The Tips and Techniques in this blog are written for those with beginner to intermediate knowledge of Google's AdSense, AdWords, and Blogger, and blogging , website development, and internet marketing in general.

Your comments are welcome and I will respond. If you like what you see, please consider subscribing via email or RSS, adding us to your blogroll, and using the +ADD THIS button to the left and the social bookmarking buttons above each post to tell the world through StumbleUpon, Reddit, Digg, and others. Please also visit my other blogs: Daily Quotes and Thought for the Day.

Today is Your Day to Dance Lightly with Life. It Really Is.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Sunday, August 10, 2014

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#TwitterSucks (technically speaking)

I use Twitter every day. It is the best way to follow the news - especially from non-mainstream channels - and to follow the causes I advocate for. Twitter is also a fabulous platform for my efforts at micro-blogging inspirational quotes (@JonHuie) and my positions on politics and world events (@AmerLiberal and @DeathWithDignit).

So why do I say #TwitterSucks (technically speaking)? Twitter is a very simple platform, with very simple features. There is no excuse for its technical implementation to be flawed in such basic ways.

Some of the most frustrating, basic, and easy-to-fix Twitter technical flaws:

1. The Twitter iOS app allows one to manage multiple Twitter accounts, but at Twitter.com one must log out and log back in to switch.

2. One can pin a tweet to one's Twitter profile from Twitter.com on a computer, but not from the iOS app or from the mobile version of Twitter.com

3. One cannot access the "full" version of Twitter.com (which is needed for functions like pinning a tweet to one's Twitter profile) from a mobile device (The workaround is to download an alternative browser such as the Mercury browser from the app store and use its "set user agent string" feature to pretend to be a desktop browser.)

4. The "quote retweet" feature on the iOS app is not available on the website. On Twitter.com it is a painful manual process to utilize some of the links/pictures/text of a tweet without doing a rubber-stamp retweet.

5.

I am going to keep updating this post. Please add comments about what you think is broken at Twitter - and especially if you know work-arounds for the issues.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

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Google Plus in Search Results is a Big Win for the White Hats

Of course you have heard the news -- Google is now including personalized search results from Google Plus in their search results by default.

While there have been a lot of negative comments about Google's move, I see this as a big win for those of us who play by the rules - those of us who create great content and have developed a large readership.

Until now, the only way for a website to rank highly in Google's search results was to have a lot of inbound links from other websites. That scheme created two major problems for those of us who focus on providing real content to real readers.

1. Real readers don't tend to be in the small club of website and blog owners, and therefore had no way of "voting" for the best websites. Those websites that won the search rankings were those that appealed to the owners of other blogs and websites. And worse yet...

2. The link counting scheme for choosing the "best" websites was too easy to "game" by the unscrupulous. In spite of Google's best efforts to police purchased links and other "black hat" manipulations, the bottom line was that the bad guys were winning.

Including Google Plus popularity changes all this -- for the better. Those of us who have real readers have access to having our readers "like" us using Google Plus, which - unlike blog and website ownership - is accessible to everybody.

Cheers for Google and for Google Plus! Facebook and Twitter won't like this. Spammers and affiliate marketers and Ponzi scheme website owners won't like this. But if you run a quality website that delivers quality content to real readers, you too should be cheering for Google Plus and its place of honor as a factor in Google search results.

Friday, August 26, 2011

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Links from Squidoo and HubPages

Getting links to your website is crucial to improving your search position - but from where?

Today, let's look at how the landscape has changed since Google's Panda/Farmer update in February 2011 changed life forever.

Before Panda, Squidoo and HubPages were both good, and about equal, sources of easy-to-get high-quality links. But they have responded to Panda in very different ways, and have become very different properties.

Squidoo wasn't impacted much, if at all, by Panda, and it is still a great way to get powerful links. An individual Squidoo page can acquire a SEOmoz (www.opensiteexplorer.org) PA (Page Authority) of 50 or more - which can make a huge impact on the website or websites it links to.

There is a little ongoing work to keeping Squidoo "Lenses" - as they call their pages - useful. Lenses fall from "featured" status to "work-in-progress" status unless they either receive some traffic or are frequently updated. Work-in-progress Lenses are still published, but they get "no-follow"links, so it is well worth the small effort to keep refreshing their content.

Squidoo allows up to 9 outbound links to any single website (domain), and allows links to an unlimited number of different websites.

HubPages, in contrast, was hit hard by the Panda update, and has responded by creating an environment that is, for most people, now useless for the purpose of creating links. HubPages appears committed to developing a self-contained community with essentially no outbound links. Not only do they now limit the number of links somewhat arbitrarily and unpredictably to a very low number, but they also restrict what websites can be linked-to to "relevant" websites - also quite arbitrarily. "Hub-Nazis" un-publish Hubs for the slightest infraction of the arbitrary rules leaving anyone attempting to visit the Hub staring at a message that makes the author appear criminal. Moreover, HubPages authors who don't maintain an arbitrarily-computed "hubscore" of 75 get all their links marked "no-follow."

Squidoo gets a big YES. HubPages gets a big NO.

Friday, August 12, 2011

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Google Authorship

See the Google+ logo below my name in the left sidebar? That's Google Authorship attribution at work. It let's Google track my writings across the web.

Read what Google has to say about Google Authorship, and do it for yourself right away. I believe that it is going to make a big difference in getting the original author credited for an article rather than some "skimmer" website.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

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Google +1 (Plus One)

[Skip to Add Plus One to your Blogger Blog]

Google's +1 (Plus One) is their latest experiment with allowing user opinion of websites to influence search results. For now, it only impacts what your Google "friends" see, but Google is hinting broadly that websites that get many Plus One recommendations will eventually show up higher in everyone's searches.

See Plus One in Action: If you are signed into your Google Account, you see a +1 icon above the title of each post in this blog. If you aren't signed in, you just see a blank space to the left of "Tweet This."

If you see the +1, go ahead and click it -- now your friends will know you liked this post (smile).

To Use Plus One: Here's what Google says:
  1. Make sure you're signed into your Google Account (required)
  2. Click 'Join this experiment'
  3. Search for something you love on Google.com
  4. Click the new +1 button, and make your mark on the web

Watch Google's Video on Plus One:



To Add Plus One to your Blogger Blog:

There are two ways to add +1 to your Blogger blog

1. From your Blogger Dashboard, click "Design" then "Page Elements"

2. Click "Edit" at the bottom right of "Blog Posts"

3. Check "Show Share Buttons"

4. Move things around in the "Arrange Items" box if you want.

5. Click "Save"

Or, if you don't want all the standard share buttons, or want more control over customizing your sharing buttons

1. From the Blogger Dashboard, click "Edit HTML"

2. Save a copy of your template with "Save Full Template"

3. Check "Expand Widget Templates"

4. Search (control-f) for </head>

5. Just before </head> insert
<script src='https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js' type='text/javascript'/>

6. Search for <b:if cond='data:post.title'>
[or if you already have other Share buttons, put the following code near them]

7. Just after <b:if cond='data:post.title'> insert
<g:plusone expr:href='data:post.url'/>

8. Click "Save Template"

You can also customize the Plus One button.