Tag Archives: google

Google +1 button position

I'm using the Google+1 button plugin for wordpress to add a Google+1 button on my blog.

The plugin is great but it registers a filter to add this button and there are other plugins installed that also register their own filters on the body. What I would like is to have google+1 , facebook like and the official tweet button all on one line.

This would be easy if I would not have the contextual related posts plugin that puts the links to the posts right between the google+1 button and the facebook like botton.

Most plugins that add something to a post or page have a way of adding it manually, through a template keyword but this is not useful as I don't want to remember to add all the buttons at the end of each post.

The next solution would be to use the function that outputs the button code in the template. But this needed a small modification to the google+1 plugin.

Here's the patched version of the google+1 plugin version 1.0.4
[download id="28"]
And here's the unified diff file in case you want to apply it over your plugin and to see what really changed:
[download id="29"]

Now you can just use this code inside the posts loop ( after or before the the_content ):


This was a quick change to get this done. A better solution would be to modify the plugin to allow you to set the filter order ( priority ) so you can control the position from wordpress admin like you can do it in the wp facebook like and wp tweet button plugin.

Oh and don't forget to +1 , like and/or tweet this post 🙂

Twitter is just Twitter

The web is amazing. Every once in a while a new service appears that brings together so many people and gets so much popularity that everyone starts to look at it as the solution to everything.

Twitter is one good example of such beast. Started as a microblogging tool, made popular by high profile bloggers like Robert Scooble, seen as the hidden treasure of branding and marketing, twitter currently has about 5 mil users and growing rapidly. ( you know it's growing when you see spam growing 🙂 )

One of the greatest things about twitter ( from a developer's point of view ) is that it allows developers access to it's data through a simple API. This allowed a lot of companies and individual developers to write a large variety of web based services and applications from simple clients to power monitoring , pregnancy monitoring and alarm monitoring applications .

All these new apps being created everyday make people think what more can we do with twitter ? How can we make it solve all of our problems? ( can it bail out the banks ? 🙂 ) .

A few weeks ago this post on Marketing Pilgrim blog suggests twitter could become a payment gateway, three days ago someone wrote a post suggesting twitter search could be a threat to google , I still see tweets about that post.

I see the value in each of those apps, in some there is more in others less, I can see how twitter search can be very useful for certain things, but it could never replace a search engine in the way google, yahoo, live work.

I'm not saying people shouldn't look for innovative ways to use a service, but headlines like "twitter threatens google" seem more like link bait.

I actually think something like friendfeed.com would be more efficient as a search engine then twitter is but would still not match google's power.

Sure people based search is cool but what about most of the people who don't  live in twitter, what about the forums, the mailing lists, the blog comments, the pdfs, .doc?

Getting Social: Google Friend Connect

Lately I have become more involved into social media/networking. I'm far from a social media expert, and I think too many people declare themselves social media gurus. If everybody's a guru no one's a guru anymore :).

Anyway as part of my social networking involvement I try to experiment with new things as time permits. One of these things is Google Friend Connect.

What is Google Friend Connect?

In a few words it's a service that allows a site's visitors to connect with their friends that might also use the same site.

Google provides a few gadgets, one for showing members, another one for allowing members to post on your site's wall, a Review/Rate gadget and some others supporting the OpenSocial platform but developers can build their own gadgets too.

It allows you to see who else is using the same site as you are and what other sites are your friends using. You can connect with your friends on twitter, plaxo, google ( gmail) and orkut but other networks may be available in the future. So if you're visiting my blog and using one of those services you might want to become a member of this site and see what you're friends are doing.

How to implement on your blog?

If you want to implement Google Friend Connect on your blog, the process is pretty simple just go to http://www.google.com/friendconnect/ , click the "Setup a new site" button and follow the simple instructions.

It will ask you to provide the site name and home page url and then will provide 2 html files for download that you have to upload to your site.

I had troubles downloading the html files because they didn't actually contain any html but just javascript and firefox would interpret them and save them as empty files. If you have the same problem, get Firebug and look into the Net tab after you download the files. You should see the html response for each of those files and just copy paste into the files and upload that to your site.

Then pick one of more gadgets, customize them to match the look of your site and google will generate some html code that you can copy and put where ever you want on your site.

Let's connect!

You can see the google friend connect members gadget on the right sidebar after the "Recent comments" widget. Just click the "Join" button.

Other places where we can connect:

Twitter: http://twitter.com/mihaisecasiu

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Mihai-Secasiu/566029300

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mihaisecasiu

FriendFeed: https://friendfeed.com/mihaisecasiu

Stubleupon: http://symx.stumbleupon.com/

Digg: http://digg.com/users/symx

XML Sitemaps for Pligg

Update: There is be a new version of this module. Click here to get it.

I created a module that generates XML Sitemaps for Pligg ( the well known open source cms used for creating sites similar to digg.com ).

The module generates a sitemap index and sitemaps with all the stories in the database dynamically so nothing is stored on disk and you don't have to set a cron job to generate it.

The sitemaps are updated automatically when a new story is submitted. Because of the structure of the sitemap index and because it contains "lastmod" info, the search engines should only download the latest entries in the index so you shouldn't worry about the module putting too much load on your system.

There is also a "ping" function that will announce google, yahoo and ask.com every time a new story is submitted so that they know they have to download the sitemap. The ping function required a little patching to pligg source code to add some hooks ( only if you use 9.6, 9.7 should already have those hooks ). Here is the diff file in case you use pligg 0.9.6 : pligg submit hooks diff

The module was only tested on pligg 0.9.6, I haven't upgraded to 0.9.7 yet, so if you try this on 0.9.7 let me know how it works, any feedback is appreciated.


You can download Xml_Sitemaps module from here: xml_sitemaps-0.1.tar.gz and in case you want to verify it here is the md5 sum and the sha256 sum

the code is released under the same license as pligg, so feel free to use it, modify and share.


This is pretty straight forward, you have to install this like any other pligg module, just put the .tar.gz file in the modules, un-archive it then go into pligg admin and activate it. If you use pligg 0.9.6 and you want to be able to ping the search engines don't forget to apply the submit hooks patch .


After installation you should be able to access the sitemap index like this : http://yourdomain.com/module.php?module=xml_sitemaps_show_sitemap or if you want the sitemap to look friendly ( btw ask.com will only accept a friendly sitemap ending in .xml ) , you just have to go into Admin->Configuration->XmlSitemaps and enable "Sitemap Friendly URL", and if you do that then you have to put the following lines in your .htaccess somewhere before the line "##### URL Method 2 ("Clean" URLs) Begin #####" :

  1. RewriteRule ^sitemapindex.xml module.php?module=xml_sitemaps_show_sitemap [L]
  2. RewriteRule ^sitemap-([a-zA-Z0-9]+).xml module.php?module=xml_sitemaps_show_sitemap&i=$1 [L]

Here is how the index looks on a site with sitemap friendly urls enabled: http://sapa.ro/sitemapindex.xml

There are other configuration options in there, you can set the maximum number of stories to put in a sitemap, and you can chose whether to ping any of the three search engines supported. You can also set your yahoo.com key in there if you want to ping yahoo.

That's it! Happy Sitemapping! and as always ... let me know how it works in the comments.

Google set to kill link ads

Google has a way of reporting paid links now. They say buying links is an attempt to game their pagerank algorithm and they want you to report sites that sell or buy paid links.

They agree links are a good way of advertising and are not against it, but they want those that display text link to put the rel="nofollow" attribute in the links. Using the "nofollow" attribute will means that GoogleBot will not follow the link, thus will not use it when computing the page rank for the destination url.

I think the only reason you would want text links on a site is because of that, to get a higher page rank and relevance, so by requiring webmasters to use nofollow, they are just killing text link advertising networks like Text Link Ads that work especially because they sell link ads that are followed and transfer page rank.

Google says this violates their guidelines. How can you violate a guideline, you can violate a rule, but if it's just a guideline that means you shouldn't be penalized for not following it.
And there are other problems with this policy. Links are supposed to mean that the owner of the site thinks that some other site is relevant, and that is why he links to it. Paid or not it can be relevant. Page rank is about relevancy, right ?
If I want my site in google search ads, I pay google for it, does that mean my ads are not relevant ? Google says it shows contextual ads because they are relevant to the content the user is seeing. It seems to me, it's relevant only if you pay google for the ad.

And here's another problem: How can google tell if the person that reports such violation does not lie? If I want to get my competitor out of google index or set him on a lower page rank I could just report him for buying text links. A lot of web sites have text links pointing to them, paid or not. It's hard to tell. Some disclose them, other's don't. This may influence the ones that do disclose them, not to disclose the links anymore. Why add to the risk of being reported?

google apps: check mail

I went to google apps today and here is what I see on their page:

 With Google Apps, you and your colleagues can check email, schedule meetings, check email, chat in real time,....

So you can check email, schedule meetings, check email, chat, check email, share calendars, check email....hmm if that's how you're going to work I'm not sure how productive you're going to be with google apps. But yes I guess we are all addictive ( to some degree ) to checking our email and stats ... uhh they forgot to mention that, "check stats" - analytics, adsense, adwords, webmaster tools a lot of stats to check...gotta  go!  Have work to do. I haven't checked my email and stats in a long time.

Google Sitemaps – Jerome’s Keywords Plugin

I wrote this little wordpress plugin to integrate Jerome's Keywords plugin with Google Sitemaps plugin so that the generated sitemap will also include tag pages. This plugin was inspired by a an addon that integrates Ultimate Tag Warrior with Google sitemaps.

You will need WordPress 2.0.x, Google sitemap 3.0beta and Jerome's keywords 1.9 for this plugin to work. It would be easy to make this work with Google sitemap 2.x so if you need it just let me know.I don't know how this would work on older versions of Jerome's Keywords cause I haven't tried that.

Download: Google Sitemaps - Jerome’s Keywords Plugin