Marketing Strategy Geek - Andy Beard » themes http://andybeard.eu Internet Marketing, Lead Acquisition, Online Business Strategy and Social Media with Original Opinion and Loads of Attitude Wed, 01 Oct 2014 18:21:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Creative Commons Images With WordPress Themes & Plugins http://andybeard.eu/2738/creative-commons-wordpress-themes.html http://andybeard.eu/2738/creative-commons-wordpress-themes.html#comments Wed, 28 Jul 2010 11:21:17 +0000 http://andybeard.eu/?p=2738 I thought for completeness I would throw out some quick notes on the creative commons and how it relates to both GPL and proprietary WordPress theme licenses.

I am not a lawyer, this isn’t legal advice, and I am trying to make this “non-specific” to any particular theme because it affects users of themes, not just the theme authors.

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I thought for completeness I would throw out some quick notes on the creative commons and how it relates to both GPL and proprietary WordPress theme licenses.

I am not a lawyer, this isn’t legal advice, and I am trying to make this “non-specific” to any particular theme because it affects users of themes, not just the theme authors.

The Difference Between GPL & Creative Commons

The primary difference between the GPL & the least restrictive Creative Commons licenses (such as SA – share alike) is that the GPL is aimed at programmers, and the Creative Commons is intended for various forms of art.

The GPL comes into play based upon distribution

Creative Commons covers distribution, but also covers performance, as art can normally be seen or heard.

In the recent WordPress GPL discussions, it was clearly stated by people involved with developing WordPress core that they have no issues with end users, as they are not distributing code.

This wouldn’t be the case of copyright infringement involving the Creative Commons and art which ends up being displayed.

Creative Commons make it pretty clear that their license isn’t intended for software pointing out that they have no distinction between source code and object code.

WordPress Theme Directory

If you use Creative Commons artwork within a theme, it doesn’t qualify for the WordPress Theme directory. It is impossible for such a theme to be 100% GPL because Creative Commons placs restrictions on users in how they can display the artwork.

The only person who can change the license for a particular item licensed Creative Commons is the copyright holder.

Specific Example: FamFamFam Icons

FamFamFam icons are highly popular for good reason, as many of them are 100% free to use.

The Mini set is licensed as public domain

FamFamFam mini icons

These can be used in WordPress themes and plugins with no licensing issues as you can use 100% GPL. You might still add a credit in your license, but there isn’t a GPL compatibility problem.

The flags are licensed as public domain

FamFamFam Flag icons

These can be used in WordPress themes and plugins with no licensing issues as you can use 100% GPL. You might still add a credit in your license, but there isn’t a GPL compatibility problem.
All the translation plugins use these with no issues.

The “Silk” icons are licensed as Creative Commons 2.5 or 3.0

famfamfam icons
If you click the image you can see the full set of 1000 icons which are free to use, even comercially.

These icons can’t be used for themes submitted to the WordPress repository, because only the copyright holder could make that assignment.

The fun scenario is the RSS feed icon – whilst it is generally free to use, Mozilla do have some specific guideance for use, thus it isn’t strictly public domain. The icon provided by the Feed Icon site that is similar is 14×14 – they also have 12×12 in various colours.

Within the dev pack from the Feed Icons site there is a 16x16x32 RSS icon that is 734 bytes
feed.png from the FamFamFam “Silk” set is 691 bytes

However there is also a very clear visible difference which you can see when you load the icons into an image editor.

These are reasons why the RSS icon isn’t part of the free mini pack, but can be included in the Silk pack under the creative commons license and if you use the FamFamFam version of the feed icon, you are bound by that license.

You could use them with a GPL theme with a split license

If you have a split license theme, the FamFamFam icons have to remain Creative Commons 2.5 or 3.0 – you can’t place them under your own proprietary license.

Remember Creative Commons covers display, so people using your themes are also bound by the license restrictions, thus in the case of FamFamFam I believe the requirements are that you provide a credit notification and link, though it is even stated that doesn’t have to be a sitewide link.

This means you may use it for any purpose, and make any changes you like. All I ask is that you include a link back to this page in your credits (although a giant link on every page of your website really isn’t needed, contact me to discuss specifics).

It is possible for commercial projects that Mark James, the author of the icon set would be willing to waive the license requirements for customers, but that would require specific licensing, and even then he would still own the copyright of verbatim copies.

If you are using a theme which has icons from the “Silk” icon set, you need to have a credit link somewhere unless you have specific notification that the icons have in some way been licensed such that you are excluded from this requirement.

I am not playing license police today as this affects not only theme authors but also their users, plus I am not sure how far Mark would want to press the license of his version of the feed icon which is the most common issue, but certainly not the only one.

If you are a theme author and discover this is an issue, make sure you own up about it in public, on your primary website, and give Mark some links.

Fuge Icons

There are some huge similarities between the FamFamFam Silk icon set, and the Fuge Icon set – however from what I can see they are different.
There are details of license options provided as an alternative to the creative commons license, but that doesn’t allow for sub-licensing.

Note: I realise there is a way to (ab)use this with both free & commercial themes to force attribution links, but you wouldn’t be able to tie that to specific PHP that is GPL licensed. An interesting paradigm.

Update

Joi Ito on the board of Creative Commons and yesterday wrote about the worrying trend of non-standard licenses. One thing I would like with CC licenses is a very clear definition of what a copyright owner looks on as commercial use. In many case no commercial use might prevent reasonable use by the primary intended audience.

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Thesis vs WordPress GPL http://andybeard.eu/2701/wordpress-thesis.html http://andybeard.eu/2701/wordpress-thesis.html#comments Thu, 15 Jul 2010 11:55:13 +0000 http://andybeard.eu/?p=2701 Thesis Pissing In the WordPress Well?

I am going to prepend this by saying up front that I typically disagree with Matt Mullenweg on many decisions

  • The WordPress Trademark issue still isn’t clear almost 4 years on, it isn’t policed, the logo for WordPress doesn’t contain the expected ® symbol, there should probably be a statement on all sites that use it, even the ones owned by Automattic, and it should be 100% clear that it is owned by the WordPress Foundation.

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Thesis Pissing In the WordPress Well?

I am going to prepend this by saying up front that I typically disagree with Matt Mullenweg on many decisions

  • The WordPress Trademark issue still isn’t clear almost 4 years on, it isn’t policed, the logo for WordPress doesn’t contain the expected ® symbol, there should probably be a statement on all sites that use it, even the ones owned by Automattic, and it should be 100% clear that it is owned by the WordPress Foundation.
  • To be 100% transparent I have to mention andybeard.wordpress.com has been dead since beta, banned for breaking a terms of service that didn’t exist for months after I was banned (and all I was doing was debugging a xml-rpc bug)
  • I have ranted a little about various SEO issues with WordPress.com
  • I have also pointed out various interesting commercial decisions including partnership choices (keep it in the family)
    Akismet… I have had a few disagreeable words about that as well

To balance that I am not a massive fan of WordPress SEO Themes that claim they do things better than existing plugins. In some ways Thesis in particular was worse than Kubrick for 18 months (up until 1.7 when they supposedly fixed meta nofollow noindex).

As well as lots of back and forth comments on Twitter between Chris Pearson & Matt Mullenweg that were entertaining onlookers on Twitter last night, we also have this interview by Mixergy.

There is also this short version on DigWP for those that don’t have much time, but it doesn’t reference the legality of blow jobs.
(note: they were asked like many others in the WP community not to use WordPress in their domain)

My own short version is that Chris thinks he should be allowed to license his software any way he pleases.

But he is overlooking something

WordPress was a fork of B2 and has existed on its own for 7 years.

I doubt there is any code from B2 left, but if there is, it would be easily replaced.

Chris’ whole arguement hinges around his interpretation of the GPL license rather than the interpretation that seems to be prevalent & understood by the vast majority of the WordPress core developers.

Chris can only argue with the letter of the law.. the written license.

Morally that stamps all over the frequently stated intent and expressed interpretation of the GPL v2 license used by WordPress & the core developers.

I am saying prevalent… not universal… there have always been a few people who are smart coders who have worked out legal ways around the GPL, but this is mainly using duel licenses & proprietary classes, or filtering the full output thus not using any WordPress specific functionality.

Chris’ arguments seem to stem around the core WordPress code base, which is already being picked apart.
It will get even more interesting if you compare to the whole code base of the plugin repository. There is very little if any functionality in Thesis that wasn’t present in some capacity before Thesis existed, maybe other than the big save button.

No Need To Use The Legal Stick

There has been suggestions that Matt Mullenweg might take legal action… I don’t think that is needed.

This is what I would do (I am an evil bastard)

  • I would create a list of every Thesis function name, and search the whole of the plugin database. Any mention of any of those function names, even just a check to see if it exists, delete/ban the plugin. Plugins in the repository shouldn’t make use of proprietary 3rd party functions, or data structures.
    This would of course affect things like Scribe SEO and lots of plugins dedicated for use with Thesis.
    Only 32 plugins of 10K+ even mention Thesis in their description, so it isn’t a huge loss. You might catch a few people promoting Thesis affiliate links as well.
  • Thesis is meant to provide support, not the WordPress forums, so all discussions regarding Thesis should be banned on the WordPress support forums. If for some reason there is an issue of Thesis with another plugin, that is obviously a problem with Thesis… as Thesis doesn’t interact with WordPress code.
  • I think anyone using Thesis is using WordPress commercially, or would be very clearly a non-profit. It would be very easy to check all websites that use Akismet, and if any of them are using Thesis but haven’t purchased a license sufficient with their use to use Akismet, Akismet should be switched off.
    (note: I am also not a fan of Akismet or any kind of collective intelligence for comment spam, but all is fair in love & war)
  • Vaultpress – you wouldn’t want the risk of breaking any Thesis copyright, so obviously Vaultpress shouldn’t be useable with any site using Thesis.
  • Pingomatic – isn’t Thesis a keyword associated with spam and copyright violation?
  • Extend Code Poet crackdown – if you are serious on your CodePoet crackdown, I would do the same with the plugin & theme directory. It would be very easy to take a list of every plugin or theme author, and then perform a site search of every domain of Thesis promotion.

I am looked on as a SEO – SEOs are frequently looked on as “pissing in the well” though most don’t – I am not a fan of comment spam etc.
I am a marketer… I am not a fan of email spam though I know there are legal loopholes that are exploited by spammers.

If the DiyThemes people can’t come up with a way to dual license so that any code that interacts with WordPress is GPL, they are pissing in the “WordPress well” – doing something that it seems the majority of core developers don’t agree with.

In my arguments above the literal interpretation of the GPL doesn’t really matter – what matters is how the core WordPress developers wish for it to be interpreted.

That doesn’t mean I like that interpretation, it doesn’t mean I can stop using plugins/themes that might not comply… as in some situations I don’t have much of a choice, but where I have a choice I know the right decision to make.

P.S. I don’t think this has anything to do with the Thesis distribution servers being hacked.

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A Geeky Look & Some Simple Solutions To Achieving First Link Priority & Referential Integrity With WordPress (Or Why WordPress SEO Themes Aren’t) http://andybeard.eu/1605/wordpress-seo-themes.html http://andybeard.eu/1605/wordpress-seo-themes.html#comments Thu, 21 May 2009 16:24:30 +0000 http://andybeard.eu/?p=1605 Think buying a custom premium WordPress SEO theme will give you perfect SEO? Think again…

I don’t think there is one “premium” WordPress Theme that doesn’t claim to be perfect for SEO “out-of-the-box”, so I thought I would bash some theme developer heads around and maybe knock some sense into them.

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Think buying a custom premium WordPress SEO theme will give you perfect SEO? Think again…

I don’t think there is one “premium” WordPress Theme that doesn’t claim to be perfect for SEO “out-of-the-box”, so I thought I would bash some theme developer heads around and maybe knock some sense into them.

They might achieve 50:50 of what could be expected of a true SEO theme (though I haven’t seen the latest Semiologic Pro out in the wild), and potentially with the aid of 3rd party plugins currently available, they could reach 80:20.
However most claim they don’t need 3rd party plugins to achieve their eminence in WordPress SEO

That doesn’t leave WordPress SEO plugins off the hook, there isn’t one plugin that gets beyond 60:40 or with some tweeking possibly 70:30, depending on what factors you feel are important, or are aware of.

Awareness is certainly one of the problems…

First Link Priority

First link priority is something that was first raised as a concern at the end of 2007 in a number of tests carried out by Michael VanDeMar.

You May Be Screwing Yourself With Hyperlinked Headers

Single Source Page Link Test Using Multiple Links With Varying Anchor Text – Part Two

In mid-2008 there was continued discussion at SEOmoz, it was debunked by SEO CO, and “re-bunked” by SEO Scientist

Shaun also did some testing in October 2008 on first link for internal links.

Michael followed up with even more testing in November

Now around mid-August 2008 Stompernet were also starting to ramp up the launch of their new premium SEO training product, Stomping the Search Engines 2.

This product actually has some very personal history, as I was first expecting it to launch… in 2005 – I was pretty much a newbie online marketer, intrigued by SEO and blogging (I was already into internal linking in a big way) and approached Andy Jenkins to see if I could blag an early review copy.

That version never materialized, but I belive became a cornerstone of their coaching program and eventually Stompernet.

In Stomping the Search Engines 2.0, Module 4 Session 4C, Leslie Rohde talks about a concept called First Link Priority. This training occurs at 4 minutes and 9 seconds into the video.

stse2-first-link-priority

Grab the 7 Deadly SEO Mistakes Course to learn more about First Link Priority

I don’t know how much Stompernet have tested this, exactly when they started their testing, or when they made this information available to their members, but lets give Michael VanDeMar the benefit of the doubt as the first person testing this, and Stompernet were probably testing this early 2008.

I have always stated you want the content first, before any navigation, but had assumed a nofollowed link wouldn’t be counted. For a long time I was using a nofollow link in my header, and many of the blog posts above came during my “blogging break”.

Now open a new tab in your browser, and visit a few blogs running premium WordPress themes that supposedly are “Perfect” for SEO, and have everything covered, and many are even heavily promoted by notable people in the SEO community.

There are 2 things you will notice:-

  1. If they have some kind of header navigation, it appears in the source code before the content
  2. Many of them use a home link at the beginning of the navigation, and some even nofollow the link in a vain attempt to stop the link counting for both juice and anchor text.
  3. If you look at the source code, you will find they are still using SEO plugins of various types.

If you know what you are doing with CSS, you can have top navigation appear even in the source code for the footer of your theme.

Referential Integrity

I must admit the first time I heard the term “referential integrity” in connection with SEO was in a free Stompernet video which you can gain access to just for joining their mailing list, as part of their 7 Deadly SEO Mistakes series. It is a term normally asociated with databases, though I can understand why Leslie “borrowed” the term.

I loath explaining things in depth when someone else has already done an excellent job, thus I strongly recommend you sign up, as Leslie does a great job of explaining an “emergent property” that isn’t on any patents.

Grab the 7 Deadly SEO Mistakes Course to learn more about referential integrity

Grab the 7 Deadly SEO Mistakes Course to learn more about referential integrity

One major factor explained in Leslie’s video is what you say your own pages are about, not just the on-page factors, but also how you reference your own pages.

As “pagerank sculpting” was the big SEO topic of 2008 (something Leslie first taught in 2004), we could look on this as “keyword sculpting” or “topic sculpting” – please understand this isn’t exactly the same as siloing – very close cousins but not the same.

In many ways “topic sculpting” is repairing the damage caused by lazy webmasers using modern content management systems, pumping out content pages and internal navigation on auto-pilot, and only really caring about the links they received from external sources, often resorting to search engine spamming to gain referrential links with the anchor text they required.

That however is only the “confirmation” element in the above screenshot.

Definitions

Just to avoid confusion, I want to define the following terms

  • Entry Title – The title you add in the text entry field above the visual editor in WordPress, that is then used in various WordPress functions to create default slugs, the “Entry Title” DIV on Posts and Pages, and is also used in wp_list_pages(), wp_list_posts() and even the default meta titles.
  • Meta Title – this is the title that appears in the header of each page, and appears as the title in Google search results. Sometimes this is confusingly labelled as “page title” within WordPress SEO plugins.
  • Short Title – A title that can be used as anchor text for navigation elements that is optimized for passing of internal reputaion or anchor text to the destination page.

I should also point out that the idea of Short Text isn’t new, other CMS solutions have had this feature for years, and the ModX community use it as a key unique selling point of why ModX might be better than WordPress.

WordPress Pages – Topic Sculpting

You have always had the ability to precisely define the anchor text of WordPress pages, simply by creating your navigation menus manually with a little HTML directly in your theme files, or using a text widget.

By Default if you use a widget or theme using wp_list_page() then the link anchor text will be the Entry Title for the page.

Some work has been done to optimize the anchor text pointing at WordPress pages – the Thesis theme has recently introduced ways to define specific anchor text, and there are existing WordPress plugins that achieve the same functionality, or possibly with more flexibility such as Page Lists Plus by Tim Holt.

Page Links Plus allows you to define the anchor text used for links to WordPress Pages

Page Links Plus allows you to define the anchor text used for links to WordPress Pages

This still isn’t a perfect solution:-

  • You might want to use multiple widgets contain 7 links plus or minus 3 (this would be a concept familiar to you if you have watched a previous Stompernet video series, and downloaded the Stompernet Scrutinizer)
  • You will probably want different sets of links or widgets appearing on different pages – there are some clunky solutions available, maybe things will improve with WordPress 2.8
  • If you are a geek interested in optimizing your conversion, you might even want to split test things – with the way I have created my split test code for WordPress, I can actually split test different widgets on the page, removal of widgets etc.

WordPress Posts Topic Sculpting

With WordPress posts, things become a lot more complicated, though the hardest part was realising it is a problem that needs to be fixed.

I have deliberately created the Entry Title for this post extremely long – you will see post titles used of various lengths on blogs. General advice from SEOs is to ensure you have keywords somewhere near the beginning as it was historically thought that the position of the keywords in links, headings and meta titles matters.

Shaun actually narrowed down the maximum length for anchor text to 55 characters last year.

Based upon my Entry Title, that would mean my anchor text for this post would be:-

“A Geeky Look & Some Simple Solutions To Achieving First”

Sucks doesn’t it?

But with a standard WordPress installation, using conventional blogging techniques, even using premium SEO optimized themes, that is the crap anchor text you end up with.

Yes I am using slightly crude terminology, but when I was at college studying engineering, we had a technical term for the material that Lada engine blocks were made out of… crapite.

WordPress could be likened to a Lada

WordPress could be likened to a Lada

Lada – Credit

A Lada can get you from A to B – technologically fairly simple, but an enthusiast can tinker with the engine, add “go faster” stripes, and get some performance out of it.

In many ways WordPress is similar

WordPress Post Anchor Text Usage

To understand all the complexities of title use in WordPress, you have to know where they can potentially be used, baring in mind the purpose for the links.

How Different Titles Are Typically Used In WordPress

How Different Titles Are Typically Used In WordPress

(I created a nice, compliant XHTML table in Seamonkey composer, but WordPress without plugins hates tables)

The Simple Solution

Whilst everything above might seem extremely complex, there is in fact a very simple solution that can be used with almost every theme, without modification, other than a radically different approach to CSS styling and conventional post entry.

However this approach requires that you through aside any misconceptions that might have been falsely hammered into you that content is king, and you don’t really need to think about SEO, just create great content.

You need to think like an SEO & Marketer… just a little

Got it? Great!
simple-solution
Please forgive me, I really couldn’t resist using a provocative title in the example.

You don’t have to be quite so bold with your headline.

Your Entry Title would still ideally be H1 on single pages, and H2 on navigation pages, but styled to be a lot less conspicuous.

This method effectively forces you to use custom excerpts with HTML, otherwise you are not going to have much of anything to encourage clicks.

The Geeky Solution

There are plenty of intermediate solutions, many using custom fields, modified themes etc.

This is the personal solution I am currently using on Andybeard.eu

This is rough code… there are some CSS problems in Internet Explorer resulting in links being hidden, I am only currently handling navigation links from the home page and various archives, and I still need to add some simple code to check whether the Headspace WordPress SEO plugin is installed.

Here is the end result:-

Geeky solution to First Link Priority & Referential Integrity With WordPress

Geeky solution to First Link Priority & Referential Integrity With WordPress

Headspace allows you to define custom meta data for each post, that then gives you a text entry box along with other SEO data entry fields.

This is actually vital for work-flow, having all the options you need to think about within a single panel, and because Headspace is a framework with plugin modules, it is possible to simplify the interface to only include the items you need, and then hide other functions behind the “advanced” link.

The Headspace WordPress SEO Plugin allows you to add custom meta entry fields that can be used in themes directly, or using filters

The Headspace WordPress SEO Plugin allows you to add custom meta entry fields that can be used in themes directly, or using filters

Here is some code to play with, taken straight from my functions.php of the child theme I use with the Thematic theme framework.

<?php
// Information in Post Header TOTAL REPLACEMENT
function gwo_thematic_postheader() {
    global $id, $post, $authordata;
    
    // Create $posteditlink    
    $posteditlink .= '<a href="' . get_bloginfo('wpurl') . '/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&amp;post=' . $id;
    $posteditlink .= '" title="' . __('Edit post', 'thematic') .'">';
    $posteditlink .= __('Edit', 'thematic') . '</a>';
    $posteditlink = apply_filters('thematic_postheader_posteditlink',$posteditlink); 

    
    if (is_page()) {
        $posttitle = '<script type="text/javascript">utmx_section("PostHeader")</script>' . '<h1 class="entry-title">' . get_the_title() . '</h1>' . '</noscript>' . "\n";
	} elseif (is_single()) {
        $posttitle = '<h1 class="entry-title">' . get_the_title() . "</h1>\n";	
    } elseif (is_404()) {    
        $posttitle = '<h1 class="entry-title">' . __('Not Found', 'thematic') . "</h1>\n";
    } else {

$shortie = MetaData::get_custom ('shorttitle');
	if ($shortie == '') {
		$shortie = MetaData::get_page_title ($post->ID);
	}
	if ($shortie != '') {

        $shortlink = get_permalink();

		$shorttitle .= '<<a href="';
        $shorttitle .= $shortlink;
        $shorttitle .= '" title="';
        $shorttitle .= __('Permalink to ', 'thematic') . the_title_attribute('echo=0');
        $shorttitle .= '" rel="bookmark">';
        $shorttitle .= $shortie;   
        $shorttitle .= "</a>\n";

// Open Div For Our Shortlink Tab
		$posttitle .= '<div class="short-tab">' . "\n";
// For IE
        $posttitle .= '<div class="tab-canv">';
        $posttitle .= $shorttitle;
        $posttitle .= '</div>' . "\n";
// End IE
// For All other browsers (SVG Object)
        $posttitle .= '<![if !IE]>' . "\n";
        $posttitle .= '<object class="tab-obj" type="image/svg+xml" data="data:image/svg+xml,<svg xmlns=\'http://www.w3.org/2000/svg\' xmlns:xlink=\'http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink\'><a xlink:href=\'' . $shortlink . '\' target=\'new\'><text text-anchor=\'end\' padding-top=\'10\' x=\'-10\' y=\'20\' font-family=\'Tahoma\' font-size=\'18\' transform=\'rotate(-90)\' text-rendering=\'optimizeSpeed\' fill=\'#888\'>' . $shortie . '</text></a></svg>">' . "\n";

// Fallback Old Browsers
        $posttitle .= '<div class="tab-old_canv">' . "\n";
        $posttitle .= $shorttitle . "\n";
        $posttitle .= '</div>' . "\n";
// End Fallback
        $posttitle .= '</object>' . "\n";
        $posttitle .= '<![endif]>' . "\n";
// End For All other browsers
        $posttitle .= '</div>' . "\n";


} 	
	$posttitle .= '<h2 class="entry-title"><a href="';
        $posttitle .= get_permalink();
        $posttitle .= '" title="';
        $posttitle .= __('Permalink to ', 'thematic') . the_title_attribute('echo=0');
        $posttitle .= '" rel="bookmark">';
        $posttitle .= get_the_title();   
        $posttitle .= "</a></h2>\n";
    }
    $posttitle = apply_filters('thematic_postheader_posttitle',$posttitle); 
    
    $postmeta = '<div class="entry-meta">';
    // $postmeta .= '<span class="author vcard">';
    // $postmeta .= __('By ', 'thematic') . '<a class="url fn n" href="';
    // $postmeta .= get_author_link(false, $authordata->ID, $authordata->user_nicename);
    // $postmeta .= '" title="' . __('View all posts by ', 'thematic') . get_the_author() . '">';
    // $postmeta .= get_the_author();
    // $postmeta .= '</a></span><span class="meta-sep"> | </span>';
    // $postmeta .= __('Published: ', 'thematic');
    // $postmeta .= '<span class="entry-date"><abbr class="published" title="';
    // $postmeta .= get_the_time(thematic_time_title()) . '">';
    // $postmeta .= get_the_time(thematic_time_display());
    // $postmeta .= '</abbr></span>';
    // Display edit link
    if (current_user_can('edit_posts')) {
        $postmeta .= ' <span class="meta-sep">|</span> ' . $posteditlink;
    }               
    $postmeta .= "</div><!-- .entry-meta -->\n";
    $postmeta = apply_filters('thematic_postheader_postmeta',$postmeta); 

    
    if ($post->post_type == 'page' || is_404()) {
        $postheader = $posttitle;        
    } else {
        $postheader = $posttitle . $postmeta;    
    }
    
	echo apply_filters( 'gwo_thematic_postheader', $postheader ); // Filter to override default post header
}
add_filter('thematic_postheader', 'gwo_thematic_postheader');
?>

The modified section (for first link priority and referential integrity) is commented in the code (Begin / End Shortie Code)

The logic is fairly simple:-

  1. If short title is defined, use it
  2. If there isn’t a short title, but a meta title is defined, use that instead
  3. Otherwise don’t display a short title at all and stick with the original entry title as the first link and anchor text.

I will repeat, the code is rough, and if the Headspace plugin is currently switched off, it will break your blog.

I used SFV Object, you could also use SIFR to replace and style text, or custom images that somehow dynamically style the text link, though make it relevant to the text link and article, and maybe use GD Library to add a text caption.

Here is the CSS I am currently using. It is broken in WordPress in Internet Explorer, at least using The Thematic Framework, though works in isolation on some simple test HTML.

html>body .tab-canv { display: none }
html>body .tab-obj  { display: block }
.home #content .post {margin:0 0 0 40px;}
.archive #content   {margin:0 0 0 40px;}
.tab-canv, .tab-obj { height:300px; width:30px; }
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Please make sure you check out The 7 Deadly SEO Mistakes from Stompernet – learn your SEO from the source

Special Note: This is the kind of content I will be preparing for private member access soon, and at least some of this content once I have refined the code a little, will be removed from the public.

Please check out the follow-on post in this series

Is Stompernet Wrong About First Link Priority?

As well as offering an alternative opinion about first link priority, you will learn how to run your own SEO experiments.

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Viral Marketing Safeguards http://andybeard.eu/1333/viral-marketing-safeguards.html http://andybeard.eu/1333/viral-marketing-safeguards.html#comments Fri, 18 Apr 2008 11:57:00 +0000 http://andybeard.eu/2008/04/viral-marketing-safeguards.html
  • Did your site get banned from Google because of viral widgets?
  • Has Technorati banned your blog because of WordPress theme spam in their index
  • Do the links in your viral ebooks now point to an affiliate program or landing page that no longer exists?
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  • Did your site get banned from Google because of viral widgets?
  • Has Technorati banned your blog because of WordPress theme spam in their index
  • Do the links in your viral ebooks now point to an affiliate program or landing page that no longer exists?
  • Did you recommend a web host that is no longer a good choice?
  • I would even extend that to buying any form of paid link or sponsored review, and possibly also links from directories, social networks, blog commenting etc.

    Last June I provided a very simple guide to avoid being banned from Technorati but the same principle applies to many forms of viral marketing where you lose control of the content once it is introduced into the wild.

    You need to be using tracking links, redirects, subdomains or even registering domain for the special purpose of ensuring that you have full control of where a user ends up when they click a link, whether it is next week, next month, or next year.

    The same applies for search engines.

    If you use links pointing to the root of your primary domain

    • You can’t remove those links if you get hit with a penalty
    • You can’t accurately track traffic from those links
    • You can’t split test different landing pages for that traffic source
    • If you decide to split your assets, or even sell part of them, you might need to change landing pages, even pointing them to a different domain.

    It is easy to claim that Technorati should fix their algorithms to discount themes and blogroll links, or that Google should come clean about exactly what they allow with viral linkbait, but a lot of control lies in the hands of the creator of the viral linkbait, if they are smart enough to use it.

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    Sphinn Greatest Hits – Could The #1 Be Some Useful Content? http://andybeard.eu/969/sphinn-greatest-hits.html http://andybeard.eu/969/sphinn-greatest-hits.html#comments Fri, 31 Aug 2007 14:38:00 +0000 http://andybeard.eu/2007/08/sphinn-greatest-hits.html John Andrews currently has the top rated article on Sphinn with a truly brilliant display of link baiting and social media awareness.

    I am not sure I am going to be able to knock him off the top spot, and this very post will probably gain him a few more votes, but I would like to think that one of my older articles could at least be a contender.

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    John Andrews currently has the top rated article on Sphinn with a truly brilliant display of link baiting and social media awareness.

    I am not sure I am going to be able to knock him off the top spot, and this very post will probably gain him a few more votes, but I would like to think that one of my older articles could at least be a contender.

    If This Content Is So Good, Why Hasn’t It Been Submitted Before?

    There are a number of reasons why my old post on WordPress SEO and Dynamic Linking might not have been submitted by anyone in the past, and I think it is important to elaborate.

    • The post in question was originally written in June, thus it pre-dates Sphinn – Danny doesn’t mind older content being submitted as long as it adds something of value.
    • It was written as a Paid Post – I am sure some people are shuddering already, and others might just have a little gleam in their eyes – after all what better way to emphasise a point about some paid content and links being of high value than to have it highly rated on Sphinn
    • Sphinn Might Not Accept a Paid Post – This is one reason I personally didn’t submit it sooner, because I respect the wishes of the admins, as well as the community. I asked Danny in a comment on Sphinn and I have taken his reply to mean that this submission would be acceptable.
    • I was unsure of the “current climate” regarding paid links – I think in part SES San Jose has brought even some of the most white hat SEOs to question Google’s stance, and whilst Google’s stance is like a rock against a storm tide, hopefully… eventually… we will have some clarification on some of the more grey areas.
    • The article was a load of junk? – no one has given me that reaction so far in the comments, or the other correspondence I have had about the article – the article also generated a lot of consulting enquiries which I turned down or have yet to progress to the next stage
    • The content wasn’t original – whilst I reference other people fairly often, it is never without my own opinion, and in this case I think most SEOs think “siloing” is advanced linking structures – this article goes well beyond siloing

    Gaming Sphinn?

    Of course not…

    I am just making my readers aware that I have submitted an article they might have enjoyed or even been tempted themselves to submit to Sphinn, if it wasn’t for the “stigma” of it being a paid post that might damage their reputation in some way.

    Want to Make A Statement?

    This might be one way of doing it…

    Matt Cutts reads Sphinn, at least occasionally.

    So do a lot of people who don’t fully understand the arguments frequently raised by SEOs about paid links, and services such as ReviewMe, Sponsored Reviews and PayPerPost

    This post in particular I feel highlights something wrong with Google’s arguments and I am quite happy to provide it as an example (many people would be scared to do so)

    Won’t Google Discount The Links?

    All links within the site review were given editorially. The PPP interface doesn’t really provide for this, but it was negotiated before acceptance and I have documentary proof though it is private communication.

    It Looks Like Google Have Already Discounted The Links

    Google Backlink check on Emonetized

    I should note at this time that the review was a one off “contract” and thus I am not receiving any monetary compensation for the links in this article.

    Tim has just started a series on finding niches which I am sure many of my readers will enjoy

    That also proves that Tim’s blog is in the same area of topical authority, it is natural for me to be linking to him, and all the links are relevant.

    Tim was honestly giving me a little compensation for the time I spent on a review.

    Unfortunately it is impossible to prove whether my links to Tim really pass some Google Juice or not, because Google’s link: command doesn’t provide all the results, and might even skip some of the most relevant.
    SEO Round Table highlighted today a few ways to check if links pass value – I have checked a number of my other links to other people and have seen my links credited. My WordPress SEO article has received a fair number of incoming links, and I have linked to it multiple times from pages that received links.

    It was also syndicated in full and listed as the feature article on Searchnewz.com (note – I didn’t give a followed link to my syndicated article, although it is syndicated with my blessing)

    Using Nofollow To Control Juice?

    Matt seems to say that using nofollow to control Google Juice is ok, as long as you don’t orphan content.

    Voting

    I really don’t want this post submitted, despite the fact it might have evidence (though inconclusive) that Google are discounting some links they probably shouldn’t.

    However if you liked my old post “WordPress SEO Masterclass For Competitive Niches” I would appreciate a vote on Sphinn, whether you thought it was great content, or because you want to highlight to Google that some paid content can be great, and the links editorial.

    If you think it is junk, tell me so in the comments on that post, and give me some better examples.

    Obviously I could just change the permalink to bring it to the front page and give it a little more attention, but I am saving that for a future test on Google’s algorithms

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    WordPress Plugin: Nofollow Those Dupes (WordPress SEO Masterclass Continued) http://andybeard.eu/927/wordpress-seo-plugin.html http://andybeard.eu/927/wordpress-seo-plugin.html#comments Sat, 04 Aug 2007 12:00:33 +0000 http://andybeard.eu/2007/08/wordpress-seo-plugin.html This is a continuation of my WordPress Search Engine Optimization Masterclass. It is really the one missing component, other than a complete theme with everything built in, to achieve the linking structures I described in my previous article.

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    This is a continuation of my WordPress Search Engine Optimization Masterclass. It is really the one missing component, other than a complete theme with everything built in, to achieve the linking structures I described in my previous article.

    Sandcastles With Perimeter Wall Site Structure

    Sandcastles Theme

    I am still playing around with my Sandcastles Theme on a test site (based upon Sandbox) – it will be released fairly soon, but not until I have this site moved over onto new servers.

    I thought I would release this now so that those who don’t want to work with a modified Sandbox theme are free to use it, and most people can probably gain some benefit from it anyway, as it will reduce external links on duplicate content pages without having to block them.

    Pagerank is based upon pages and relevant links – if you can make all those duplicate content pages unique, and prevent them from leaking too much Google Juice, they are actually useful content for your readers, and you can benefit from having them indexed.

    Here are the full release notes for NoFollow Those Dupes, and a direct download link for those chomping at the bit.

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    WordPress Sponsored Themes – How To Game The System http://andybeard.eu/914/wordpress-sponsored-themes-how-to-game-the-system.html http://andybeard.eu/914/wordpress-sponsored-themes-how-to-game-the-system.html#comments Sat, 28 Jul 2007 21:02:08 +0000 http://andybeard.eu/2007/07/wordpress-sponsored-themes-how-to-game-the-system.html I have kept quiet on the WordPress Sponsored Themes debate… for too long, but it was a decision I took a few months ago. Wait until the dust settles and then look at what specific rules are made, and then how they are enforced.

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    I have kept quiet on the WordPress Sponsored Themes debate… for too long, but it was a decision I took a few months ago. Wait until the dust settles and then look at what specific rules are made, and then how they are enforced.

    Listed below are some of the ways that WordPress Sponsored Themes are still being allowed on the WordPress Themes Viewer.
    Whether gaming the system is universally possible for everyone, or just “friends” would be very difficult and costly to determine.

    I am not pointing anyone out, and I am glad that the themes I have spotted that fall under each method remain on the main WordPress theme viewer, because in general most sponsored themes are better quality than the totally free ones.

    What defines sponsored themes is actually difficult to determine, and whatever unofficial yardstick is used is not universally applied.

    Outsourcing

    Just hire someone to create totally original themes on your behalf, and have the only credit link to your own site where you distribute it.

    Joint Venture

    Some of the required attribution links are quite interesting:-

    You must provide attribution links to the original designer as per the license you are using to distribute/re-distribute the theme. You are expected to provide “visible footer links”, as meta-links are likely to be removed by the user, and a link in the CSS description is not visible. If you want, you can add an extra meta-link or CSS link. If you are found infringing copyrights, your theme will be removed without prior notice.

    Lets ignore for now that these specific requirements are against the GPL otherwise WordPress would probably have to have 50 links in the footer.

    Approach one of the better designers to create your WordPress theme, and have it based upon their original design but with very different CSS.
    Support the theme on your own site with help from the original designer.

    Note: I have noticed a number of themes using this strategy have been removed from the official theme viewer, or at least they no longer have a listing, but the theme can be viewed and downloaded from old links.

    Joint Venture 2

    Theme design isn’t just the CSS code or even the php functions, just a quick sketch is part of the design process.

    Claim dual authorship for a theme because it is based on your current blog design and the designer was just “inspired” to create an original.

    Joint Venture 3

    The theme designer creates a theme and names it based upon a keyword, and creates a blog on a new domain for support.
    Setup the support blog using sacrificial SEO to drive as much link juice to your own sites as a sponsor.

    Joint Venture 4

    Buy an existing theme hosted on its own domain and have the domain redirected to a support section of your own site.
    You can still hire the original designer, or another good designer to look after the theme, and benefit from the link juice.

    Powertips

    • You are more likely to keep your theme included if you use your name in the link credits as one of the designers, possibly with a keyword on the end. Thus I could probably get away with “Andy Beard – Niche Marketing” but not “Niche Marketing”.
    • Even better if your theme has features specific to your niche, but is different to the theme you use on your blog. Not only will you have a slightly better chance of slipping though, you will also have a much higher chance of your theme being used on a related site.
    • Ensure your theme is high quality
    • Ensure your theme links through to a quality site offering support – I would be tempted not to include your theme on first release in the main theme directory, but on the second or even 3 release after you have had a chance to add some support posts.
      Support posts can cover simple things like how to change the header, or make changes to the css.

    Devoid of Logic

    I have spent some time looking at the sponsored or “teamwork” themes that are still available on the official theme site, and they seem to display characteristics as above. It could well be that many of those that remain just haven’t been caught yet.

    That being said, I have also noticed a number of themes that no longer appear on the theme viewer because it seemed like the purpose of distributing the theme was for SEO, even though the design in my mind would certainly count as a team effort and not 100% the effort of the person uploading.

    With all said and done, if your theme is of exceptional quality, and you can gain a little coverage, you might not miss your theme not appearing on the theme viewer – you might not gain as many downloads, but you will most likely gain just as many other sites linking through to you, as no links will be wasted on links to the theme viewer.

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    How To Avoid Being Banned By Technorati http://andybeard.eu/853/how-to-avoid-being-banned-by-technorati.html http://andybeard.eu/853/how-to-avoid-being-banned-by-technorati.html#comments Mon, 25 Jun 2007 10:20:54 +0000 http://andybeard.eu/2007/06/how-to-avoid-being-banned-by-technorati.html Technorati don’t like their authority system being gamed. If they feel it is being gamed and made less relevant, whilst they might not totally remove your blog from their system, you might be removed from their Top100 list, and also their search results.

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    Technorati don’t like their authority system being gamed. If they feel it is being gamed and made less relevant, whilst they might not totally remove your blog from their system, you might be removed from their Top100 list, and also their search results.

    Currently Technorati still return an authority rating for your blog, even if they have determined you are gaming the system, but there is no guarantee that that will remain the case indefinitely.

    Many blog monetization systems rely on Technorati authority as an indication of the value of placing a link on that blog, and thus there are quite significant rewards for having a high authority, which results in a lower ranking position, “1” being the top ranking.

    Open Source Publishers

    One of the best rewards of publishing Open Source software is you can often include a link back to your site somewhere on the pages of the people using your software. These links in turn are used by various search engines to rate the authority of the site being linked to. With Google one indicator is Pagerank, with Technorati it is their authority.

    Even the most prominent Open Source Developers are not immune from being banned by Technorati.

    Matt

    Compare Matt’s blog to the “official” top authority blog, and there is a massive divide.

    Engadget

    Widgets

    Widget publishers are not immune to the Technorati nerf stick. Even if you are a top rated SEO blog such as SEOmoz, and gaining 100s of editorial links on a daily basis, you might be removed from the top100.

    SEOmoz

    Theme & Plugin Publishers

    Theme publishers are not immune from being banned by Technorati if they include live links to the blog from the themes they give away for free.

    Plaintxt.org

    Blogrolls

    There are various ways to exchange blogroll links such that they are counted by Technorati, but don’t provide real links that are seen by other search engines.
    Whilst joining such blogrolls might not get you banned (unless you hit the top 100), it is more than likely that Technorati will start discounting those links.

    Blog Networks get away with some massive interlinking, but the more legitimate networks are making an effort to make those links more relevant.

    Paid Links

    In this case I am referring to links which appear to Technorati as a blogroll – if you buy lots of obvious “sponsor links”, it is quite possible Technorati is going to ban you.

    John Chow

    I can’t say whether that is why John appears to be banned, but it might be one explanation, though the majority of John’s links have certainly come from other kinds of payola.

    Unfortunately it doesn’t take much poison to taint a well.

    Paid Reviews

    This is a tough question and Technorati are faced with a similar problem to Google. Which links are editorial, and which are purely for pagerank and other factors.

    In my opinion, quality reviews are most likely to remain in all indexes, but then I am an open supporter of quality paid reviews which give more value than just links.

    All You Care About Is Money?

    If all you care about is money, then obviously for as long as Technorati continue to report your authority via their API as being significant, even if you are effectively banned, then gaming the Technorati authority system could be looked on as a good idea to boost your earnings from text links and reviews.

    The big problem with many of the ways of gaming the system is that they are permanent. Those links are out there, so if you have some success with a theme you publish, and through your own blogging efforts you start to approach the top100 list, there is no way to fix the problem.

    There is no rule saying that Technorati have to continue giving a rating of banned sites by API, thus any “gamed” rating in the future might effectively return a “zero” in the future.

    Why Should You Care?

    If you are going to publish a theme or create a widget, you need to think carefully whether having a Technorati rating is something you wish to maintain.

    I am not referring to whether you are listed in the Top100, but whether you would have a rating being returned at all by the API.

    It is easy to say that you don’t care about being listed on Technorati, all you care about is how much you can sell your links for, but what happens if Technorati decide to stop reporting banned sites via their API?

    There is a chance you might get reincluded, if Technorati develop technology so that they can discount links from the sidebar and footer totally, but it wouldn’t be so simple to still allow legitimate blogroll links.

    How To Avoid Being Banned By Technorati

    It is well known that Technorati currently don’t follow 301 redirects, so the solution currently is quite simple.

    • Decide on a theme name
    • Register a domain name for the theme
    • Use the domain name for the link within a theme
    • Use a 301 redirect from the domain name to your blog

    You could actually just use one domain for all your redirects, or use a 3rd party service that issues a 301 redirect though that is placing your eggs in a basket you have little control over.

    Alternatively just use nofollow on the links, but then they will not be seen by other search engines, and that would be throwing away good “Google Juice”.

    A 301 Redirect would still be recognised by Google, Yahoo, MSN and ASK.

    If in the future Technorati do support 301 redirects, it would most likely be possible to tell them not to follow certain redirects for your themes. The most likely scenario for the future is an interface in Technorati to allow you to tell them that 2 listings are effectively the same.

    Note:-Technorati Authority is not the same as Technorati Favorites.

    Technorati to my knowledge haven’t banned anyone from encouraging people to add them to their Technorati Favorites.

    Technorati Authority on the other hand is the cornerstone of their search results to determine relevance, and thus they are going to defend it.

    Retroactive Action

    I have no idea how you could take retroactive action to fix your ratings.

    This affects me too, a while ago I created a widget for LinkedIn, and it linked to a static page. As the functionality of the widget was eventually blocked by the service it was intended to promote, I changed the graphic used, and most links have now been removed from sidebars.
    In hindsight I would have used a domain name and 301 redirect.

    Theoretically any authority gained from that widget will be outside the 6 month rolling window that Technorati use within the next 2 months, and my own situation will be cleared up.
    This would be much harder to achieve for theme and plugin authors. Maybe easier for those with paid links.

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    WordPress SEO Masterclass For Competitive Niches http://andybeard.eu/843/wordpress-seo-masterclass-for-competitive-niches.html http://andybeard.eu/843/wordpress-seo-masterclass-for-competitive-niches.html#comments Tue, 19 Jun 2007 12:28:55 +0000 http://andybeard.eu/2007/06/wordpress-seo-masterclass-for-competitive-niches.html Take a well optimized WordPress blog in a competitive niche, rip it apart, and help maximise its chances of ranking in the SERPs and raking in some cash. This isn’t lame all-in-one optimization plugins, it is totally geeking it out!

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    Take a well optimized WordPress blog in a competitive niche, rip it apart, and help maximise its chances of ranking in the SERPs and raking in some cash. This isn’t lame all-in-one optimization plugins, it is totally geeking it out!

    Update: 28th August 2010 – this article doesn’t take into account changes to the way Google handles nofollow to combat PageRank sculpting.

    Also WordPress has moved on a lot in 3 years since it was written – that does invalidate many of the concepts and linking structures presented, but the methods to achieve them might differ significantly.

    Having previously written that I don’t typically undertake consulting work, I do look on any paid blog posts as a form of consultancy. In this particular case Tim from eMonetized decided to order a review of his blog, and we negotiated a little to ensure what you read is totally impartial and any links I choose to give are in an editorial context.
    The negotiation itself was an interesting process, and I will be writing about that separately.

    It should be noted that just because I mention improvements here, that doesn’t mean that Tim the site owner isn’t aware of something, and as also is almost always the case, I haven’t applied many SEO tweaks to this site yet.

    That being said, some of the linking structures I talk about in the more geeky sections of this article I have never seen anyone talk about, and it is my belief that the resulting linking structure is highly unique, extremely powerful, whilst remaining flexible.

    The Niche

    Tim’s blog is one of a host of blogs looking to capitalize on terms such as make money, make money online and making money online, though it is clear that he is quite SEO aware, and from our communication this was made abundantly clear to me.
    As an example he has a clear “money page” for promoting his primary affiliate programs using a URL “Making Money Online“.

    Emonetized

    One of the hardest problems with the “make money” niche is that most of the related search terms that are provided if you use the Google Keyword Suggest tool are very much “long tail” terms, many of which receive only mediocre traffic. Many of the more specific terms receive minimal search volume unless it is related to a specific product, or product launch.

    The direction Tim seems to be taking is to target content in the topical community such as Adsense, Adwords and Affiliate Marketing, rather than writing a series of posts based on what Google regard as related topics, such as “How To Make Money [Insert Blank]”, “Making Money [Insert Blank]”

    This suggests to me that we might look to optimize the site such that the categories perform well as landing pages, though I believe it is possible to significantly improve site structure to give the site an unfair advantage on a few competitive terms.

    SEO Strategy

    It is clear that Tim is thinking about his SEO Strategy, and is off to a good start. Here are some of the things he is currently doing that I can see just browsing around the site.

    • URLs / Slugs – Tim is using optimized page slugs for every post – there are some plugins that can achieve this automatically, so that just keywords are used without grammatical filler, though I think he is probably doing this manually. URLs are not a major ranking factor, in fact some SEOs would say it is very minor. URLs are a clickthrough factor, and there are limitations for URL length.
    • Robots.txt – A lot of things are being blocked off in his Robots.txt file, including date based archives, paged content, images and author pages. He is also blocking off tags – I am not going to dispute that decision, it is something to test and track. There is overlap between categories and tags – it is possible to make that work ok by including additional content and different layouts, and with some SEO linking structures you would block both, others you would enhance both. One good thing he is doing is blocking all his /go/ affiliate links.
      Important:- Robots.txt is a bandaid as it can create hanging or dangling pages.
    • Sitemap – he has a clear sitemap, though I worry a little about multi-page sitemaps. If they go multi-page, it is better to make them more of a topical tree, than links between pages… breadcrumb navigation or not. Then it is effectively creating a category listing.
    • htaccess – either htaccess or a plugin is being used to ensure all URLs are www
    • Related posts – related posts (probably using Wasabi) are being used to increase the internal linking to related content, good for both search engines and human page views.
    • Nofollow – Nofollow is being applied to a few links that shouldn’t pass pagerank, such as to forms for email subscription and Technorati favorites
    • Excerpts – pages that could potentially be looked on by the search engine spiders as duplicate content are being displayed using the_excerpt() rather than the_content()
    • Titles – these seem to be OK, maybe already using SEO Title Tag plugin or similar

    Quick Improvements

    • WordPress 2.2 – This really is a necessary upgrade for security reasons.
    • htaccess trailing slashes – Canonicalization isn’t only to do with “www” or “no www” choices. If you have chosen to use www, then just include the second half of the code from my post about WordPress htaccess to cover the trailing slashes.
    • Home / Page Links – some you want to receive lots of juice, others probably shouldn’t receive any at all, and some you might only want a followed link on your home page. The best option is probably to create these links manually, and have one set that is used on your home page, and another for everywhere else.
    • Wordpress pages

    • Feeds – I find having related posts in feeds very important from an SEO perspective when people syndicate your content with or without permission – they are also useful for readers, though I wish more readers used them.If tag pages are being indexed, it is potentially good to have tags in your feed as well.

      Tim offers a full content feed that is worth subscribing to, though only half of the subscribers will currently be registered by Feedburner. Those that use the auto-discovery link are not currently being redirected to Feedburner. Fix this with the Feedburner Redirect Plugin, now called Feedsmith or think about one of Feedburner’s pro solutions.

    • Sociable Plugin – it creates search engine followable links to submission forms on the various bookmarking sites – switch to using a search engine friendly version of sociable.
    • Meta Description and Keywords – there are a host of plugins available to do this, though I haven’t actually found one that I regard as ideal. Generally a little trial and error is required, as there can be a few incompatibilities depending on how other plugins interact with your content.
    • 404 Error Page – currently this results in the homepage – it might be better to use one of the many 404 plugins available to give some related content to what resulted in an error.

    More Time Consuming or Technical

    • Stop Using Widgets – until it becomes easy to control which widgets appear on which page, with and without nofollow, if you want to highly optimize your site, it is much easier without using WordPress Widgets. There is an alternative shipped with the K2 theme, sidebar modules (SBM), but I have had difficulty making it work with WordPress 2.2 and other themes
    • Multiple Templates & SidebarsYou can do a lot using WordPress logic, but it starts to become very complicated if you use the same template file and sidebar everywhere.
      Single pages are probably the most likely to hit high server loads, so I always use a WordPress theme which has a single.php – in my current one the sidebar is included as part of the single.php file, but it can also be done using a php include for something like sidebar2.php 
    • Sitewide Links – only give them when there is a specific reason, even for internal navigation elements. As an example we will look at category listings, but the same applies for all sidebar content.
    • Category listings

      For a home page listing, and category pages, it is normal to list all categories

      <br /><?php if ( is_home() || is_category() ) { ?><br /><li id="categories"><br /> <h3>Categories</h3><br /> <ul><br /><?php wp_list_cats('sort_column=name&hierarchical=1') ?><br /> </ul><br /> </li><br /><?php } ?><br />

      For single pages, if you are aiming for a classic tree structure, it is better to list specific categories.

      <br /><ul><br /> <li><?php the_category('</li><li>') ?></li><br /></ul><br />

      You probably already have links to specific category pages at the bottom of each post, thus maybe sidebar category links should be nofollowed using the add link attribute plugin.

      <br /><ul><br /><li><?php add_link_attr('the_category', '</li><li>',
      'rel="nofollow"'); ?></li><br /></ul><br />

      You could also aim for a “halfway house” and include only your most targeted primary categories on every page in the sidebar, other than on your homepage which would include all categories.

      That doesn’t necessarily mean you would have followed links in the sidebar on your front page at all, other than to possibly your sitemap.

    • Nofollow From Home – if Google and other search engines are being guided to your sitemap, and you value all your content equally, it makes perfect sense to have nofollow on any links within content that appear on your home page with the nofollow from home plugin This should be avoided if you don’t offer full content feeds because Technorati would probably have great difficulty with many of the links as they typically use the RSS feed, or your homepage to determine linkage.
      Update: I have now developed an advanced version of this plugin which adds nofollow to the links on all pages other than your permalink pages
    • Headings – Correct use of headings for SEO and general semantic improvements – as an example for Tim’s current theme, there is no H1 heading, and the author information is given a heading tag. In addition the heading in WordPress sidebars have always been given on most themes the same level of semantic purpose as sub-headings within content, which isn’t ideal for SEO purposes.

    Advanced SEO & Presentation

    To really optimize WordPress effectively, you need to start looking at optimizing the layout of the homepage, category pages, and tag pages, not just for SEO, but for presentation. Most wordpress blogs by default use index.php for homepage and category pages, and the same is true for tag pages with UTW if you don’t define a tag.php file.

    You can either create custom templates, or add lots of complicated WordPress logic.

    WordPress handles templates in the following priority

    1. category-6.php
    2. category.php
    3. archive.php
    4. index.php

    In many SEO linking structures, the categories are intended to be landing pages for their topic, and to concentrate more google juice than individual pages.
    There are also linking structures that might be equally viable in many circumstances where categories pass Google juice in a single direction, either from the home page to single pages which subsequently pass juice only to the home page, or the home page passes juice to single pages through a sitemap, and the juice flows back up to the home page through the categories.

    If category pages were intended to pass Google juice in 2 directions as would be normal for a simple tree structure, then you would need something like the following:-

    eMonetized Category Pages Example of Google Juice Flow

    Ultimately however if you have ever spent any time playing around with a pagerank calculator, linking structures that feature a spiral, channelling juice around in a circle using one-way links tend to perform better than sites using 2 way links.

    There are a number of plugins that try to create “pretty” excerpts for duplicate content pages that contain excerpts, or you can manually create them with HTML and even thumbnail pictures.
    One of the best new options seems to be the Excerpts Editor though I haven’t tested it yet.

    This should be mixed with custom query string (Note: New Version that includes support for UTW) which would allow you to have a different number of posts on your front page compared to various archive pages. Ideally when siloing you would want to list all pages under a particular category or tag page. The easier alternative is the siloing plugin.

    Beyond Geeky SEO

    Revenge of the Mininet by Michael Campbell and the bonus Dynamic Linking Ebook by Leslie Rohde have been for many years one of the most advanced tutorials on geeky linking structures to maximise pagerank.

    To get any real benefit from this geeky section you really have to read those ebooks, they are available free for those who sign up to Michaels mailing list, and are well worth investing an evening reading, and maybe reading a couple of times more to fully understand how pagerank and linking structures can really help you.

    One of my favourite structures was the spider circle

    Note: In the following content I frequently link through to Web Workshop and their Pagerank Calculator. The links are nofollowed because I am linking through to form data

    Spider Circle

    Here is the Spider Circle mapped out in the calculator.

    The big problem with this linking structure, if you look at blogging in particular, is as soon as you add any external links to the content pages, the benefits turn into a huge hazzard, because this structure is also one of the best for sacrificial sites. Totally forget anything like this if you have removed nofollow from your comments.
    Even disproportionate linking to your content from other sites isn’t going to rescue it. In that example there is 4x as many incoming links as those outgoing. The numbers are all relative, and don’t represent toolbar pagerank, but the benefit of good linking structure is lost.

    One of the best linking structures for a website that was discussed was called “Stacked Pyramids with Tunnels Home”

    The layout was something like this:-

    Stacked Pyramids With Tunnels

    There are a lot more unique pages involved, so you can’t directly compare this with the previous diagram. Here is how this structure looks like in a calculation.
    What happens when we add some incoming and outgoing links? Well it doesn’t go quite as pear-shaped as the spider but still stuggles with a more realistic ratio of incoming to outgoing links.

    I have played around with most of the other examples within Revenge of the Mininet over the last few months trying to create a “defensible linking structure”, something that performs well under severe abuse, with multiple external links on every page of unique content, as might happen with a blogger generous with link love, or using Dofollow.

    In the end I opted for massive ball linking using tagging, with the structure totally organic, but helping Google juice flow away from pages which were gaining a lot of links, and likewise probably a lot of comments as well, so that the juice could enrich other content.
    I knew this wasn’t optimal

    I also wanted to come up with a better benefit from using internal tagging than my previously mentioned 4.9 > 3.6 ? (Titles > Duplicate Content)

    Introducing “Sandcastles With Perimeter Wall”

    I have no idea how this will work based upon all the other 100+ or 200+ ranking factors for web pages, but as far as pagerank is concerned it seems to be an extremely defensible structure, in fact you can abuse the hell out of it, and it performs well.

    Sandcastle Pagerank Calculation

    I should note that in that calculation there are still only 9 pages of 100% unique original article content.
    The secret lies in having created additional unique pages that in themselves are useful for humans and even linkworthy, but those pages only link through to the homepage and gather up link juice that might have passed excessively through external links on a popular post.

    Here is what it looks link if it is heavily abused like the previous example with lots of external links, and only a few incoming links.

    Here is what is happening….

    I first of all started off with category siloing, one way links passing juice from the homepage through the categories, and down to the content.
    In addition I added a sitemap link from the homepage, that has one way links also through to the content. In addition, if it is being abused on a blog, it performs better with links from the sitemap to the homepage and categories from the sitemap, though the differences are small.

    Juice flows from the permalink pages through one way links to one of 5 tag pages for each post, assigned at random in the model, and then again one way link to the homepage.

    If you throw in a couple of related posts, even with the external links it performs very well, especially for the home page.

    Here is a visualisation of Sandcastles With Perimeter Wall

    Sandcastles With Perimeter Wall Site Structure

    As I have stated before, I visualise linking structures in 3D, and this one could be much easier visualised on a 3D checkers board (I used to have one as a kid), but effectively it is built of 3 different layers.

    I haven’t quite worked out the best way to handle single pages, maybe it would be necessary to add yet another tree link structure for those.

    I haven’t got any sites using this new structure yet, but it is something I will be aiming for on a number of sites soon, including this one.

    Creating This Linking Structure With WordPress

    It is possible (though a little complicated) with what I have listed above, but I will try to have a modified theme available soon, aptly named the “Sandcastle” theme, based upon Sandbox (so it can be easily skinned)

    Linkworthy Content

    Whilst a good linking structure might give you 5x to 10x the benefit of any incoming links to rank a few specific pages, you still need to have content people will link to.

    For me one of the highlights of Tim’s blog are already the case studies.

    Whilst I haven’t invested money in Stumbleupon advertising, the conversion rate to subscribers he achieved with $100 worth of visits seems about the same as with free traffic. From what I have seen so far, Top Stumblers are mainly interested in cool pictures and humor as one of Tim’s commenters has already pointed out, and are very much anti-commercial, especially anything to do with StumbleUpon optimization. It is very easy to get post content buried, in fact easier than Digg in many ways.
    A post on optimizing for another social news site such as Digg however might not get buried by the sacred protectors of the SU realm, and is more likely to continue bringing traffic (that is what I have experienced anyway). I have also found support a little lacking.

    Tim has also been looking at Adsense Arbitrage – I think the safe bet is to convert those low PPC landing pages into affiliate or other forms of CPA income, if the cost of clicks is still quite low.

    Tim is a creative thinker, after all he was the one who started using Adsense site targeting on John Chows blog, which gave John the idea of using it on Problogger.net

    Whilst Tim’s blog is only a couple of months old, I expect great things and lots of in-depth experimentation in traffic and monetization, so don’t forget to sign up to his RSS feed.

    Update – Nofollow Those Dupes Plugin

    I have now released a plugin that can be used to help in creating the “Sandcastles With Perimeter Wall linking structure called Nofollow Those Dupes

    It is actually of benefit on any blog that doesn’t block duplicate content pages from being indexed.

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    The Ultimate Way To Show Reader Appreciation http://andybeard.eu/649/the-ultimate-way-to-show-reader-appreciation.html http://andybeard.eu/649/the-ultimate-way-to-show-reader-appreciation.html#comments Thu, 12 Apr 2007 14:36:44 +0000 http://andybeard.eu/2007/04/the-ultimate-way-to-show-reader-appreciation.html Reader Appreciation
    If you weren’t already aware, this week is reader appreciation week. Now the idea of reader appreciation is fairly good, give out some prizes, give a reader a link, etc etc.

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    Reader Appreciation
    If you weren’t already aware, this week is reader appreciation week. Now the idea of reader appreciation is fairly good, give out some prizes, give a reader a link, etc etc.

    This blog has always been a community site, and since it was launched one thing it has always shared is link juice with a dofollow plugin.

    One of the things the Reader Promotion Project created as a way of showing appreciation was the WP-AJAX Edit Comments so I decided to use it as part of my soon to be introduced revamped comment from, which was honestly suffering from neglect.

    I Have Made It Easier to Comment
    And Get Even More Fresh Juice

    Changes made to my comment section include:-

    • Brian’s Threaded Comments – A highly modified version of the comments.php file was needed to bring it into line with my theme, split up the comments from the trackbacks, and give emphasis on the names of people leaving comments which will hopefully encourage more clicks.
    • MyAvatars – reincluded after a 2 month break – with MyBlogLog now on Yahoo servers it doesn’t represent a page loading problem.
    • LMB Comment Quicktags – this provides additional configuration over standard versions. I have already modified it slightly to include the right tags to include highlighted code in the comments, and will add a few more tags in the future.
    • WP-AJAX Edit Comments – this is a really neat plugin that allows you to make corrections to the data you filled in the comment form, both your URL / Email address, and your actual comment. I have set it to allow changes for up to 30 minutes. It is a great way to fix typographic errors you spot, or maybe a broken link.
      Be aware that email notification sent out will contain the original version of your comments, so there is no way to hide what you said previously.
      All you have to do is click on the content you want to change, and you can edit it inline. It is a fairly new plugin, so look out for bugs.

    I will call this a beta version of my comment form for now, I want to also add a live preview, and there might still be some bugs I haven’t spotted.

    Some people make these type of changes for purely selfish reasons, after all more comments equals more traffic.

    I think the big difference is I am using dofollow and every single comment that adds to the conversation becomes a valuable link.

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