The Panama Pepers: a longtail SEO example

A Flemish friend commented recently on facebook that after all the news items about the ‘Panama pepers’ there were still no hits for it in search engines. (For those of you not previously acquainted with the Flemish talent for multi-lingual puns, I should explain that ‘peper’ in Dutch as pronounced as the English ‘paper’ but means pepper. He went on to mention a secret recipe for Norwegian salmon with Panamanian peppers).

And it was true! There were no hits on all the interwebs for Panama pepers.

Which brings us to the subject of longtail SEO. By writing pages on specific, not-widely-popular terms, websites attract to their site the small number of visitors who are interested in the topics to which they think searching those terms will lead them. Except: ‘small’, when your potential audience is The World may mean hundreds of thousands of visitors. Not so small after all.

Although Pepers is not an english word, by writing an article on the subject, and especially by discussing the Panama papers & Panama pepers (not to mention associated recipes), I thereby expect to rise to search engine page 1, if not hit #1, for the term.
We’ll see how it goes…

De Panama Pepers: een voorbeeld van SEO longtail.

Een Vlaamse vriend merkte onlangs op facebook dat na al het nieuws over de ‘Panama pepers’ waren er nog geen treffers voor die termijn in de zoekmachines. (Voor degenen onder u die niet eerder kennisgemaakt hebben met de Vlaamse talent voor multi-lingual woordspelingen, moet je weten dat ‘peper’ wordt in het Nederlands net zo uitgesproken als het Engels ‘papers’. Hij merkte verder een geheim recept voor Noorse zalm met Panamese pepers).

En het was ook zo! Er waren geen hits op de interwebs voor ‘Panama pepers’

Wat brengt ons op ons onderwerp: longtail SEO. Door het schrijven van pagina’s over specifieke, niet-alom-populaire termen, trekken websites het kleine aantal bezoekers aan die interesse hebben voor de betrokkene onderwerpen. Alhoewel: ‘klein’, wanneer uw potentiële publiek de wereld is, kan honderdduizenden bezoekers betekenen. Niet zo klein, dus.

Hoewel ‘Pepers’ geen Engels is, wordt door het schrijven van een artikel over het onderwerp, en in het bijzonder door het bespreken van de Panama papieren & Panama pepers (en de bijbehorende recepten), verwacht ik uiteindelijk eerste plaats te nemen in zoekmachine rankings.

We zien wel hoe het gaat …

MacBook Pro clamshell mode with the lid open

Or rather: how can I disable the built-in display and carry on working on an external monitor without having the laptop overheat and whine like an aeroplane because the lid is down?

OS X users have spilt a lot of pixels on this and I too was frustrated because my shiny new 34″ screen made the laptop screen redundant; but keeping the lid shut often made the fan turn on.

SwitchResX came to my rescue, not for the first time. It has a daemon option with a menubar icon for turning displays on/off & for switching the resolution.

I got SwitchResX originally because my monitor does picture-by-picture display of 2 computers plugged in to it at once; which is only truly cool if said computers have a screen resolution option for half-a-screen. Which SwitchResX solves by allowing custom resolutions. So I’ve become a fan: it works simply and reliably and solves my problems.

I only recently came across this dance http://osxdaily.com/2012/06/15/yet-another-way-to-turn-off-internal-lcd-display-of-macbook-pro-with-lid-open/ which I haven’t yet tried. I know other attempts to ‘trick’ the screen off failed after Mavericks

IIS Express : Run a child web application in a virtual directory under a parent application

Like this: Edit your IIS Express config file at

"%userprofile%\My Documents\IISExpress\config\applicationhost.config"

Create a site which has two applications defined in it, e.g.

<site name="MyTopLevelAndChildWebAppsInOneSite" id="123" >
    <application path="/" applicationPool="Clr4IntegratedAppPool">
        <virtualDirectory path="/" physicalPath="C:\Users\me\Source\TopLevelWebApp" />
    </application>
    <application path="/Child" applicationPool="Clr4IntegratedAppPool">
        <virtualDirectory path="/" physicalPath="C:\Users\me\Source\ChildWebApp" />
    </application>
    <bindings>
        <binding protocol="http" bindingInformation="*:51234:localhost" />
    </bindings>
</site>

And then run the site, matching it on the siteid:

start "Woo!" "C:\Program Files (x86)\IIS Express\iisexpress.exe" /siteid:123

Browse to, and close, your web apps in the usual way from the IIS Express icon in the systray.

Optionally, experience the pain that is web.config inheritance. But try not to.

Apple keyboard for Windows & the Command key for Control

If like me, you swap between Mac and PC you’ll have been irritated by everso slightly different keyboard layouts. So here’s my Apple Extended UK Keyboard Layout for Windows Installer.

When I wrote it I was using one of these:
Apple Pro Keyboard
But since the Apple full-size layout hasn’t actually changed since then, I still use it for my aluminium keyboard.

Swapping between Mac and Windows

In addition – even if using a PC keyboard – a Mac-PC swapper will undoubtedly suffer repeated Cmd and Ctrl shortcut confusion: You want to type Cmd-X for cut and suddenly the Win-X menu comes up instead.

My preferred solution for this is an AutoHotkey script, partly because after using Autohotkey for a few weeks I realised it was an utterly brilliant, all-singing, all-dancing customise-your-Windows-in-every-way tool, with an all-but-zero footprint.
My script is https://gist.github.com/chrisfcarroll/dddf32fea1f29e75f564, which also has shortcut keys for arranging windows on a big screen.

The other reason I use autohotkey is that it enables a cherry-picking approach to swapping or duplicating Cmd-key/Ctrl-key shortcuts, which I find works much much better than doing a straight Cmd<=>Ctrl key swap. I got this approach from the keyboard layout used by Parallels on the Mac, which simply duplicated common shortcuts such as Ctrl-X, Ctrl-V to the Cmd-key. If you swap regularly between Mac & PC, this approach works well.

Inverting Mouse Scroll Direction

Since about the time that iPhone launched, OS X scroll direction, both mouse and keyboard, has used the metaphor of “push the document up to move it up the window” rather than the previous “push the scroll bar up to move the document down the window.” Windows has stayed firmly on the scrollbar metaphor.
Oddly enough, Microsoft mice come with a Windows driver that let you reverse scroll direction via the UI. For other mice, you can FlipFlopScrollWheel. Oddly, this is not per-user but per mouse/usb port combination, which means if you plug the same mouse into a different port it’s scrolls in the opposite direction.

Back to the Keyboard

If you do want a more complete Cmd<=>Ctrl key swap, then you do it with Randy’s SharpKeys.

Warning! You can’t swap keys around with it so do just this: map Left-Windows key to Left-Control. The right windows key will then still open the Windows menu and do all the Windows-Key stuff that it should do, such as Windows-L for Lock screen/Switch User:

Sharp Keys: Map just the left Windows key to Control key

If you want other keyboards than Apple UK, download the Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator to tweak your layout.

An Asp.Net MVC HtmlHelper.RadioButtonsFor helper

These overloads will do the hopefully-obvious thing with a Model => Model.Property and a List of SelectListItems (or a single SelectListItem)

Use the RadioButtonLabelLayout setting to control whether you nest the radio button inside its label, or lay them out as siblings; and whether you like text before button or vice versa.

    public static class HtmlHelperRadioButtonExtensions
    {
        /// <summary>
        /// Returns radio buttons for the property in the object represented by the specified expression.
        /// A radio button is rendered for each item in <paramref name="listOfValues"/>.
        /// Use <paramref name="labelLayout"/> to control whether each label contains its button, or is a sibling, 
        /// and whether button precedes text or vice versa.
        /// <list type="bullet">
        /// <item>
        ///     <term>Example result for the default labelLayout= RadioButtonLabelLayout.LabelTagContainsButtonThenText:</term>
        ///     <description>
        ///     &lt;label for="Object_Property_Red"&gt;&lt;input id="Object_Property_Red" name="Object.Property" type="radio" value="Red" /&gt; Red&lt;/label&gt; 
        ///     &lt;label for="Object_Property_Blue"&gt;&lt;input id="Object_Property_Blue" name="Object.Property" type="radio" value="Blue" /&gt; Blue&lt;/label&gt; 
        ///     </description>
        /// </item>
        /// <item>
        ///     <term>Example result for labelLayout= RadioButtonLabelLayout.SiblingBeforeButton:</term>
        ///     <description>
        ///     &lt;label for="Object_Property_Red"&gt;Red&lt;/label&gt; &lt;input id="Object_Property_Red" name="Object.Property" type="radio" value="Red" /&gt;
        ///     &lt;label for="Object_Property_Blue"&gt; Blue&lt;/label&gt; &lt;input id="Object_Property_Blue" name="Object.Property" type="radio" value="Blue" /&gt;
        ///     </description>
        /// </item>
        /// </list>
        /// </summary>
        /// <param name="listOfValues">Used to generate the Value and the Label Text for each radio button</param>
        /// <param name="labelLayout">One <see cref="RadioButtonLabelLayout"/> to control the layout of the rendered button and its label.</param>
        /// <returns>
        /// An MvcHtmlString for the required buttons 
        /// 
        /// </returns>
        public static MvcHtmlString 
            RadioButtonsFor<TModel, TProperty>(this HtmlHelper<TModel> htmlHelper,
                                                    Expression<Func<TModel, TProperty>> expression,
                                                    IEnumerable<SelectListItem> listOfValues,
                                                    RadioButtonLabelLayout labelLayout = RadioButtonLabelLayout.LabelTagContainsButtonThenText)
        {
            if (listOfValues == null) { return null; }
            var buttons= listOfValues.Select(item => RadioButtonFor(htmlHelper, expression, item, labelLayout));
            return MvcHtmlString.Create(buttons.Aggregate(new StringBuilder(), (sb, o) => sb.Append(o), sb => sb.ToString()));
        }

        /// <summary> Create an <see cref="IEnumerable{T}"/> list of radio buttons ready for individual processing before rendering</summary>
        public static IEnumerable<MvcHtmlString> RadioButtonListFor<TModel, TProperty>(
                    this HtmlHelper<TModel> htmlHelper,
                    Expression<Func<TModel, TProperty>> expression,
                    IEnumerable<SelectListItem> listOfValues,
                    RadioButtonLabelLayout labelLayout)
        {
            if (listOfValues == null) { return new MvcHtmlString[0]; }
            return listOfValues.Select( item =>  RadioButtonFor(htmlHelper, expression, item, labelLayout) );
        }

        public static MvcHtmlString RadioButtonFor<TModel, TProperty>(
                                HtmlHelper<TModel> htmlHelper, 
                                Expression<Func<TModel, TProperty>> expression, 
                                SelectListItem item, 
                                RadioButtonLabelLayout labelLayout)
        {
            var id = htmlHelper.IdFor(expression) + " " + item.Value;
            var radio = htmlHelper.RadioButtonFor(expression, item.Value, new {id}).ToHtmlString();
            var labelText = HttpUtility.HtmlEncode(item.Text);
            TagBuilder nestingLabel = null;
            switch (labelLayout)
            {
                case RadioButtonLabelLayout.LabelTagContainsTextThenButton:
                    nestingLabel = new TagBuilder("label") {InnerHtml = labelText + " " + radio};
                    return MvcHtmlString.Create(nestingLabel.ToString());
                case RadioButtonLabelLayout.LabelTagContainsButtonThenText:
                    nestingLabel = new TagBuilder("label") {InnerHtml = radio + " " + labelText};
                    return MvcHtmlString.Create(nestingLabel.ToString());
                case RadioButtonLabelLayout.SiblingBeforeButton:
                    return MvcHtmlString.Create(radio + " " + htmlHelper.Label(id, labelText));
                case RadioButtonLabelLayout.SiblingAfterButton:
                    return MvcHtmlString.Create(htmlHelper.Label(id, labelText) + " " + radio);
                default:
                    throw new ArgumentOutOfRangeException("labelLayout", labelLayout, 
                                "This is not a valid RadioButtonLayoutStyle for rendering a radio button");
            }
        }
    }

    public enum RadioButtonLabelLayout
    {
        LabelTagContainsButtonThenText = 0,
        LabelTagContainsTextThenButton = 1,
        SiblingBeforeButton = 2,
        SiblingAfterButton = 3,
    }