Internet security has been a hot news topic over the past few months. A cascade of software vulnerabilities, account breaches, and security flaws produced a steady stream disclosures, apologies, and a few PR disasters. As a result, most of us are more aware than ever of the need to keep every piece of our online presence secure.
Schema markup is a form of structured data that helps search engines understand what’s on a webpage. This markup is a community effort to create a universal vocabulary of tags and categories for the internet. An example of Schema markup in action is the Google Knowledge Graph. These are the cards on the right-hand side of some Google searches. These cards provide more information about your search, and are a collection of structured data snippets from all over the internet.
Laser cat sees your Schema!
Here you can see a snippet of Chow-Bryant’s card in Google’s Knowledge Graph. Some of this information is fed into Google’s Knowledge Graph using Schema markup on our website. For instance, the footer on our site features Schema for a local business.
Other Forms of Structured Data
In a nutshell, Schema markup is very similar to the Open Graph Protocol and Twitter Card Data. The main difference is that Schema markup isn’t unique to a specific social media platform. Instead, Schema is primarily used by webmasters, app developers and search engines. In fact, Schema markup is supported by Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yandex.
It’s 11:30 p.m. After several last-minute targeting changes, your Google Display Network campaign is almost ready. You’ve set the targeting, and you’ve segmented out everything that needs to be segmented (of which there was a lot). Now all that’s left is uploading the ads so that they will start running at midnight as planned. All that’s left is adding the creative into the AdWords interface.
OH GOD NO.
AdWords just rejected your ads.
Your HTML5 ad is missing a primary .HTML file. Primary .HTML files include an Ad Size tag such as <meta name=”ad.size” content=”width=300,height=250″>. Make sure there is an .HTML file with an ad size tag in your HTML5 ad, and try again.
Now what? You’ve got 30 minutes to fix this, and both your designer and your developer left town for Vegas about two hours ago.
The Open Graph Protocol is a lot like Twitter Card Data and Schema markup. Basically, the Open Graph Protocol is a collection of meta tags that allow a website to become a rich object in Facebook’s social graph. As a result, a website with Open Graph data on it has the same functionality as any other object on Facebook like profile links and stream updates.
When you share a link on Twitter, the link may automatically add an image, title, and description below your tweet. This information is called a Twitter Card, and it comes from some HTML tags on the webpage called a rich snippet. This markup lets site owners easily share additional information about their articles, images, videos, and even apps. Here’s an example of a Twitter Card for my article on The Cat Line. Read more
The internet is full of robots, and their ranks are growing exponentially. In 2015 roughly half of all internet traffic was bots, so it’s important to pay attention to how robots interact with your site. These robots are software that automatically browse the internet. The most common kind of robot crawls the internet and indexes content from search engines, but there are also bad bots, which harvest emails or search for sites that are weak against mass hacking attempts. Luckily, you can use a robots.txt file to communicate with all of these non-human netizens, and in some cases even give them instructions on how to use your site. Read more
You may have read the title of this article and thought, “Cats on the internet, huh? I see what you did there.” And you’re right. There’s a love affair between the internet and cats. As much as I’d love to go on a long tangent about this, I’ll save it for a future post and try to stay focused on The Cat Line.
What is Google Trends?
Google Trends is a tool that lets you track how many times people used Google to search a specific term. You can analyze and compare up to five keywords and refine the results with multiple filters. If you want to find out how many people in Brazil are searching for Rick & Morty pics in Google Image Search, then Google Trends is the tool to use.
Cool info. Looking up search volume on random TV shows or celebrities might be fun or interesting, but it probably won’t help you accomplish your goals. This tool, though, does have its place in your internet marketing toolkit, but you need to know how to use Google Trends.
Since Michael and I took some time off last Thursday to vote, the “I Voted” stickers have been on my mind. What’s their value? Could that money be used better elsewhere? Is it actually a strong enough voting incentive for it to be worth diverting that slice of state budget? Should we view these as a form of native ad?
But what about a more populous state? According to the Texas Tribune, there are 15,015,700 registered voters. Assuming the same price Oklahoma pays for stickers, that’s $45,047.10. So, no, that’s still not really enough to do anything at a state level. It’s maybe one lower-level employee salary, so unless we desperately need more papers pushed around, I don’t think it’s going to go very far.
As much as I’d like to jump straight into the code snippets that can help speed up your website, it’s important to define why load times matter. In 2010, Google revealed site speed was a ranking factor the company considered when choosing which sites to show in search results. Quoting that article:
Speeding up websites is important — not just to site owners, but to all Internet users. Faster sites create happy users and we’ve seen in our internal studies that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there. But faster sites don’t just improve user experience; recent data shows that improving site speed also reduces operating costs.
It’s hard to argue with happy users, better rankings, and reduced operating costs, especially when it may just take a few minutes to accomplish. Now, enough with definitions, let’s jump straight to why you’re still reading. Read more