Tag Archives: Wordpress

Google’s authorship rel=”author” markup: unfairly promoting Google+?

In June 2011 Google introduced a way for content authors to enhance the display of their articles in Google search results by associating a photo and an author byline to the result. The addition of author information in search results continues Google’s rich snippets implementation, a concept originally introduced by Yahoo as enhanced results.

In implementing authorship markup, Google said they’ve used existing standards such as the anchor and link tag attribute rel=”author” from HTML5 (in reality, rel="author" has actually been around for a while) and the XFN (XHTML Friends Network) defined attribute rel="me".

Google search result with author photo and link
Figure 1: A Google search result with authorship markup; this case includes Google+ follower count


Comparison of Google Analytics / Urchin Tracking Scripts

With the advent of Google Analytics asynchronous tracking code, many sites need to review the automatic tagging code they’re using to track items such as downloaded files and outgoing link clicks. Unfortunately Google doesn’t offer an official library for this purpose; each Google Analytics or Urchin administrator is on their own in selecting an extended tracking script.

Some of the important issues to consider

  1. How accurate is the tracking code? Will it work in all major browsers?
  2. Is the tracking code compatible with other JavaScript code in the site?
  3. Is it possible to configure downloads as either events or page views, based on file type? My general feeling is that document downloads should be configured as page views. Image or other non-document downloads should be configured as events. There are some limits using events in Google Analytics which need to be considered on a case by case basis.

SEO Session: Up Close With Google Blog Search

Google Blog Search is Google’s vertical search engine which focuses exclusively on blog content. While overall usage is probably pretty low, results from Google blog search are starting to appear in Google’s web search as part of their “Universal Search”, more generally known as blended search. Blog content can appear in Google’s standard web search independently of its presence in Google Blog Search. Google’s Chris Pennock, an Engineer with Google’s New York office, discussed how Google Blog Search works at the SMX West search conference.

Moderator: Matt McGee, Assignment Editor, Search Engine Land

Speaker: Chris Pennock, Senior Software Engineer, Blog Search, Google Inc.

Who uses Google Blog Search?

Google Blog Search is used by someone looking for more opinionated or fresher information. Users come may come from Google.com or a blogger looking for information on their own blog. (Google Blog Search also powers some of the information in the WordPress dashboard – Sean).


SEO for a Blog – All roads lead to RomeCamp 2008

One of the things that I really like about the Internet is that anyone who has a minimum of familiarity with a computer can communicate their ideas to a wide audience. Once upon a time the platform of choice was a personal site at geocities, clarence city or the like. In the meantime the blog format has emerged, a format that facilitates not only self publication but a broad exchange of ideas through visitor comments.

Embraced as well by politicians and companies, there is little doubt regarding the success of a blog as a means of modern communication. Yet there is a common misconception that I often hear:

“WordPress (the blog platform) is already optimized for search engines.”

If only!

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Enhance your blog or website with Google’s Site Search. Measure the results in Google Analytics.

You’ve done it. You’ve created a successful web site with compelling content. A loyal community of readers keeps coming back for more. SEO efforts have paid off too, with lots of traffic from Google, Yahoo!, MSN and minor search engines. Time to sit back with a fine Real Ale or a glass of Monteregio di Massa Marittima… but didn’t you forget something? Internal Site Search perhaps?

By Internal Site Search we mean a search feature on your website to allow site visitors to find what they’re looking for, using their own words.

Don’t fret, there are good reasons to deploy site search functionality and it’s relatively easy to do.


Links and Algorithms behind Blog Statistics: BlogBabel reopens.

I couldn’t help but notice the reopening of Italy’s primary blog classification service, BlogBabel. Just over a year ago I wrote about BlogBabel:

“While it is worth keeping in mind that BlogBabel’s ranking is just one measure of the importance of a particular blog, Ludo deserves kudos for the transparency in which BlogBabel’s rankings are calculated.”

Since then, the ranking factors have changed a bit. Currently BlogBabel says the following parameters are considered1:

BlogBabel Ranking FactorDescriptionWeight
Google PageRankThe “official” global weight Google assigns to a site. (Its worth noting that this is updated only once every 3-4 months and is not what Google uses internally.)1
FeedBurnerNumber of feed subscribers for blogs.0, thus not considered
Link/6Inbound links from posts on other sites, added within the last 6 months.1
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People, Internet and Enterprise Business, all without mentioning Google.

Last Wednesday I had the fortune to attend a world class conference on social behavior and technology applied to medium and large sized businesses. Not in San Francisco. Not in Boston, where I worked for 4 years. Not in Milan, even. In Varese. Right, Varese, once known more for shoe production. The conference, the International Forum on Enterprise 2.0, was held at L’Università dell’Insubria as part of their 10th anniversary celebration.

As a search marketing consultant, I was very interested in how the social web is being applied to business environments. The very intertwined nature of the web means that no web marketing project should be seen in isolation. <rant>Thanks to the kind folks at Trenitalia, who canceled my train from Tuscany at the last minute, I almost didn’t make it. Not that you’d find any news about this on their website.</rant>


9 SEO Security Tips for WordPress

In theory, this is a marketing blog, focusing on search engine optimization, web analytics and other web marketing topics. So what does WordPress security have to do with Google and SEO?

Well one downside of the extended web ecosystem is that the same idiots who jump the queue in the supermarket will try to exploit your good blog as a way to jump their way to the top of Google’s search results.

One thing is certain, you won’t be feeling very groovy if you have the misadventure of being de-listed by Google as has happened to several of my fellow blogger friends.

I’m not a WordPress security expert, and I don’t play one on TV. That said, there are a few WordPress security best practices worth considering for your WordPress installation.


Remove WordPress version information from your blog and feeds

By announcing to the world the version of WordPress you are running, you greatly simplify the work of a hacker. Peter Westwood’s post documents how to suppress output of the WordPress version number in feeds and blog posts. I’ve packaged his code in a very rudimentary WordPress plugin which will hide the version number in blog and rss feeds. The plugin only suppresses the WordPress version information automatically inserted by WordPress 2.4+.

You may still need to remove any hard coded version information in your theme. Look for a line like this:

<meta name="generator" content="WordPress <?php bloginfo('version'); ?>" /> <!-- leave this for stats -->

and remove it.


Use at your own risk.

Related post: 9 SEO Security Tips for WordPress

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