How to Add Support for Display Advertising Code in Google Analytics for WordPress

It’s really simple to use Google’s Display Advertising code, so I thought I’d share how.

To enable the new GA features:

  1. Check the “Show Advanced Settings”
  2. Under “Advanced Settings,” check the checkbox for “Host ga.js locally:”
  3. In the text field that appears, enter: //stats.g.doubleclick.net/dc.js
    • Note: The missing http and https is intentional – if your site’s in secure mode, it will use https, otherwise http)
  4. Save your settings!

Set the Width for a Google Maps InfoWindow

Working with Google Maps v3 is way fun.

If you’re a masochist.

Infowindow width
Scrolling InfoWindow
It seems like there’s no easy way to set the width of an InfoWindow. You can set the minWidth parameter, but that does nothing.

If you have content that exceeds the InfoWindow window, you get this: a scrolling box. That’s terrible.

The solution is horribly easy.

Looking Through the InfoWindow
The solution presents itself.
This will solve all your problems, and make you wish you had the past two hours back of your life: use the provided .gm-style-iw class to style the InfoWindow content container.

/* Just use .gm-style-iw */
.gm-style-iw {
width: 300px; 
min-height: 150px;
}

Get URL for Searches in Safari 6

There have been many articles and conversations about the question of how to get the URL of a Google search in Safari 6. Some solutions include using the Terminal to get the URL, using AppleScript,  using bookmarklets, and using Automator. I created a Safari Extension to make this process easier.

Get URL: Easily get the URL of your current tab.

With my Get URL Safari Extension, simply click the toolbar button for a popup that contains the URL of the current page. The URL is already selected, making it simple to copy.

Download the Get URL Safari Extension
(.safariextz, 46 kb)

Update: I’ve received notice from Apple that the extension will be available in the Safari Extensions Gallery. Look for it there soon!

The Google +1 Sprite Animation

How the +1 Button Works

Google +1 Button The +1 Button uses an advanced sprite technique to simulate an animated `gif`. The animation occurs when hovering over search results with +1 enabled, and the shine moves across the button. (The image to the right is an animated `gif` I made…)

The +1 Button is not an animated `gif`, however. It’s a sprite image that moves a background image across the “window” of the button using Javascript. The code, if you care, goes something like this:

`onmouseover=”window.gbar&&gbar.pw&&gbar.pw.hvr(this,google.time())”`

The sprite image Google uses for the +1 button is below:

Google +1 Sprite

Pretty neat, huh?

Yeah, the +1 Button animation is pretty neat…
…now turn it off!

Oh goodness gracious, the animation is annoying. After hovering over one search result, it’s obvious how awful the animation is and I want to claw my eyes out with a rusty nail. I wanted to find a way to disable the animation. Continue reading “The Google +1 Sprite Animation”

Google Rewrites Your Search Result Titles for Relevance

Google is changing your titles for you…whether they’re “optimized” or not!

Google is overruling your title tags when they determine that your content headlines are more relevant.

Previously, I had only seen this behavior when there were not well-structured title tags, keyword-stuffed title tags or no title tags at all. This has been well documented and discussed. This is the first time that I have noticed Google taking a more aggressive stance in rewriting title tags that have been well crafted. Continue reading “Google Rewrites Your Search Result Titles for Relevance”

Fixing the Interspire Google Base Feed

Google Base updates their guidelines faster than Interspire updates its Shopping Cart.

Google loves when we feed it products.Upon launching the new MakeUpMania.com website, I discovered that the XML feed that Interspire generates for Google Base is not properly structured. There were many hits and misses before making the modifications necessary to get the feed approved.

Fixing the generated feed

Below are fixes to three issues that kept throwing errors on the Google Base side. Continue reading “Fixing the Interspire Google Base Feed”

How to prevent your Google background image from fading in slowly.

Google + slow loading = not worth having background images.

In trying to keep their homepage as minimal as possible, in December Google switched to fading in the home page links only on an event: moving your mouse or tabbing out of the search box. This was fine when the home page was only white, as it wasn’t taxing on computers to fade in on white.

Now that Google allows for custom image backgrounds (likely in response to how beautiful the Bing backgrounds are), the fading in process can be tedious, even using blazing-fast Chrome. I can only imagine what users using Internet Explorer 6 are going through: fading in images takes a lot of work and time!

This was annoying me, so I made a quick modification to my SEO Stylesheet (a Custom Stylesheet to display search results and no-follow nicely in Safari, IE and Firefox). This mod will make the image load solid, with no fading or resulting lag. Continue reading “How to prevent your Google background image from fading in slowly.”

Google Place Pages – Google Finally Shows its Answer to Yelp.com

Google finally goes “local directory” in Place Pages

Google had been lagging behind sites like Yelp.com in providing a place to find information about businesses. If you did a local search, you would have a “More info…” link that would expand your search result inside the map and have tabs that were badly organized. Not anymore. Enter Place Pages. Google explains it well: “Now, instead of just getting a slightly bigger bubble, you’ll get an entire page of rich details, like photos, videos, a Street View preview, nearby transit, reviews and related websites.”

But don’t let them fool you. This is not just a minor improvement. This is a major entry in the directory website world. Think MerchantCircle, Yelp, CitySearch, etc.

Google Place Pages is a crazy directory…

http://maps.google.com/places/us/denver/s-queen-way/904/-katz-web-services-seo-&-web-design

Google now has pages for each of the “directories” in the URL. The street you live on now has its own Place Page.

…but Place Pages are still “search results”

Place Pages also seem to guess what you’re looking for. If Google thinks that the URL you have entered is related to a page, it will display the related information.

Interesting examples: Continue reading “Google Place Pages – Google Finally Shows its Answer to Yelp.com”

Google Chrome Frame Plugin for WordPress

Google Chrome Frame — the Beginning of the End of IE Tyranny?

Google just introduced a new tactic in the browser wars, and this one’s juicy. It’s called Google Chrome Frame.

What it does is it makes Internet Explorer render websites using Google Chrome in a frame. That means that IE can have HTML 5 compatibility and all the other WebKit goodness. The catch? Google Chrome Frame will only activate if webmasters ask it to by adding a meta tag. So I created a plugin that does just that.

Download the Google Chrome Frame Plugin from WordPress.org

Hopefully, GCF will start to shift users from rendering sites in IE 6/7/8 to Google Chrome. Continue reading “Google Chrome Frame Plugin for WordPress”

SEO Google Profiles – Google Adds NoFollow to Links

Just a quick post to show that Google has started to nofollow all links on new Google Profiles.  This is too bad for a quick SEO shot in the arm, but also makes sense, since most of the people who knew about Google Profiles were SEO’s anyway 🙂

Oh well, on to greener pastures!

As an user on BlogCatalog notes,

The links on your Google profile will be nofollow, but the links on your Google Reader shared items page (as of the time I write this) are NOT nofollow.

Linking to your profile on your site or blog is a great idea, but linking to your shared items page is an even better one.

Update: Google Profiles are Back to Do-Follow

Over the weekend I created a brand-new profile for my wife, and noticed that the profile for John Sileo that I had previously mentioned is now “dofollow,” as is the brand-new profile for my wife.

Use it, don’t abuse it!

It’s good that Google’s reversed their policy on this, because Google Profiles are a natural thing to optimize and promote. They are a great tool for linking to other properties, and you should create your own. Just don’t go too crazy, or Google might pull the follow plug again.

How to Create a Google Profile and Manage your Online Reputation

As seen on 7News – View the video on TheDenverChannel.com

Denver 7News

Why Google Profiles matter to you

Receive monthly tips like this one on how to get online exposure

As featured on the May 20th 7News program featuring Zack Katz of Katz Web Design, Google Profiles are a great way to be found online for your own name, even if you don’t have a website.If you set up an online profile with Google, a person looking for you online will be able to find you more easily.

Your profile will show up in search results

In the past, if you wanted to be listed in search results for your own name (it’s called a “vanity search”), you often needed your own website. Google is changing that, and giving users the power to show up in a search result with a picture and link to their profile.

Google Profile Embedded Results
The Google Profile box embedded in the search results for Zack Katz

In April, Google has started giving Profiles a prominent placement in search results. It is safe to presume that Google will be further incorporating the Profiles in the future, and assigning them more value. If you want to improve your findability online, setting up a profile is a great step to take. Continue reading “How to Create a Google Profile and Manage your Online Reputation”

New Google search results — OneBox is upgraded

OneBox SEO

Google’s OneBox results getting smarter

Recently, Google seems to have updated their algorithm for when they show the mapped results (or, “OneBox”). It used to be that the OneBox would show up when viewing 10 results at a time for many most local searches. Now, the OneBox only shows up when viewing locally relevant industries or when a certain number of results are displayed at once. Continue reading “New Google search results — OneBox is upgraded”