September 8th, 2015 by Michael Sauers

Via  WP Tavern:
Within the last five weeks, several people have reported an issue in Chrome that breaks the WordPress admin menu. If you hover the mouse cursor over menu items in the sidebar, they’ll occasionally fall out-of-place.

To disable this feature, visit chrome://flags/#disable-slimming-paint in Chrome and Enable the Disable slimming paint option, and make sure the other two Enable options are disabled because they will override the Disable option.

 

Posted in Tech, wordpress Tagged with: , ,

December 31st, 2014 by Michael Sauers

JD Thomas, a white-hat SEO and WordPress consultant, will discuss how to improve the appearance of WordPress posts and pages in search engine results and when shared on social media. He will be focusing on the features built into Yoast’s WordPress SEO and the metadata that it adds to your website that lets you control exactly how your content looks when shared on Facebook and Twitter. (show links)

In this monthly feature of NCompass Live, the NLC’s Technology Innovation Librarian, Michael Sauers, will discuss the tech news of the month and share new and exciting tech for your library.

Posted in wordpress Tagged with: , , ,

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September 14th, 2014 by Michael Sauers

wordpress logoBravo WordPress!

This week, a group of hackers released a list of about 5 million Gmail addresses and passwords. This list was not generated as a result of an exploit of WordPress.com, but since a number of emails on the list matched email addresses associated with WordPress.com accounts, we took steps to protect our users.

We downloaded the list, compared it to our user database, and proactively reset over 100,000 accounts for which the password given in the list matched the WordPress.com password. We also sent email notification of the password reset containing instructions for regaining access to the account.

Read the full article @ blog.wordpress.com

Posted in wordpress 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.

Sincerely,
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.
Denied!
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.

Sincerely,
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: , ,

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September 2nd, 2014 by Michael Sauers

wordpress logoThose of you that know me, know I’m a big fan of WordPress. All of my personal sites run on WordPress, both the Greece Historical Society and Friends of the Aurora Public Library sites which I manage run on WordPress, and Nebraska Libraries on the Web which I’m in charge of runs on WordPress. Ok, I live and breathe WordPress. So, if you do too, you probably know that you can easily embed external content from sites like YouTube and Flickr just by pasting the item’s URL on its own line. But did you know that you can also do this with sites like Instagram, Twitter, SlideShare and TED? No? Well now you do. And, if you’re interested in a complete list you can find it on the Embeds page in the WordPress Codex.

Posted in Internet, wordpress Tagged with: , , , , , ,

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July 29th, 2014 by Michael Sauers

wordpress logoIt isn’t something you’ll need to do all that often, but there will come a time where you may want to change the author’s name on a WordPress post. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Make sure the new author has an account on your blog. If not, this won’t work.
  2. Go to the edit page for the post in question.
  3. In the upper-right corner of the page find the Screen Options tab and click it.
    Screen Options tab
  4. Check the author box.
    Author checkbox
  5. Scroll down the page and you’ll no find an Author dropdown list.
    Author dropdown
  6. Change the author as needed.
  7. Click the blue Update button.

At any point page step 4 you can also close the Screen Options tab and/or uncheck the Author option as needed.

Posted in wordpress Tagged with: ,

December 11th, 2013 by Michael Sauers

wordpress logoUsers of WordPress.com and Jetpack via WordPress.org (as of version 2.7 released today,) can now use the Publicize function to automatically send their blog posts to Google+ profiles and pages. This is going to save me from manually do it for each post. I am a happy camper!

More details can be found on the WordPress blog.

Posted in wordpress Tagged with: ,

September 20th, 2013 by Michael Sauers

The Year Without Pants

Posted in Books Tagged with: , ,

September 4th, 2013 by Michael Sauers

Year Without PantsAuthor Scott Berkun author of the educational and entertaining Confessions of a Public Speaker is releasing his next book on September 17: The Year Without Pants: WordPress.com and the Future of Work. The first chapter is available for free online and the whole book can be pre-ordered on Amazon. This one’s going to move to the top of my to-read pile as soon as it arrives.

Posted in Books Tagged with: ,

April 13th, 2013 by Michael Sauers

wordpress logoAt about noon today I installed the Limit Logon Attempts WordPress plugin due to the recent reports of a major bot net attack on WordPress sites going on. Since then I’ve received the following reports:

1:18pm
3 failed login attempts (1 lockout(s)) from IP: 94.242.237.133
Last user attempted: admin
IP was blocked for 20 minutes

1:43pm
3 failed login attempts (1 lockout(s)) from IP: 66.85.172.250
Last user attempted: admin
IP was blocked for 20 minutes

2:22pm
6 failed login attempts (2 lockout(s)) from IP: 94.242.237.133
Last user attempted: admin
IP was blocked for 24 hours

3:43pm
3 failed login attempts (1 lockout(s)) from IP: 94.199.51.8
Last user attempted: admin
IP was blocked for 30 minutes

4:05pm
6 failed login attempts (2 lockout(s)) from IP: 66.85.172.250
Last user attempted: admin
IP was blocked for 24 hours

Yes folks, this attack is happening! Step one: DO NOT have ‘admin’ or ‘administrator’ as usernames. Ste 2: Install the a fore mentioned plugin.

And here’s the official advice from WordPress:

Here’s what I would recommend: If you still use “admin” as a username on your blog,change it, use a strong password, if you’re on WP.com turn on two-factor authentication, and of course make sure you’re up-to-date on the latest version of WordPress. Do this and you’ll be ahead of 99% of sites out there and probably never have a problem.

Posted in wordpress Tagged with: , , ,

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