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Web Dev + WordPress + Security

Cleaning Up Google Search Results

[ Drawing: Abstract Entity Pursuing Clean Search Results ]

This post is about how I cleaned up an incorrect URL in the Google search results. My business site is basically a one-page portfolio site, located at the URL https://monzillamedia.com/. But in the Google search results, the URL was showing as https://monzilla.biz/, which did not exist. So all potential customers were getting an error page. Fortunately I was able to re-acquire the monzilla.biz domain and redirect all traffic to monzillamedia.com. Continue reading »

What Chrome Predictive URLs Look Like on the Server

Awhile ago, I was confused by repetitive 404 “Not Found” errors in my server logs. The 404 requests look like someone is typing out various words, a few letters at a time. This post shows what these weird 404s look like from the server’s perspective, and then goes on to explain why they happen and why there is no practical way of preventing them. Continue reading »

Analyzing Weird 404 Search Engine Requests

Lately I’ve been getting a significant number of really weird 404 requests for one of my sites. At first I ignored them. Then upon closer inspection, I realized that the requests were reporting user agents like Googlebot, Bingbot, and other top search engines. So there was cause for concern. You don’t want legitimate search engines tripping over endless 404 requests that are completely unrelated to your site content. That gets into “negative SEO” territory, and should be investigated and resolved […] Continue reading »

List of All User Agents for Top Search Engines

Here is a working list of all user agents for the major, top search engines. I use this information frequently for my plugins such as Blackhole for Bad Bots and BBQ Pro, so I figured it would be useful to post the information online for the benefit of others. Having the user agents for these popular bots all in one place helps to streamline my development process. Each search engine includes references and a regex pattern to match all known […] Continue reading »

Add Google+ Share Button to Any Site

[ Google+ Share Button

g+ Share button Word on the streets is that the new Google+ Share button is the best way yet to benefit from Google’s myriad social-media services and all-important search-engine. And Google makes it SO easy to add the new Share button to your website. This article explains what it is, where it fits in with all the other social-Google stuff, and of course how to add the g+ Share button to any site. Continue reading »

Multiple Sitemaps

[ Screenshot: Settings for Google XML Sitemaps ]

Yes you can have multiple sitemaps for your site. Create the sitemaps you need, and then specify them in your robots.txt file. For example, here are the robots.txt directives for the two sitemaps used here at Perishable Press: Continue reading »

Hacked by Google?

[ WP Cron HTTP Auth ]

The setup: I recently launched a new plugin that included a Demo page. To keep things flexible, I set up the Demo as a page on my experimental “Labs” WordPress installation, which is entirely nofollow, noindex and noarchive, meaning that Google can’t legitimately see what’s there. Continue reading »

Clean Up Malicious Links with HTAccess

[ Screenshot: Google Search Results ]

I recently spent some time analyzing Perishable Press pages as they appear in the search results for Google, Bing, et al. Google Webmaster Tools provides a wealth of information about crawl errors, as well as the URLs of any pages that link to missing content. Combined with your site’s access/error logs, you have everything needed to track down 404 errors and clean up your listings in the search engine results. Continue reading »

Better Robots.txt Rules for WordPress

[ Better Robots.txt Rules for WP ]

Cleaning up my files during the recent redesign, I realized that several years had somehow passed since the last time I even looked at the site’s robots.txt file. I guess that’s a good thing, but with all of the changes to site structure and content, it was time again for a delightful romp through robots.txt. This post summarizes my research and gives you a near-perfect robots file, so you can copy/paste completely “as-is”, or use a template to give you […] Continue reading »

Simple IP-Detection Bad for SEO

In general, Perishable Press enjoys generous ranking in Google’s search-engine results. The site’s many pages bring in lots of traffic for some great keywords, and a direct search for “Perishable Press” returns the first spot, with eight featured site links even. And recently, after switching servers, traffic increased even further. Things were going well, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to finally renovate and redesign the site. So I dive in.. And then approximately 24-48 hours after beginning work […] Continue reading »

Tell Google NOT to Index Certain Parts of Your Web Pages

There are several ways to instruct Google to stay away from various pages in your site: Robots.txt directives Nofollow attributes on links Meta noindex/nofollow directives X-Robots noindex/nofollow directives ..and so on. These directives all function in different ways, but they all serve the same basic purpose: control how Google crawls the various pages on your site. For example, you can use meta noindex to instruct Google not to index your sitemap, RSS feed, or any other page you wish. This […] Continue reading »

Dynamic Link Insertion via Unobtrusive External JavaScript

[ Dynamic Flow ]

In my recent guest post at The Nexus, I discuss Google’s new nofollow policy and suggest several ways to deal with it. In that article, I explain how Google allegedly has changed the way it deals with nofollow links. Instead of transferring leftover nofollow juice to remaining dofollow links as they always have, Google now pours all that wonderful nofollow juice right down the drain. This shift in policy comes as a terrible surprise to many webmasters and SEO gurus, […] Continue reading »

Dealing with Google’s New Nofollow Policy

Anyone plugged into the Web these days has heard about how Google has supposedly changed the way it deals with nofollow attributes. According to a number of speculative reports, Google will no longer apply unused nofollow PageRank to other links on the page. So, let’s say that you have some sites that have been PageRank “sculpted” by way of strategically applied nofollow tags. For example, you may have nofollowed all of your comment, footer, or sidebar links. Ever since Google […] Continue reading »

SEO Experiment: Let Google Sort it Out

One way to prevent Google from crawling certain pages is to use <meta /> elements in the <head></head> section of your web documents. For example, if I want to prevent Google from indexing and archiving a certain page, I would add the following code to the head of my document: Continue reading »

Best Practices for Error Monitoring

Given my propensity to discuss matters involving error log data (e.g., monitoring malicious behavior, setting up error logs, and creating extensive blacklists), I am often asked about the best way to go about monitoring 404 and other types of server errors. While I consider myself to be a novice in this arena (there are far brighter people with much greater experience), I do spend a lot of time digging through log entries and analyzing data. So, when asked recently about […] Continue reading »

Valid, SEO-Friendly Post Translation Links

Ever wanted to provide automatic language translations of your web pages without installing another plugin? Here is a valid, SEO-friendly technique that takes advantage of Google’s free translation service. All you need is a PHP-enabled server and you’re good to go. Just copy and paste the following code into the desired location in your page template and enjoy the results. Once in place, this code will produce translation links for eight common languages for every page on your site. Grab, […] Continue reading »

Welcome
Perishable Press is operated by Jeff Starr, a professional web developer and book author with two decades of experience. Here you will find posts about web development, WordPress, security, and more »
The Tao of WordPress: Master the art of WordPress.
Thoughts
Checking in to anyone listening. Stay safe. Pay attention. Don't get lazy.
What's up with Plesk UI lately? Especially on Chrome it looks just awful, all kinds of broken. Come on Plesk devs get it together.
Things get stressful, I try to pray. Not always easy, but always helps to relax and regain focus.
Nice new speed checker at fastorslow.com.
Easy way to exclude certain tests from WP Site Health: Site Health Tool Manager
Excellent (and free) tool for getting tons of site SSL infos: whynopadlock.com
Everyone just stay home and hide forever. Brilliant idea.