Google Authorship: how to setup properly

google, SEO, site Comments Off on Google Authorship: how to setup properly

It’s seems Google tries to find a silver bullet to split high quality content from shit. The way they chose is to distinguish an author of this or that article. This fact means the text is better than an anonymous staff.

The new way to distinguish the authorship is called Google Authorship. Simply put, you can tell Google “Hey, I am the author of this content”.

Google Authorship example

There are 2 roles of “authors”: authors and publishers. A site usually usually represents a single publisher, but can have multiple authors. For example, New York Times or developers.org.ua is a publisher. Every article on those resources has its own author.

Set up

Both roles are setup via Gooogle+ profile. It’s a must, otherwise nothing works.

There are two and half ways to tell to Google who you are.

Way #1. Email on the same domain

Prove your relation to the website via an email address on the same domain. You can read Google guide on it first.

Way #2.1. A HYPER-link to Google+ profile

Add a usual hyperlink to your Google+ page with “?rel=author” at the end of the URL. Disadvantage is that you need to have a hyper link to an externtal resource which is not always a good idea.

Way #2.2. A link to Google+ profile

Just add a link, not “hyper”, just add this tag anywhere on the page:

<link href="http://plus.google.com/...." rel="author" />>

Test

You can test if your setup worked well with help of Google Structured Data Testing Tool.

Pay attention, that it takes a few days/weeks for that to appear in live search results, and Google says it’s optional. They don’t promise you see your face there, put many people have it worked.

What else can I do?

1. It seems Google shows your pic only if you some kind of a known specialist of the topic, but it worked without that for many other people.

2. Also they advise to claim your authorship only for guest articles, not for articles of your own blog.

3. Another thing to pay attention to is how many circles your Google+ profile is in. The more popular you are the better.

Good luck with it!

Using non-alphanumeric characters in Sitemap URLs

development, encoding, google, links, php Comments Off on Using non-alphanumeric characters in Sitemap URLs

This article in Google Help explains how to deal with special characters in Sitemaps that you can submit to Webmaster tools in order to increase the number of indexed pages of your website.

The main point is: the URLs must contain ASCII symbols only.

It can be done this way:

  • (obvious) ampersand, both quotes and <> symbols must be encoded,
  • Unicode symbols must be encoded, eg. ü must be converted to %FC sequence,
  • URLs that you submit must follow the  RFC-3986

If you use PHP, pay attention to one thing: it seems rawurlencode should be used instead of the usual urlencode since it’s follows the RFC-3986 as stated in PHP documentation.

How to rate Points Of Interest automatically

api, development, google, ideas Comments Off on How to rate Points Of Interest automatically

During my work on sunnyrentals.com I’ve got a task to add 2 closest airports to every property an owner creates.

I implemented it quite fast since we have a database of airports with coordinates.

While playing with this feature, we found out that it is not good enough — the real task must be to add 2 closest and biggest airports. The problem is that we don’t have any data in airports DB to guess how big or famous a particular airport is.

So we need to rate every airport somehow…

The solution we found was simple — we need to google for the airport name and get the search results count. The count can be considered as rating value — London Heathrow airport has 2.33 million results while Kiev Zhulyany airport has only 0.77 mln which looks fair.

Several things to pay attention to:

  • the query we formed was [city name] + [airport name] + ‘ airport’
  • if this query gives zero result, I omit the city name — at times it hepls
  • we put the query into quotes to google for the exact phrase, otherwise the London City airport gets the highest rating due to the fact that “city” is a general term
  • if the airport name includes the city name (Melbourne Intl), we omit the city name — “Melbourne Intl airport” is better then “Melbourne Melbourne Intl airport
  • in addition to previous idea — if the airport name sounds like the city name, we omit the city name as well. Example: Narsarsuaq airport in Narssarssuaq city. I used soundex function for this comparison — it’s present in PHP and MySQL.

To get the google results you can use the Google Search API:

$queryTemplate = 'http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/services/search/web?v=1.0&q=%s';
$airportQuery = '"London Heathrow airport"';
$query = sprintf( $queryTemplate, urlencode( $airportQuery ) );
$json = json_decode( file_get_contents( $query ), 1 );
$rating = (int)$json['responseData']['cursor']['estimatedResultCount'];

Google Analytics API launched!

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This week Google has launched Google Analytics API. Now developers can use the analytical power of Google in their own services.

For example, if you want to access Google Analytics by your phone, use Android application by Actual Metrics. Do you want the Analytics on your desktop? There is a Desktop-Reporting for that purpose.

If you are interested in integration of Google Analytics into your own business, take a look at such examples.

MailChimp integrated Google Analytics to email marketing platform.

ShufflePoint® offers the addition of data from Google Analytics to the presentations of PowerPoint®.

Look at youcalc that have created software that allows you to mix up Google Analytics, AdWords, Salesforce.com and other data companies.

Need more examples? Look at samples from the customers on the Google developers website.

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