Blogging Computing Rants

Blog Titles With Underscores and SEO

Over the past few days I’ve been messing around with Google Webmaster Tools in an effort to make sure that all the little bugs and issues from my major blog upgrade, from b2evolution to wordpress, a few months back are ironed out.

As always, there tend to be silly little things that are the real pest – misspelled words, poor grammar, obscure comment links and the odd stray feed needing a redirect, all of which were quickly sorted out. After first digging into a few Apache mod_rewrite rules, of course.

I was reading through some tips on the Google Webmasters Help pages when I stumbled on this gem: “We recommend that you use hyphens (-) instead of underscores (_) in your URLs.” Say what? I looked through my archives, and discovered to my dread that all my old content used underscores in the titles. “Eish. Oh well, this is Google, they can probably figure it out anyway – it’s a simple character substitution in their algorithm. It probably doesn’t matter that much.” I thought. But then I picked up in a guest blog entry by Vanessa Fox on Matt Cutts site that there is a distinct difference in the way Google handles underscores and dashes:

‘”african-elephants.html is seen as two words: “African” and “elephants”. african_elephants is seen as one word: african_elephant. It’s doubtful many people will be searching for that.’ This statement alone indicates a huge difference in exposure because of this one trivial character.

That made up my mind to try the big change, but it would require jumping through a few hoops:

1) Changing all the old urls to new urls with dashes instead of underscores. That’s a lot of editing.

2) Redirecting any existing requests for underscore-urls to the new dash-url. That’s a lot of redirecting.

3) Hoping like hell that it worked.

Fortunately problem 1 could be solved by a simple mysql command:

mysql> update wp_posts set post_name = replace(post_name,'_','-');

And problem 2 was easily resolved with the Dash Redirect WordPress Plugin.

I suspect the Dash Redirect Plugin can actually fix both issues at once, but I only discovered this after I’d already changed my urls.

Today I’m feeling good karma from the synchronicity of my blog.

Blogging Computing

New Look and Upgrade

Yes, don’t be surprised, this is still Shaun Dewberry’s Weblog. You’re at the right place! I conducted a quick and relatively painless upgrade from b2evolution directly to WordPress 2.5 using the instructions located here.

As time goes by I’ll get cracking on adding all those little extras you’re used to seeing on this page. WordPress should also facilitate a lot more from my side. Enjoy the new look and vast improvements! I know I certainly will.


MotoRAZR V3 MoBlogging with b2evolution

So the wonderful b2evolution blogging engine comes with a ‘mms.php’ file to allow for parsing of MMS messages sent via mobile phone into blog entries.

It was a little tricky to get going, but with the help of the b2evo HowTo I managed to get it going on my Motorola RAZR V3.

The steps taken were as follows:
Menu -> Message Center -> Message Setup -> MMS Message Setup -> Server Info
From there I created a new Server Info profile with Server Name of

The trickiest part here was getting the right category number to substitute for ##. This required looking in the Admin -> Categories section of b2evolution for a suitable category number which could be used. I selected to use an existing Web Session, in my case MTN-WAP-GPRS (my WAP/GPRS/MMS profile for connecting my phone to the web via GPRS).

From there I simply gave the Service a Name and selected it as the default Service for MMS.

After that I took a quick test photo and sent it to any number in my address book (I chose myself, just in case). The message delivery claims to have failed, but a quick refresh of the browser window, and voila, MoBologging in action!