Tag Archives: Webmaster Tips

WordPress 3.0.2 Released, Includes Mandatory Security Update

The WordPress team has released WordPress 3.0.2 to users. The WordPress 3.0.2 update includes a security fix making it a mandatory update.

This maintenance release fixes a moderate security issue that could allow a malicious Author-level user to gain further access to the site, addresses a handful of bugs, and provides some additional security enhancements.

You can download WordPress 3.0.2 from WordPress.org or use the automatic upgrade feature to upgrade it. Make sure to backup your blog before you upgrade, there are several ways to do it.

Komli Ad Network Review, Best CPM Network For Indian Traffic

komli_logoOf late, I have been finding ways to monetize unsold inventory and have been looking for some decent Ad networks in India. That is when I landed up on Komli (http://www.komli.com) which is a premium ad network for Indian users.

Komli provides both a CPM based network as well as performance based network for Indian traffic. They have allowed me to fill in inventory which was unused and make money from it, which I wasn’t making earlier.

In the past couple of weeks that I have been using them, the revenue is pretty decent and on par with several US CPM publisher network like Technorati Media and ValueClick. The ads are usually targeted towards Indian users and most of the times are relevant. Overall, my experience with Komli has been pretty nice and I would recommend it to users.

Komli pays on a Net45 basis, which means that they will pay you 45 days after the month ends if your net publisher earnings is INR 800 ($25) or more. Though I haven’t received my payments since it has been hardly a month since I joined, I am impressed with this network.

Other than that, Komli uses Yield manager (Right Media) from Yahoo as a backend market place. Reporting is pretty similar if you have used networks such as Technorati Media. In addition to web based reports, you can also setup Komli to email you reports on a regular basis.

Have any of you used Komli? What has your experience been with it? Do share your experiences in the comments.

Complete Guide To Using Google DFP: Part I – Advantages

A few months ago, I started using Google’s Double Click for Publishers (DFP), which is an ad serving solution for website owners. Google DFP is a bit overwhelming at first and it took me few days to get around to using it. However, I have now made a successful transition to using Google DFP and serve all the ads using it.

Google DFP Logo

In my experience Google DFP is a bit complicated at start, however, it does have several advantages over traditional way of adding advertisements to your website. In this series, I will talk about the benefits of using Google DFP and also how to effectively use it on your own website with some handy tips and tricks thrown in.

Advantages of Using Google DFP

There are several advantages of using Google DFP over traditional ad insertion. I will list a few here which I have found beneficial to me and might come in handy to you too.

Less Code and Easy to Maintain

Once you start using Google DFP, you will notice that you are dealing with much lesser code while inserting or positioning advertisements. This is one thing I have found beneficial as I am able to insert ads into code with just a single click.

Create Once and Use Forever

Unlike traditional advertisement code, you can create a line item and insert it into your theme. The next time you want to display advertisements from a different network, you don’t need to create new code and that can be handled within the DFP interface itself. This makes it much more easier to experiment with different networks and quickly remove/change them if you are not satisfied with the revenue. I will talk about this in more detail in the future parts of the series.

Geo and Demographic Targeting

One of the best features of DFP is that it allows you to geo-target your ads. Using this feature you can display different ads to different locations to maximize your revenue. Another good feature is demographic targeting which allows you to target people using certain browsers or operating systems.

Demographic targeting can be very useful when you want to say advertise a certain browser; for example ; to users using , or want to pitch to someone using Linux or Mac OS X.

Serve Your Own Ads/Promotions Without Worries

With the help of Google DFP you can serve your own promotions or promote your own content without having to worry about delivery or assets. You can create custom In-house ads on Google DFP and upload images etc. to Google’s servers and directly display them on your website.

In addition to that, you can also serve ads that you have directly sold on your site and provide advertisers with detailed statistics along with tracking clicks and more.

Track and Compare Impressions

Sometimes advertising companies may not show correct impressions. With the help of Google DFP, you will be able to cross-check and verify impression counts displayed by advertising networks against your own inventory.

Target Ads To Advertisers

Google and Double Click have a huge advertiser base. When you use Google DFP, you will be able to target your ad-slots to these advertisers and sell your inventory to them.

Google AdSense Integration

Using Google DFP, you will easily be able to integrate in your ads and maximize your revenue. In the future parts we will talk about how to do this and also create Link units for Google AdSense and serve them using Google DFP.

Rotate Ads and Banners

With the help of Google DFP, you will be able to easily rotate ads and banners without having to worry about logic. I will talk about rotating ads using Google DFP in the next part of the series.

Concluding Part I

As you can see, there are several advantages of using Google DFP over traditional advertising code. In my experience, managing advertisers has become more easier. With the ease with which I can target specific users, I am able to maximize my revenue and almost fill-up the entire inventory.

In the next part of the series, we will take a dive into Google DFP and learn how to create and manage ads using the service. Do feel free to ask questions/doubts if you have any.

Google Hits a Technical Snag: Stops Updating its Index

GoogleIt won’t be an exaggeration to claim that Google Search drives most of the world wide web. Look around, and you will see that Google is the biggest (often by a large margin) source of traffic for a majority of the websites. So what will happen if Google breaks? Just the thought alone is enough to scare me as a webmaster.

Thankfully, Google has performed with admirable reliability over the years. However, it’s not easy managing the beast that is Google. Little technical snags are bound to occur, and it appears that Google has just hit one. According to reports, Google has stopped indexing numerous blogs and even popular websites, over the past few days. In other words, new content from several websites have stopped appearing in Google Search.

Google’s John Mueller confirmed the there is a technical problem that is preventing Google from efficiently indexing some websites. Here’s the message he posted in one of the Google Webmaster Central discussions.

I just wanted to provide a short update. This issue should be resolved soon, but it will take a several days for everything to catch up and for these changes to be visible. I’ll provide another update after the weekend.

In the meantime, there’s no need to make any changes on your side. Content from your sites will continue to be indexed during this time (though perhaps at the moment not as quickly as before in some cases).

Mueller has also clarified that the problem is entirely technical and not due to a change in Google’s algorithm.

I’ve been in contact with the indexing and diagnostics teams since your initial reports — we are taking your reports seriously and doing what is necessary to resolve this problem as soon as possible. We love sending users to your sites quickly after you have published something too :-).

Just to be clear, the issues from this thread, which I have reviewed in detail, are not due to changes in our policies or changes in our algorithms; they is due to a technical issue on our side that will be visibly resolved as soon as possible (it may take up to a few days to be visible for all sites though). You do not need to change anything on your side and we will continue to crawl and index your content (perhaps not as quickly at the moment, but we hope that will be resolved for all sites soon). I would not recommend changing anything significantly at this moment (unless you spot obvious problems on your side), as these may result in other issues once this problem is resolved on our side.

Defer Banner Ads/JavaScript To Load After Page Loads

There are many times when you might want a certain banner ad to load only after you page loads fully, however, not everyone is an expert in AJAX or JavaScript for that matter to make change code and make the code efficient.

code_ninja

If you are a webmaster and have been worried about slow page load times, there is a easier way to defer certain banners or JavaScript code to load after the browser has rendered the rest of the page. This trick can be used for both inline and external JavaScript by using the "defer" attribute specified in HTML 4.01 and later.

To defer banner ads or any JavaScript code to load after the entire page has rendered, just add the attribute defer="defer" to the script tag and the browser will ignore the code within the script and load it after it has finished loading the rest of the content.

Here are some examples of using the defer attribute with a script:

//inline JS example
<script type="text/javascript" defer="defer">
//js code goes here
</script>
 
//external JS example
<script type="text/javascript" defer="defer" src="somejs.js"></script>

Using this trick will ensure that your non JavaScript content loads quickly enough so that it does not hinder a user’s browsing experience. However, it may not improve the overall page load times since the browser will continue to load the deferred JavaScript content after the rest of the page has loaded.

You will find some detailed description about Deferred JavaScript and its impact on the page rendering by visiting this informative post.

Google Webmaster Tools Rolls Out Better Statistics For Search Queries

If you have visited your Google Webmasters account today, you might notice some significant changes in the way you will see statistics about your website. The new significant change in Google Webmasters is for the search queries, where you will see a new field called impressions and the number of clicks it got.

google_webmasters_impressions

Another significant change in Google Webmasters is the introduction of a Google Analytics style dashboard where you can see the stats and clicks for different search queries that were related to your site.

google_webmasters_search_queries_dashboard

The good thing about the new statistics system is that you can narrow down the queries for different periods or even view statistics for certain days only and then also determine your search and keyword rankings easily. I don’t see any other significant changes with the dashboard other than this, but rest aside, this is something that will definitely be very useful to webmasters. What do you think?

Update: This information is not new and has been available for past two months, apologies for that. You can view more about it at the Official Google Webmasters blog.

New Site Hacked Notifications From Google Webmaster Tools

In a announcement that sounded sweet to my ears, Google Webmaster team has decided to send out messages about hacked or spammy websites to webmasters through Google Webmaster Tools.

Starting this month, Google Webmaster Tools will notify webmasters of potential issues that have detected on websites, including:

  • Spammy or abused user-generated content
  • Abused forum pages or egregious amounts of comment spam
  • Suspected hacking

These notifications can come as a blessing in disguise as not many users are usually aware of infections until Google decides to temporarily remove all the items of a website from the search results.

However, now once a user receives a notification they can address the issues and get rid of the infections immediately, rather than having to send out a consideration request to the Google webmaster team. A sample notification message for compromised websites will look like the image below.

Suspected Hacking Message from Google Webmaster

Bonus Tip

Users can get their Google Webmaster Tools messages delivered to their email address, so that you will get instant updates, rather than having to visit the webmaster console to check your messages.

To receive your webmaster message center notification to your email address, follow the steps given below.

Step 1: Login to Google Webmaster Tools and go to your dashboard.

Forward Google Webmaster Messages

Step 2: In the message section, select Forward to email address, from the dropdown list in the right hand side, and select the language you want to receive your messages in.

That’s it, the next time you receive a new message in your webmaster message center, it will also be forwarded to your email address so that you can check it out without having to visit the webmaster console.

Google Site Clinic: Get Your Site Checked by Google Search Quality Team

The Google India blog has announced a site clinic for websites, where your site will be checked for the search quality by employees of Google Webmaster team.

google_site_clinic

Selected sites will be personally evaluated by the Google employees and suggestions will be given to users. However, not every submitted site will be selected for the clinic and there will be a selection process where few websites will be chosen to take part in it.

Our team will analyze websites submitted to the clinic. The plan is to offer constructive advice on accessibility and improvements that can lead to better visibility for your website in Google’s search results.

To participate in the Site Clinic organized by Google, visit this form and enter the details of your website. There are some catches too, your site has to be a part of Google Webmasters and should meet Google’s quality guidelines. If your site is not part of Google Webmasters, you can sign up for it here before registering for the shortlist.

The site clinic by the Google search quality team is only restricted to Indian webmasters for now, hopefully they will make it available to worldwide audience soon. 

Photo credit: CNET UK

Google Webmasters Launches Site Performance to Measure Website Load Time

Have you ever wondered how fast your website loads? We have already told you about few tools including Page Speed, a tool created by Google. Now, Google Webmaster Tools has released a new tool in their Labs called “Site performance”, which will show you the website load time for your blog or website.

website-performance

Google Site Performance displays the performance for your site, which includes the page load times along with suggestions to improve the performance of your site. This can come in very handy when you want to find ways to speed up your website and make it load faster.

Some of the suggestions provided by webmaster tools are very easy to implement, however some may require major changes. Nevertheless, this is a very good and important introduction, since webmasters can now focus on improving the experience for their users.

What do you think of this new introduction? Do let us know through your comments.

Related Webmaster Tools worth Looking at:

How fast is your site? [Google Webmaster Blog]

Add WPtouch Support For Nokia, Symbian & Windows Mobile

WPtouch is a excellent which allows users to provide a mobile friendly interface for their websites, when a user visits using a mobile web browser. At Techie Buzz, we use the plugin to display the website for mobile phones.

Displaying mobile friendly pages on mobile web browsers makes sense, since usually their screens are much smaller. Along with that, mobiles also do not have fast internet connections. Using WPtouch definitely helps speed up page rendering on mobile devices.

techie_buzz_mobile_edition

However, recently one of our authors pinged me and said that the mobile site was not displaying while he was viewing it on a Nokia 5800 touchphone. Turns out that WPtouch is built to only run on iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, Storm and Pre devices. It does support Mini too.

However, this means that it will not work on Nokia based phones running on Symbian OS or Maemo, and devices that run on Windows mobile out of the box. To overcome this issue, you can add support for additional devices by changing a small setting in WPtouch.

wptouch_nokia_symbian_windows_mobile_support

To do that, go to WPtouch options and scroll down to Advanced Options. In the field for custom user-agents, add the following text nokia, iemobile, symbian, and save your settings. The provided strings are generic in nature, you can always find the browser user-agents for mobile devices on this page.

Testing WPtouch on Nokia or WinMo Devices

Once you have added the changes, test it out by visiting the site using a Nokia or Windows Mobile device, or for that matter whichever device you added support for.

If you do not have the different devices to test with, you can visit our earlier tutorial of Emulating Mobile Web Browsers on your Desktop with Firefox.

That’s it, hopefully this will help users who use WPtouch add support for Nokia Symbian, Windows Mobile or other unsupported devices with ease. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any doubts or queries. For more such useful tips, visit the section.