Category Archives: Blog

Oregon Beer, Coffee, Wine, Spirits and more…

Friend of Clicks and Bits, and partner in numerous other ventures, David Burn, recently launched Liquid Oregon, a blog/resource for all kinds of tasty beverages flowing out of the craft drink mecca of Oregon.

Subtitled, “It’s in the water,” is an apt description of what appears to be an over-abundance of the craft trade. Numerous craft breweries, premier coffee roasters, and a valley producing some of the finest wines in the country. Something is clearly happening in the water.

Liquid Oregon - beer, coffee, wine, spirits and more at liquidoregon.com

David’s description of the site is “Liquid Oregon is dedicated to the promotion of locally-produced coffee, wine, beer, micro-distilled spirits, drinking vinegars and artisan sodas.” I think he is underselling, you are also getting a master narrative from a fine wordsmith.

Give him a visit and spread the love: http://www.liquidoregon.com/

PayPerPost acquires Performancing

Interesting. PayPerPost buys select assets of Performancing.

Reading further, the deal does not include the Firefox Blog Editor or the Ad Technology, but was primarily for Performancing Metrics – a stat analysis package – and Performancing Exchange – essentially a classified section for bloggers.

I wasn’t overly impressed with Metrics, mainly because I’m more comfortable within my custom-tuned tool-set. As for the Exchange, I can’t say I’ve been there in a while, but it makes sense for the audience PayPerPost is trying to reach.

As for the general implications of PayPerPost, everyone is trying to monetize the blog space but I’m not really in favor of a clearing house approach to paid promotional posts. On a number of sites I’m involved with, we accept advertorials, but we find the opportunities and negotiate directly. Typically they provide more impact for the advertiser at a better price and are more in tune with the blog’s audience. And, we adhere to strict labeling policy indicating all paid advertorials.

WordPress Blogs and Google’s Supplemental Index

It seems that WordPress-based blogs have a tendency to be dropped into Google’s Supplemental Index pretty quickly. The general consensus is that this is due to the duplication of content present within WordPress. A typical installation will generate a minimum of five instances of a post – more if the post is identified in multiple categories.

To alleviate the problem, include the following Javascript in which ever template contains your <head> tag information:

<?php if(is_home() || is_single() || is_page()){
echo '<meta name="robots" content="index,follow">';
} else {
echo '<meta name="robots" content="noindex,follow">';
}?>

You may also want to block the Googlebot from your Feeds as well. Add the following to your robots.txt file:

User-agent: Googlebot
Disallow: /*/feed/$
Disallow: /*/feed/rss/$
Disallow: /*/trackback/$

Poisioning your RSS feed for Splogs

One of the sites I write for regularly has a rather large visitor base, 5k daily uniques to the site and over 2k rss feed subscribers. We’ve always published a full article feed for the convenience of our readers but in the last year we have constantly battled splogs – spam blogs who exist only to aggregate others’ feeds for monetization purposes.

We’ve experimented with few different tactics, but lately have settled on “poisoning” the feed with blatant copyright information with links back to our site and requests to inform us if they find our feed on a non-approved site:

© 2006 thesiteinquestion.com. This RSS Feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this material in your news aggregator, the site you are looking at may be guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact legal@thesiteinquestion.com so we can take the appropriate legal action.

While it may be a minor inconvenience to our subscribers reading our feed in their own feed reader, it amounts to 2-3 lines of text following some white space at the end of each post and should be fairly unobtrusive.

Another tactic we’ve tried in the past is stuffing hidden links in our feed. Taking a page out of the link-spamming technique of including a hidded div and creating keyword rich links to domains that feed into affiliate programs. While this was highly successful in creating backlinks to sites (blackhat SEO Tip to think about), many of the web-based feed readers were running into display problems with the hidden div (namely bloglines.com). We’ve since discontinued the practice until we can perfect a way to avoid the display issues.

I hate splogs.

My Usual WordPress Plugins

A friend asked me what WordPress Plugin I use in a typical install. For your enjoyment:

Feedburner Plugin
Feedburner Feed Replacement which forwards all feed traffic to your Feedburner feed without the need to mess with your .htaccess file.

Google Sitemaps
Now that Yahoo and MSN have agreed to start using the XML-based sitemap structure implemented by Google, most sites will benefit from creating a Sitemap file.

WordPress Database Backup

Included in the default installation of 2.x and up. Backup, Backup, Backup. I run nightly backups of all the WordPress-based sites I’m involved with and dump them to a dedicated gmail account.

Optimal Title
If you have any interest in getting traffic to your site from search engines, use Optimal Title. Google has a nasty habit of dropping pages from a basic WordPress installation into their supplemental index because of the way WordPress titles pages. Using Optimal Title to list the entry title followed by the blog name is one way to avoid the supplemental mess.

Spam Karma 2
There are Akismet fans and Spam Karma fans. Spam Karma is more than adequate for the sites I’m involved with. Akismet is included by default and the ultra-paranoid will have no problems running both together.

Statcounter for WordPress
Statcounter for WP drops the Statcounter tracking code in the footer of all pages in your site. Best of all, it is a text box-based append so you could also use this to add whatever tracking program you use – not just Statcounter.

Related Entries
Related Entries encourages stickiness by adding related links to previous entries in your posts.

Ultimate Tag Warrior
UTW is the “multi-headed hydra of a plugin.” Tags have become ever so popular and with UTW you can tag your entries, keep things organized, or include the AJAXy search box which is also included.

There are few others I use a on regular basis, but the above represent my most often used. Your mileage may vary.