78 posts

SEO Myth: Adding URL parameters does not create new pages for search engines

If you create a page on your website (like /some-page.html), then it is just one page, even URL parameters are added (like /some-page.html?foo=bar), right? The myth is that search engines see both of those URLs as a single page.

In reality, search engines have to treat URLs with parameters of if they could be completely separate pages. Some sites rely on URL parameters to show different content (eg /show?page=some-page and /show?page=other-page).

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Myth: An XML sitemap is needed for SEO; it helps rankings

Many SEO guides suggest creating XML Sitemaps. They either say or imply that sitemaps are needed to get Google to index your site and get good rankings. XML sitemaps do have some uses for SEO, but:

  • XML sitemaps won't influence Google rankings.
  • Google rarely chooses to index a URL that it only finds via an XML sitemap.

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LetsEncrypt for HTTPS on a Tomato Router’s Web Administration

I generate a LetsEncrypt wildcard certificate for my domain name. On my home LAN, each device has a subdomain ( When those devices have a web interface for administration, I enable HTTPS and give the device the Let's Encrypt certificate to use. This allows you to administer the device without seeing scary warnings about security from your browser.

I installed FreshTomato on my router. Getting the certificate onto it is pretty easy if you use the script I wrote.

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Build an inexpensive wired music player on a Raspberry Pi

I wanted a music player with the following features:

  • Inexpensive (less than $40)
  • Low power (1 watt)
  • Plugs in to a audio system (no batteries, not a portable player)
  • Runs 24/7
  • Automatically starts playing again after losing power
  • Expandable storage
  • Web interface

I built it on a Raspberry Pi Zero W. It is a full computer that is only 2 inches long

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Solve Perl “Wide Character in Print”

Here is a simple Perl program that outputs a capital gamma character (Ɣ): print "\x{194}\n". When you run it, you will probably get a warning from Perl about a "Wide character in print at line 1".

$ perl -e 'print "\x{194}\n"'
Wide character in print at -e line 1.

You can solve this using several different methods.

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Synology NAS Backup Script

I use external drives to backup everything on my Synology NAS. My data easily fits on a single large drive so:

  • I put two large drives in my NAS and use raid1 (mirrored disks)
  • The entire backup (or even multiple backups) can fit on an external drive.

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