I’ve been getting into(under my usual moniker – ) more and more over time (despite only following a few friends and family), and lately, its been weighing on me that the service, despite its brilliance, rapid adoption and passionate fanbase, isn’t yet pursuing revenue. That’s OK – I think they probably have lots of very smart, talented, experience people thinking about the problem and taking action to prepare for it. However, I thought it might be fun to brainstorm some concepts publicly and recruit the smart SEO crowd to pitch in.
First off, here are the ideas I’d toss – I don’t think they make good sense. Thumbs down to:
- Third-Party Contextual Advertising – Google AdSense or YPN just don’t excite me, and I think they’d undermonetize and be limited to only those folks who use Twitter on the web (and not through third party apps or mobile).
- Broadcast Tweet Ads – Sending users a random ad tweet every 5, 10 or even 50 tweets isn’t exciting and it’s not targeted the way Twitter should be. Twitter knows something about everyone; leverage that if you’re going to message your users.
- Display Ads – For the same reasons as contextual advertising
- Third Party Aps & APIs – I love that it’s free now, and I think Twitter will be far more valuable by remaining completely free to users and open to developers.
- Pay for Corporate Accounts – Can’t prove you’re a real person? Twitter charges for your corporate/brand account. It’s an easy one (even if people set up lots of sock puppets to get around it, Twitter’s sales/spam team can go find the valuable accounts), but it doesn’t have the targeting value or the potential that some of the others do.
- Pay for Followers – Twitter fans are going to get angry quickly if you auto-sign them up to follow a brand or person they don’t know. I’d stay far away from this one.
- Pay for Followed Links – Something tells me Google would be pretty quick to penalize Twitter and they probably don’t want to make enemies with the search giant just yet.
And here’s some ideas I really like:
- Keyword Purchases – Everytime someone Tweets the word "SEOmoz," I, as an advertiser, want two things. First, I want those users recorded so I can message to them in the future and second, I want the word to automatically become a link pointing to the page of my choosing (probably a Twitter-specific landing page for PRO in our case).
- Search Ads on Twitter Search – As Twitter search becomes more popular (and it will, not just for obsessed Twitterers but brand managers and reputation analyst but for regular users and marketers and researchers, too), placing relevant ads in those searches becomes valuable. Better yet, you can combine Twitter searches with tweet history, so I could, for example, only show my ad to Twitter users who search for "SEO" and have previously twittered (or received twitters from those they follow) with my brand name.
- Charging for Power Accounts – Your first 1,000 followers are free. After that, no one can follow you until you pay $50 a year (or some nominal, but affordable number). When you get to 5,000 or 10,000, the price goes up.
- Subscribe Invitations from Advertisers – When I log into Twitter or reach my account page on the site, an overlay could indicate that some users have invited me to follow them. Those "invitations" could have 140 characters to say something clever and enticing enough to attract me and Twitter could target them based on my followers, followees and tweet history. There’s a lot of targeting options for a brand manager seeking new followers.
- Targeted Tweet Ads Based on Tweet History – Unlike the broadcast ad concept I didn’t like above, these would rely on user history and profile to make them effective. If I’ve tweeted a combination of words a number of times or follow people who have, I’m an ideal candidate to receive a sponsored tweet every 20 or 50.
- Opt-In Geo-Tweet Ads – You Tweet a location and advertisers can Tweet back (and appear in your mobile updates) with messaging. It’s a pretty solid concept, although I worry that opt-in adoption rates would be low unless the advertiser quality controls were extremely high.
- Pay to Opt Out of Ads – Don’t want to receive Tweet ads or sponsored tweets (and maybe get some extra member features like a more robust timeline and maybe greater visibility or listing in some sort of Twitter user directory)? Pay $3 or $6 or $9 a month. It’s a great extra revenue stream for those who’d (inevitably) complain about the ads.
Your turn – any good ideas for how Twitter should monetize? Any guesses as to which they’ll adopt and when?
p.s. I recognize that many folks around the web have probably already voiced these ideas, and I’ve glanced at a few headlines on the topic, but thought I’d come at it independently without reading anything else first. If this were my job, I’d approach it much more systematically.
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Site after site that I visit lately has been showing a tendency for using footer links to run their internal SEO link structure and anchor text optimization. While this practice, in years past, held value, today I rarely ever recommend it (and yes, SEOmoz itself will be moving away from using our footer for category links soon). Here’s why:
- Footer links may be devalued by search engines automatically
Check out the evidence – Yahoo! they may devalue footer links, Bill Slawski patents suggesting the same and suggests Google might do this (or go further) as well. Needless to say, if you want to make sure your links are passing maximum value, it’s wise to avoid the footer (particularly the footer class itself).
- Footer links are often not the first link on the page to a URL
Since we know that the first link on a page is , and footer links, while anchor text optimized, are often a second link to an already-linked-to target, they are likely not to have the desired impact.
- Footer links get very low CTR
Naturally, since they’re some of the least visible links on a webpage, they receive very little traffic. Thus, if algorithms like or other traffic metrics start to play a role in search rankings, footers are unlikely to have a positive impact.
- Footer links often take a page beyond a healthy link total
Many pages that already have 80-100 links on the page are going to lose out when they add a footer with another 30-50 links embedded. The link juice passed per link will go down and the value of each individual link is lowered.
- Footer links can be a time suck
The time you spend crafting the perfect link structure in the footers could be put towards more optimal link structures throughout the site’s navigation and cross-linking from content, serving both users and engines better.
That’s not to say I don’t suggest doing a good job with your footers. Many sites, large and small, will continue to use the footer as a resource for link placement and, just as with all other SEO tactics that fade, it does carry some residual value. Let’s walk through a few examples of both good and bad to get a sense for what works:
I like the organization, the clear layout, the visibility and the fact that they’ve distinguished (through straight HTML links vs. drop downs) which links deserve to pass link juice and ranking value. I’m also impressed that I actually see a "Paris Hilton" link in the footer yet am not completely unaccepting of the idea that it could be there entirely naturally, simply as a result of what’s popular on CBS.
These are my least favorite kinds of footers. The links are just squashed together, the focus is obviously on anchor text, not relevance, the links are hard to see and read and there’s little thought given to users. The links don’t even look necessarily clickable until you hover.
When I searched for "Dallas Condos", I was sure I’d find some examples for thumbs down, which is why I was so thrilled to find VIPRealtyInfo, a clearly competitive site in a tough SEO market doing a lot of things right. Yeah, there’s some reasonable optimization in the anchor text, but it’s definitely not overboard and the links are useful to people and search engines. The visual layout and design quality gives it an extra boost, too – something that can’t be overstated in importance when it comes to potential manual reviews by the engines.
The site’s done a great job with design – it’s really quite an attractive layout and color scheme. The links in the "most popular regions" aren’t that bad; it’s really the number of them that makes me worried. If they’d stuck to one column, I think they’d easily pass a manual review and pass good link juice (rather than spreading it out with so many links in addition to everything else on the page). The part that really sent me over the edge though was the two sentences in the green box, laden with links I didn’t even realize were there until I hovered. Technically, there’s nothing violating the search guidelines, but I wouldn’t put it past the engines to come up with smart ways to devalue links like these, particularly when their focus is so clearly on anchor text, not user value.
Again – great organization, good crosslinking (remaining relatively relevant then branching out to other network properties) and solid design. Even the most aggressive of the links, on the right hand side, appear natural and valuable to users, making it hard for an engine to argue they shouldn’t pass full value.
It’s huge – seriously big. And while it’s valuable for users and even contains some interesting content, it’s not really accomplishing the job of a footer – it’s more like a giant permanent content block on the site. The arrow that lets you close it is a good feature, and the design is soild, too. However, the link value really isn’t there and the potential for big blocks of duplicate content across the site makes me a bit nervous, too.
So what can we take away from these analyses? A few general footer-for-SEO rules of thumb:
- Don’t overstuff keywords in anchor text
- Make the links relevant and useful
- Organize links intelligently – don’t just throw them into a big list
- Cross-linking is OK, just do it naturally (and in a way that a manual review could believe it’s not solely for SEO purposes)
- Be smart about nofollows – nearly every footer on the web has a few links that don’t need to be followed so think about whether your terms of service and legal pages really require the link juice you’re sending
- Make your footers look good and function well for users to avoid being labeled "manipulative" during a quality rater’s review
What’s your take on footers for SEO, and how do you use them or avoid them?
p.s. If you’re thinking about footers from a layout and design perspective, check out Matt’s older (but still good) post on.
p.p.s. Happy Thanksgiving! This year, I’m thankful for (among many other things)calling out spam and manipulation in the engines (and Google’s responses, too).
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I like talking about link building – it is, after all, one of the most important(hey Rand, when’s that going to be updated?) and also one of the things people in the SEO industry. So here are some more tips and tricks you can use to get links. This week I’m talking about how to actually get links from your linkbait.
For anyone that’s launched linkbait you’ll know that sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Of course, by ‘works’ I’m talking about a digg homepage, a reddit homepage or huge amounts of traffic from stumble. But actually even for the pieces which don’t go hot on one of the social news sites there’s still massive potential – after all the content is no less appealing right? This is still highly linkable content, you just need to go about putting some elbow grease in to get the links. This image is supposed to represent elbow grease, or that women are much better linkers than men, or something equally random:
1. Submit to niche social media sites
Ok, ok – I know I said this post was about how to get links AFTER submitting to social media sites but actually this is a very important step in launching linkbait and getting links. Don’t just stop with Digg, Reddit and Su – look at niche social media sites as well. By submitting to these sites not only do you increase the chances that it will go hot on one of these sites (and hence spread and hence get links) but also a lot of these sites provide(nonofo being our internal term for clean non-no-followed links) so they’re valuable in their own right too.
Don’t know where to start? Here are a few ideas:
- Jane’s list of sites to submit to
- with PR
- A of niche social media sites
It’s worth bearing in mind here that while these niche sites won’t send as much traffic as Digg or Reddit the quality of traffic is MUCH better – the visitors will almost certainly stick around longer, be more likely to comment and probably more likely to link too (though this is un-tested). Incidentally, does anyone know of any studies into this?
As an aside, don’t forget foreign language social media sites, especially if your linkbait is visual. Bothand have sent us considerable traffic in the past.
2. Ask for links. Seriously.
This point is actually the real reason I wanted to write the post, the other ideas are just fleshing the post out so it’s not really short (shhh – don’t tell anyone!) and is something we’ve been doing which is proving very effective at the moment. The concept is simple – once you’ve created and launched your linkbait use it to manually build links by contacting people who might be interested in your content and ask if they’d like to link to you.
This works especially well when you craft your linkbait correctly – we had success a while back when we launched a video explaining bittorrent for a client, the video was cutsie and fun but it neatly explained the concept of what a bittorrent was. Then we did a search forand voila – we have a list of relevant people who are actually interested in our video and could easily embed and/or link to it.
Another example – we recently launched a quiz about. It didn’t do terribly well on digg or reddit but it transpires that there’s a really big dust mite community online (who would have thought!?) and since we have real content to offer bloggers we’re having success simply asking relevant bloggers if they’ll take the quiz and link to us. We’ve only just started manually building links off the back of the quiz but we’re seeing good results already – for example this has linked to us!
While there was no money changed hands for this link you could equally be more aggressive about getting links and pay for people to link to your linkbait as well, but I won’t delve into that whole can of worms here as it’s been discussed elsewhere a lot and it’s not really the focus of this post.
3. Email chains
Back when I used to work in a large corporate office (a far cry from the 14 of us at Distilled!) there were constantly emails flying back and forth among staff with headlines like "Oh My God FUNNY. PLEASE READ" or "SEND THIS TO FIVE FRIENDS OR YOUR KIDNEYS WILL SUFFER DEATH". I used to hate those people. I really did. Thankfully, it’s several years later and I’ve just about managed to weed out all those kinds of people from my social circle and I very rarely get sent these kind of chain emails. Still, the market for them hasn’t decreased. They can be a very valuable way of helping your content spread – sure these people aren’t always going to link to you but the number of visits it can drive is sickening. So next time you’re launching linkbait, why not get back in touch with THAT person in your life and send them an "OMG FUNNY, TAKE THIS QUIZ" email.
As an added bonus for this post, I’ve also uploaded my SMX London presentation on Blow Your Mind link building techniques which you can view online. It’s light on content but there’s hopefully some useful tips in there:
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There is abetween working on your own sites, and working on sites that belong to others.
When you work on your own sites, you can execute changes quickly, and you don’t need to convince anyone else of the merits of your actions. However, within an organization, SEO requires significant buy-in on a number of levels. Failure to get that buy in can severely compromise the effectiveness of the SEO, which might – rather unfairly – see the SEO out of a job.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the problems the SEO who is either in-house, or working on a clients site, faces, and a few ideas on how to deal with them.
Embedding SEO Into The Culture
In-house SEO is just as much about politics as it is about execution.
There will be various stakeholders, many of whom man not be be familiar with SEO. There will be people who will be openly hostile to someone else insisting they change the way they work.
No matter what, you’re going to ruffle a few feathers.
The first step to achieving good SEO outcomes within an organizational structure is to get management buy-in.
Given that management have probably already hired you, this should be a relatively straightforward step. Management will want to see facts, figures and strategies that support the business case. Prepare presentations that demonstrate your proposed strategy, how it supports the business case, how long it will take to achieve, and what your measure of success will be.
Once these factors are agreed to, you’ll have the backup you’ll need to undertake the hard part.
Convincing The Minions
Various people need to buy into SEO in order for it to work.
Some companies locate their web team within IT, whilst others place them within marketing. Sometimes, the two business units share ownership of the strategy. The important thing to determine is who has the control, especially over aspects such as site structure, content production, and overall strategy.
Think of internal employees as customers. Also check out my article.
Look to establish rapport with, and train, the various people who occupy these important roles.
1. The Manager
You must have buy-in from the person with the most control over the business unit responsible for web strategy. They will be able to provide the support and backup you’ll need.
Managers tend to respond well to anything that helps them achieve departmental goals. These goals have probably been set by upper management.
Look for areas synergy exists. For example, marketing managers often have traffic goals, and similar visitor metric milestones. Show them how SEO will help meet those objectives.
This is why it is important to frame SEO in business terms, as opposed to just a technical process. Without management buy in, and aligned business goals, you’re unlikely to get support for the technical changes you need to do.
2. The Designer
The designers are responsible for the look and feel of the site. They will probably also be responsible for site architecture. Architecture and design are two areas where you are likely to experience a lot of push-back.
There is good reason for this.
What is good for SEO might not be good for users or brand aesthetics. This area that needs to be carefully balanced. If the designers think the SEO is compromising the look, feel and operation of the site, then you’re not going to get very far, no matter how good your intentions are.
If your designers are familiar with usability, and good designers will be, you’re in luck. There are a lot of usability integration points that work for users, designers and SEOs. For example, breadcrumb navigation can be great for usability and SEO, as they allow for the propagation of keywords, and provide internal link structure. Be on the lookout for other areas that require little change and provide natural synergies.
Once you’ve built up trust, you may be able to get bigger concessions.
3. Writers & Content Producers
The writers provide the words. The content producers may provide video, pictures, and other media. You’ll probably be dealing mostly with the writers.
Writers, especially if they have been writing professionally for a long time, can often be very set in their ways. Writers schooled in journalistic and copy writing techniques use methods that predate internet search engines, and often the internet itself.
Old habits die hard.
Once again, a way to get around this is to align their goals with yours. Show writers how much potential traffic there is out there and how keyword research can be used to suggest article topics and title ideas. Show them that by following a few SEO principles, they can get more readers reading their stuff.
Writers often have communications objectives i.e. to achieve wider reach and exposure, so there might be some obvious, natural synergies to be had.
Check out, used by Rudy De La Garza Jr at BankRate Inc to help convince writers to adopt SEO practices:
At Bankrate, Mr. De La Garza showed editorial employees that, for some articles, deciding on about 10 main keywords before writing could help increase their number of page views. Writers were already vying for bragging rights to the most popular articles. He told them: “You know what, guys? If we apply a few SEO tactics here, I can help you win the weekly battle,” he says
4. The Developer
The developers are responsible for the technical aspects of the website. Developers need to be aware of the need for site response speed – they probably are already – and ensuring the site is crawlable. This job has been made somewhat easier, of late, given the introduction of Google Site Maps.
I’ve yet to meet a developer who didn’t want to learn new ways of coding. It all adds to their CV.
In any change process, there are a lot of political battles to fight. SEO is no exception.
This is where training and evangelism comes in. The more people who understand what you do, and how and why you’re doing it, the easier your job will be. There is no one way of achieving this, other than to communicate as often as possible.
Using external metrics can help. Suggest that other companies are doing this, and what you’re telling them is industry best practice. Create a sense of jeopardy that if they don’t do it, they’ll be left behind. Show people how having knowledge of SEO adds to their skill set, and thus increases their value to the employer.
Outside consultants can be very useful here. Short-term contractors usually aren’t part of the political machinations of fighting for position and internal power plays, and can often be more successful at implementing change. Because their tenure is limited, they don’t tend to be seen as a threat to career paths.
Ongoing SEO Best Practices
Once you’ve got people onside, you need to start building procedures into the work-flow itself. Amend and rewrite guidelines to make SEO part of the day to day process.
For example, when writing articles, writers should search for existing published articles, and include them in a related articles section. Have the designers build a “Related Articles” section into the template, so it becomes a natural part of the article creation process. Developers should use technologies that allow for crawling. Designers should use SEO friendly formats and templates, where possible.
In, Marshall Simmonds discusses, amongst other topics, how to create an in-house search team from scratch:
The best SEO is when people aren’t aware they are doing SEO.
The SEO has simply become part of the furniture.
Have your Say
Have you worked as an in-house SEO? Or worked on SEO within a large organization? What challenges were you faced with? How did you overcome them?
We’d love to hear your stories in.
Here are some interesting links of note.
Danny Sullivan whinges about.
John Andrews on.
Slightly Shady SEO looks at.
Andrew Goodman on. He also highlighted that display ads might be getting the credit they deserve, using :
Alexander Hamilton’s face is on every $10 bill, but his brand isn’t doing so hot. Thomas Jefferson, meanwhile, has a strong brand, and he’s only on the 2, and there are hardly any of those in circulation. What is a fair CPM rate for either gentleman to pay for this type of exposure?
Seth highlights that.
Business.com offers SEO Book memberswhen they submit a site to the Business.com directory.
SEO Black Hat is hosting another high level SEO conference,.
Michael Gray roasted Google foron SearchWiki.
At WembasterWorld Pubconmentioned that if you were covered in the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, or any , but were not linked to, then you can and he will try to get your link added.
Stuntdubl announcedagain. He is probably amongst the top 3 social media marketers, along with and .
Joost de Valk created.
Microsoft search. They would be better off buying Ask.com.
Here are some funny.
Interviews & Meta-Me
I wrote a guest column for Search Engine Land about how.
I did a couple interviews recently. If interested, here is on on, and another on .
I was also interviewed in the recently published book. I have a couple copies of the book to give away…if you want one just comment below…first come first served
The Inside AdWords blogthe beta launch of . To some degree the tool is a Compete.com knock off, but with a number of exceptions
- this tool is free
- Google has more search data than Compete.com does
- this shows bid prices and search volume estimates next to keywords (like the Google Traffic Estimator)
- this shows your current page titles and keywords
- this shows the % of organic and paid traffic going to a URL
For any keyword, the Google Search-based Keyword Tool will show up to 800 related keywords with cost and search volume estimates. This tool also works to show you 100 keywords related to a site, and if you own a website they will show you thousands of keywords that they think you could bid on which are not already in your account. In addition they show your search share of voice (via ads and organic search results) for keywords. This data is easy to export using a handy export button.
There are a variety of cool extra filters that can be applied on this tool, including…
- minimum or maximum search volumes
- bid price range
- low, medium, or high competition
- keyword in URL
- combining URL and keywords as filters
- keyword + general category
- negative keywords
Using a variety of different combinations for these filters you can see many different sets of 800 keywords even within the same subset. Export these different lists a variety of times and you can quickly build a list of thousands of high value keywords.
If you are a paying subscriber,.
May It Please the Mozzers,
The world is filled with all kinds of nutty people. Mostly, this is a wonderful thing. But sometimes it’s not.
The case I want to discuss today involves two lawyers, a messy breakup, and a blog about "Guns, God, Food, Beer, Tools, Politics, and Whining."
Stephen Hogge, a Florida attorney, operates the blog. He was sued in California by a former Miami School of Law classmate, Fatima dos Santos Fahmy, over statements he made about her on his blog, including calling her a deadbeat, maligning her work ethic, and falsely claiming that she was Hogge’s former girlfriend. To get right to it, he falsely labeled her "a mentally ill alcoholic prostitute." Not surprisingly, Ms Fahmy didn’t care for these remarks and tried to put her legal education to good use.
Representing herself,on her home court, California.
Generally, if you’re bringing a lawsuit you’ve got to sue the defendant where he lives. It’s a basic fairness issue. Now, the fairness equation changes if you can successfully argue that the defendant sought you out in your home state to commit his wrongful acts. Why should you have to sue him over there if he went out of his way to do something illegal in your state, right?
Mr. Hogge, also representing himself, asked the California court to dismiss the case because the California court has no jurisdiction over Florida residents. This is a standard legal challenge to multi-state jurisdictional issues.
Ms. Fahmy countered by arguing that Mr. Hogge subjected himself to jurisdiction in California by targeting her for his tortious remarks. He targeted her and she lives in California, ergo, California courts should have jurisdiction over Hogge.
Hogge replied by arguing that he didn’t know she lived in California, so he couldn’t have been targeting California.
At first, the court agreed with Ms. Fahmy. However, the Court later reconsidered and decided to go ahead and dismiss the lawsuit. But not without issuing a bit of a lecture to both parties for their alleged technical blunders in the case. Ms. Fahmy didn’t properly authenticate her documents and Mr. Hogge filed over-length briefs. This proves again the old adage, "a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client."
Technically, this is a win for bloggers who are now less likely to be subjected to out-of-state suits. However, I can’t help but feel this is a loss for exes of nutty bloggers everywhere.
and also cover the case.
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With every tweak and change that comes to Google, it seems there’s a new round of questions and blog posts and hand-wringing that follows the same old formula:
With the release of their new yippdy goobledy wobbledy, Google has changed the search game forever. Forget classic SEO, from now on, it’s going to be all about blah blah blah.
It happened with:
- Local Results & Geo-Targeting
- Instant Answers & OneBox Results
- Google Knol
- Customization Based on History
- Universal Search
And now it’s happening again with. Yet, in the 5+ years I’ve been doing SEO, the game has stayed remarkably similar through nearly every one of these "massive shifts." Actually, the biggest true changes I’ve seen to SEO have come from directional shifts at Google that typically received far less publicity and media attention:
- When Google rolled out the Florida update in Winter 2003 and many affiliate, thin content and low quality sites lost rankings (and the ability to pass good link juice)
- In 2004-5 as the Google Sandbox became a major part of new sites’ experience in Google
- In 2005 when nofollow started to be implemented across blog comments and we could no longer buy our way to the top of the rankings with spammy blog links (although it really took a year or two to take full effect)
- In November 2006 when the search engines officially agreed to support the Sitemaps.org format
It’s not that Google’s other shifts haven’t had an impact on SEO, it’s just that they haven’t been earth-shattering or groundbreaking or given us new paradigms to conquer. SEO remains, at its core, remarkably similar to what it was in 2002:
- Make pages accessible
- Target with keywords that searchers employ
- Build content that users will find useful and valuable
- Earn editorial links from good sources
Honestly, every time the "sky is falling" from some new change at Google, ask yourself if this 4 step process has been fundamentally undermined. Until then, you can relax – which is not to say you can stop learning, evolving and investigating every tactic that might give you an edge, but you don’t have to go overboard chasing fads in SEO. Asoften says, "Moderation in all things, including moderation."
p.s. If there are major shifts in the last 5 years that you’ve felt have had a tremendous impact on how you do SEO, please do share. It’s late and I’ve got an early meeting, so I’m sure I’ve missed a few.
p.p.s. I would say that for some sites and content types, the introduction of the maps results for local queries was actually earth-shattering.
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(This is a boring post that I’m writing for people that have this same problem in the future. Just skip it.)
Every good Linux user knows that if you want to drop from X down into a text-based virtual terminal, you can press control-alt-F1 (or any other key up to F6), and control-alt-F7 returns you to the graphical mode. But what if that doesn’t work? In my case, it turned out to be my keyboard. My Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 has a key marked “F Lock” and unless that FLock key is activated (the “F” LED should be on), the wrong keystrokes were being sent to my Linux Ubuntu version of Intrepid Ibex. How can you debug this? Well, it took me a while.
After some Googling, here’s how I’d write the flowchart:
- Try running “chvt 1″ to switch your console to virtual terminal 1.
- If “chvt 1″ does not work, you might get the message “Couldnt get a file descriptor referring to the console”. You probably need to be superroot. Once you run as root, that command should work.
- Maybe “chvt 1″ fails in some other way. Dude, you’re outside my area of expertise. You could try . Or you could try to set up the font and keyboard on the Linux console. Or it’s possible that you need to . Or you might want to .
- Quick check: you might have the, which would disable virtual terminal switching.
- If running “chvt 1″ as superroot does work, then you probably have an issue with your keyboard mappings somehow.
- If you have a Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000, make sure that the “F-Lock” key near the top-right of the main part of the keyboard is properly engaged. The “F” LED below the keyboard should be on.
- Next, run xev (possibly as root) to see raw xevents as you press keys. This , where the person said
Recently I tried to switch to VT (console) and I couldn’t – Ctrl+Alt+F1 didn’t work (and they used to couple of weeks ago). I don’t even know where to look for the problem; xev detects KeyRelease XF86_Switch_VT_1 event, /etc/inittab contain getty respawns.
When I ran xev myself, and pressed control-alt-F1, I saw an event like
KeyPress event, serial 38, synthetic NO, window 0×3400001,
root 0×1a6, subw 0×3400002, time 1848943, (42,37), root:(1751,59),
state 0×0, keycode 146 (keysym 0xff6a, Help), same_screen YES,
XLookupString gives 0 bytes:
XmbLookupString gives 0 bytes:
XFilterEvent returns: False
The fact that I saw a “Help” event rather than “XF86_Switch_VT_1″ was what made me suspicious. Sure enough, activating the “F-Lock” key then triggered this event:
KeyRelease event, serial 34, synthetic NO, window 0×3400001,
root 0×1a6, subw 0×3400002, time 2873229, (38,51), root:(1747,73),
state 0xc, keycode 67 (keysym 0×1008fe01, XF86_Switch_VT_1), same_screen YES,
XLookupString gives 0 bytes:
XFilterEvent returns: False
and life was good. You might also consider. Or you might have a (e.g. from pc105 to pc104) might help.