Tag Archives: google
May 8, 2013

Nexus 7 Giveaway


We're giving away a Nexus 7 to celebrate the company's 10 years in business


Full details here.

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February 24, 2013

Big Companies Trying To Monopolise .blog, .cloud and more



ICANN is currently evaluating a couple of thousand applications for new top level domains. Most of the applications are for new and interesting domain extensions (the bit on the right of the dot) that will provide greater consumer choice and foster competition.

Unfortunately a smaller subset is from a companies that believe they have special rights to corner off entire generic keyword spaces for their own use.

Cloud computing, for example, is something that so many companies are involved with that it would be impossible to enumerate how many are involved. Yet Symantec plans to use .cloud for itself and nobody else.

Or what about Google's application for .blog which they want to keep solely for the use of Blogger users?

I've put together a few key points about the issue here.

If you feel that allowing a few companies to monopolise keywords like this is a bad idea let your voice be heard here.

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November 6, 2012

Embedding Youtube Videos With Captions Turned On

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Some YouTube videos come with captions. If you're posting a video in French or Serbian then it might not be a bad idea to turn on the English language captions (if they exist)

Unfortunately YouTube's default embed code these days does not include any of these options, as it's a rather simple iframe

You can, however, add the captioning to any video if you use the older style embed code.

YouTube's help docs here explain it - you'll just need to ensure that you add the full code snippet / tag to your embed code ie. "&cc_load_policy=1"

So your code can end up looking a bit like this:

<object width="560" height="315"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/C0tUDIyDLZk?version=3&amp;hl=en_US&cc_load_policy=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/C0tUDIyDLZk?version=3&amp;hl=en_US&cc_load_policy=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="560" height="315" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>

Which will render this:

Posting this more for my own usage than anything else :)

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August 14, 2012

If Social Media Updates Had Context

XKCD's ContextBot comic

Sometimes people, including me, post things on social networks that don't make a lot of sense as they lack context.

XKCD's recent comic:

XKCD's ContextBot comic

XKCD's ContextBot comic


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July 8, 2012

Automatically Generating Rich Snippets For Recipes


I've been blogging on and off about my experiences and progress with dieting over on my diet blog.

One of the things that I've also been doing is sharing recipes for the various things I've been eating.

In order to display them "sanely" I opted for a WordPress plugin called "Easy Recipe" mainly for the display. I wasn't as concerned with the rich snippets and microformat stuff that it also can handle I just wanted recipes to show up clearly.

Here's one for chicken with olives

What's interesting, however, is how it displays in Google search:

Not incredibly exciting, but that will depend on how much data you provide.

Running the recipes through Google's rich snippet tool shows how well it works.

The tool is also handy to check if your site is setup with the "author" attribute for your posts, which you can do via Yoast's SEO plugin

Of course my dieting blog isn't all about recipes and doesn't get that much traffic anyway, but it's still nice to see how using a simple plugin can help with Google and other search engine's understanding what the content is about.



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July 7, 2012

Website Traffic And Hacks


A couple of months ago one of the sites I run was hacked via a nasty hole in a plugin that it was using. It took quite a bit of work to find the source of the issue and resolve it once and for all.

Once the hole had been plugged properly the traffic levels returned to normal.

But it's only when you have a reasonable amount of data that you can really see how much impact this kind of issue actually can have on a site's traffic.

Here's what a longer period looks like:

Unfortunately other sites that I run have had issues over the last few months. Some were defaced, others had nasty junk inserted - the list goes on and on.

The key lesson to be learnt from all this is to keep a close eye on your Google Analytics (or whatever you are using)

If you see a dip in traffic overnight it might be caused by Google changing their search algorithms, but it could just as easily be due to something hijacking your traffic or inserting some junk into your site's code.

If you're using WordPress make sure to remove any themes or plugins that you aren't using. If they're not installed they can't be compromised.

Keep an eye on Google Webmaster Tools and make sure all your sites are registered there (I discovered that one of mine wasn't which made removing it from their "bad" list that bit harder)

Keep your WordPress (and other CMS) software installs up to date. Make sure that the themes you are using are up to date as well - a lot of them won't "tell you" when an update has been released, so you'll need to check manually.

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May 15, 2012

A New Broadband Connection

AVM Fritzbox fon wlan 7390
AVM Fritzbox fon wlan 7390

AVM Fritzbox Fon WLAN 7390

Last week, while I was up in Dublin, UPC came along and hooked me up to their fibre. Yesterday I got the fixed IP details and with Paul's assistance switched the UPC box over to bridging mode, reconfigured my Fritzbox and moved my home connection into the fast lane.

It's nice

With the standard UPC wireless access point I could get a respectable 35 megs, but once I switched everything over to the Fritzbox I started getting much closer to the 75 megs advertised - over wifi.

IPv6 is working nicely as are all the other features that I had on the Fritzbox previously.

For the moment I'm using Google's public DNS servers on the Fritzbox, though I'm overriding them on certain devices. I probably won't stick to the Google DNS once I've had a chance to explore options. Since the Fritzbox supports both IPv4 and IPv6 resolvers I'll need to do a small bit of research in that area.

The one thing I don't understand is why UPC is limiting my upload speed to 5 megs. Yes that is way faster than what I had previously, but I don't understand why they're setting such a low limit. Surely it isn't a capacity issue? If the line can give me 75 meg in one direction, why can't it give me the same in the other?



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April 28, 2012

Traffic Levels Returning After A Fix

traffic levels growing

It's been a week since I fixed the issue on a site that had been infected by some malware.

As I mentioned in my previous post, the malware was stealing the site's search engine traffic.

And the graphs show very clearly how things have improved in only a few days:

And if you look at that over the course of a week it's even clearer

Hopefully (fingers crossed) there won't be any other issues for a while (I'd love to say ever again, but let's face it there's always something)



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January 29, 2012

Captain Obvious Says Blogging Regularly Gets Traffic

I posted a few weeks ago about how I was going to go on a diet and change my lifestyle.

Yesterday marked 3 weeks on the diet, so I posted a "status report" / "progress report" (I work in IT - you'll have to excuse the IT-esque terminology!).

What I didn't go into were some of metrics related to my weight loss / diet blogging.

On the technology.ie podcast Conn and I are going to be talking more and more about sharing tips and tricks with people to help improve their websites. So one of the things we thought we'd talk about was "breathing life into an old blog". My dieting and weight loss blog isn't the case study, but it's still quite interesting to see how traffic etc., on there has developed over the last few weeks.

So a bit of background first.

The site had been left idle for quite some time - there hadn't been a single update since November 2009. It was also running MovableType. Much as I love MT I've been moving all my blogs over to WordPress due to the phasing out of MT development and also it's a lot easier to get a WP based site tweaked quickly and easily.

So I migrated the existing content over to a fresh WP install and gave it a "new coat of paint" with a relatively simple theme from Woothemes. James had done a logo for the old site a couple of years ago, but it had never been used, so he updated it slightly and that gave the site a slightly more "professional" look.

I've had Google Analytics tracking set up since the beginning, so it was simply a matter of adding the correct code into the theme's options (it supports it "out of the box").

I hadn't had Feedburner configured for the RSS feed for some odd reason, so that was rectified.

In terms of RSS traffic the numbers aren't exactly stellar, but they're growing:

Fat.ie Feedburner stats January 2012

NB: feedburner wasn't setup before January 2012

What about web traffic?

fat.ie Google analytics stats January 2012

fat.ie Google analytics stats January 2012

You can click to enlarge the graphic, but the basic metric to note is that since I started posting on there more regularly ie. practically every day, since the beginning of the month the traffic has been going up. I'm cross-posting and sharing the posts on Twitter, Facebook and Google+, which is driving some of the visitors, but there's also a few that are following it via RSS, or simply following it without subscribing.

I'm tracking the site's "progress" using multiple tools, but the obvious "take away" is that the more fresh content you produce the more traffic you'll get.

Another one of my sites, for example, has been left on "auto pilot" for the last couple of months and the traffic has dropped quite a bit as a result. There is "fresh" content on there practically every single day, but it's not original, so the search engines aren't giving it much "weight", which makes sense.

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December 3, 2011

Does Google Dislike The English?

From the "weird and disturbing" category comes today's "gem".

At the moment if you type the following query into Google you will get some rather "interesting" results:

what defines an english person

And here's a screenshot of the results (click to enlarge):

NB: I didn't manipulate this. Found via James

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