Understanding what the “No Follow” tag can do for you

**With recent event unfolding on how pagerank sculpting works with the nofollow tag please refer to Google Finally Makes Up Their Mind About PageRank Sculpting With The No Follow Tag **

Learning to implement “nofollow” tags is fairly easy. Learning how to apply them in the proper way does require some skill. This post was created in order to educate the average webmaster, or website owner, on what “nofollow” tags can do for your site.

The use of “nofollow” tags can serve many different purposes. They can be used to limit the amount of link juice that flows out of a page to external pages of different domains, or they can be used to control where the link juice will flow to within a site and its internal pages.

Today, we’ll talk about the use of “nofollow” tags to control the amount of link juice flowing within a site and its internal pages. To better explain this I came up with an illustration that should help the “not so technical” crowd understand this process.

If you would, please visualize your homepage as a bucket, and the subpages as sub-buckets. See the image below:

Nofollow Tag

Your total search engine authority can be represented by what I’m going to call “SEO Juice”.

Now, imagine that every link you have, in every page of your site, is a hole in the bucket. Once the different Search Engines pour their “SEO Juice” into your homepage bucket, the juice leaks out to your sub-pages, and external pages, through every link you have.

Picture of no follow tag

The problem is that some of your sub-buckets (sub-pages) don’t need that “SEO Juice” as much, while others need a lot of it. A good example is having those “Privacy Policy”, “Shipping Info” types of pages that really don’t need to rank highly in any SERP. So, instead of spreading your “SEO Juice” thin, you’d direct it to where it is most needed. Your site could have an extremely relevant, and high converting sub-page that you want to boost, this would be a good place to start.

The “nofollow” tags help you plug the holes of different buckets and let most of the juice flow where you want more Search Engine authority. See the image below:

Image of no follow tag

Once you’ve drawn the “nofollow” strategy map for your site, and decide on what pages need more search engine authority, the implementation part is quite simple.

Now that you understand what “nofollow” tags can do for your site, make sure you look into taking advantage of this awesome tool, and take control of where your “SEO Juice” is flowing!

Still confused? Let us help you out! Check out our full list of search engine optimization services.

Design, Media, Paid Search, SEO 86 Comments

How to restore and repair an old, damaged photograph

Last week my Grandmother asked me if I could repair an old, damaged photograph she had of my father when he was a kid. I told her I would try, but couldn’t promise anything. I knew there would be a possibility the photo would be beyond my ability, or at least beyond my technology. Upon receiving the photo in the mail, my worst fear became a reality; this was going to be no easy task.

Photo Restoration

As you can see, this photo was so badly damaged that a good portion of his face had been ripped from the paper. This usually occurs when a wet photo has time to dry and stick to other photos it may be stacked with.

I’ve supplied a list of tips for separating photos that have been stuck together here:

  • Damaged photos for which you do not have negatives need to receive attention first. Once photos have stuck together or become moldy, it may not be possible to save them.
  • Handle wet or stuck photos carefully because surfaces may be fragile. Try not to touch the image surface with your
  • It is a good idea to take new photographs of all photos as soon as you can see a clear image just in case their condition worsens. Take new photos before and or after soaking (soaking explained below).
  • Remove photos stuck to mattes, glass, or frames, if possible, without causing too much damage. If the photo is really stuck, follow the soaking instructions below. Take a new photograph before you attempt to remove the stuck photo or soak it. Also, if the stuck photo is in good condition, it may be possible to scan it in the frame as is and then send a digital copy to a restorer such as Image Master for restoration.
  • If you have a number of photos stuck together, they can be soaked in slightly warm water. If the water becomes dirty, change it often. It could take about an hour to loosen them.
  • Wet photos may be rinsed in clean water, if need be, and sealed in a plastic garbage bag with a tie or a Ziploc-type plastic bag.
  • It is a good idea to place wax paper between each photo.
  • If a freezer is available, freeze the photos immediately. Later, the photos may be defrosted, separated, and air-dried.
  • If no freezer or refrigerator is available, rinse wet photos in clean water and dry them, face up, in a single layer on a clean surface such as a table, towel, or clean plastic laid out on the ground.
  • You will reduce the growth of mold and mildew by reducing humidity. Increase air flow with fans, open windows, air conditioners, and dehumidifiers.
  • Don’t dry the photos in direct sunlight.
  • You may want to add weights to the tips of each photo corner to help reduce curling.

How to Repair Damaged Photos

If the damage has already been done and you feel up to a challenge, here are some tips on repairing and restoring the photos using the methods I used. Keep in mind that unless you have an artistic eye and an ability to understand and see what the missing parts of a face should look like, don’t try to tackle a job like this, and always work from a copy of the original.

What you’ll need:

  1. A decent scanner. If you don’t have one, hit up your local Kinko’s or copy store.
  2. Any version of Photoshop.
  3. This isn’t necessary, but I used Alien Skin Exposure, which mimics actual film types and is a plug-in for Photoshop.

Step One: Scanning

Be sure to scan your photo at the highest resolution possible. I recommend, at the very least, you scan at 300dpi. The purpose for this is that you’ll be using other parts of the image to repair, and you can get unexpected results with lower quality (not to mention the fact that film resolution is a lot higher and you’ll have a loss in pixels. It’s likely, though, with small pictures that any loss in pixels won’t be noticed as long as you’re sure to scan at the highest possible DPI).

Make sure you clean any dust or fingerprints. Loose dust may be removed before scanning with compressed air, a soft paintbrush, or one of the optical quality dry cleaning cloths can be used for both dust and fingerprints.

Step Two: Color Correction

Photoshop Threshold

There are many ways to color correct in Photoshop. The one

I use most often is Threshold, which is found by creating a new adjustment layer.

  • To do so, create a new layer with the photo in it by selecting all (control-A), copy (control C), and paste (control V), then click on the little yin-yang symbol at the bottom of the layers palette and click on Threshold. This will bring up the threshold window and everything will look black and white.
  • Slide the little slider all the way to the left, and then slowly bring it back. The first black pixels that appear in the window are the darkest part of the image. Click ok when you first see them.
  • Now zoom in to these pixels and place a color sample marker in the middle of one of these black areas. The Color Sampler Tool can be found by holding down the Eye Dropper tool.
  • Once you’ve marked the dark area, you can now get rid of the Threshold layer by dragging it in to the trashcan located at the bottom of the layers palette. You’ll now be back to the normal view of the top layer, but your new sample marker stays visible.
  • Next repeat the steps for Threshold, but slide the slider to the right. This will be the lightest point in the image.
  • Sample that, throw the Threshold layer away, and it’s time to color correct.
  • Click Image>Adjustments>Curves to open the Curves palette.
  • Once in the Curves window, click on the Black Eyedropper tool and click within the dark area sample you made in the Threshold step. You may need to zoom in to get an accurate placement.
  • Do the same for the light sample, but obviously use the white Eyedropper within Curves. These steps will find black and white within your image and will help you correct your colors.

    Photoshop using threshold

Step Three: Repairing and Restoring

Start with the Clone Stamp Tool in Photoshop and set the mode to Darken. This clones pixels from one area and replaces all the pixels of another area that are too light. I used this tool in the right side of the forehead and parts of his hair. I made sure to use a soft edge brush of different sizes for this technique so the areas b

lended well.

Photoshop Darken Clone

In my particular case, I then focused my attention to the huge torn-out area in the middle of his face.

  • Here I used the Clone Stamp Tool with the mode set for normal. I used a large feathered brush and cloned along the jaw line. This allowed me to clone the area from dark to light along the jaw line and in to the area that’s missing, giving it a natural flow with the rest of the image that’s visible.

    Photoshop Clone Stamp Tool

  • As I work, I use different brush sizes and will use a lot of Undo’s (Control-Z) as I go along if I feel I made something that doesn’t look natural. You can also use the history palette to go back some steps.
  • Once you fill the torn-out area, you’ll need to go back in and fix trouble areas with the clone stamp to even out the shadow and light in areas so they fit with the rest of the image.

It’s important to have a good artistic eye, because an image as damaged as this will require you to create what’s not there; for instance, re-creating the right side of his mouth and lips. The great thing is, the left side is there so you can copy and paste that area, flip it horizontally, rotate it slightly, and place it where it would need to go. Then use the Clone Stamp to even out the edges. The background areas in this case were easy to restore and I wanted to restore the image back to a rectangle as it was without the paper frame, which had stuck to it.

You’ll notice that as you fix areas with a soft edge clone stamp, they’ll appear smoother than the rest of the image since this particular photo had a lot of grain in it. For this I simply clicked Filter>Noise>Add Noise and clicked the box in the bottom left that says Monochrome. I them adjusted my noise until it looked like it was close to the original.

At this point, I was happy with what I had done, but there were some areas where the color of his skin didn’t look right, it didn’t have a natural overall look to it. To fix this, I used Alien Skin Exposure. In Exposure I was able to mimic an old black and white photograph while also adding a natural sepia tone. For this I used the setting Sepia – Mid Band Split. I actually couldn’t believe I was able to do the job I did on this restoration considering it’s really my first time with an image this bad.

Photo Restoration

Step Four: Printing

This part’s easy. Send it to White House Custom Color for all your printing needs. A photographer friend told me about them a couple months ago and I’ve received such beautiful prints from them at unbelievable prices. For about half the price of local printers for the same product, I can have this photo printed on metallic paper and have it sent back within two business days. The best part is, your photos will be processed by real photographers, not some lab clerk at the local drugstore who doesn’t care about quality.

Good luck to all, and happy repairing!

Design 16 Comments

Design - Machine Wash Filters

I picked-up the Machine Wash Filters last year from Mister Retro and am overjoyed with the many ways they can be utilized. With the current trends in the youth market involving distressed, grungy graphics, this set of filters is a must-have for any designer who works on the edge. Not only do they work great with any graphics created in Photoshop for the web, but can even be brought in to Illustrator as a bitmap image and converted to a vector. That’s great news for anyone who needs these extremely popular effects for t-shirt graphics. They’re so “in” right now.

Check out the image below. This was an illustration I did for apb Clothing for use on their t-shirts and sweatshirts. The original was a vector drawing done in illustrator. I then placed the vector in a Photoshop file and used burn and dodge techniques to bring out an even more 3D form. I then chose an effect file from the Machine Wash Filters set (In this case Varicose) to my image. The image below is the result.

Get yours today. http://misterretro.com/image_filters.html

 

Grungy Illustrated Tshirt

Design 3 Comments