Tips this week include:
– Pinterest, Ads, and Mobile Webinar
– WordPress SEO Plugin by Yoast ver 2.1 video quick tour
– new CloudFlare Page Rules and Check Headers video tutorials
– the real truth about the new Google mobile algorithm
– how to easily create annotations in Google Analytics
– how to submit an XML Sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools video tutorial
– a new spammy crawler bot blocker plugin I’m testing
– how to block Google from accessing site search results
– a list of major plugins with an XSS vulnerability
– Chrome cutting off Java support in the next release and how that will affect ads
– why a website is not enough
– an image optimization tutorial and case study
Listen to the podcast
If you’re in a niche that depends on Pinterest and running ads on your site for monetization, you’ll definitely want to join me for this free, zero-pitch webinar.
Thursday, April 23
3:00 pm ET
Audience participation is more than welcome. We’ll be showing you the secret sauce on successful sites, like favorite Pinterest buttons and such. And we want to know which ones you like and why.
Later, I’ll be doing head to head performance and function tests on them to find out which one is really the best to use.
And yes, there will be a replay, but to get your two cents in and ask questions, you’ll want to attend live.
Delighted to have the BlogAid Tips Tuesday Podcast included on this list. Fine company to be in here. Thanks so much for the shout out +David Gray!!
Yesterday, +Yoast released ver. 2.1 of his plugin and there are some big updates, including the new Google mobile breadcrumbs instead of permalinks, and changes to Twitter and Facebook in the Social section.
I have a video tour for you on YouTube. Released it last night and didn’t even have time to make a blog post. So look for that tomorrow or Thursday with a deeper explanation of a couple of the settings, like the new Facebook ID integration.
And look for updates to at least 2 of the 7 new videos on every setting for this plugin that you can find in both the WordPress | SEO | Genesis video library as well as the Webmaster Training video library soon too.
And speaking of, yesterday I posted another new video tutorial in the Caching section of Level 4 in the Webmaster Training library. It’s for checking headers on pages. You can see info like redirects as well as whether a page is running through a CDN like CloudFlare and such.
This is addition to the 2 CloudFlare videos in that section. One for installing and configuring CloudFlare, and the other for setting up Page Rules in CloudFlare so that it doesn’t cache the login or admin pages.
I’ll be making the W3TC video soon, and that will round out the entire caching section.
That’s all that’s happening around here.
Let’s jump over to tips from around the ‘net.
Today is the day the new Google Mobile Algorithm goes into full effect. And there is so much misinformation out there about it, including downright lies.
+Ashley Berman Hale has a most excellent G+ post calling out the worst offender yet, GTxcel and putting the record straight. If you want the real skinny on what’s happening, go read this post. The whole thing may affect you far less than you realize.
But that’s for now. And you know Google is always moving the cheese on this stuff. So, don’t drag your feet in getting your site mobile friendly because stuff like this is never going away.
I want to send a big shout out to +Joshua Berg for finding this excellent post.
And +David Kutcher is another level-headed person and voice of reason you need to be following about all of this.
And, he’s the go to guy for all things Google Analytics. In this post he reminds us to make a note for ourselves right in Analytics that Google made a significant algorithm change that may affect us. He also suggests doing that any time we make major changes to our sites.
Plus, you’ll find a link in that post to ensure you’re not using duplicate tracking codes. That’s something I see in site audits now and then.
If you want to get started with Google Analytics, or you’re ready for a deeper dive, David does a free first consult via Google Helpouts. You’ll find a link for that in his post too.
Late last week I shared another video from the Webmaster Training course to the WordPress | SEO | Genesis video library, specifically, in the SEO course. It’s how to submit your XML sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools.
It’s a 2 hour course and includes:
- all of your G+ Profile settings for verifying your site and authorship
- 7 videos to properly configure the WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin
- On-page SEO
- Custom menu SEO tips
- XML Sitemap
I’m delighted to report that there is finally a plugin for those spammy backlink crawlers like SEMalt that works like Akismet does for spam comment. Well, it actually works even better than that.
It’s GM Bot Blocks and it’s a cloud-based list of those nasty crawlers. Blocks them before they ever got to your site, so no resources wasted. And, it does it all without modifying the .htaccess file.
I’ve been running it a few weeks and it stopped those crawls butt cold. And it gets us all out of the whack a mole game of manually blocking each new one.
I’m about to put it on my client’s sites near the end of the month and the reason I’m waiting is because I want to finish building up a month’s worth of stats with the blocking measures I already have in place, and then start building a new month of stats with just the plugin in place. AWStats is great for tracking this sort of thing and if you’re on a host with cPanel, then you probably have AWStats.
The other reason I’m testing it this way is to check for caveats across sites with a variety of plugins and special needs, like running ads and such. We’ll be comparing AWStats to Google Analytics, and here’s why.
Mickey Mellen, the plugin’s developer says:
“The one catch is that some of the newer bots ping Google directly with your Analytics number, and never actually visit your site, making plugins like this (as well as htaccess rules or anything else on your site) worthless. Hopefully Google will find a solution for that.”
I’m in direct contact with Mickey and I’ll be sharing my test results with him and with my Webmaster Level 5 members.
And, I’m feeding Mickey all of the new spammy bot crawlers I see during site audits too, so he can add them to the database.
I’ll keep you posted on whether this turns out to be a plugin that all site owners should add.
Because more site owners are doing such a good job of blocking easy ways for spammy backlinks, the hackers are getting more creative every day.
Now they are going after the Google Custom Search feature that you can embed on your site. So, if you’re using that via a plugin or hard-coded embed, you definitely want to read this post by Amit on his Digital Inspiration blog and see the little lines of code he placed in his robots.txt file to block those bots.
How ironic that the very sort of XSS vulnerability the plugin is supposed to protect from has it in their own code.
And it’s not the only one. A list of about 13 big name plugins came out yesterday that have this vulnerability. Most of them were fixed before an instance of it was ever exploited in the wild. The truth is, there are actually about 50-60 plugins that have this issue, or maybe more. I’ve lost count over the past 5-6 months this has been going on.
The bottom line is, keep your plugins and themes updated. And keep good backups stored off site that you know how to restore. I’ve taken to doing daily full backups at this point.
Huge news for those who run ads and plugins that depend on Java. Chrome will be permanently blocking Java starting with the latest release of Chrome 42 and all support for it will be killed off completely by September.
Instead of an ad or plugin function appearing, a notice to install or update Java will appear.
I haven’t run Java on my computer for a couple of years due to all of the security issues with it. And talk of cutting off support for it in browsers has been ongoing since 2013 too.
Finally, Chrome has drawn the line on it.
So be sure to check your sites in Chrome when the new release comes out and find a non Java way to replace whatever’s broken.
And be sure to come to that Pinterest, Ads, and Mobile Webinar on Thursday too. We’ll be talking about this.
Content Marketing Tips
I haven’t even had a minute to listen to this podcast, but I’m going to this week. It’s from Joe Pulizzi on the Content Marketing Institute podcast.
The headline news they cover is LinkedIn acquiring the video tutorial site, Lynda.com.
But the news I’m most interested in is what they have to say about half way through the show in a section called “The rise of community media and why social networks don’t work.”
+Denise Wakeman doesn’t rant much. But this frustration is spot on. The link I have in the show notes is to her G+ post with the backstory of where this rant originated. Both are worth the read.
You have to have a great site as the core hub of your online presence. But, you also have to promote it. Listen to Denise and do what she says here.
And then listen to the Successful Site interview I did with her just a few weeks ago.
Denise has been at this since the late 90s and has a unique perspective on how things have changed online. And she stays leading edge because she rolls with those changes. And, she tells us what’s working now, what’s not, and what she would do differently if she were starting out today.
During a recent Webmaster webinar I challenged +Mary Iannotti to expand her image optimization tests and share them with us. Wow, did she ever come through with a fab post. This is a must read and do! It’s a tutorial plus case study data to back up how much it improves page load time.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday. Thanks for subscribing on iTunes, and for giving this show a rating and review. I really appreciate it. And do drop by and say hey over on my Google+ page too. That’s where I hang out. Be sure to visit BlogAid.net for more tips and resources and I’ll see you online.