions that have been noted. Something I have never bothered with. But I looked at it and discovered I was running on a version of php which was out dated. This took me to Cpanel/Software where I clicked on Select PHP Version.
The last one was native 7.2 which I shied away from and selected 7.4 instead. I am not sure why nor what the implications are. Nor do I know why I then pressed Reset Defaults. But it appeared to work. Site Health changed to Good.
But I still couldn’t upload pictures.
They were apparently too big. From what I understood there was 2 meg limit in the WordPress settings and I had already resized the images I was working with. What I didn’t know was that there is server setting in Cpanel under the PHP Version which I needed to edit after clicking Options and scrolling down to the last field.