Thursday, 30 September 2010

Seychelles car rent - choosing the right company

If you are visiting the Seychelles, it is nowadays a better idea to rent a car instead of hiring a guide. This works out cheaper than hiring a taxi from location to location, and also allows you to enjoy your holidays without having to put up with a guide's planned tour of the Seychelles islands. There are several (another way of saying tons) car rental companies in the Seychelles, and most of them are located in Mahé. However, you still need to be careful when choosing a car hire company in the Seychelles because some of them can be fairly expensive and others rent cars that are in dubious condition.

MyCar is a car rental company in Seychelles that is fairly new. As such, it offers better prices than its competitors and its cars are moreover in superb condition with a fine choice of cars that even includes a Kia Picanto. A great thing about them is that you can make your booking through their Seychelles car hire website, and they will even deliver the car at the airport or your hotel free of charge.

I recommend anybody who's visiting the Seychelles to try a Seychelles car rent company. You will save money by hiring a car if you intend to move around a lot (which you basically should).

Monday, 27 September 2010

Need to rent a car in Seychelles?

If you are visiting the Seychelles, it is nowadays a better idea to rent a car instead of hiring a guide. This works out cheaper than hiring a taxi from location to location, and also allows you to enjoy your holidays without having to put up with a guide's planned tour of the Seychelles islands. There are several (another way of saying tons) car rental companies in the Seychelles, and most of them are located in Mahé. However, you still need to be careful when choosing a car hire company in the Seychelles because some of them can be fairly expensive and others rent cars that are in dubious condition.

MyCar is a car rental company in Seychelles that is fairly new. As such, it offers better prices than its competitors and its cars are moreover in superb condition with a fine choice of cars that even includes a Kia Picanto. A great thing about them is that you can make your booking through their Seychelles car hire website, and they will even deliver the car at the airport or your hotel free of charge.

I recommend anybody who's visiting the Seychelles to give their website a look. You'll save money by hiring a car if you intend to move around a lot (which you basically should).

Friday, 24 September 2010

DoFollow Blog - I have joined the backlinks "revolution"

I have set all comments on my blog to DoFollow. Or rather, since "DoFollow" is not really a term (whatever others might say), I have removed the nofollow attribute from comments on this blog. Some may wonder what is this DoFollow and nofollow (what....no capital letters in this one) business. Basically, most (by which I mean 99.99999%) blogs and social networks use a nofollow attribute in their comments to counter the intrusive spam that has become the signature of the Internet.

Nofollow means that links will not be crawled by Google and other engines as it essentially tells them to discard this link and that the blog owner is not endorsing it (get it; no follow....don't follow). Several years back, this was not a necessity as the need for search engine optimization and linkbuilding had not yet exploded. People were not crawling the web looking for blogs to spam on and links that were included in comments actually counted as a backlink.

However, once it became essential for websites to have backlinks to rank in the first page of search engine results page, these same blogs were suddenly the target of spammers who would simply post tons of links to their websites on all the blogs they could find. This usually amounted to using their keywords as their name along with the link to their website, but others would go a step further by just listing several links, especially porn and gambling sites, in a comment. Eventually, with tons of people posting so many comments on a single blog for that precious backlink, it became difficult for webmasters to moderate these comments.

Thus, when the nofollow rule was implemented, webmasters were glad because this meant they would not have to wade through 50 "free viagra" comments per day and just one comment pertinent to that post.

Except that's not what really happened. Spammers are still crawling the net, looking for blogs to abuse, even when these are nofollow. They probably did not notice that they were wasting everybody's time. They were wasting their own time because they would not actually be getting a backlink and most people were going to ignore their irritating "SEO Experts Free Advice" link anyway. They were also wasting the blogger's time, who still had to go through a lengthy moderation routine on a regular basis. And those comments that the blogger may have decided to let through were wasting the time of those readers who actually cared about the content.

Based on this, I have come to the conclusion that it does not matter whether a blog is set to nofollow or not. For one thing, I do not believe that a single nofollow link is going to make such a big difference in your ranking. My blog currently has a PageRank of 2 (not that PageRank matters, but some people still seem to think it's the only thing that matters), but even if a blog with a PageRank of 6 set its comments to DoFollow, the effect of posting your link as a comment would be quite minimal. And I'm not going over the fact that the post itself would most probably be completely unrelated to the backlink (as in a "Casino, win big money" link on a post detailing why Wayne Rooney is going to have a forgettable season in the Premier League this year).

This is why I have just edited my blog's source code to remove the nofollow attribute from comments. It will be interesting to see how many spam posts I get as a result, but I'm willing to take the risk.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Google PageRank is the most annoying SEO myth ever!

All SEO professionals have been there at one point: the dreaded Google PageRank. It's simple: clients love the Google PageRank. It is the holy grail on which the Internet is founded, and it exists just to annoy the hell out of any SEO professional who would just like to not hear about PageRank again and just focus on what actually matters. However, clients will stick to PageRank because they do not know better.

And who can blame them? It is not their job to go and research about PageRank (although they could try and listen to the SEO professionals who just spent one hour stressing why PageRank is irrelevant). The only ones to blame here are Google (*gasp*). When PageRank did matter (back when people still believed the lie that Google was not evil), it was obviously an important metric and one that showed SEO professionals if their online marketing strategies were working. Fast forward a few years, and Google decide that PageRank is not a good indicator of a website's position in search engine rankings, which, to be honest, is an excellent idea.

Yet Google still goes ahead and displays PageRank, and the myth is perpetrated by a bunch of so-called SEO professionals who have not gone past 2004. They must be oblivious to the fact that websites with lower PageRank (as in a PageRank that is at most 3) are getting ranked better than websites with a PageRank of 6 for several keywords. Or they must also have missed the memo and countless blog posts and forum comments discussing how PageRank is not a metric you should rely upon to gauge the impact of your SEO strategies. Yes, it is not the clients' job to go and search about the evolution of Google PageRank, but I daresay that these SEO professionals should have stumbled across these at one point.

Of course, some PageRank afficionados will mention that, while Google's ground-breaking metric may no longer be an important part of the ranking algorithm, it can nevertheless be used to check whether a website has been properly crawled by the big daddy of search engines. This would be a great debate if it were not the fact that I have seen websites with no PR get ranked better than their competitors. I can also always use the site (site:mydomain.com) operator to check how many pages are present in the Google index.

I dream of a time when Google will just stop using PageRank altogether and that the only thing that will matter (to SEO professionals and client alike) will be their website's rankings for the targeted keywords.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Football Manager 2010: Barnet season 2009/2010 review

This is the third part of a series of posts dedicated to my game as Barnet in Football Manager 2010.

The previous part is Football Manager 2010: The Barnet overload.

I have finally completed the first season, and managed to be runner-up in the league just behind Rothertham. Considering I only expected to qualify for the play-offs in this Football Manager 2010 save, this is well beyond my personal objectives and much better than my in-game objective of consolidating the club. There is no need to say that both the Barnet board and my fans are extremely pleased at gaining promotion to the Coca-Cola League 2, which seemed an impossible dream at the start of the game.

Football Manager 2010 Lower League Management
As you can see in the final league table, my strikeforce was without doubt my main asset with Willy Topp, a free signing, being the league highest goalscorer with an amazing 40 goals and David Ball, whom I loaned from Manchester City, scored 32 goals in the league. Will Topp turned out to be my best signing and has generally been setting the league on fire scoring hat tricks for fun although he did go through some phases where he would play like crap and look complacent throughout the matches (generally dealt with by first telling him that I was disappointed by his performance and then telling him that I had faith in his ability).


FM2010 Willy Topp Barnet


Callum Harrison was also an excellent loanee, and started most of my matches as my defensive midfielder. By the end of the season, I was using him in rotation with Ibrahim Sissoko who also turned out to be a great signing and extremely popular with the fans due to his hard working game. The good thing about Sissoko is that he doesn't just run around like a headless chicken like some players but also contributes to the game by scoring goals (usually 25 yard strikes) and netting assists.

Although my team performed extremely well generally in the league, I did have a hard run of games by the end of the season, which is basically FM2010's way of trying to screw me over for having good tactics. I lost 5 consecutive matches and also had my biggest loss of the season; a 4-1 defeat against Bradford away. Thankfully, I did manage to win my last match against Rochdale to secure my second place in the league.

FM2010 Coca-Cola League 2 first season
I will blog about my first matches in the Coca-Cola League 1 once I've played several matches. Obviously, my first priority when the new season starts will be to strengthen my squad since I don't think my current Barnet players have what it takes to consolidate the club's position in the league. My priority will be to loan some players from the Premier League, especially a striker, a left winger, and an advanced playmaker.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

How To Do Things.com should take its own counsel

I was editing my profile on How To Do Things.com and was amazed to see that they were sorting their Month drop-down alphabetically.

How To Do Things.com
I'm not sure why they thought this would be a good idea as it's extremely counter-intuitive and just annoying.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Football Manager 2010: The Barnet overload

This is the second part of a series of posts outlining my experience of lower league management in Football Manager 2010 as Barnet FC.

The first part is Football Manager 2010: Building the Barnet squad.

I am nearing the end of the first season and am currently second in the Coca-Cola League 2. This season has been easier than expected thanks to my loan signings and my players have adapted well to my tactics. Unfortunately, I lost a couple of my best players in January, but loaned a couple more to replace these. I also performed quite poorly in cup competitions mainly because I wanted to concentrate on consolidating my league position and would not field my first team players to avoid injuries and to give them a rest. Moreover, my loanees could not play in these cup fixtures, so I ended up fielding quite weak squads.

My best players have been Albert Adomah, Will Topp, and David Ball. Ashley Kington, whom I loaned from Bristol City on transfer deadline day because I did not have any proper advanced playmaker, turned out to be a marvellous decision as he often dictated the play and would create chances out of nothing. Unfortunately, I was not able to loan him for the entire season and had to play without a proper playmaker from that point.

FM2010 Barnet Ashley Kington
FM2010 Barnet Albert Adomah
I got a couple of players in during the January transfer window after Kingston, Bolasie, and Tom Kilbey (who didn't get much playtime because of injuries, but nevertheless performed well) returned to their respective clubs. Ibrahim Sissoko, a free transfer, particularly impressed, as he scored 2 goals after coming on as a second-half substitute on his third match while still lacking in match fitness. I was forced to bring him in as both Hyde and Hughes got injured in that match. In retrospect, buying him was an inspired decision as both Hyde and Hughes were injured for some time and I would have been lacking in the midfield department.

FM2010 Barnet lower league transfers
I have about 8 matches left to play until the end of the season and will be able to post my final stats soon. Will Topp is still my highest goalscorer but hasn't scored in the last 5 matches. This may be because I asked him to drop deeper and it may have adversely affected his game. I was hoping he would be able to be the Coca-Cola League 2 top scorer, but this looks quitely unlikely now unless he starts scoring braces and hat tricks in these last fixtures.

Go Barnet! To find out more, read my season 2009/2010 Barnet review.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Football Manager 2010: Building the Barnet squad

The Barnet board has given me a £20,000 transfer budget, which kind of makes it hard to attract the good players and I'm quite close to my weekly wage budget too. Thankfully, lower league management in Football Manager 2010 does allow me to loan players from higher divisions while spending absolutely nothing on their wages. Sure, some clubs like Aston Villa or Cardiff will want a 50% wage contribution for certain players, but that's only if absolutely no other players want to join the Bees. Thankfully, I am not in that case and have been able to get some players on loan. My ojectives for the 2009/2010 season are consolidation. In Barnet's case, the difference in the transfer budget for each objective is sort of negligible, and I don't intend to buy a lot of players anyway.

Football Manager 2010 Barnet
As seen above, I have been able to lure David Ball from Manchester City who will be one of my main strikers and Arsenal's Thomas Cruise as I am really short on left full-backs. Sheffield's Wednesday Callum Harrison should allow me to rotate my defensive midfielders, and given the lad can also play in central midfield, my Barnet squad should be able to afford a couple of injuries, which in typical FM2010 fashion, will no doubt plague my team.

Concerning tactics, I am playing a 4-1-3-2, or a 4-1-1-2-1 if Tom Kilbee, from Portsmouth, is playing, as I usually deploy him as an advanced playmaker. My tactics focus on a quick tempo with rapid counters and an overall attacking mentality as I am of the "score one more than your opponent" belief. My players seem to enjoy my training schedules, especially Paul Furlong, who's being employed as a target man and who hasn't been half-bad so far as a backup (mainly if Ball and Topps get injured or are too tired).

Paul Furlong Barnet FM10
I also tried to get another parent club, but the board wouldn't let me. I'm not sure if it's actually possible for a single club to have two parent clubs though. Barnet's current parent club is Arsenal and that's excellent, considering the talent that goes through the Arsenal under-18 squad and their reserves. I cheekily tried to loan Wilshere and Ramsey, but that did not work out so well!

My friendlies were quite good, but since they're friendlies, I'm not paying too much attention to the final score. In this case, I didn't bother arranging my own friendlies as I usually do in the top divisions, but instead played the ones selected by my assistant manager.

Barnet 0 Barnet Reserves 2 (Friendly)
Amazingly enough, I could not even beat my reserve squad.

Barnet 2 GH Academy 1 (Friendly)
Goalscorers: Ryan O'Neill, Clovis Kamdjo
A good performance, but that one goal conceded in the dying minutes of the game probably means my defence is always going to leak goals.

Barnet 3 Luton 1 (Friendly)
Goalscorers: Jake Hyde, Albert Adoma, Mark Hughes

Hinckley 1 Barnet 4 (Friendly)
Goalscorers: Danny Taylor (own goal), Albert Jarrett, Elliott Charles, Ahmed Deen

Barnet 1 Stockport 3 (Friendly)
Goalscorer: Jake Hyde
Another loss, but a great goal for Jake Hyde, which will do wonders for the lad's morale.

Gloucester 1 Barnet 6 (Friendly)
Goalscorers: Mark Hughes, Ismael Yakubu, Ahmed Deen, Albert Adomah, Jake Hyde, Elliott Charles

Barnet 0 Arsenal 2 (Friendly)
My fans were pleased that I conceded only two against Arsenal during pre-season. That alone indicates how much my Barnet squad is rated.

Barnet 0 Brentford 1 (Friendly)
Yet another defeat, but I let my backup players have a run in this match since the first-teamers were fit.

Alhtough my last two friendlies ended in defeat, most of my players now have at least a "Good" morale, which is probably going to make a difference in the first season fixtures. They also seem to have adjusted well to my tactics so far.

Find out how my Barnet team performed in the second part: Football Manager 2010: The Barnet overload.

Football Manager 2010: The Barnet revolution

Having grown tired of managing at the top levels in Football Manager 2010, I have decided to try my luck at Lower League Management (LLM). Since I have lived in Barnet for the three years I was in London, there was no real surprise when I found myself choosing Barnet from the Coca-Cola League 2.

I will be blogging about my attempt to take Barnet to the heights of European football or my complete failure to restore glory to the Bees, not that they actually had any. Considering that I have never once played with a team not in the top division before, I can totally see this working out!