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Tech Savvy: Riddle me this

Hey there, Tech Savvy Fans! This week we had a couple of great reader questions, and I want to just dive right into those. Keep your questions coming; they help me learn more about some really awesome things! I hope my suggestions help and I’d love to hear back if you had success.

Gettin’ Ink Done

Q: I have a 4 in 1 wireless HP printer. Have used non HP ink in it with much success. Last week it said blk low so I popped in another non HP blk. This time it tried the incompatible cartridge words and refused to start up. I said OK to HP and bought the real deal ink and it still says incompatible cartridge.

Any support phone number you might have in your box of tricks?

A: Ever since there were printers, there have been ink refills and 3rd party brands that provide cost effective alternatives to the OEM cartridges. I have used a fair number myself- different brands, ink refills, universals, etc. each of these have their benefits, but the perennial question is always, “Which of these will work as long as I have my printer?”

The short answer is not many, if any. For better or worse the tramp of technology’s marching feet keeps moving the standard. An example might be looking at phones. We have gone from cranking on a wooden box to plastic corded, to cordless now to mobile computing hubs that handle our daily lives.

What happens is that a third party manufacturer will create an ink cartridge that will work in multiple printers, but as time goes on the available printers change and the third party cartridge manufacturer will naturally want to ensure that their cartridge fits the most current printers. Unfortunately, that means that eventually the older printers will start to fall off the list as the cartridges change to fit the newer printers. They cartridge itself may physically fit the same way, but the alignment of the actual ink components may change and that is where we run into problems.

On the other hand, equipment does wear out, and it may just be that enough ink has accumulated in the printer that it is clogged. Some printers will have settings that you can use to clean the printer heads and that might be a good place to start.

Here are a couple of links that you might try to see if there are other cartridge alternatives that may still fit your printer:

Linking hide and seek

Q: Is it OK to have several domain names going to one website? I read somewhere once that search engines didn’t like that.

A: It is true that links to and from your website will boost your SEO, but there is a little more than meets the eye in just setting up a bunch of URLs that take you to a specific site. What it sounds like you’re describing to me is what is called URL Redirect, it’s a common tool used when there are associations with terms you want to be linked to. An example might be if your website is but you realize that others might just type and you want those people to still get to your site. You can also use URL Redirects to correct simple typos or if you switch your domain, examples like: or if you change from to Generally speaking the purpose of URL Redirects is to make getting to the site simpler.

That being said, simply buying up as many domain names is not necessarily a shoo-in for SEO “Juice.” The power behind SEO link relevance comes from the content, meta tags, and links on your site and to your site. The web “crawlers” that determine SEO don’t necessarily scan the entire website’s content, but will depend on the meta tags, HTML tags written into the website’s background, to determine the content of the site. They will also take into account how relevant a site is by the number of links that refer to that website what the traffic volume is from these sites. For example, if you have a financial planning business you may include links to the IRS, state sites, and such for reference, this is relevant content and will help you. The real power is when one, or more, of these sites recognizes you as an “expert” and links to your page. For example, if you are an auto repair shop that is the only local option to have work on a Ferrari, other shops and dealers may link back to you because they cannot offer those services and you are the sole provider.

Long story short, the real SEO power comes from other sites linking back to yours, not just the ability to buy up as many domain names as you can, conversely having multiple domains will not diminish your SEO all by itself.


Just an FYI for everyone... If you recall I had the opportunity, courtesy of Verizon Wireless, to demo and review the HTC Droid DNA a while back. If you remember, I was completely smitten with the phone, and I even had a reader that took my advice and purchased one. Well, my upgrade finally came due... and I got my very own Droid DNA, and it’s still just as awesome as I remember.

While I was getting it set up the rep I was working with had one of the new Blackberry touch screen devices with BB10... and I was not impressed. He let me browse around through it, and although I’d welcome the opportunity to demo one more in depth, in the 10 minutes I had with it, here’s what I found. It is nothing like the old Blackberry, icons are different, functionality is completely different, and more alarmingly (IMHO) is that the functionality is nothing like any other mainstream smartphone. To me, this means that anyone who was hoping for a BB resurgence will be disappointed, and anyone who has used Android, iOS or Windows will see no appeal in switching. Sorry BB, you might be a little late to this party. BTW- did you see the Federal DOJ is looking at moving to iOS instead of BB? Might be time to take up a hobby...