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Apple Touch Icon Precomposed Not Found

Apple Touch Icon 404 Errors

Are you seeing 404 errors for a range of image files called apple-touch-icon.png and apple-touch-icon-precomposed.png with a range of size attributes and wondering where these are coming from?

No, it’s not a WordPress plugin conflict or bug as some ‘Pressers have believed. It’s bad behaviour by Apple devices – iPhones and iPads. These devices look for these dedicated icons by default, instead of looking for the apple-icon link in page header, and using the normal favicon if the link isn’t found. It’s annoying, unnecessary, and easily resolved (and a waste of valuable time).

The issue becomes more complicated as Apple devices now look for a range of icons in several sizes

With the iPad (3rd generation) there are now four icon sizes 57×57, 72×72, 114×114, 144×144.

Because retina icons are exactly double the size of the standard icons we really only need to make 2 icons: 114 x 114 and 144 x 144. By setting the retina sized icon to the corresponding standard icon iOS will scale them accordingly.

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Key Words and Keywords

Confusing the Key Words

graphic image for key wordsWhy is there confusion about key words and what they are? I refer to content key words or terms. Perhaps the cause is the similarity perceived between the key word term for SERP and meta keywords. Possibly we (webmasters and other industry specialists) are to blame – perhaps we should have used a more accurate phrase to describe key words in content. KEY PHRASE or KEY SEARCH TERM is a more accurate identity for the idea of key words.

Key Search Term

Key Search Term perfectly describes the idea behind key words, “a group of words that a searcher will use to find information”.

The idea of using key words is producing an article ‘optimised’ for the best possible results in search engine results for an intended key term. In which case the article must be about the key phrase used, or the key term must be about the SUBJECT of the article. How Should Key Words be Used in Content extends this discussion in more detail.

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The Humble Meta Description

Attract Visitors in 150 Characters

Tell the world about your page or post content in one hundred and fifty characters: That is the power of the meta description HTML head markup. Search engines often use the meta description for a snippet of information to display in search results. The meta descriptions is the first impression a searcher gets about your content when looking through search engine results for required information.

Meta Description – Your Website Showroom

Meta Descriptions in GoogleA showroom, shop window, storefront display and media advertisement; meta descriptions should be used to the fullest.

Yet how often do web content creators ignore this useful tool. Content Management Systems like WordPress often do too much of the work for us, filling the meta description field with an extract from page content. Normally the description is extracted from the first paragraph, so unless we are really clever with our first paragraph, especially the first 150 characters from the paragraph, the result is a SERP snippet that poorly summarises the article content we want to draw people’s attention to.

Worse still, if a plugin has not been installed to extract this snippets, or the theme used doesn’t have this function (most do not – Thesis is one that does), the field is left out altogether. Read the rest of this entry

Nofollow

Nofollow tags in WordPress and Drupal

No nofollow

Image via Wikipedia

Have you ever wanted to refer to a webpage without providing search engine ranking for the page. Perhaps you want to mention a really bad web page (or site), or a site that you find inappropriate. Using this tag won’t harm the website you refer to or your site, it just lets search robots know the page is not related to your website. (Linking to a site considered “spam” by Google may harm yoursite, using nofollow is a way to prevent this possibility).

After Google Panda 2.5 and who knows what the advertising giant will do next, the use of “nofollow” along with ‘robots’ “nofollow and “noindex” meta tags should become standard good practice. The relationship rel=”nofollow” is similar to robots nofollow, but used differently. Robots meta is used in page content and applies to the page as a whole, while rel=”nofollow” is used anywhere within the body of the page to stop search spiders following a chosen link

Here are two examples how to do this, using WordPress and Drupal CMS, and of course static HTML. For WordPress.com I use an example link to a page on Metatags.info, a source of information about using meta tags. which provides a detailed explanation of using rel=nofollow and other metatags and relationships.

The WYSIWIG editor provided by wordpress.com does not include a way of adding ‘rel=’ to links, so we have to use HTML.

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Fix the Panda

Yes you can recover from Panda 2.5

If you have a site or blog that took a big hit from the latest Google algorithm update, don’t panic (Yet!).

It may take time, but it can be done. Now is the time to pay attention to basics. In some ways if your site was one that got hit very hard, possibly even de-listed, you could actually have an advantage going forward. You can now take drastic action to fix up all the errors and problems that accumulated over the years, or even months…

Broken links and missing content no longer has any relevance. Therefore you can get rid of bad content, plagiarised content, duplicate content, spam, and anything else that has no value, or may be damaging the site’s reputation with the search engine.

Be Absolutely Ruthless

Look at every piece of content on your site. Be absolutely ruthless. If it lacks quality, or does not add value – DELETE it now. If you really must have that trashy article, or near duplicate content, then add Robots Meta tags noindex, nofollow” /> These tags are used in different ways to limit what search engines do – “noindex” tells SE’s to ignore the Do not followpage, “nofollow” tells it to ignore outgoing links. (For more information about these meta tags and others – Metatags.info has plenty of information).

Be particularly ruthless using the “noindex” term – why have all the junk pages indexed by Google? Including “noindex” will stop Google from adding these irrelevant pages to their index database.

“Nofollow” Meta tags: Use this as well on any page (or other content TYPE) that could get your site into trouble. If you have an RSS feed – this can really cause problems (read this article Too Many Backlinks are Bad News). Placing the Robots nofollow meta tag in the HEAD part of the page containing the RSS feed will stop search engines from following all outgoing links from that page (CMS users add this to feed aggregators, feed categories etc). Read the rest of this entry

Drupal7 Meta Tags Quick

Thanks for Drupal 7 Meta Tags Quick module

My ongoing Drupal 7 build for graphicline.co.za lacked the common meta tagskeywords‘ and ‘description’meta tags green man

These tags are not a core feature of Drupal 7 at this stage, and the intended add-on module is not yet available for production sites. Keyword meta tags are not considered vital for seo purposes; Google and other major search engines disregard them.

Meta description however is still valuable; Search engines may use the meta description to provide the snippet of information displayed in the search results.

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