Clever Marketing From Marlboro

Smoking is bad. Even most smokers will agree that it’s expensive and has a range of negatives even aside from the massive increases in health risks. That includes everything from nicotine stained skin to the potentially risk of setting your own hair alight during a student event at a nightclub in Hull. While the last example may have just applied to me in the 1990s, generally most people have been in favour of increased restrictions on cigarette sales, advertising and marketing.

But the flip side is that it has forced cigarette promotions to become more interesting and innovative. The strong, iconic branding allowed variations on brand names to get around new rules on sports sponsorship. For instance, the Jordan F1 team was sponsored by Benson & Hedges for around 10 years, but switched to variations including Bitten & Hisses, Buzzin Hornets and Be On Edge where cigarette sponsorship was banned.

There are also plenty of examples of product placement, including paying stars like Silvester Stallone directly to use particular products in films. And books like Buyology by Martin Lindstrom suggested how brand associations like cowboys, camels and less obvious examples including colours etc can trigger us into craving a cigarette as much, if not more, than a direct advert would have done.

Which is why I admire the skill of those promoting smoking, and look to learn from them to better promote less harmful products (We work with a wide range of brands, but have turned down offers from companies we believe offer products or services which aren’t beneficial to customers).

 

Clever Marketing From Marlboro

A new law was passed in the UK in 2016. From May 2016, all cigarette packets will be a standard green colour, logos will be prohibited, menthols are being banned, and 10-packs of cigarettes have also been withdrawn. But there has been a year’s grace period for companies to adjust and sell old stock.

So in reality it means we’re going to see branding and packets of 10 cigarettes disappear from shelves by May 2017. And that’s why I have to admit some admiration for what Marlboro has done when I visited the shops…

Clever Marketing From Marlboro. 10 pack tin packaging

It looks like a normal packet of 10 Marlboro Lights and costs the same as it did last week. But rather than being the standard cardboard packaging, it’s a durable tin packet.

And I suspect many of the marketers reading this will have already guessed why.

From May, the company will lose all their iconic branding. And anyone who previously bought a pack of 10 might well give up, rather than double their daily expenditure on a packet of 20. For instance, when I’ve cut down by smoking before eventually quitting, I found buying a pack of 10 meant I definitely tried to make them last longer.

Without that option though, I might have just gone cold turkey.

So now they’ve taken a probably marginal hit in their profits in the short-term to provide smokers with a way to continue to share their branding, and to potentially still provide that 10-pack limit.

And while for many it’s an addiction with well-known health risks, most smokers will still feel slightly cooler taking out a branded Marlboro tin and refilling it from the non-branded packs than having to take out a dull green pack with a large diseased lung on it.

 

Marketing Under Restrictions Promotes Creativity:

Would Marlboro have done something like this to promote their brand without the upcoming regulations and bans? I highly doubt it.

I’d imagine most people reading this don’t have an unlimited budget or freedom. But if you did, the danger is that you’d simply pile much more money into doing the same things. And you’d have no incentive to optimise your Adwords spend or paid Facebook content if you could just double the budget instead.

Whereas the most creative marketing often comes from constraints. Whether that’s from laws, budgets or other restrictions, it’s something that can result in far more interest and impact. I’ve just been reading ‘Things A Little Bird Told Me‘ by Biz Stone, and in it, he talks about his time designing book covers. When a brief insisted a particular photo had to be used, other designers would avoid taking that work. Instead, Biz Stone would rush to grab that job, take the photo, and then do something like blow it up 2000 times to use the massively pixellated version.

Employees are often advised ‘Don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions’.

Perhaps our marketing motto should be ‘Don’t complain about constraints, bring me creative innovations’?

How To Solve WP-Cron Job Errors Caused By WordPress Hosting

Want to know how to solve WP Cron Job errors caused by WordPress hosting? It’s actually easier to spot and fix than you might think. And just five minutes resolving the issue can make a big difference to the performance of your WordPress website, usability and search engine optimisation.

Whether you need to change your wp-cron.php settings will depend on your internet host. Some hosts will disable it from running due to resource usage and legitimate security concerns. For example, Heart Internet. Others I know that encourage manual cron jobs include InMotion, Hostgator and many more.

 

What Are WP-Cron Job Errors:

You can spot if you have any WP Cron Job errors fairly quickly. If you look at your website, or the list of pages visited in your analytics software, do you ever see urls with ?doing_wp_cron= followed by a string of numbers?

So for example http://www.thewayoftheweb.net/how-to-solve-wp-cron-job-errors-caused-by-wordpress-hosting?doing_wp_cron=128337.128371298731298371923

If so, that indicates that you currently have an issue. Especially as those urls will be duplicates of existing articles.

 

What is a WP-Cron Job And Why Does It Fail:

WordPress uses a file named wp-cron.php as the way to scheduled automated tasks. For instance checking for updates, sending emails and automated tasks like backing up. It’s a virtual cron job which is triggered whenever a scheduled task is due to run, which can be either due to someone visiting and generating an automatic email, or having your back-up set to run on a regular basis.

So when someone lands on any page on your WordPress site, the wp-cron.php file could fire up and check whether it needs to send anything

On many WordPress hosts, this will run as intended. But some disable this functionality from running because it means that large visitor numbers can fire the virtual cron jobs a lot of times, using up the resources on your server. It’s also a potential security vulnerability.

For example, this site is hosted by Heart Internet, and their default setting is to have wp-cron.php disabled.

 

What Problems Do WP-Cron Errors Cause?:

There are two issues which can be created by wp-cron.php not working as intended. The first is that plugins and functionality which relies on cron jobs may not work properly, or might generate errors. So that includes things like scheduled posts, but also a lot of plug-in functionality for tasks like automated back-ups, auto-generated emails etc.

The other issue is potentially worse, as you may not spot it until you go looking. By creating a duplicate of your article with the same url gaining ?doing_wp_cron on the end, essentially you end up with at least two versions of every WordPress post you create.

That obviously has big implications for SEO, as search engines definitely do not like large scale duplicate content. Even more annoying is the fact that the redirects and canonicalisation it causes will point to the duplicate version, rather than the original. So you’ll generally find your pages will be dismissed from search engine listings, and you’ll have a large number of 404 and soft 404 errors listed in Google Search Console or Bing Webmaster Tools.

Essentially it makes your legitimate site look like an effort to spam search engines. As well as potentially causing people to link to your duplicate version, minimising the benefit of getting an external website link.

So basically, it’s not good. Fortunately the fix is relatively quick and painless.

 

How to Solve WP-Cron Job Errors Caused By WordPress Hosting

To fix the problem, you just need to follow 3 simple steps.

  1. Disable the wp-cron.php from firing when someone visits your website.
  2. Set up a manual cron job to run on a set schedule. If you run multiple sites on one server, then stagger the times to avoid firing everything at once.
  3. Reditect the incorrect urls so that they point to the article addresses you actually want to rank, and stop confusing search engines.

 

1. How To Disable wp-cron.php

So first we need to stop that pesky wp-cron.php from causing any more problems. This is relatively simple once you’ve accessed the wp-cron.php file which is part of your WordPress software.

You can get to the files in your WordPress install via your hosts CPanel controls, although I prefer to use an FTP client to log into the server. With most hosts, you’ll need to log into the CPanel to unlock ftp access before using the details they supply in whatever FTP software you prefer. Personally, I’ve used Filezilla for years with no issues as it’s free, open source and frequently updated.

When you connect with Filezilla, you’ll generally see a default WordPress install puts all your files into a folder named Public.html. Open that and within the list you should find your wp.config.php file. This controls specific functions of your website, including cron jobs.

Click to view and edit. And before you do anything else, save a copy in notepad or similar just in case anything goes wrong. If you forget, you’ll either need to find the example listed on WordPress.org or reinstall WordPress.

You should see some text relating to your specific installation, and then:

/** Database Charset to use in creating database tables. */ define(‘DB_CHARSET’, ‘utf8’);
/** The Database Collate type. Don’t change this if in doubt. */ define(‘DB_COLLATE’, ”);

Underneath that text, simple add the following line:

define( ‘DISABLE_WP_CRON’, true );

You may seem some advice suggesting using define( ‘ALTERNATE_WP_CRON’, true ); as a solution, but every WordPress.org describes it as ‘a bit iffy’, and I’ve never found it to work yet. And the extra time for replacing the disabled version is only a couple of minutes more…

2. Set Up Your Manual Cron Job

For this step, you need to set up a manual cron job to run via your hosting company cPanel rather than relying on WordPress. This may be located in different places depending on your host – for example, Heart Internet list Scheduled Tasks under Web Tools. Wheras for InMotion you can find it listed as Cron Jobs under Advanced.

You then need to enter the script to run. For Heart Internet use:
/usr/bin/php5 /home/sites/yourdomainnamehere/public_html/wp-cron.php

And the space between php5 and /home is intentional! You should then be able to test it and if it’s correct, you’ll see the following pop up:

Solve WP-Cron Job Errors Caused By WordPress Hosting

‘The page at https://hosting.heartinternet.uk says
Your script returned the following:
X-Powered-By: PHP/5.2.17
Content-type: text/html’

InMotion, for example, recommend using the following, and replacing userna5 with your cPanel user name.

cd /home/userna5/public_html; php -q wp-cron.php

The only other thing to set is how often you want the manual cron job to run. Generally, you could run it every 6 hours for a low traffic site, or every hour if you have a more popular site. Either way, it’s going to actually work, and you can adjust the frequency if your hosting company alerts you to increased server usage (or you can check the server logs to preempt any warnings…)

So now we have the cron job issue fixed, as per existing advice and guides online.

But actually there’s still a big problem. We still have potentially thousands of duplicate pages floating around, and the confusion for search engines trying to find the right ones to list in search results.

For one site I left to test, the number of incorrect pages being visited had jumped over the last couple of months to be almost 50% of the total pages viewed on the site! Definitely not good.

Fixing WordPress Cron Usability and SEO Issues:

So to reconcile the right urls for users and search engines, we need to direct them to the right pages.

We could do that manually by individually redirecting each error. For instance, you could use a plugin like Redirection and go through everything listed in Google Analytics (or at least anything getting a reasonable amount of traffic).

That’s not the best use of your time though, and there’s a far better way.

Fire up your FTP client again, and this time you’re looking for your .htaccess file in your public.html folder.

When you select view and edit, you should see something like:

# Switch rewrite engine off in case this was installed under HostPay.
RewriteEngine Off

SetEnv DEFAULT_PHP_VERSION 5

DirectoryIndex index.php

 BEGIN WordPress
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ – [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]
</IfModule>

# END WordPress

All we need to do to redirect every example of ?wp_doing _cron is add a rewrite for it. I’m no expert in creating rewrite conditions, so cheers to Rob Hughes from https://whitemousedigital.com for his assistance with this…

You just need to add:

RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (^|&)doing_wp_cron=[0-9]+.[0-9]+(&|$) [NC]
RewriteRule ^ %{REQUEST_URI}? [R=301,L]

For example:

# Switch rewrite engine off in case this was installed under HostPay.
RewriteEngine Off

SetEnv DEFAULT_PHP_VERSION 5

DirectoryIndex index.php

#Rewrite Wp Cron Errors:
RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (^|&)doing_wp_cron=[0-9]+.[0-9]+(&|$) [NC]
RewriteRule ^ %{REQUEST_URI}? [R=301,L]

# BEGIN WordPress
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^index\.php$ – [L]
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteRule . /index.php [L]
</IfModule>

# END WordPress

The # indicates something which is there for your notes, rather than something which is part of any condition. So #Rewrite Wp Cron Errors: is a useful reminder of what that bit was added to do, particularly if I want to go back and remove it after switching WordPress hosting, or need to find it to copy across for another site if this post and my notes all mysteriously vanish.

Now you should see that when you visit one of the old urls with ?wp_doing_cron, it should automatically 301 Redirect you to the correct url. You may find that analytics/search console add your website name again after the first / in a url, so just remove that before testing as it’s a slight glitch in logging the data, rather than yet another alternate.

Not only does this mean that your users will now end up at the right place should they visit the old duplicate url. It also makes it clear to every search engine which one is the correct url, and which one is a load of old rubbish they should ignore. And by using a 301 redirect, if someone has linked to the duplicate url from their website, you pass approximately 70% or so of the value of that link to the right place, rather than losing it all.

OK, so that quick and simple solution has now resulted in 1,700 words. So here’s the quick version:

The TL:DR WP Cron Fix Summary:

  1. Turn off any existing wp-cron.php tasks by adding define(‘DISABLE_WP_CRON’, ‘true’); to your wp.config.php.
  2. Set up a manual cron job via the cPanel control for your host. E.G /usr/bin/php5 /home/sites/yourdomainname/public_html/wp-cron.php in Heart Internet’s Scheduled Tasks section.
  3. Redirect all the duplicate rubbish urls to the right ones by adding
    #Rewrite Wp Cron Errors:
    RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} (^|&)doing_wp_cron=[0-9]+.[0-9]+(&|$) [NC]
    RewriteRule ^ %{REQUEST_URI}? [R=301,L]
    into your .htaccess file.
  4. Use one of the old duplicate ?wp_doing_cron urls to check it is now redirecting correctly.
  5. Repeat for all WordPress installs that might be affected on that host.
  6. Feel smug you can now solve WP-Cron Job Errors Caused By WordPress Hosting

Save

Peterborough STEM Festival – October 1, 2016

The WayoftheWeb is lucky to not only worth with clients across the UK, Europe and around the globe, but also have a team of colleagues similarly distributed. It gives us the benefit of lower costs and the ability to tap into a wider range of skills and experience. Plus it also gives us the chance to travel a fair bit!

When I started the company seven years ago as a solo consultant, I was based in Peterborough. Realising early on that I missed the real world interaction I’d had with colleagues, I suggested to a few friends that we arranged a social gathering in a local pub. And that turned into the successful monthly DPiP meetup.

Having left the area to establish a new headquarters for the company in Kent (more news on that in the near feature), we’re still involved with DPiP, so it was exciting to originally hear plans for the first ever Peterborough STEM Festival. And it’s even more exciting to know that the free, family-friendly event will take place on October 1st, 2016. As a coincidence, it’s also the anniversary of our start as a company!

Peterborough STEM Festival

It’s a packed day of fascinating speakers, interesting workshops and cool demos and exhibitors. All supporting the drive for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths in education, and also Ada Lovelace day (which celebrates the achievements of women in those fields).

It’s great to know something we’ve played a part in will be delivering something so inspiring. And switching pronouns again, I’ll be volunteering at the festival to help out. There’s no doubt some of the children attending will be the type of employees we’ll all be hoping to hire in the future.

Although the event in free, you do need to book tickets in advance to help the organisers manage numbers. And pre-booking for the workshops will open shortly, as there will be limitations to how much space is available.

WordPress Update Error: Download failed.: Failed to write request to temporary file

We currently manage around 35 WordPress installations and websites for a variety of clients and my own projects. I originally started using WordPress for my own websites around 10 years ago, and over time I’ve arranged a range of hosting, themes and plugins that I know I can trust.

When I recently updated to the latest version of WordPress, I received the following error message: WordPress Update Error: Download failed.: Failed to write request to temporary file.

Strangely it only occurred on one of my sites from the 35 I updated, and it’s a site which has run without issue for several years. It’s an error message I couldn’t remember seeing before, so it was time to do some investigating. And it’s why I’ve written this post as a reminder if it occurs again.

Fixing_Wordpress_Error_Failed_Temporary_File

 

WordPress Update Error: Download failed.: Failed to write request to temporary file

The error message appears when you attempt to automatically the core WordPress files, plugins or themes on the affected website. There’s no other information to accompany the message, and it appears there are various ideas as to what may cause it. The most common reason given is that the WordPress update will place temporary files in a directory on your server which isn’t specific to WordPress. That’s normally limited in terms of space by your website host, and it appears that a full temporary file may trigger the error.

Generally old files should be cleared out of the folder automatically, but that doesn’t always happen. So over the course of time, it can become full.

However there are some questions about this – contacting my website host for that particular site via support indicated that the temporary folder was only 5% full. That may have been because I’d completed the required updates via a workaround (details below), but it may indicate there’s another issue.

The other suggestion is a server configuration issue which means it’s not set up to properly use a temporary folder, which also makes sense. It could occur on an existing site if something has been changed by your website hosting provider for that particular server.

 

Fixing Failed to write request to temporary file:

So there are several things you can try:

  • Check whether there is any issue with space on your server or via your cPanel account.
  • Clear out the temporary directory of any files you know are no longer required.
  • Check and alter the user permissions for the WP-Content folder via your cPanel to have chmod 755
  • Edit the wp-config file to add a new line of code.

It was editing the wp-config file that immediately solved my own issue.
Two important things to note:

  • Before you make any changes or delete anything, it’s best to back things up. Some of the files in your temporary directory may relate to website stats software or have other uses which means you’ll need to keep them.
  • If you’re adjusting user permissions or editing your wp-config file, it can be a security risk, so make sure you switch them back afterwards.

 

Server Space and Set-Up:

Even if you can access your temporary folder (e.g. /tmp) via ftp, you may not be able to actually edit or delete anything. Particularly if you’re on shared servers (the most common set-up for lower priced hosting, including for most blogs etc). So you’ll need to contact your website hosting provider or raise a support ticket.

I pick my hosting based on the speed and quality of their product and their customer support, so I had a reply within an hour on a Sunday morning. But as the WordPress update was security based (and I tend to be a curious fellow), I didn’t want to wait while they responded, so I moved onto the next step.

 

WP-Content chmod 755:

The chmod setting controls who can Read, Write (delete and add folders) and Execute (run scripts) to folders on your website. Generally by default you want to have access to change things without letting anyone else make edits. Which is why generally your WP-Content folder should be set to chmod 755

To check, log into your website hosting provider, and navigate to your File Manager. Generally you’ll be able to see your chmod settings there and change them if necessary. One suggested solution is to temporarily change the WP-Content folder to chmod 777 which allows anyone to upload to it – obviously this is a massive security risk, so if you try this, change it back afterwards immediately!

 

Edit WP-Config:

So, first you need to open up your File Manager in your web host cPanel, or get into your site via ftp.

Locate your wp-config.php file.

 

It should look something like the following, with the name of your Database in it:

* @package WordPress
*/

// ** MySQL settings – You can get this info from your web host ** //
/** The name of the database for WordPress */ define( ‘DB_NAME’, ‘database_name_here’ );

/** MySQL database username */ define( ‘DB_USER’, ‘username_here’ );
/** MySQL database password */ define( ‘DB_PASSWORD’, ‘password_here’ );

/** MySQL hostname *
/ define( ‘DB_HOST’, ‘localhost’ );

 

All you then need to do is add the following, before the MySQL details:

define(‘WP_TEMP_DIR’, ABSPATH . ‘wp-content/’);

 

So it will look something like:

* @package WordPress
*/
define(‘WP_TEMP_DIR’, ABSPATH . ‘wp-content/’);

// ** MySQL settings – You can get this info from your web host ** //
/** The name of the database for WordPress */ define( ‘DB_NAME’, ‘database_name_here’ );

/** MySQL database username */ define( ‘DB_USER’, ‘username_here’ );
/** MySQL database password */ define( ‘DB_PASSWORD’, ‘password_here’ );

/** MySQL hostname *
/ define( ‘DB_HOST’, ‘localhost’ );

Then just save, close, and try to run your updates again.

 

When it’s all fixed:

When all the required updates have run, make sure you reset any changes to your chmod permissions, and also remove the line of code from WP-Config.

Even if you’ve managed to solve the problem via those workarounds, it’s worth contacting your website hosting provider to see whether the /tmp file needs clearing, or if there’s a server configuration problem. Otherwise you’ll need to go through making the changes for every update in the future, and it’s very easy to accidentally leave your modified wp-config file live after the umpteenth update.

 

Flickr adds Downloadable Video Sharing

It’s not often that there’s a new feature worth talking about at Flickr. And it seems to have been so long that Flickr’s marketing team dropping it into a particularly bare email, giving it just two lines.

Flickr Photostream

But it’s actually quite interesting. Flickr has now made it possible to allow you to share videos in the same way as you can allow people to download your photos. You set your defaults and can tweak them for individual items.

It’s useful in two ways. Firstly it’s a way to allow videos to be used, modified and uploaded by others under a Creative Commons License, which is a great way to allow others to build on your work. And it also allows friends and family to potentially download and save videos which are important to them – meaning that your backup archive doesn’t just have to be on your own computer.

The first way is the most interesting though – obviously Youtube, Facebook and the likes of Instagram and Twitter are either the giants in online video or trying to get there. But although they all have ways to embed video and therefore display the original upload information and advertising, they don’t have any ways to allow people to share and download videos.

That relies on filesharing services like Dropbox, Hightail etc.

But that then relies on a personal relationship with the sender. I need to know the videos exist and be given the link to their location to be able to access them.

Flickr allowing video sharing changes that. It could really benefit a core group of video creators – although I wonder how many of them will actually be aware, given the lack of promotion about it. Strange considering how immensely important video is for big tech brands and publishers right now.

Youtube introduces Interactive Cards

Youtube has introduced interactive cards as a replacement for annotations on videos. There’s a new Cards tab available in the Youtube Video Editor to allow you to choose from 6 types; Merchandise, Fundraising, Video, Playlist, Associated Website and Fan Funding.

Youtube_Interactive_Cards

Youtube Interactive Cards

They’ll work across mobile and desktop and eventually annotations will be phased out to make way for the new interactive cards. Each type of card has specific settings – for instance Merchandise cards allow you to add an image, merchandise url and a call to action, while fan funding cards allow for donations to creators within the video itself.

They display as a small pop-up, and the teaser can then be clicked for more information. In addition there is an information button that shows throughout the video to see all cards at once. And the new interactive cards will also work in livestreams as well as pre-recorded video.

At the moment you can’t choose size, or position them anywhere other than on the right edge. You can have a maximum of 5 cards per video, and the colours are fixed. Plus their location will change depending on the device being used to view them – so it’s not a good idea to point to them when you’re on camera.

 

Friendfeed and GigaOm announce closures as Apple launches new products

While Apple launched new products including MacBooks and Watches, two pioneering services announced they would be closing. Friendfeed was a useful social network which combined short updates similar to Twitter with the ability to easily collect and aggregate your content from a huge variety of sources, into one feed. It launched back in 2007, and the service and team had been acquired by Facebook in 2009.

FriendFeedLogo

There’s no official news beyond the April 2015 closure date, but there is some unofficial code on Github to export your data if you wish.

And at the same time, one of the first big independent tech blogs has ceased operations. GigaOm originally launched in the mid-2000s, and became a full time job for founder Om Malik in 2006. It since acquired PaidContent, launched a paid Research area and various events etc.

GigaOm Logo

It’s sad news for those of us who have followed the site closely for 8+ years, and for the team of around 70 employees, although it may be wound down, acquired or who knows what else. It is known that the latest $8 million round of funding took place 12 months ago, but it has ceased operations due to being unable to pay creditors.

Whilst it’s unfortunate for all involved, including the millions of readers, it’s important to remember that the closure of GigaOm is more a reflection of the economics of an individual business. FriendFeed, meanwhile, reflects the trend for social network acquisition by the big players in the space – Facebook obviously went on to pick up Instagram and WhatsApp with far, far larger userbases and bigger brands.

Google Authorship and rel=author is no more

One of the main benefits of signing up for a Google+ profile as a writer, blogger and author has been the Google Authorship program, which began back in 2011 with the launch of Google’s own social network. And in a Google+ post, Google’s John Mueller has confirmed that not only will the search results no longer show any Authorship results, but data will no longer be tracked from the rel=author markup.

Since the start of 2014, Authorship has carried slightly less benefits for those who implemented it correctly with first a reduction in the amount of author photos shown per query, and then a complete removal of author photos, leaving only bylines. Now that’s gone as well.

Google+Logo

Should you remove Authorship markup?

Although the markup is no longer being utilised for authorship, Mueller has confirmed that it will be treated just like any other markup (e.g. Schema), and won’t cause any problems.

Part of the reason given for Google Authorship ending has been the low take-up and correct implementation of the process. Given that Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt has stated the importance of real identity and information tied to online profiles, it’s unlikely that Google won’t continue to try and complete the link between people and their work in a less public way in the future.

 

What about Publisher markup?

Although the links between an individual and their articles won’t be correlated and highlighted any more, there’s been no explicit mention of Publisher markup between a brand and their Google+ page. It’s always been slightly easier to implement, and obviously only has to be done once for potentially hundreds of authors working for a brand, so the future is potentially brighter for Publishers than Authors.

 

Why was it ended?

The reasons given for Authorship ending at Google are:

  • Low numbers implementing it, and even fewer implementing it correctly.
  • Low value to searchers. Mueller stated ‘Unfortunately, we’ve also observed that this information isn’t as useful to our users as we’d hoped, and can even distract from those results’ – partly this may be down to the need to display properly on mobile devices, and there have been conspiracy theories about the impact on paid search advertising, as well as the possibility Authorship didn’t offer an increase in click through rates after the initial novelty had worn off.

 

What now?

So for the time being, we’d recommend that if you have Authorship in place, you don’t rush to remove it. And you continue to link your Google+ page with your website.

Mueller also mentioned an expansion of support for structured markup such as Scheme.org, which we recommend all clients look at to see how it can be implemented.

And Google+ posts and pages will still appear in searches where relevant, so there is still some reason to post on the network, even if it’s lost one compelling reason for a lot of journalists, authors and bloggers.

 

Blogging for Business and Profit Notes: DPiP August 2014

There’s nothing here yet until after I give my presentation this evening – Thursday, August 7th.

The full notes will magically appear on Saturday, August 9th. In the meantime, you can always follow me on Twitter (@badgergravling), or follow TheWayofTheWeb (@twotwmarketing) to be alerted when I’ve compiled and sorted everything…

How to merge an existing Google+ page and Youtube Channel

The continued integration of various Google services with Google+ has generally been a positive move for both Google and businesses who can now access pages, page insights, analytics etc all in one place. But it does create an issue if you have existing Google+ pages and Youtube channels assigned to different registration emails, or if you accidentally create duplicates.

Fortunately, the process to merge an existing Google+ page and Youtube channel isn’t as difficult as it once was.

 

Google+_Youtube_Merge

We’ve merged G+ and Youtube profiles for our own sites and clients

Disconnecting a Google+ page and merging an existing page with Youtube:

The first step is to make a note of the email address and Google account which your Youtube channel is setup up with.

1. Make sure that the existing Youtube account is added as a Manager to your Google+ page (Which is done under the Managers section of your Page Settings)

2. If a duplicate or alternate page has been created by mistake via Youtube, you’ll need to disconnect that Google+ presence by clicking on Disconnect in Youtube Settings, in the Name section.

3. Google will take around 20 minutes to proceed through the disconnection process. It’s a good time to get a drink and relax!

4. Now go back into Youtube Settings, and click on Advanced. You should then have the option to link the Youtube account to a Google+ Page. Click on that link and you should be able to select the correct page.

5. Once that’s done, you should be able to click on Edit to be sent to the Page where you can click on Posts etc to check it’s the correct one.

6. Once that’s all done, you can then go into Google+ with your original Youtube account and remove the Page created in error.

You’ll now have the benefits of a linked account, including access to a Youtube tab on your page, Hangouts etc. If you get stuck, there is a Google+ community dedicated to Youtube integration.