Category Archives for WordPress

Using AuthorSure for Google Authorship on Multiple Author Blogs

I was asked to take a look at the AuthorSure WordPress plugin as a possible solution for Multiple Author blogs. I’ve previously posted about Google Authorship, which is a special tag (rel=author) that you add to your blog so that Google will use information from your Google+ profile, most notably your picture, in the snippets that show up in the SERPs (search engine result pages).

AuthorSure is a relatively new WordPress plugin, however it is in the WordPress repository (always reassuring) and best of all it’s free! The supporting site has a couple of good articles and if you become a member (also free) you get access to a video tutorial. Aside from running into a conflict with WPMinify. I found the setup straightforward and quick. The author also has a Google+ business page for the plugin where he will answer questions.

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WordPress Plugins Critical for SEO

I’ve given a couple of presentations on WordPress SEO and recommended several plugins. Due to demand I’ve been providing my list as a PDF to attendees. Now here it is for my blog readers.

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Just Say No To a Big WordPress Ping List

This post was originally published March 6, 2011. In it I published a WordPress ping list and an explanation on what I had done to vet it. However you no longer want to use such an extensive ping list as it might actually hurt your rankings.

Whenever you publish a new post or make edits to your existing ones, WordPress will send a notification (called a ping) to services to let them know about your new (or updated) post. It’s been a good way to get the word out about your blog. WordPress out of the box comes set up to notify one service rpc.pingomatic.com, but we all thought it was good idea to add more (a lot more) services to the list in your WordPress writing settings.

If you search on “WordPress Ping List” you will find a lot of lists you can use. Even the WordPress codex has a pointer to an article with an extensive list.

However this might hurt your rankings, as one blogger recently found out, and none other than Matt Cutts confirmed that Google looks negatively on many of those services. You can read about this in ViperChill’s opus on the Future of Blogging (a very long – but worthwhile read).

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Google’s rel=author Authorship feature

This post originally appeared on October 28, 2011, in January 2014, I made several changes to it to bring it up to date. On August 28, 2014, Google ended the Google Authorship program citing low participation and concern over how it was cluttering the search experience, especially for mobile users. Despite this, you may want to still implement it if you are active on Google+. Users who are logged into their Google account and that follow you on Google+ will see the the enhanced snippet. Otherwise it’s not worth the effort.

Ah the old days. The early days when all Google looked at was how many backlinks pointed to your page. These days, trust, creditability and authority signals are a big part of what Google looks for when deciding whether to rank your page in the top ten. In the summer of 2011, leveraging Google profiles, Google released another feature that helps it do just that. You can now tag your articles with rel="author" HTML markup to link your pages to your Google profile – which makes you more “real” in Google’s eyes. The nice thing about this is that then Google will put a pic of you next to the snippet of your article that shows up in the search results as Danny Sullivan appears below.

Danny Sullivan article

Danny's article with SEO advice to Bill Gates

Google’s desire to tie content to “real” people perhaps sheds some light on the 2011 mass removal of non user Google+ accounts.

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Use relprev and relnext with pagination on WordPress?

Examining HTML tags for SEORecently I came across some client WordPress sites that had the relprev and relnext tags embedded on their archive pages. The sites were set up as a classic WordPress blog, with the reverse chronological listing of the post teasers on the home page with the “Next” button leading to the older posts.

It was these pages that had the tag, for example looking at the HTML source on page 2:


<link rel="prev" href="http://www.awordpresssite.com/page/1/" />
<link rel="next" href="hhttp://www.awordpresssite.com/page/3/" />

BTW: I just randomly came up with the domain “awordpresssite” for the above example, otherwise I don’t know anything about this parked domain.
The question is, is this the correct use of the relprev and relnext tags? My answer is: Probably Not.

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Sitesell Migration to WordPress

migrating to a new home

The Traveling Suitcase: Dedicated to the Jewish children of the Kindertransport who found safety in Britain

Recently I migrated a site from the Sitesell ecosystem (that’s how I think of it) to WordPress. While Sitesell does a good job leading people through the process of building websites that attract organic search engine traffic, I made a decision about a year ago that I don’t want to work on anything else but WordPress these days (I’ll do SEO consulting for any type of site, but if I have to roll up my sleeves and actually work on the site – it’s got to be WordPress). WordPress is great for people like me, who aren’t really diehard developers but have enough technical chops to be dangerous. And the WordPress community is just outstanding. Plus I just don’t want to deal with another CMS (content management system) that has it’s own vernacular and way of doing things. We’ve all heard the saying “Do a few things well and not a lot of things poorly.” It’s time to live up to that goal.

To make this useful to more people, I’ll try to keep this more general so that it is relevant to migrations from other technologies. I also have a few cool plugins to recommend.

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Check your WordPress robots.txt file

nerd details like your robots.txt are importantI recently looked at a client’s robots.txt file for a WordPress site. He had all sorts of things blocked (using the Disallow directives) including:


/*/feed/$
/*/comments/$
/*/trackback/$

As I have written before, robots.txt disallows are generally not as useful as people think they are. True, they prevent Google and other search engine spiders from crawling those URLs, but that doesn’t necessarily mean those pages don’t end up in the index (which is usually the reason for the Disallow directive.) These days we have much better tools at our disposal with the meta robots noindex tag and the canonical.

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WordPress 3.5 and Twenty Twelve

WordPress basicsAn early Christmas present for WordPress enthusiasts – WordPress 3.5 is scheduled for release on December 5th. I’m not going to walk through all the changes – you can easily do that for yourself by reading the Beta 1 post and the Beta 2 post on wordpress.org.

The big thing that most will notice is that the Media Manager has been completely revamped. Instead of a list of images in the library that you work with individually via a popup dialog, the tags settings are presented within the lightbox to the right. Image galleries are now a lot easier, you just select the images you want to put into a gallery and just add to the post. It’s like WordPress menus that were introduced in WordPress 3.0 – it’s so much easier that you will wonder how you lived without it. A couple of other noteworthy changes is that the blogroll widget is gone (does anyone use blogrolls anymore?), a color picker and a new welcome screen.

Under the covers, the new media manager is making use of the underscore.js and backbone.js Javascript libraries. The guys at Automattic are serious about making WordPress a true platform and WordPress 3.5 represents a step towards providing support (if you are interested check out the media models in wp-includes) for those who want to build their own custom admin. It will be interesting to watch whether developers take up the opportunity.

I would be remiss without mentioning that there is a new Twenty Twelve theme available NOW. The Twenty Eleven theme was a great default theme. Fully responsive, it was interesting to see so many websites adopt it as a parent theme and just make some minor modifications to customize it. We will see if Twenty Twelve is as successful. Twenty Twelve has already garnered some raves, some are saying that it is even a better theme for those ubiquitous mobile devices that are now so woven into our lives

BuddyPress and bbPress – Taking WordPress to a Whole New Level

Want to turn your WordPress site into a community? Or even a social network? Then you need to take a serious look at the bbPress and BuddyPress plugins

bbPress – Forums done the WordPress way

bbPress.orgWritten by the WordPress developers to power the WordPress support forums, bbPress is also the underlying technology behind the WordPress plugin repository interface and provides the forums component of BuddyPress. The integration of BuddyPress and bbPress is a work in progress but fairly functional as of this year. And as of version 2.0 (released in 2011) bbPress is now a true WordPress plugin. So if WordPress comments are not enough and you want a true forum component on your site, check out bbPress.

BuddyPress – Social Networking with WordPress

BuddyPress.orgWith BuddyPress (also now a full plugin for WordPress) you can take your WordPress site to a whole new level by turning it into a social networking community. BuddyPress brings a whole suite of capabilities to WordPress: including user profiles, a friending mechanism, groups and group based forums. While bbPress provides sitewide forums, BuddyPress provides forums that you need to be a member of a group to participate in. The group concept is very flexible and groups can be public, private and even hidden.

Examples of BuddyPress sites

At a recent meetup at Oakland coworking space: Tech Liminal. I got the opportunity to see two speakers, Ben Hansen, webmaster for gotgame.com and Eric Reynolds, developer and current community manager of oakarts.net, walk through their BuddyPress sites. GotGame.com serves the gaming community, featuring reviews and original video content. While Eric’s OSA APT Connect site is an online place for parents to come together who have children in a Oakland Performing Arts school. The two sites serve two totally different communities but both are great examples of what you can do with BuddyPress. Most of the information in this post is based on their talks, so a big thanks to Ben and Eric and to the East Bay WordPress meetup Group.

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How to create embed code for your infographic in WordPress

Stacking up to a Hoarder – storage.com

Got infographic? Although the linkbaiting with an infographic tactic has been around for while, it’s popularity shows no sign of abating. Infographics also seem tailor made to share on pinterest, a visual pin up board.

But of course we don’t want sharing limited to pinterest, our ultimate goal is to have other bloggers embed the infographic so that we build backlinks to our site. So that is where creating an embed code box comes in. Just an aside, I’m surprised to see infographics posted without these – putting the onus on me as a blogger to figure out how to embed it in my post. So why not make easy? It might get you a few more links.

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