Instant Linkbuilding Solutions
On the WordPress Dashboard you'll find two quick ways to find out who's linking to your site the Comments area showing pingbacks and trackbacks, and the Incoming Links box. Incoming Links If pingbacks and trackbacks tell you someone is linking to your site, what's the purpose of the Incoming Links box highlighted in Figure 32-1 The answer is that pingbacks and trackbacks work only on individual posts, and only if you and the person linking to you both have the functions turned on. The value of Incoming Links is that it displays a list of who's linking to your site in general, a specific page, or an individual post whether or not trackbacks and pingbacks are functioning. By default, the Incoming Links box checks for your website's address on Google Blog Search, but you can change that if you'd prefer to monitor your site in another blog search engine such as Technorati. Mouseover the right-hand side of the Incoming Links title and you'll see a link called Configure, which creates the...
As with posts, you can create multiple categories for your links in the WordPress Dashboard if you want to have more than one link list. Sometimes, having a large list of links below the heading Blogroll is just too generic, and you may want to display groups of links with different headings that further define them. You can define your links by creating link categories in the Dashboard and then assigning links to the appropriate categories. To create link categories, follow these steps
This nifty little tool keeps track of your links. When installed, it will browse through your blogroll, Pages and posts, looking for links that are broken. Then it lets you do stuff with them. Very handy, but I'm not sure I'd trust it to be running all the time. It does recheck every 72 hours by default, but you can have it check manually as well.
The Incoming Links widget is set up to show you Google Blog Search results for your site's URL. The widget is configurable (Figure 3-4), so if you'd rather see results from some other service (like Technorati) or if you want to change the number of search results displayed, click Configure in the widget's title bar and edit the settings. Incoming Links Cancel Figure 3-4. Configuring the Incoming Links Dashboard widget Tip Incoming Links, the WordPress Development Blog, and Other WordPress News are all just RSS readers with some preconfigured options. If you want to show other RSS feeds instead of these three, click Configure and replace each widget's RSS feed URL with your own.
What you can control is your own links. You should make sure that your own links you make to, for example, past stories still work. Another source of broken links is the list of links you have in your blogroll, resources list, and so on, managed by WordPress's Link Manager (described in Chapter 17). Finally, readers sometimes leave links in their comments, which can go out-of-date. You could check each of those links by hand clicking each in your browser and checking that the link still works. Unfortunately, that gets tedious after about the first five Luckily, a number of solutions to this problem are available, in the form of both online services and desktop tools.
Tip The TinyMCE module httpdrupalorgprojecttinymce allows Wysiwyg Html editing and integrates nicely with the Image
The final field on the HTML filter's configuration page is Spam Link Deterrent. In early 2005, Google announced that it would no longer award any page rank credit to sites based on links with the rel nofollow attribute in them. This was done in response to the increasing phenomenon of spammers posting comments on blogs with links to their own sites just to increase their page ranking with Google and other search engines. Drupal quickly responded, and by checking the Spam Link Deterrent option, you ensure that any links posted by your site's users will have the rel nofollow attribute, and Google will not follow them when spidering. Let's hope that the incentive for comment spam will dwindle as spammers realize that they are wasting their time.
Widgets are small pieces of code that drive the content of small boxed areas you put in a sidebar of your blog. Widgets can do many things, such as provide links to your most recent posts, provide links to pages in your blog, show recent posts from another blog, and so on. In Figure 3.3, shown later in this section, the Archives, Categories, and Blogroll areas in the sidebar are all widgets.
The next two panels, right below Right Now, concern the lifeblood of any blog comments and external links. You'll never forget the first time someone comments on one of your blog posts, and you'll be thrilled when you find the first Web site not run by you that's linking to your blog. Incoming Links panel The Incoming Links panel (Figure 4.5) is a great way to see what other people are saying about your blog on their blogs. This feature uses Google Blog Search to see what blogs are linking to yours and reports back to you. When you first install WordPress, there won't be any links to your blog, so your panel will look like Figure 4.5. As you start to blog, though, you'll start to build your audience, and people will start linking to you. It won't happen overnight, but with some work, it'll happen sooner than you think. incoming Links s ah i Edii 1 3 rss Figure 4.5 Incoming Links tells you how many people are (or aren't) linking to your blog. Figure 4.6 You can plug in the RSS feed of...
Generally, a hacker crafts a bot that trawls the Internet looking for vulnerable installations of WordPress. When it finds a vulnerable blog, the bot exploits the vulnerability to access your blog and insert links to various sites of ill repute. This technique is an effort to use your blog to increase those sites' Google PageRank scores.
The practice of changing a few elements of an existing WordPress theme is tweaking. Thousands of WordPress blog owners tweak their existing themes on a regular basis. This chapter provides information on some of the most common tweaks you can make to your theme, such as changing the header image, changing the color of the background or the text links, and changing font styles and these changes are pretty easy to make, too You'll be tweaking your own theme in no time flat.
The first point to make is that links from other sites (inbound links) are very important to search engines, as long as the link is from a quality, popular site. It would be shame to have a link from a trusted site and to suddenly have that link broken because you changed something in the URL of your page. Permalinks are designed to prevent that problem.
HTML also provides a front end for the protocol that determines how web links and domain names work, called HTTP, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol. HTML code that sets up hyperlinks the links you click to move from one web page to another serves as a front end for HTTP. You can use HTML in WordPress.com in fact, it's always just a click away. The HTML code underlying your blog entries is available on the HTML tab whenever you are writing or editing a blog entry.
You can enter the URL of any RSS feed you want to display incoming links to your site. Examples of feeds you can use include Technorati (http technorati.com), Yahoo Search (http search. yahoo.com) or Social Mention (www.socialmention.com). You're not restricted to using the Google Blog Search engine (http blog search.google.com) to provide your Incoming Links information.
Why disable comments Comment spam is the biggest reason. Comment spam, much like normal e-mail spam, attempts to use your blog to advertise a variety of things and to provide links to sites that you probably don't want to be associated with. You can combat this scourge in ways that don't take all the fun of commenting away, however I talk about those techniques in Dealing with Comment Spam later in this chapter.
Breadcrumbs typically appear horizontally across the top of a webpage, usually below any title bars or headers. They provide links back to each previous page that the user navigated through in order to get to the current page, for hierarchical structures usually the parent pages of the current one. Breadcrumbs provide a trail for the user to follow back to the starting entry point of a website. Generally, a greater than ( ) is used as hierarchy separator, although other glyphs can be used to represent this.
Here's what you can do with your links Sort the links You can sort by Link ID, Name, Address, or Rating by using the Order by Name drop-down menu. Likewise, you can sort your links by category by using the View All Categories drop-down menu and selecting the Link Category you'd like to filter your links by.
You need to do some regular housekeeping if you are to maintain a working, active community web site. Some of those housekeeping tasks are standard things you should do for any kind of web site making backups, checking your links, and so on. Some things are WordPress-specific, and some of them are specific to maintaining your readers' interest.
If all your links were root-relative ( images photo.jpg), it should be easy to perform a search and replace to accommodate any changes in your directory structure, or you could simply copy your old files to your new site with the directory structure intact. If, however, you had file-relative links ( images photo.jpg), you'll have to do a couple of passes to change them all. Do yourself a favor and take this opportunity to make them root-relative
If you do find yourself running low on space, or at least heading that way, you have several options. If you have a lot of high-resolution images, you should consider replacing the older ones with lower-resolution versions, if that won't detract from the value of your old posts. Similarly, if your community blog is a support site for your software and you offer downloads, you could consider removing the older versions. But make sure any old posts that link to them are updated. You don't want to leave bad links in your old posts. I'll show you how to check for bad links later in this chapter, in the Checking Your Links section. With regard to your database, there isn't really a lot you can do to reduce its size. The bulk of your database is your content your posts and pages, your visitors' comments, and your links. You don't want to get rid of any of that because it is the lifeblood of your blog. However, the spam comments can go, as described next.
Post permalinks, which I discuss in Chapter 5, are the most flexible type, because you can create a custom permalink structure that allows you to add extensions to all your links (such as .html). You can set the base for tags and category permalinks (the concept of a base for your permalinks is explained in detail in Chapter 5) a limited capability, but better than what you can do for pages. Page permalinks are always safe titles.
XFN stands for XHTML Friends Network and allows you to indicate the relationship you have with the people you are linking to by defining how you know, or are associated with, them. Table 8-1 lists the different relationships you can assign to your links. Link Relationship (XFN) is kind of a silly bookmark-type assignment that indicates how well you know the person whose site or blog you're linking to by defining your relationship with her. You can find more information on XFN at http gmpg.org xfn.
Those long URLs containing your post titles are great for improving your search results, but they're awfully long If you're sharing links on social media networks, e-mailing them, or including them in printed documents, you're probably interested in ways to shorten your links.
Links.php is the second page template that comes standard with the Sandbox theme. Traditionally, the links that have been added in the Control Panel are used in a special links widget in a sidebar. The Links page template extends this functionality into a page, so rather than having your links stuck off to the side, you can easily have a separate page with all these bookmarks in them.
The Track Links' Update Times check box refers to the blogroll-style links that WordPress supports. If you check this box and include the file wp-admin update-links.php in your theme file, WordPress will automatically track the last time the blogs in your links were updated.
After you install the extension into Firefox from Kevin's site, you will have a new command in the Tools menu Check Page Links, as shown in Figure 18-12. Click this command, and the extension will check the links in the page one at a time. As it checks each link, it will highlight it to indicate its status. The colors used are green for a good link, red for broken links, yellow for redirected or forbidden links, and gray for skipped links. Check Page Links lether you're looking for good links or bad links LinkChe t the tool for you. It's as easy to use as green, yellow, r ile I was searching a large page for one broken link hid( 1. choose Check Page Links in the Tools menu, by right-clicking on anywebpage, or click the available toolbar button _ to start and stop LinkChecker * red - broken links * yellow - forwarded forbidden links green - good links sideharwith broken link summarv list anchored tn had links
The really good news is that WordPress already outputs your content's pages and their subpages using unordered lists. Right-click on the page links in Firefox to View Selected Source and check that the DOM inspector shows us that the menu is, in fact, being displayed using an unordered list.
At our shop we trigger a developer e-mail or Twitter warning to let you know someone got an oopsy. Especially if there is a referrer in the HTTP headers, you can track down where the broken link originated from. At the least you know something went wrong and can do some research.
This position is based largely on some historical abuses by premium theme developers that carry licenses requiring inclusion of links back to the developer or sponsor site, or even by inclusion of hidden keyword stuffing routines intended to generate traffic for some other source. Fortunately, this is not as common as it used to be when premium themes first arrived on the scene.
In addition to posts and pages, you can create links with your WordPress blog. When you check the Track Links' Update Times check box (Figure 5.35), your blog connects with a third-party server (Ping-o-Matic refer to Update services earlier in this chapter) to see whether the linked sites have been updated. You can use this feature to create a blogroll (a list of links to blogs that you enjoy) that shows the last time the blog was updated.
In other words, any link pointing to a site provides a PageRank to the site. PageRank is used by Google to assign a numerical weight to each element of a hyperlinked set of documents such as the World Wide Web with the purpose of measuring its relative importance within the set. If a link has a rel nofollow attribute, it will not provide any PageRank to the linked site. In order to reward commentators it is, in my opinion, a good idea to get rid of this rel nofollow attribute on links. This way, your commentators will gain some PageRank when they'll leave comments on your blog. This is a good reason for them to comment, because a lot of web site or blog owners are trying to enhance their site SEO that way. Select if you want to remove nofollow attribute From comment author and or comment body text link and or registered users link Do you want to remove nofollow from (default Author Registered Author Registered Comment) Comment text Link Registered Author Link Registered Comment text...
During the process of migrating from a static website to WordPress you will be adding new pages and posts. You will also eventually delete all of your original HTML pages since they will become unnecessary and redundant. This means that your previous content will now exist on pages that are located at completely different web addresses. If nothing was done, then your website would lose its search engine ranking and PageRank for each of those deleted pages. Another consequence would be that anyone clicking those outdated links would arrive at 404 pages rather than the web pages that they hoped to visit.
As a WordPress user, you must have probably already experienced sites stealing your content and republishing elsewhere. This is called duplicate content. In order to fight this practice, Google uses some filters to detect similar contents. When the crawler detects two (or more) similar pages, only one of them will be shown in search engines results pages. Additionally, some sites providing duplicate content can experience page rank loss.
Tip Some unscrupulous folks see that their site is linked in the phpBB member list, and register accounts on many boards across the Internet to help boost their Google page rank. The Restrict Guest Access modification limits viewing of the member list to registered users, thus removing this incentive. See Chapter 11 for details on installing modifications.
Yet Another Related Posts Plugin The Yet Another part of this plugins name is not only a flirt with code lovers out there, the amount of related posts plugins is staggering, and that makes it hard to find the gold nuggets in amongst the rubbish. In my opinion, this is a strong contender for the throne of related posts plugins, because it offers so many options and serves relevant links as well. In part this is thanks to the relevance threshold limits you can set, which means that a site with a lot of content can be harsher on what is deemed as related content, for example. Other features include related posts in RSS feeds, support for Pages, caching, and also a template system that could really do with being easier to use, but still offers nice customization options if you want to take things a step further.
WordPress does now output several predefined CSS styles. There is a template tag that not only outputs the page links wrapped in an tag, but adds the class attribute page_item to it along with several other class styles and possibilities depending on the state of the link within WordPress. For example, if the selected page link also happens to be the current page displayed, then an additional class called current_page_item is additionally applied. If your WordPress theme was to take advantage of creating a robust menu for the page links, you could write individual styles for page_item and current_page_ item in order to have complete control over your page links menu. This would also ensure that your menu displays whichever page is currently active.
You can drag widgets around to rearrange them (Figure 3-3). You can also collapse them so only the titles are displayed using the down arrow that appears to the right of the title when you hover your mouse over the title area. Some of the widgets, like Incoming Links and Development News, have configurable options. You'll see a Configure link next to the arrow if you hover over these widgets' titles. Let's take a look at what some of these widgets do.
With CSS, you can provide style (such as size, color, and placement) to the display of elements on your blog (such as text links, header images, font size and colors, paragraph margins, and line spacing). CSS selectors contain names, properties, and values to define which HTML elements in the templates you will style with CSS. Table 13-1 provides some examples of CSS selectors and their use. All text links appear in red.
Search engines also determine the relevance of your site to someone's search by looking at links from two perspectives inbound and outbound. Inbound links are ones on other sites that point to your site and though these are very important to search engine rankings, they're beyond the scope of this discussion. I'm concerned here with links in your posts that point to other sites. Search engines look in particular at two aspects of outbound links relevance to the content of the post and the popularity of the site to which you're linking. When you're creating links to other sites, always think of your visitors' needs and you're more likely to meet the standards of relevance. If the link promises to send me to a site with more information about great resorts in Jamaica and that site turns out to be a sales pitch for a time-share you're affiliated with, I will not be a happy visitor. What I read is what I want to get (if your link said I was going to find a great deal on a time-share, it...
You can recognize spam by a list of links within the comment or content-free comments saying that the poster enjoying your writing, with an attached URL or source address that invites you to a less-than-reputable destination. In either case, the goal of comment spam is to generate more web content that points back to the spammer's site, taking advantage of the page popularity ranking algorithms used by Google and others that give weight to incoming links. The best way to deal with spam is to simply get rid of it, denying spammers the opportunity to use your site to boost their own visibility.
First, enter Register as the title of this page. Then, in the text area, enter information about becoming a member of your site. Now, provide links to each of the available membership levels. In the Discussion area of the screen, remove the checkmarks from both settings. Finally, click Publish.
Drupal's Aggregator module reads syndicated feeds from other sites, in essence allowing your Drupal site to act as a feed reader. It will publish the titles, headlines, and teasers from articles and posts in the feeds, as well as provide links to the original content. Thus, your site
You'll probably only want to show the most general links in the sidebar, especially if you have a lot of them, as I do on the Island Travel site. The best way to display all your links is on a Links page. Most WordPress themes include a template for that exact purpose, which you'll find in the Template dropdown menu of the Add Page or Edit Page screens (see Lesson 10 on creating pages using templates). What this template does is automatically display your links alphabetically and by category. Your theme will probably make the links look nice, but you can customize that look by editing your CSS style sheet.
Because they're very different elements, you'll want to organize your links differently from the way you organize posts and pages. WordPress makes this process easy by separating post and page categories from link categories. Category Name. What you enter in this text box is what WordPress displays as the category name in your links sidebar (depending on your blog's theme).
Executing this code will return the latest five posts followed by the links saved in your WordPress link manager. The problem you will run into is that the is_home () conditional tag will not be interpreted correctly, meaning your links will show on every page, not just the homepage. To fix this issue you need to include wp_reset_query () directly below your Loop Now that you have properly restored your Loop's instance of the WP_Query object, the conditional tag is_home () will be followed and your links will now display only on the homepage of your web site. It's a good practice to add wp_reset_query after using query_ posts () in your Loop to ensure you do not run into problems down the road.
The Super Cache plugin creates a wp-content cache directory to store all of the cached pages created for your web site. A cached page is simply a fully generated page on your web site saved as a static HTML file. Instead of generating the page each time a user clicks one of your links, the cache plugin serves up the static HTML file to the visitor. This dramatically decreases WordPress load times and increases performance because pages aren't generated on each view, but rather only when the cache is regenerated based on your settings.
Submit your site to related directories and special-interest sites. Politely invite people to your site. Don't spam those other sites show respect for their owners, who are likely trying to build their own readership. Always consider reciprocal links to sites that contain links to your site.
Covered Web Services is the consulting arm of Mark Jaquith (who is also the technical editor of this book). Mark is one of the five lead WordPress core developers, and the only one doing fulltime, independent WordPress consulting. He has consulted for a lot of major clients and is also the author of popular plugins, including Subscribe to Comments (http wordpress.org extend plugins subscribe-to-comments ) and Page Links To(http wordpress. org extend plugins page-links-to).
An important pre-launch task is to check all the page links, posts and page names to make sure everything is how you want it. You can tweak all of the relative paths now. You will be changing the fully qualified URL at launch time. This is the time for you to go through the entire site and manually inspect and adjust your imported content. Rarely is a migration import flawless and nearly always your site will require some manual intervention, either because the import was incapable of making the necessary changes or because the effort required to automate, or fix and re-import, is more than simply making the adjustments by hand.
One solution is the Page Links To plugin by Mark Jaquith (http txfx.net wordpress-plugins page-links-to ). This plugin creates a new field on the page Write Panel. Using this field, you can create a page that functions as a redirect to another web page. This enables you to use the wp_list_pages () function as your site's global navigation in your template file, but still empowers you to create menu items that can redirect to offsite links. Or, more often, you can now create a menu item as a page, but have it redirect to a post Loop page. FIGURE 12-4 Creating a page that links to a category l oop with the page links to plugin FIGURE 12-4 Creating a page that links to a category l oop with the page links to plugin
The first step is to change the appearance of the paging links described in the previous section. In the include file main-content.php, which defines The Loop that outputs the articles (see Chapter 16 for more information about The Loop), change the call to wp_link_pages. Add parameters to produce the Next Page and Previous Page links you can see in Figure 17-18. Listing 17-11 shows the changes in the code (highlighted in bold).
Plugin API Used for custom plugin development. The Codex features an extensive Plugin API documentation page. There is an introduction to Hooks, Actions, and Filters. These are the primary ways to interact with WordPress from a custom-built plugin. The Plugin API page links to the Function Reference pages for available API functions. These functions are located in wp-includes plugins.php.
To delete a link you simply highlight words and delete them, but to remove a link you need to click the link itself and then choose the broken link button. You'll see the underlining and the coloring removed from the words then you know the link is no longer functioning.
The MemberWing Membership plugin is available in both free and premium versions. You can download it from http www.memberwing.com . It requires the IonCube Loader to be installed on your server. The free version has most of the features of the paid one (such as multiple levels of membership and teaser pages), but members must be manually added and removed from the list of subscribers. Also, the free version is branded and subscribers-only pages have links back to MemberWing.com. This makes it less attractive for use on a production site however, if you are considering purchasing the paid version, then the free version is worthwhile as a trial.
Like query_ posts (), there's an alternative, simpler access function called get_ posts () that retrieves raw post data. You'll see get_ posts () used in administration pages to generate a list of pages of a particular type, or it may be used within a plugin to grab all raw data for a set of posts, examine it for patterns such as common terms, tags, or external links, with the intent of discarding the content after a quick digestion. It's not intended for user-facing content display, because it turns off much of query processing and filtering that is done within the more general WP_Query approach.
WordPress by default uses web URLs, which include a question mark followed by an ID number, to create links to your posts, pages, categories, and so on. We'll dissect post index numbers more in Chapter 6, Data Management. WordPress offers the ability to create custom permalinks, or pretty keyword URLs, which are much more user and search-engine friendly. The permalink settings allow you to select the Default, Day and Name, Month and Name, Numeric, or define your own Custom Structure for permalinks.
Change all the in-site links from absolute to site relative. This query assumes you are running your WordPress site on the test. example. com domain Now all your internal site links and image sources are root relative, meaning you can check out your site for bad links either manually or with an automated tool and look for missing graphics. It does not matter what your test URL is. This is temporary and allows you to test all your images and graphics on the test site. Again, if you add any new content after this step, WordPress will use fully qualified URLs using the settings in the WordPress Dashboard. As part of launching, you will want to run
Another popular monetization method is selling links. Many webmasters buy links on popular web sites in the hopes of increasing their Google Page Rank. If you plan on selling links, you should consider how Google will view this. Selling links for traffic is considered fine (add the nofollow tag to the link so that search engines do not consider it), but selling links to increase the buyer's Page Rank is frowned upon by Google and may adversely affect your Page Rank. If you want to keep your Page Rank high (some advertisers use Page Rank as a measure of popularity), then you should think carefully before selling any links.
Recent years have seen an explosion in web site spam. Spam is any content posted to a web site that is unwanted or has an ulterior motive other than being part of the online community. The most common ulterior motive is getting links to third-party web sites published, in pursuit of the higher search engine rankings that come with the elevated page rank that their web sites enjoy when links from external sites point to them.
Google increases your page rank by counting links to your site. Trackbacks are other sites validating your content. Trackbacks started as a way for one blog to inform its readers that they may be interested in this content from another blog and to let the other site know hey, I talked about your content and here's the link.'' They can basically be thought of as comments about your content on a remote site.
Selecting the Canonical URLs check box ensures that All in One SEO will add the rel canonical attribute to URLs. While this is supposed to help search engines understand how to handle canonical URLs, it has been found to be largely ineffective. For more on the potential risks for using this feature, see the excellent write up at www.quickonlinetips.com archives 2 00
Listamatic and Listamatic2 from maxdesign (http css.maxdesign. com.au index.htm) are wonderful resources for referencing and learning different techniques to creatively turn list items into robust navigation devices. It's what I've used to create my Top (Page links nav), Featured, Column, and Past Issues menus in this theme. The Top menu uses Eric Meyer's tabbed navbar (http css.maxdesign. com.au listamatic horizontal05.htm) and the Sidebar menus use Eric Meyer's Simple Separators (http css.maxdesign.com. au listamatic vertical06.htm). I just added my own background images and or colors to these techniques and the navigation came right together.
The Bayesian filter does statistical analysis on spam content, learning from spam and non-spam that it sees to determine the likelihood that new content is or is not spam. The filter starts out knowing nothing, and has to be trained every time it makes a mistake. This is done by marking spam content on your site as spam when you see it. Each word of the spam content will be remembered and assigned a probability. The more often a word shows up in spam content, the higher the probability that future content with the same word is also spam. As most comment spam contains links back to the spammer's websites (ie. to sell Prozac), the Bayesian filter provides a special option to quickly learn and block content that contains links to known spammer websites.
Link Wheels for Dummies
The only thing you need to start a link wheel is CONTENT Articles and the mentioned pages at your money site to link to. But like anything in IM, building a link wheel is not an exact science. Feel free to build the link wheel the way it suits you. Learn more within this guide by downloading it today.