Friday, February 28, 2014

Now we can report Google about scraper page outranking our original content in Google




 The Search Engine Google is taking lot of steps continuously to improve its search features as well as quality of search results.

Now, it is taking steps to encourage the original content than scrapped content.

If you see pages with scraped content ranking above or instead of the original, you can tell the Google by submitting this Scraper report form.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Pw1KVOVRyr4a7ezj_6SHghnX1Y6bp1SOVmy60QjkF0Y/viewform


Google's Webspam Team Head Matt Cutts had sent below tweet.

If you see a scraper URL outranking the original source of content in Google, please tell us about it:


Interestingly, one person had sent below funny tweet as reply to Matt Cutts Tweet.




Google's this scrapper report option may be appearing good option to suppress scrapping sites. But Searchengineland reports that it won't be an immediate fix.
It says,

The Google Scraper Report form doesn’t promise any immediate fix — or any fix at all. Rather, it simply asks people to share their original content URL, the URL of the content taken from them and the search results that triggered the outranking.


Share you thoughts about Google's this initiative thro' the comments.

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Use Google's Oppia for interactive learning



Google is providing an interactive learning system. This new online education tool is named as  "Oppia". It allows the learners to get feedback while learning online.

We can start using it from  www.oppia.org/ 




"About us" page of this site says,
 Oppia is a tool for creating interactive online activities that enable students to learn by doing. Its creators believe that this is often a more effective and efficient way of learning than either watching videos or reading texts, since it allows the student to engage more deeply with the activity in a way that videos or books often do not.
 The main units of learning in Oppia are called explorations. These are multi-stage interactive activities that attempt to engage readers in a learning conversation and provide formative feedback along the way.

I have tried few explorations such as Tiny Intro to Quadratics and word cities. It seems they are really interesting and useful. Share your experience thro' the comments.

Explorations are embeddable in any webpage.

And, anyone can create and edit explorations after login to Oppia.org. It seems we can login using our Google account itself after giving permission for oppia.org to use Google login.

I have created an exploration and planning to add more details for  this exploration.. Give me your suggestions to improve it further.

And, Watch the below video to know more about Oppia.



Confucius says,  "I hear and I forget; I see and I remember; I do and I understand". It is True. No one can learn piano just by watching performance of others. Getting feedback is more important in the learning process. So, start using Oppia for learning things by doing yourself and by getting feedback.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Improvements of our Motivational Quotes Site TheQuotes.Net


We have started our Motivational Quotes Website TheQuotes.Net around 2 years back. And, we are working hard to add lot of Motivational Quotes in various formats (Images, Text, Calendar App, Facebook App, Twitter App, Gallery, Videos, Quote of The Day Email,  etc) and adding many Inspirational Articles there. 

 This website is becoming popular among Motivational Quotes related groups in various social media websites including Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin Group, Google plus communities, Reddit, etc.

It got Google Page Rank PR3,  and mozRank is also improving. We made this site SEO friendly, and most part of the site is mobile-friendly now.

But, TheQuotes.Net is NOT getting visitors from Search Engines, especially it is not getting any traffic from Google. It is really very strange. I already contacted Google Team from Google Webmasters Tools, and they confirmed that there is NO manual action for this Site. So, it might have affected by any Google Algorithm changes  like Panda and Penguin. We are not doing any black-hat SEO. Anyway, I used Google's "Disavow Link Tool" for removing suspected bad backlinks including our own websites that are not relevant to TheQuotes.net.

But still there is no improvement in search traffic.  I have asked about this issue in various SEO Forums. Many people suggested that the excessive keywords may be the reason for the search problem. So, I removed repeated author names from various Quotes pages.


 
I tested the entire site for broken links, and there is no broken links there. And, I set this wordpress-based site with all SEO related plugins (WP Super Cache, All-in-One SEO pack, XML Site Map generator)

From adsense score card report, I came to know that I need to improve the page loading speed of TheQuotes.net
And, few days back  I have implemented cloudFlare which will deliver the pages quickly using many data centers and by implementing cache. I hope it will help the users to browse TheQuotes.net comfortably. From Google PageSpeed and Yahoo YSlow, I got many suggestions to improve the page performance further. I replaced the synchronous adsense code and Google Analytics code with Asynchronous version so that users can start reading the content without waiting for the loading of javascripts used by Google Adsense and Google Analytics.
And, I have updated the  Wordpress Theme to stop generating  unwanted headers. I de-activated the Adsense manager plugin and placed the asynchronous adsense code directly in the Template files. And, moved the javascript codes from header to bottom of the page, as YSlow and Google Pagespeed were complaining about rendering blocking scripts. All these things helped to increase the Google Pagespeed Score.
I am planning to wait for few days to see the impact of these changes, before start making any further changes. And, I am not sure whether these changes created any other issue. So, let me know if you find any issue when viewing TheQuotes.net website. And, let me know if you have any suggestion to solve this search rank issue.

And, for promoting TheQuotes.Net, we have created a Motivational Quotes eBook. You can download it freely from here. We plan to release Android app. and Wordpress plugin soon.







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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Added "Read More..." and "Related Posts" features to this Blogger Blog


Today I have made few changes to this Blogger blog to improve the user experience. Previously it was showing full content of the posts whenever user clicks Label or Archive links. Home page also was showing full content of the posts. Users had to scroll lot, to find their target content.

So, I had decided to show only the summary or snippet of the post in the homepage of this blog and in the  Label pages.

I have  implemented this "read more" feature by adding piece of custom code to the Blogger template of this blog. Now, you will be seeing only the summary of the posts in home page and archive pages. You need to click the "read more..." link to read the entire post. I believe this feature will be very useful. For example, if you are planning to read QTP related articles, you can just visit this QTP label page, go thro' first few lines of many posts about QTP, and then click one particular post for reading it further. For some posts, some junk text was showing as  snippet, though the full post was showing properly. I think it was due to some style declaration came from word document. After removing those style declarations in from the post, the snippet was appearing properly. Let me know if you still see junk snippet for any of the posts.

I found this article very much useful for implementing this "Read More.." feature. This article is saying that this "Auto read more" code will only load the snippet of the posts. But actually it is loading the entire content and shows the snippet by doing javascript manipulation in client side(browser). Anyway,  during my testing, blog pages were getting loading quickly. So, I just kept this code. Let me know if you find any issue in viewing this blog pages.

And, previously, I was using Linkwithin script in this blog for showing list of related posts at the end of  each post. But, it was taking some time to load, and I came to know that it was taking some link juice from our blog pages. So, I have decided  to replace the linkwithin script with custom script to take SEO advantage while still providing "related links" to the users.


I just followed the steps provided in this article after removing the existing linkwithin script. And,  it worked fine.  Only issue with this code is, it was showing the current page also in the related posts  list.
So, I added one line of code to exclude the current page in the list of the related posts links. After replacing linkwithin script with this custom script I am seeing some improvement in page loading. Share your  experience thro' the comments.

After implementing these "Read More..." and "Related Posts" features, I realized that my Blogger template was added with significant lines of custom javascript code. It was already having piece of javascript code and CSS styles for implementing Google custom search, Google Analytics, expand/collapse list,  add to favorite and Quiz.  I came to know that if we keep these things  as external javascript and css files, we can improve page loading performance.  Because, once after the external javascript and css files getting loaded for particular page, the other pages will use the already loaded files without downloading them again. I thought it will help to increase the Google PageSpeed score.  So, I removed all the CSS style definitions and all javascript code from head section of the Blogger template html, and put them in separate file.

 Since this Blogger blog is not having option to upload javascript and css files, I uploaded the those external javascript and css files to our TheQuotes.Net server. I already activated CloudFlare to TheQuotes.Net, so I believe these CSS and JS files will be delivered quickly and will be cached appropriately as I set enough cache control time in both Thequotes.net server .htaccess file and in Cloudflare control panel settings. Since the Blogger template code was in the encoded format, I had to use this online tool for decoding the html entities before putting them in external javascript file.


 I believe it will be helpful for loading pages quickly for the regular visitors of the blog. Anyway, I understand that it will introduce some additional delay/load for making http request to thequotes.net server.  So, I would like to know whether this change really help to load this blog pages faster. Share your observation thro' the comments.




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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Changed Address/URL of this Blog



I started this Blog in the year 2008 with the URL qualitypoint.blogspot.com, and I had posted lot of articles (This is 1094th post).

I use this blog to share my knowledge and experience of Software Testing, QTP (Quick Test Professional), Web development (php/mysql/javascript), Social Media promotion and SEO (Search Engine optimization). Apart from these things, sometimes I used this blog for publishing latest news articles also.

Since I used this blog for sharing various different things, people who are interested in some particular thing (e.g reading qtp tutorial) faced difficulty to find their interested topics from this blog. So, I had decided to start individual websites for each topic. Started qtpbook.com for sharing Software testing and QTP Tutorials, LearnWebDevelopment.info for showing web development related articles, and RtoZ.Org for publishing latest news.

This approach is useful for visitors to find relevant content easily. Though, I started many topic specific websites, I just kept this blog also to publish some random posts. Few years back Google Blogger made some changes so that Blogger blogs will have country-specific TLD. For example, this blog will appear as qualitypoint.blogspot.in in India, and as qualitypoint.blogspot.co.uk in United Kingdom.

To avoid this inconsistency of this blog URL, I changed this blog url using Custom domain option in Blogger Dashboard. The New URL is www.blog.qualitypointtech.com

Actually I wanted to give the name as blog.qualitypointtech.com (i-e without www). But I couldn't make the blogger to redirect the traffic from www version. i-e www.blog.qualitypointtech.com won't work. I tried various ways by adding CNAME and ARecords in DNS manager and by choosing redirect option in Blogger. Nothing worked. So, I have decided to keep www.blog.qualitypointtech.com as the main blog url. And, blog.qualitypointtech.com will be redirected to www.blog.qualitypointtech.com. I am curious to know whether anyone was successful in giving custom sub domain name without www for their Blogger blog. (it should redirect the www version properly)

For setting custom domain name, we need to give the custom domain name under settings->basic in Dashboard of Blogger. We will see an error message when doing this. We have to add the verification code found in the error message as CNAME record in DNS manager of the Domain provider for verifying ownership of the domain name. And, we have to add ghs.google.com as CNAME record value for the domain name.


I have selected Redirect option for redirecting non-www version to www version in the Blogger dashboard itself. But it didn't work properly. So, I added another CNAME record in DNS manager to redirect non-www version to www version.


After making these changes, I think everything is working fine. Let me know if you still face any difficulty in accessing this blog.

I had to clear the DNS cache by running "ipconfig /flushdns" to test the changes.

Adding separate websites for each topic had created lot of duplicate content which affected Search Rank of this blog.
So, I added 301 permanent redirect rules in .htaccess file of qtpbook.com and learnwebdevelopment.info so that both users and search engines will be redirected to this blog. And, I added canonical url in TheQuotes.Net so that search engines will be instructed to refer this blog content while the actual users will be seeing the TheQuotes.Net content.

And, I am planning to use  www.brokenlinkcheck.com for finding broken links in this blog.

I hope all these things will improve the SEO friendliness and user-friendliness of our blogs and websites. Let me know if you have any suggestions to improve it further.



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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Added CloudFlare to our Motivational Site TheQuotes.net



Past few days I was working on making our Motivational Quotes website TheQuotes.net more SEO friendly apart from improving the user experience of that site.

I had implemented most of the "HTML improvements" suggestions given by the Google Webmaster Tools. For example, I updated the code to make sure that dynamically created titles and meta descriptions are unique. And I have manually updated the meta descriptions of many pages to make sure that it is more appropriate to be displayed as snippets in search results.

Few months back, one of our news article from our news website RtoZ.org had reached front page of reddit.com. So, it got lot of traffic. Bluehost hosting support team immediately added CloudFlare to handle the huge traffic.

As, I am doing lot of steps to increase the traffic to TheQuotes.net, I am expecting huge traffic soon. So, I am taking necessary steps to handle the traffic effectively.
TheQuotes.net is hosted with hostgator, and I noticed that hostgator is also providing cloudFlare freely to their customers. So, I decided to activate CloudFlare to TheQuotes.net
But,I couldn't do it, because previously I added redirection rules in .htaccess file to do 301 permanent redirect for all the www traffic (i-e. www.Thequotes.net/*) to non-www URL (i-e thequotes.net/*). But I came to know that cloudflare will work with www version only.
So, first I changed the .htaccess redirection rules to redirect non-www traffic to www traffic.
And, I came to know that free version of cloudFlare won't support SSL. TheQuotes.net is having SSL, and I have used the https version of the URL in some places. So, I hesitated to activate CloudFlare. I did lot of analysis to understand the advantages and disadvantages of using CloudFlare, and finally decided to activate cloudFlare.

I am testing TheQuotes.net to make sure these changes are not affecting the site. Actually I found many issues (e.g Google custom search was not working, Facebook cover app was not wokring), and corrected those issues by making changes to fit with www version of the site. Let me know if you find any other issue while using TheQuotes.net. Are you seeing any improvements in page loading speed of Thequotes.net? Share your experience thro' the comments.



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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Showing less posts on front page of Wordpress site



Today I spent lot of time on exploring various options for showing less number of posts on front page of Motivational Quotes site TheQuotes.net.

We can set the number of posts per page from admin panel of wordpress site. But we can not set separate number of posts per page for the home page.

Home page of TheQuotes.Net is showing Image quote also apart from showing summary of recent blog posts. So, I wanted to show less number of posts on home page. i-e 4 posts on home page while showing 12 posts per page on other paginated pages.

I tried various approaches. But each approach was having some shortcomings. Finally the below approach/code worked fine.

I added below peace of code into the functions.php of our theme.

function sfppc_posts_filter( &$query ) {
if ( $query != $GLOBALS['wp_the_query'] || !$query->is_home )
return;

$posts_per_page = $query->get('posts_per_page') ? $query->get('posts_per_page') : get_option('posts_per_page');

if ( $query->is_paged )
$query->set( 'offset', ($query->get('paged') - 2) * $posts_per_page + 4 );
else
$query->set( 'posts_per_page', 4 );
}
add_action( 'pre_get_posts', 'sfppc_posts_filter' );


It worked fine. But the home page pagination part was having links for some additional pages also. i-e It prepared the pagination links based on the first page posts i-e "4 posts per page"

So, I just added below piece of code before calling pagination code.

global $query_string;
query_posts( $query_string . '&posts_per_page=12' );

Now, everything is working fine. i-e 4 posts on home page and 12 posts on other pages (e.g 2nd page). Let me know if you still find any issue in TheQuotes.Net



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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Added more Motivational Videos in to our Motivational Quotes Website


 We have included lot of Motivational Videos into our Motivational Website TheQuotes.net.

You can watch those Videos in this Motivational Videos Page.  Let me know if you find any issue in viewing these motivational videos. Which Video you like much? Share your feedback thro' the comments.

As specified in my Google plus post , we are taking lot of efforts to make TheQuotes.Net as the best place to get motivated and relaxed. But still this site is not getting enough search traffic. So, I had done few changes to implement the suggestions given in the Google's web Master tools. Let me know if you find any other difficulties in using TheQuotes.net.

And, I used Google's "Disavow Link Tool" for removing bad backlinks of TheQuotes.net. Let me know if you have any other suggestions to improve the Search rank of TheQuotes.Net





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