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On The Job Tech Archive

Takeaways and Tidbits from Searchfest 2011

Yesterday I attended the fantastic SEMpdx Searchfest conference, which I’ve made sure to attend at least the last 4 years in a row, maybe 5. I always attend this event because some of the best in the industry show up from all over the country to share the latest trends in Search Engine Management and Marketing. Each year I feel like there’s at least one major takeaway that I can apply immediately for my clients. Here are some notes from this year that I found interesting from attending the ‘advanced search track’:

– Google personalization is always on now, signed in or not. That means that the search results shown for given terms are specific to you based on your location, persona, and browsing history, and search results will vary for everyone. In fact one presenter noted that 6 of 10 results displayed are personalized!

– Twitter plays an alarmingly large role in the ranking of pages now. A couple of presenters noted that links that were tweeted and retweeted, especially by highly valued Tweeters, got significant ranking boosts.

– Page load times were also noted to be a part of the ranking algorithm now as well.

– A few presenters talked about the growing importance of mobile web, but I have to be honest, I’ve been hearing this same story for the last 6 years and I’m still not convinced. Especially with stats like by 2013 there will be 5.8B mobile users, but only 30% will have smartphones…

– Google is always updating their Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS) and now that they allocate so much related content at the top (like images, news, local, etc…) there are new sitemaps that they’ll accept that will help you appear in these areas; most notably image, video, and news sitemaps.

– “Content farms”, or sites that exist purely to create web content to rank well in SERPs, are now being penalized by Google. Being a content authority is becoming more important than just well written, keyword laden articles. One way to see how Google views your authority is to filter results by reading level.

– An often overlooked detail is how your result looks in the SERPs, meaning you may have a high ranking, but if no one is clicking on it because the presentation falls short, who cares? Make sure to have a quality snippet shown, that uses all 3 lines, and has strong anchor text.

dc

Categories
Automotive On The Job Other Stuff

It’s Official: The Alfa Romeo 164 Q4 Is One Sexy 90’s Machine!

Alfa Romeo 164 Q4 For Sale

I just put up this post on an Alfa Romeo 164 Q4 over at Classic Italian Cars For Sale, and I have to be honest I didn’t even realize this variation existed. Wikipedia had this to say about the all-wheel drive system:

The Q4 four-wheel-drive system (Viscomatic) was co-developed with the Austrian company Steyr-Puch. The system was very advanced when compared to other 4WD systems at that time. The system consisted of a viscous coupling unit, central epicyclic differential and Torsen differential in the rear. The whole system is connected to ABS and Motronic units. The power driven to the rear axle is continuously variable from 0 to 100%, so the car can be fully front- or rear-wheel-drive as conditions require. Torque is distributed between axles depending on the speed, turning radius, engine rpms, throttle position and ABS parametrics. This model was equipped with a Getrag 6-speed manual gearbox.

I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of an AWD system that could go from 0-100% power at either axle?! Not to mention all the other 90’s style and class that this car exudes. I’ve always been a fan of the 164 and known of the QV model, but this package really sounds well done.

I did a little surfing and here are some other pictures from around the web of this very hot car:

I’d have to say that last picture in the black/gray combo (like the car offered above) looks to have aged much better than the red two-tone. Just saying…

dc

via: Forza Forum, AlfaBB, Alfa164Registr.nl

Categories
Automotive On The Job

Apex of Failure is Preparing a New 2011 Entry for the Chumpcar Series

RX-7 Chumpcar Apex of Failure

My hat is off to these guys. They are a Pacific Northwest ChumpCar “crap-can” team that is building their 2nd RX-7 for competition. After a challenging 2010 season, they have found a new platform to build on and you can check out their blog at http://roadtochumpcar.com They update all the time and the photography is great from Gabe McGinnis. Here are some recent photos of their progress:

RX-7 FC Chumpcar
The donor car that will replace last year’s bent car. They are transferring as much as they can to this car.


Tearing down the old car
Tearing down the old car and prepping parts for the new car.


Mazda RX-7 FC Engine
The current driveline out for inspection



Prepping the interior of the second car for racing



Great shot prepping the car for the cage!


Subscribe via email to their updates and follow what should be another exciting season. We’re proud to be their website sponsors at MotoringBlogs and wish them a great year!

dc

Categories
Automotive Motorcycles On The Job Personal and Family

A Dream Realized: 1995 Aprilia RS250 Chesterfield Replica in My Garage!

When I first started getting into bikes in the early 90’s, i did a lot of research. It’s in my nature really and no wonder I love the internet so much! But before the internet, I went to the Corvallis Public Library and Linn-Benton Community College Library, which both had great collections of motorcycle magazines. I spent many afternoons reading them. After my thorough analysis (with no seat time) I really wanted a Yamaha FZR400 or an Aprilia RS250. They both had the performance and look I wanted, and I had rationalized that they’d be great first bikes. But to my dismay the 250 wasn’t being imported and the 400’s were very hard to locate as most of the public wanted the more powerful FZR600. But I figured at least they were available. Today the FZR400’s are coveted for their aluminum frames, more pure sporting mission, and performance in amateur racing classes that made them nearly as fast as the 600’s; all of which I knew then and was a large part of why I wanted one — they were special!

I ended up with a ratty FZR600 as it’s what I could afford at the time though. Here’s my original blog post on that bike at an early age riding to Sonomafest with Paul from the Willamette Valley to Bay Area.

Sonomafest really opened our eyes to the amazing talent that road racers possessed. Being able to witness their skill at speed, up close and personal, was really inspiring. We started to follow the top road racing series around the world, and in particular would watch the 250GP class on rented VCR videos. The star of that series was Max Biaggi and he rode the Chesterfield sponsored bike from Aprilia.

Watching Biaggi’s battles and victories only fueled the impossible lust that grew for the factory replica Aprilia RS250 that bears his race livery. But I never really thought I’d have an opportunity to have one considering they weren’t being imported. Here’s a picture of the race replica offered by Aprilia in 1995. I took this picture at the Barber Motorsport Museum:

Aprilia RS250 Chesterfield 2 stroke

Back to Sonomafest, it is one of my favorite road trip memories because we were essentially broke, had no proper gear, but made the trip anyway with great success as two wide-eyed enthusiasts joined up with what felt like thousands of our soon-to-be peers.

As we were staging up for the parade lap of Sears Point that was included with our Cycle World ‘Sonomofest’ ticket package, a guy pulled up next to me on an Aprilia Chesterfield replica — and it even had plates, which certainly added to the excitement of seeing an example like this that was legal-ish to ride on the street! The guy probably thought I was nuts as I practically fell running over to him, motioning to him that I wanted to talk. I tried to ask him how you get an RS250 into the states and get it plated. You could tell he had been asked this a million times, but he wasn’t giving up any secrets today and rode off.

Ever since I’ve been watching the ads. And sure enough, every now and again over the years, I would spot an RS250 that was for sale. Not often, but the more that surfaced, the more intent I became on watching the entire web to spot these rare opportunities.

After getting my job as a Web Services Manager in 2005, I started this personal blog that you are reading right now. And on occasion I started to blog car and bike classifieds I found from time to time that I found interesting and wanted to share. {sorry most of the images are broken on these ancient links!}

In some part, the RS250 and bikes like it, is what made me want to start Rare Sport Bikes For Sale and German Cars For Sale Blog.

Skip to 2008 and I actually blogged this exact bike when it came up for sale last time: http://raresportbikesforsale.com/1995-aprilia-rs250-chesterfied-replica/ Later I would find out that it was actually owned by an old childhood friend of mine, who is a part owner of SpeedyMoto. He invited me over to look at it and explained that he couldn’t actually go through with the sale. It was his wife’s bike and she got it from a family friend that went through considerable expense importing it into New York from Holland.

But on Tuesday last week he emailed that it was again available and asked if I could help list the bike on RSBFS. I said of course I can, but before we do that, I’M INTERESTED!

We quickly settled on a price and the bike is now in my garage with the Ducati 750SS. Now that I’ve been up close with the bike, it’ll be a 7/10 cosmetically when it gets cleaned up. Long story short, it needs some serious time on the buffer. They used it as a backup track day bike and occasional Sunday rider. It’s great mechanically, probably 9/10. Not to mention it came with crazy spares too. Like a full race body kit, a piston rebuild kit, and a factory decal kit that will allow me to restore the factory body work to new when I’m ready some day.

Luckily the day we went to get it in Portland, it was an amazing 60 degrees outside in January. That’s unheard of but it made for an amazingly awesome test ride in the sun. It makes about 60hp at the rear wheel and weighs in at 308lbs dry. The gearing is very aggressive right now and as Paul said, first gear is silly. There is next to no power below 6k, but then it starts moving and showing some grunt as the revs climb. When you hit 8k the real magic happens and in an instant another 20-30hp kicks in. It screams to the 12k redline immediately as it tries to lift the front end up — and I’m no lightweight myself! A very special experience was realized this day, and one not soon to be forgotten.

Since I read those magazine articles, it only took 16 years to get what I thought I’d never put my hands on. And this is going to sound corny but it probably wouldn’t have happened if RSBFS wasn’t created. The reach, connections, and friendships that the site enjoys has helped me to share what has completely exceeded my expectations and I feel very fortunate.

A quick shout out to SpeeyMoto and Christian Hanson. Thanks for the call!

dc

Categories
Automotive On The Job

2011 and it’s On… Immediately!

Break is over, school is in session, and it’s time to get back to work. I was kind of getting used to that every day a lazy day life, but in truth it’s good to be busy again!

British Auto Parts LTD.

Bob, the owner of the Sports Car Shop, introduced me to Jim Pocan who runs BritAutoParts.com at this years holiday party. Jim is right in our backyard in Marcola and after a nice meeting last week, I’m happy to say that I’m going to build him a new website. The new version will be built on WordPress and I’m going to work with Jim to teach him how to maintain the site himself. I’m really excited about this project and hope to have the new site up by early Spring.

Impala Bob’s

impalas.com

I had a nice meeting with a colleague recently from OSU, Gary Dulude, who also assists Impala Bob’s with their monthly promotions and e-newsletters. A couple of beers and burgers at McMenamins was a nice way to unwind after work today as we compared notes about our moto-related projects and consulting. Check out Gary’s 1964 Chevrolet Impala Sport Sedan:

Sports Car Shop

Bob and Joe surprised me last Friday with not 1 but 3 new cars added to their inventory that needed updating on the website. A nice mix as it turned out, and I got all three photographed before it started raining that afternoon:

Porsche Cayman S – The easy choice in the “next day lotto fantasy” would obviously have the Cayman coming home in short order. This is practically a new car with only 14k miles, and the blue on tan color combo is really handsome. What really surprised me is how much more elemental this car was compared to the previous Cayman they had — but that car was a tiptronic. While the tip felt like a toy, this felt like a machine ready to be worked… hard!

Fiat Dino Coupe 2.4L

Fiat Dino Bertone Coupe 2.4L – The Fiat is a pretty cool car as it turns out. While the looks are a bit hot and cold for me from different angles, this one is the more desirable of the series with the enlarged 2.4L V6 engine and updated suspension. Classic Italian proportions and seating position make for a surprisingly affordable classic sports car. Check out the live auction now on eBay

Mercedes-Benz 230SL

Mercedes 230SL Coupe Convertible – The Mercedes might have been the most fun in the end. It’s a very presentable car in need of a restoration. But it’s so approachable in this kind of condition, it was almost the easiest for me to enjoy. A simple and free-revving straight six attached to a four speed manual, this car was a simple pleasure. The elegance and efficiency of this car had me yearning for a Sunday wine tasting tour!

MotoringBlogs

I’ve been starting to work more on one of my latest sites, Classic Italian Cars For Sale. It follows the same basic format as Rare Sport Bikes For Sale and German Cars For Sale Blog. Later this year, I’ll also be making similar sites to follow classic auctions for Japanese, German, and British Classics as well.


I’ll be doing a lot more of these kinds of updates. Eventually they’ll move to my business website, which is due any day for a complete overhaul. In the meantime I appreciate the support!

dc