How to add Google’s Plus One button to WordPress

Google Plus iconWhy do you want Google’s Plus One (+1) button? Like Facebook “Likes” and Twitter’s tweets, the +1 button gives your stamp of approval.

Or maybe you’re tired of Facebook and want to support Google’s latest foray into the social media world. I’m not positive, but I believe that Plus One replaces Google Buzz.

Like Facebook and Twitter, you need a Google Profile before embarking on your new career of Google approval stamping.

Add Google’s plus one button to WordPress

1. If you don’t have one, get your Google Profile.

2. If you don’t have one, set up a Google gmail account.

3. Download Plus One, the plug-in, or use your WordPress console’s plugin area to download. Plus One worked right out of the box, without adding any coding to the header or anywhere else. It was released the same day as the Plus One button itself, so I have a feeling its developer used the months of beta testing to prepare this plug-in. I always prefer using a plugin to messing with the code editor.

That’s it.

Now, when you see a Plus One button and click on it to like something, the “like” will go to a list on your Google Profile.

Google has announced that it’s launching some kind of Plus One analytics. Should be one more interesting piece of social technology in an already competitive marketplace.

"Why is my blog posted on a Chinese web site?"

The Pirate Bay logo

Image via Wikipedia

Welcome to Internet piracy.

Why is my blog posted on a Chinese web site?

Your blog can be “scraped” by illicit web bandits and posted elsewhere.

What is scraping? No more than plain vanilla cutting and pasting — by really fast computers that don’t care what they steal, so long as it’s somewhat popular. Scraped postings usually end up on web sites with advertising.

Stealing is bad enough, but this kind of stealing is worse than bad. Google and some other search engines penalize content that appears more than once.

You never want to have two identical web sites, for instance. I’ve known businesses that have done this, thinking that their content would be found twice as often. In fact, both web sites invariably end up at the bottom of the heap in search engine results.

Guess what? You can’t do much about scraping after the fact, especially if you’re a small business. And if your content has been scraped by an overseas thief … well, I hate to tell you this … but you might be SOL.

Unfortunately, we don’t think that Google’s algorithm yet identifies who the original poster is, so as to give the original web site priority over another. Right now, it appears that both web sites fail.

HOWEVER, in April 2011, Google did start penalizing content “farms” — sites that offer more ads than content. That has been a help, but we’re not sure how much. Check out NPR’s story on content farms.

We hope that piracy is righteously penalized in the famed Google algorithm one day.

For now, check out plug-ins for your blogs. One is WP-Protect (for WordPress). With WP-Protect (free), or a similar product, you can disable text and photo copying. This doesn’t mean that a smart pirate can’t come into your web site and figure out a way to download your stories, but at least it won’t be automatic. These plug-ins are a great deterrent. Whatever your CMS platform, please do a search for copy protection plug-ins. You won’t be sorry.

Go ahead … try to cut and paste even one word from this blog. You’d have to go through several laborious steps to extract any text. And yet … my blog can still offer linked copy, and is still searched by Google’s spiders just fine.

Software like Wp-Protect is, still and always will be (perhaps), a deterrent. Like your home, it is nigh impossible to keep out someone who wants to break in. At least we’re well on the way to creating a burglar-proof web site.

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How to get a great web site design and price

Apple.

Image via Wikipedia

OK, I’ve written about this topic extensively for film and video. And you know what? The principles are the same for web design.

If you ask three web designers for a price, you get what? Well, three different ideas, three different prices.

How to get a great web site design and price?

How can you get your web designers to bid on apples and apples, not apples and oranges?

  1. You start with three web designers whose work you like.
  2. You send each the same specifications (specs).
  3. You choose the bid you prefer, whether it’s based solely on price or not.

So, how to come up with the right specs?

Follow this checklist:

  1. # of pages
  2. # of forms needed (e.g., sign-up)
  3. would you like to be able to make your own changes to the web site? (This will tell your designer whether to use a content management system, or CMS)
  4. ecommerce? (e.g., are you doing to be selling items on your web site? How many?)
  5. do you need a blog?
  6. do you need photography?
  7. do you need a logo design?
  8. what’s your style? clean and spare? elegant? simple or wordy?
  9. are you including video? Does the video exist yet, or is that part of the package?
  10. do you need writing? (This is highly recommended! and not all web designers provide writing.)
  11. Do you need search engine optimization? Search engine marketing? They’re two different things, and if you’re not sure what each means, then you need an expert to help you.

Of course, this list isn’t foolproof. You may have a logo made by your son-in-law that you think is spectacular, but doesn’t work on the web. Or in print. A good logo designer will make you a set of logos good for every reason and season.

Also, your designer may recommend a different number of pages or photos. No matter. You’ve asked each of three companies to bid on the same specs, which will tell you a lot.

However, please don’t judge your bidders solely on price. Take a look at what they can do. Meet with each one. Determine whether there’s “getalongability” … you’re going to be working with this person or company for at least a few months (maybe more), so make sure you’re comfortable. Some folks select web design companies on price alone … and I can’t tell you how many really bad web sites come of that.

How to save money on web design in Virginia

The City of Williamsburg‘s Economic Development group used to offer small businesses an economic incentive to creating websites. However, this program and one like it in James City County seem to have given way to other programs, probably with the emergence of DIY and other cost-saving technology.

I’ve left this link up just to let you know, in the event you’re coming from one of our external links.

If you do hear anymore about this, please use our Contact page to tell us about it.

Keep in mind, however, that DIY opportunities such as Wix and WordPress templates don’t help with your need for content development and search engine optimization. Give us a call if you want to know more.

Thanks!

Happy Valentine’s Day to Basecamp

Google love

Robert Indiana’s Google Love

I usually run a search engine measurement tool once a day for Basecamp Productions … just to see where my key words stand compared to those of other businesses. I do this for each of my clients’ sites as well. But, thanks to a couple of weeks in California and some computer glitches, I hadn’t run my measurement software in nearly three weeks. (more…)

Track your own SEO and social media success

This is icon for social networking website. Th...

Image via Wikipedia

So you want to prove to your boss that social media and other efforts are working.

Here are some great products that can help you.

SEMRUSH is a fantastic product, tracking local and national search engine results, as well as social media and other factors that can figure into your web site’s ranking. Subscription.

Advanced Web Ranking lets you track every key word in any search engine or directory on the Internet. Subscription.

Hub Spot lets you determine qualified leads and how to convert them. Hub Spot specializes in inbound marketing (bringing qualified leads to your site and converting them into customers). Try out HS’s free Web Site Grader to see how well your web site performs. There are also “graders” to grade your book marketing, Facebook and Twitter presence, blog, and press releases. Some free tools and a subscription plan.

I also like Spider Viewer, from WeBuildPages. Spider Viewer shows you your page as a search engine “spider” would view it — text and links. So if you want to analyze your meta information (and make sure you don’t have unwanted formatting, for instance), this is a good tool to use. It will also display all links — I’ve found this useful when considering whether my links are well worded. Free.

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