January 19th, 2017 by Michael Sauers

Online workshop, 28 February 2006.

Posted in Internet Tagged with: , ,

November 5th, 2015 by Michael Sauers

Teaching blogging at Friends University, November 2006.

Posted in Photos Tagged with: ,

September 11th, 2014 by Michael Sauers

On Sunday, August 17th I woke up and checked my e-mail. Within my inbox was the following e-mail from Google:

Google Logo

http://www.travelinlibrarian.info/: Unnatural outbound links

Google has detected a pattern of artificial or unnatural links on this site. Selling links or participating in link schemes in order to manipulate PageRank is a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

As a result of unnatural links from your site, Google has applied a manual spam action to travelinlibrarian.info/. There may be other actions on your site or parts of your site.

Recommended action

  • Identify paid or otherwise inorganic links by using rel=”nofollow” or redirecting to an intermediate page that is blocked by robots.txt.
  • Remove any problematic links from your site.
  • When you’re satisfied that your site follows Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, submit a reconsideration request.
  • For an updated list of manual actions currently applied to your site, visit the Manual Actions page. If no manual actions are listed, there is no longer a need to file a reconsideration request.

If we determine your site is no longer in violation of our guidelines, we’ll revoke the manual action.

If you have any questions about how to resolve this issue, please visit the Webmaster Help Forum.

Got feedback? Leave it here. Be sure to include this message ID: [WMT-92503]
Google Inc. 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View, CA 94043 | Unsubscribe.
Basically, I went into minor-freak-out mode. Read the linked docs and watched the linked video and I was still at a loss as to the logic behind this notice. The Google searching was next. The best thing I could find was someone who figured out that in their case the problem was with a large number of Amazon affiliate links. Sounds like that could apply to me too. I’ve put up a lot of Amazon affiliate links in the past eleven years. But how to solve it?
At the same time I was discussing the issue with the amazing members of the WordPress and Librarians Facebook group. WP guru JP pointed me to the Text Replace plugin. With that I was able to insert rel=”nofollow” into every Amazon link on my site past, present, and future.
Thinking the problem solved, I went back to Google and submitted my request for reconsideration explaining what I’d done and the fact that I manually scan comments and block offending comments so comment spam (another oft-mentioned problem) shouldn’t be an issue.
On August 23rd I got their response:

Google Logo

Reconsideration request for http://www.travelinlibrarian.info/: Site violates Google’s quality guidelines

Dear Webmaster of http://www.travelinlibrarian.info/,

We received a reconsideration request from a site owner for http://www.travelinlibrarian.info/.

We’ve reviewed your site and we believe that http://www.travelinlibrarian.info/ still violates our quality guidelines. In order to preserve the quality of our search engine, pages from http://www.travelinlibrarian.info/ may be subject to one or more of the following actions:

  • Removal from the search results
  • Ranking change
  • Changes to search result appearance
  • Be considered to be less trustworthy than sites that follow the quality guidelines

Recommended actions

  • Use the Manual Actions page in Webmaster Tools to view actions currently applied to your site. It may take some time before recent updates to your site’s status are reflected on the Manual Actions page and in our search results.
  • On the Manual Actions page, you may request reconsideration of your site again.
  • If you see a hacked manual action in the Manual Actions section of Webmaster Tools, we suggest reviewing Security Issues for other actions on your site.
  • If you have additional questions about how to resolve this issue, please see our Webmaster Help Forum.

The Google Search Quality Team

A note from your reviewer:

Here is an example that exhibits this issue: “Playstation 3” at http://travelinlibrarian.info/2010/06/tron-video-game-trailer/

Got feedback? Leave it here. Be sure to include this message ID: [WMT-110301]
Google Inc. 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View, CA 94043 | Unsubscribe.
But at least this time they provided me with an example. (Don’t bother looking at the post, the offending code is gone.) Here’s what they were complaining about…
In June of 2010 I embedded a video of the game trailer for the then new Tron video game. That embedded video no longer works. However, the embed code that the site gave me to use included a link back to the source site’s page about Playstation 3 games. This is the link Google had a problem with. Easily removed but, seriously?
I removed the offending link and submitted another request for reconsideration. This time, as politely as possible, explaining the source of that link, the fact that I’d removed it, and asking how I was supposed to go back through 11 years of posts (more than 5,800) and find links like that and “fix” them.
On August 28th, I got the response I was hoping for the first time:

Google Logo

Reconsideration request for http://www.travelinlibrarian.info/: Manual spam action revoked

Dear Webmaster of http://www.travelinlibrarian.info/,

We have processed the reconsideration request from a site owner for http://www.travelinlibrarian.info/ and removed the actions previously applied to your site. Our review of your site indicates the violations of our quality guidelines have been resolved.

You can use the Manual Actions page in Webmaster Tools to view the actions currently applied to your site. It may take some time before recent updates to your site’s status are reflected on this page and in our search results.

While there are no manual actions on your site, there may be other issues that could affect your site’s ranking or how it appears in the search results. Google determines the order of search results using more than 200 different signals. Some fluctuation in ranking will happen from time to time as we make updates to present the best results to our users. Your site’s ranking could also change based on any detected security issues. We suggest checking the Security Issues page to see if we have detected hacking on your site.

If your site continues to have trouble in our search results, please see our Help Center for help with diagnosing the issue.

Thank you for helping us to maintain the quality of search results for our users.

The Google Search Quality Team

Got feedback? Leave it here. Be sure to include this message ID: [WMT-108509]
Google Inc. 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View, CA 94043 | Unsubscribe.
So, what’s the moral of this story. Honestly, I have no idea. I followed the little advice I could find online but that didn’t seem to help. Once they finally pointed to a single “bad” link hidden within 11 years of content I did what they asked and the problem was “solved.” I’m mostly posting this for the record than as advice. If this has happened to you, I’d love to hear how you dealt with it in the comments.

Posted in Tech Tagged with: , ,

August 11th, 2014 by Michael Sauers

This past Saturday I attended my first WordCamp, and the first WordCamp in Omaha. I picked up a few tidbits and from the developer side of things, I have a much better idea how themes work under the hood. Best tip: the Editorial Calendar plugin. The best session I attended was the last one of the day which was more about blogging in general than WordPress specifically. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo of that one.

T-shirt & lanyard

Website is Not a Poster

Themes Made Easy

Content Driven WordPress Developent

WordPress and Local SEO

Your Customers and You

Posted in wordpress Tagged with: , , ,

December 4th, 2013 by Michael Sauers

I'm blogging this.Academics are now urged to blog. We are told that having to write for ordinary readers will help us to write in plain English, clarify our ideas, enhance our reputations and expand our knowledge as well as our audience. Blogging is presented to us as a way to bridge the apparent divide between academia and everyone else.

We conclude that, in this sample at least, most academics are blogging for professionals peers, rather than for the public in any general sense. Our results do not coincide with what the loudest advocates of academic blogging suggest we should do. But we think what we saw in our 100 blogs is understandable.

Read the full article @ The Guardian.

Posted in HIgher Ed Tagged with:

April 14th, 2013 by Michael Sauers

simply explainNeed a custom meme image for your blog or presentation? If so, head on over to the Blank Meme & Advice Animal Templates page on imgflip and get creating. (Thanks Jennifer!)

Posted in Internet Tagged with: , , ,

April 3rd, 2013 by Michael Sauers

Rainbow 22 June 2007 (38)It was finally mentioned to me that for the past week or so I’d been double-tweeting a lot of things. Well, it took a while to figure it out but I believe I’ve put that to a stop.

Under the previous version of my blog I’d set up various third-party utilities such as Networked Blogs (to cross-post from here to Facebook) and TwitterFeed (to cross-post from here to Twitter). When I updated the site, I switched to using WordPress Jetpack to do the cross posting. It is way more speedy, (darn near instant actually,) and it keeps everything “in-house” so to speak. Trouble is, there’s no way to use JetPack to post to Google+. So, when I publish a new post, I’ve been opening the post and using the built-in share button to send a copy to G+. All was good in blogville.

Trouble is, I’d forgotten that I’d set up a third-party service to automatically tweet anything I posted to G+. As a result, my blog posts would automatically get tweeted and then 10-15 minutes later the G+ version would also get tweeted. Trouble is, I’d completely forgotten which service I’d used to set up the G+ to Twitter link. ARGH! I thought it might be IFTTT, but despite the appearance of an appropriate recipe, it was already turned off. So, I just started Google-ing google plus to twitter. I finally found ManageFilter and it was the culprit, and turned it off.

I’ve got to take better notes…

Posted in wordpress Tagged with: , ,

January 1st, 2013 by Michael Sauers

2012 Blogging Report - TravelinLibrarian

Posted in Internet Tagged with: , ,

July 18th, 2011 by Michael Sauers

kobo_logoI was informed today that Blogging & RSS: A Librarian’s Guide 2nd Edition is now available in eBook form on the Kobo platform. (And yet again, no free copy for the author.)

Posted in Writing Tagged with: , , ,

June 23rd, 2011 by Michael Sauers

imageNebraska Learns 2.0 is taking a short break and encouraging all of our participants to take part in the multi-national 23 Things for Professional Development started by a bunch of wonderful folks over in Cambridge, England. So, as a participant in the Nebraska Program I’ll be participating in CPD23 myself.

Thing #1 is to write about blogging and say a little about my career. Wow, start with an easy question why don’t you? Let’s get the career thing out of the way and to do so I’m going to cheat. I’m just going to point you over to a recent interview of me by the students at the UNT LISSA program. Really that will tell you pretty much all you need to know if you don’t know me already.

As for why I blog, that’s a little tougher. It started as a way to let me parents know where I was in any given week back when I traveled for work much more than I do now. Over the years it’s developed (I’m not sure I’d say matured) and changed. Maybe the best word is mutated. Yes, I talk about librarianship and technology but I’m not against sharing a Muppet video or two. It established my presence online and lets people know about me. Ultimately I guess I blog because I can but should because I also teach other how to do it so there’s a measure of “keeping my skills up” that works into all this.

Thing #2 is to take a look at some of the other participants blogs and report back. This I’m a little afraid to do. I’m already following hundreds of feeds in Google Reader and on a certain level I’m afraid that I’ll find lots of good stuff that I’ll just have to follow. So instead I’m going to just mention two blog in particular. 

The first is You Could Be Right. This one is from a co-worker who I’ve been trying to get to blog for a few years now and she’s always shied away from it in the end. Now, because of CPD23 she’s giving it a try and I want to encourage her as much as possible. 

The other is [Techno] Librarian, who I randomly picked out of the CPD23 participants list because I think I don’t read enough blogs from outside of the US, especially when it comes to librarianship. So I limited the list to UK and Public and that title looked interesting to me. Let’s see how it goes.

Posted in Learning 2.0 Tagged with: ,