W3Total Cache, Cannot See Latest Post Fix

Getting the most out of your website requires tapping into all options, which includes making your website as fast as possible. My my case, I was trying to speed up one of my WordPress powered sites, using the W3 Total Cache plugin. It really has made a huge difference and according to Google Page Speed tests, it’s doing awesome. But, I ran into a little problem, I could not view the latest post on my homepage or in my categories. But I found a fix.

My WordPress site in question used a static page to host the latest posts. This is a pretty popular setup, especially among custom themes. In my case I was using DIVI 2.0, by Elegant Themes, and modified the homepage to my liking, including the Blog format. But, while W3 Total Cache was doing it’s job, it was also not allowing the latest post to appear to non-admin viewers.

Getting the most out of your website requires tapping into all options, which includes making your website as fast as possible.  My my case, I was trying to speed up one of my WordPress powered sites, using the W3 Total Cache plugin.  It really has made a huge difference and according to Google Page Speed tests, it’s doing awesome.  But, I ran into a little problem, I could not view the latest post on my homepage or in my categories.  But I found a fix.

My WordPress site in question used a static page to host the latest posts.   This is a pretty popular setup, especially among custom themes.  In my case I was using DIVI 2.0, by Elegant Themes, and modified the homepage to my liking, including the Blog format.  But, while W3 Total Cache was doing it’s job, it was also not allowing the latest post to appear to non-admin viewers.

To fix the hidden post problem, you can either quit using a static homepage or you can disable ‘Page Caching’ in the W3 Total Cache General Settings tab.  In my case, not using a static homepage was not an option, so I simply turned off page caching.  Leaving everything else constant, like browser caching, minify, and others, simply turning off Page Caching fixed my issue.  Now all is well in the world.

Google AdWords Automatic Payment Declined

[ad#toppostleft]Had a first this afternoon, apparently Google AdWords notified me that my bank denied the credit card on file for automatically making Google Adwords payments.  This denial of payment immediately put my currently running ads on pause and put my account in default until action was taken.  So, I immediately contacted Fifth Third Bank to see what was going on.

According to 5/3 Bank my they authorized the transaction and confirmed that the payment had went through.  After a brief conversation I also confirmed that my account was in good standing and there was no reason to put my account on hold, all transactions have been authorized and would be so in the future.  Keep in mind, this account has used the same payment method for over a year, payments going off without a hitch every month, but now supposedly declined.  Time to call Google.

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Google Merchants Datafeed Error

So, I’ve been using the Google Merchants and having success through Google Shopping, up until a few weeks ago.  Now, I’m still getting clicks, and my products are still showing up in search, however I’m getting datafeed errors.  The reason for the errors is not very clear.

On the Merchants dashboard it states that all of my products have errors, which need to be fixed.  The link below the announcement takes me to my datafeed quality report and states to fix the problems listed below.  Only problem, there are no problems listed below.

Google Merchants Datafeed
Datafeed Quality

Use Chrome For Keyword Density

I’ve stumbled across a great function of Google Chrome to easily find out what kind of keyword density I’m putting into my posts. Actually, the function within the Google Chrome browser will provide feedback on exactly how many times a word is used on the open page and highlight where that word can be found.

To search the keyword, simply press Ctrl+F, which will bring a drop down in the top right of the browser to enter a search term. After entering the search term the keyword will be highlighted on the page. Within the drop down search menu will be a 1 of XX, displaying how many times the keyword was used on the page.

This neat little Chrome trick will help in increasing or decreasing the density of keywords being used on an article. Although it’s also a great tool to use when searching for specific information on a HUGE page full of irrelevant text.

Google Sites and Google Friend Connect

So Google has just released one of their better social networking applications and we can’t even use it on their official Sites pages?  As of this posting there is no way to integrate Google Friend Connect gadgets on Google Sites pages.

I’m working on a few pages that would greatly benefit from having their ‘Share This’ gadget, along with member signups, and newsletter confirmations.  However, the current state of Google Sites prohibits the use of any code that requires javascript, other than their Adsense which can be added into the sidebar.

The Google Friend Connect code can be added via the html function of Google Sites, but the user is greeted with a warning that the potentially dangerous code will be removed upon viewing.  A la, no more working Google Friend Connect on Google Sites.

I’m not the only one upset that Friend Connect won’t work with Sites.  A thread on the official Sites Forum has over 43 posts from people looking to add Friend Connect to their personal Google Site pages.  The reason it hasn’t been integrated yet, my best guess is that they were too busy copying Twitter to come up with Buzz!.

Don’t Buy Affiliate Espionage

Affiliate Espionage was a phenomenal tool a few months back, which helped the user track advertising trends amongst competitors in Google Adwords.  It provided research on search trends, money spent on campaigns, and which campaigns worked, so the user wasn’t throwing money out the door.  It assisted with the tried and true test, test, test method of spending money on Adwords.  Alas, Affiliate Espionage has closed it’s doors and development on the FireFox plugin has come to a hault.

It’s been a looonnggg time since I last sent out an email to you
but a lot has been going on and unfortunately as a result I have
some bad news to share with you today.

With much thought and struggle, I have decided to close down
Affiliate Espionage.

It has been a fun ride and the feedback and response to AE has
been fantastic over the past 18 months but things have reached a
point where I had to decide which direction to take my business
and focus my efforts and I did not feel I would be able to
provide the support, service and time required to do justice to
the Affiliate Espionage Software while tackling the major
project I will be working on this year.

Effective March 1st 2010, Affiliate Espionage will be taken off
the market.

All existing customers will still have full access to the
Member’s only Site indefinitely to access all software, videos,
and manuals.

There may be occasional software updates but there is no
timetable or schedule (or promise of) these updates.

This has not been an easy decision especially since this project
has been part of my life for well over 2 years now.  I
appreciate your support and understanding.

You can still contact our support desk until March 5, 2010 to
address any questions or concerns you may have.

So, it looks like it’s back to studying trends  the old fashion way and spend lots o pennies on testing Adword Campaigns.  But that’s ok, because everything the Affiliate Espionage Plugin did can be done on your own manually, just takes a little bit longer.

If you are looking for alternative revenue streams, please check out my Chitika Review.

Chrome Extensions Are Lacking

Google Chrome ExtensionsGoogle Chrome has offered me a roller coaster of emotions since it’s release in September 2008.  I embraced Google’s latest endeavor and hint at an OS with open arms, but quickly fell back on tried and true FireFox.  Since then they have released updates that have complicated Chrome’s functionality and as of late fixed most of what frustrated me about it in the first place.  Now, I set here before you, happy and proud that Google Chrome is my primary browser for both work and play.

Since Google has updated Chrome to allow popups for domains, it’s found a permanent fixture on my work PC.  No longer must I fight with FireFox’s memory leaks and slow to open windows.  As of late I’ve also found myself feasting on Chrome’s ability to use Extensions, which the lack of was a shortfall at launch in 2008.  But, early on in the development stage, quality extensions are few and far between.

Currently I’m only using 3 different Chrome Extensions, which include FasterChrome, Google Mail Checker, and Webpage Screenshot.  It’s better than nothing, but they still struggle to meet the sophistication and tweekability found in FireFox addons.  According to developers, it’s Google’s fault for the way they allow access to their code.  To be honest, it’s all lost over my head, I just know what I can use and what I hate.

Taking a quick look through the top Chrome Extensions proves that there isn’t enough competition in the marketplace.  Extensions like ibrii are attempting to farm user information in exchange for their Extension services and an Extension called Nothing is ranked #7 as most installed.  Nothing does just as advertised by the way, man I love dry humor on the internet.

After browsing off of the 1st page of Top Chrome Extensions the pickings start getting real thin.  I’ve tested a few, but none seem to offer exactly as advertised, or are buggy, or are just not as useful as you’d hope, or all the above.  But I’m not discouraged yet, I’ve got the extensions I need for adequate use as a primary browser both at work and at home.

It wouldn’t be fare to expect as much out of Chrome as what FireFox has to offer, which as been around much longer.  However, I see a changing of the guard in the next 2 years, where FireFox may be ousted as the 2nd most used web browser.  I for one welcome competition in the market place, while keeping my lips wet thinking of a full blown Google OS.

How To Monetize Google Image Search Traffic

Let me get this out of the way, I do NOT have the end all answer to monetizing search traffic that originates from Google Image Search.  Traditionally image search traffic does not convert well and requires different methods of monetization than content search traffic.  I’ve done a lot of looking around the guru sites and no one seems to have a solid answer on what works best for monetizing a website that depends on image searches for their visitors.

BritePic looks like a good place to start and will require some more testing before I’m convinced it’s not actually causing a higher bounce rate.  The problem is that my visitors are viewing my website through Google’s frames, which hides the majority of my site.  I’ve tried the script that breaks Google’s Image Search frame, but had negative results after a few months, meaning lower image search numbers.  I’d rather keep my non converting traffic and find another way to monetize.

Back to BritePic’s issues.  I’m not convinced that BritePic script images are searchable and hold as much weight as a normal image post would.  Therefore I wouldn’t be bringing in the traffic to monetize against anyway.  Lastly, my visitors are more likely to view the enlarged image than just hover over the medium sized image on my blog.  Angered visitors, visitors lost, still no monetary gain from image search traffic. 🙁

In conclusion, I feel the only way to properly monetize image search traffic is with better affiliate banner and text ad placement.  This comes with it’s own set of problems, like how much blending is too much, and is Google going to be upset about where you place the block of ads.  They tend to frown upon a large block above an image and directly below your post title.  I believe they want more content next to the ad, rather than a simple block next to a block which can potentially confuse a visitor into a click.

So far, it looks like Adsense still converts the best with Image Search traffic, but requires placement above the image, but around actual content.  I failed miserably when trying to place Chitika Ads at the top of a blog post, which has no qualms about where it’s placed in relation to post title and image.  Chitika Premium ads still look like they convert the best at the bottom of a post, for whatever reason.

More testing is required, but I wanted to get this quick post out, which harbors some of my thoughts and issues.  I’m sure there is a quality solution to monetizing Google Image Search traffic and it may be the next big thing.

Gmail Sticking On Load Screen In Chrome

Google Chrome has refused to open gMail for the past few weeks, however loading in basic html has solved the problem.  This is not my ideal fix and frankly frustrating since Chrome was built by the same folks over at Google who created gMail.  Why can’t your products just work together?  Well, they should, so I immediately started blaming my new Chrome extensions, like Google Mail Checker.

After disabling, uninstalling, and generally tweaking I decided that the gMail Checker extension for Chrome was not the culprit.  The problem can best be described as some sort of loop issue when gMail loads, causing the load screen to stick.  This problem can be solved by clearing Chrome’s cache.

To clear Chrome’s cache:

  1. Left click the Tools drop down menu. (The Tools drop down menu is indicated by a wrench icon in the top right corner of your browser.)
  2. Select Options.
  3. Select the Personal tab.
  4. Under Browsing Data, select Clear browsing data…
  5. Select the Cache check box.
  6. Select Everything, from the drop down menu.
  7. Finally click the Clear Browsing Data button.

After following these steps I’ve been able to successfully open gMail in my Chrome browser.  I’ve also been able to use the gMail Checker extension, without causing any issues.  Hope this helps your problem as well.

Chrome Now Allows Pop Ups For Websites

One of my largest pet peeves with using Google Chrome in the work place was that there was not an option to allow popups from a webpage.  Each time there was a popup you would have to manually allow it, instead of setting a rule that allowed all popups from a single website.  Apparently I wasn’t the only one and now the latest stable version of Chrome allows for this rule to be set.

How to allow popups in Google chrome.

Allow pop-ups

Sometimes you don’t want pop-ups to ever be blocked for a certain site. If that’s the case, follow these steps to allow pop-ups:

  1. Visit the site where you want pop-ups to always appear.
  2. Click the Pop-ups Blocked alert at the bottom right-hand corner of the browser tab.
  3. Select Always show pop-ups from (site).

If you want to change this setting for the site at a later point, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the site again.
  2. Click the Manage pop-ups alert at the bottom right-hand corner of the browser tab.
  3. Deselect Always show pop-ups from (site).

Now Chrome becomes  a viable alternative in my work place, where popups are required to view pdf’s.  Thanks to the development team Chrome is becoming better and better every day, even now allowing for plugins and addons.  I forsee a day when Chrome gives FireFox a run for it’s money, I just hope it doesn’t cause hard feelings.