Saturday, December 15, 2007

DMG Converter for OS X

DMG Converter is rapidly becoming my archiving tool of choice for OS X. With the exception of creating encrypted images, this nifty and free utility does just about everything else. It currently has support for just about every compression type across most major formats.

I personally use it to archive those CDs/DVDs which manufacturers still seem to want to send out. I prefer the dmg format, but sometimes when you need some cross platform support an .iso is the only way to go. The real beauty of this application is that if you are like me and are running XP/Vista in parallel, you will need a quick and easy way to get the iso loaded, and without having to stop what you are doing, and go searching for a physical media like a CD or DVD. This makes it easy to load in parallels when you need to get something done quickly. I have included screen shot of the types of images the converter accepts and understands. This application is written for Tiger (10.4.x) but so far I have had no issues running it in Leopard (10.5.1).

Friday, December 14, 2007

Google Toolbar Button for Google Code

Boy is that title a mouthful or what....

I got tired of constantly having to open a new tab just to search Google Code. So I looked for a Google Toolbar button for Google Code. There was one available but the button would not send selected text, it was search only. If you know me you know I will not settle for the minimum.

This version of the button has search, send selected text to, as well as a feed based drop down list for the major areas of

Please enjoy, if you find it useful please pass on. Google takes a long time to add it to their library, so getting it off my site is currently the only way. I linked from, but it is actually hosted on my other site,

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Advanced Web Ranking

Advanced Web Ranking is a SEO tool devised specifically for SEO/SEM analysts and is available on Mac OS X, Linux, and Windows . It requires the JRE engine to work but it utilizes the local environment so that the user interface is very seem-less. I will be discussing the Mac version, although the topics will apply to all versions.

The primary reason I use this tool (which is still in demo mode) is for determining the placement of my keywords from Google search results. I also check the sites of all my competitors as well as the sites of those I think will rank highly in Google based on relevancy. Since it tracks the information over time, I can see how I am doing and how the changes I am making to the sites are reflected (if at all) in Google SERPs. There are some serious things I like about this software and I will go through them first.

1. Import initial lists of keywords based on lists - The software will take a list of keywords during project creation. This saves a load of time. I keep all my keywords in a text file anyway as I am constantly monitoring and changing the words. Con - I must change the keyword in the application, which for me means that I must update the master list (regardless of if it is a text file or a db) as well as the application.

2. The application will import a list of websites to check the search engine for regarding site placement. - This is also a great tool. See #1 above for pros and cons.

3. AWR can update multiple projects at a time - Either through a cron (which if you know me you know I love to put things under Cron's control) or using it's manual process. The only downside to using the manual process is the time it takes. Utilizing a cron job (which the built in scheduler interfaces with quite easily) is more simplistic and can be done at intervals to maximize your CPU time (weekends, nights, etc)

4. Output formats are universal for reporting
- this includes CSV, Excel CSV, and XML. I utilize the CSV output for easy upload into a SQL DB. Once a week my reports are generated after an update, and uploaded into a DB for easy lookup and for data redundancy efforts. This is great because I do not have to rely on a localized db (like FileMaker or mySQL) running on my machine. The DB I upload to is tape archived and on a very good UPS. The data is in two locations and easily accessible for multiple persons.

5. The contextual menus for keywords - will allow you to jump right to the landing page for the site and keyword or jump to the SERP as it is at the current moment in time, which can tell you quickly if your results have changed.

Some of the larger cons for AWR are mainly my own issues. I would like to see a toggle in the keyword listing for showing just the keyword selected in the primary list. This would save me from having to do a regular expression search using the built in search bar for keywords. I would also like to see the application track (again a radio button or a check box) that the word is a paid term or paid keyword. This way I could tell quickly to stop paying for a #1 or #2 keyword.

All in all this is a good application. It is not what I am currently seeking in the entirety, which would be a keyword management tool which could auto import from multiple locations, but this will do in getting me relevant data to analyze in my SEO roles.

- Chris Copeland