Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Article writing and stats checking

This morning I wrote an article for my photo tips website. I would guess about 1/3 of the time was spent trying to find something to write about, 1/3 finding suitable CC licensed photos to illustrate it, and 1/3 actually writing the article.

In the afternoon I was checking stats for my websites. I found that for my photo website I didn't have any stats. Looking into it, I found that I had the wrong log file name in the server config for the website. For updating the site config on the server, I have local copies of the site configs that I update and upload. But the local copy had the correct log name in it. So how on earth I managed to upload a config file with the wrong log name in it, I don't know.

I uploaded the correct config file and also renamed the wrongly named logs to the correct names. So hopefully next time the log processing script is run it will update the stats with all the missing data.

I didn't notice any other big problems when checking the server stats, so next I moved on to checking the stats in Google Webmaster Tools. For one of my sites, it gave some sitemap errors, to do with my geo sitemap:

Status: Invalid XML tag This tag was not recognized. Please fix it and resubmit. Parent tag: url Tag: geo

I thought maybe I'd made some mistake in my geo sitemap, but according to this thread here: Why does Webmaster Tools warns about the geo tag in Sitemaps? and this thread: Discussions > Sitemap Protocol > Geo Sitemap produces warning this is a bug with Google Webmaster Tools. Unfortunately, the bug has been around for several years, and Google have not fixed it. It would be nice if companies would fix bugs in their existing software / products before they start working on new (buggy) software / products.

Everything else looked okay, except that the rich snippets tool wasn't detecting the microdata on my recipe website. When I checked the page, it didn't actually have any microdata!

It seems that Wordpress strips all microdata from posts when you save them. I found a post that said if you don't use the visual editor / disable the visual editor, then it won't strip the microdata. However, I don't use the visual editor. I disabled the visual editor as well, and tried again, but wordpress would still strip the schema.org microdata.

The post also suggested using a wordpress microdata plugin, so I tried that. Unfortunately I couldn't get it working. Next I tried just editing the post directly in the database (via phpMyAdmin), and that worked okay.

After that I tried deactivating all plugins and using the default Wordpress 2010 theme, to see if that would stop Wordpress stripping the microdata properties. Unfortunately it didn't work, and wordpress still stripped the data. So I updated the posts via the database. Some of the older posts used the hRecipe microformat (rather than the schema.org recipe microdata), and they had saved okay. I checked the Rich Snippets tool, and both the hRecipe microformat and the schema.org recipe microdata posts were now showing up correctly.

As far as I understand, using schema.org microdata to mark up content is what Google currently recommends. Of course, there are also microformats and RDFa to do the same job as well.

When I was done with that I started checking my site stats on Bing Webmaster tools.

In the evening I watched Comanche Station, another Randolph Scott western, and the same plot as all his other films. Still quite good. After that I finished checking my sites stats on Bing Webmaster tools.

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