My Apologies Feed Readers

For those of you that are subscribed to the Jeffro2pt0.com RSS Feed, you may have noticed that I created 400 new posts the other day. Now, although I wish I could produce content at that rate, the fact of the matter is that, you received all of those new post messages due to me re-importing my WordPress content through the built in WordPress migration tools. Because I performed a redesign of the blog, I decided to reformat WordPress. If you don’t know what I am talking about, please read this article “Reformatting WordPress“.

At any rate, just wanted to extend an apology for making your feed reader go crazy, that shouldn’t happen again for quite some time.

Google Takes Feeds Out Of Search Results

Not sure how long this has been going on, but a post on the Google Webmaster Blog talks about the removal of feeds showing up in search results with the exception of podcast XML feeds. I for one am really happy that Google took this measure because it was becoming increasingly annoying, to browse search results, only to click on one XML feed after another without ever actually coming across the content.

As a webmaster, you may have been concerned about your RSS/Atom feeds crowding out their associated HTML pages in Google’s search results. By serving feeds, we could cause a poor user experience:

  1. Feeds increase the likelihood that users see duplicate search results.
  2. Users clicking on a feed may miss valuable content available only in the HTML page.

To address these concerns, we prevent feeds from being returned in Google’s search results, with the exception of podcasts (feeds with multimedia enclosures).

You can check out the entire blog post here.

Copyright Your RSS Feed With FeedEntryHeader

FeedEntryHeader is a WordPress plugin written by Stephen Cronin. Like so many other bloggers, Stephen has been battling the scraping issue. FeedEntryHeader provides WordPress bloggers with a way of adding a copyright statement and a link to the original article which will show up at the top of your feed entries.

Why the top and not the bottom? According to Stephen, the copyright that appears at the bottom of your feed entries has little impact because of it’s location. Also, if a splogger is scraping an excerpt of your content, chances are, the copyright statement won’t be added into the entry.

FeedEntryHeader screenshot

You can customize the text that is shown in the copyright area by changing the HTML and associated tags. However, the default message should be fine for most people.

As Stephen and the commenter’s on his blog note, this will not stop scrapers, but this is a step in the right direction. All WordPress bloggers should install this plugin as it provides another opportunity for us to fight back against these jerks.

FeedBurner In Glitching Mode Today

https://i0.wp.com/jeffc.me/images/feedburnerlogo.pngLook like I wasn’t the only one to notice a sharp decline in my RSS subscriber count. Earlier this morning, my subscriber count fell from 115 to 69. According to Darren Rowse, the problem seems to center around the Google Feedfetcher stats not displaying today. These types of errors with Feedburner happen on occasion and to those of you who are freaking out, calm down. The numbers usually return to normal after 24hrs.

Smashing Magazine On RSS

Smashing Magazine Logo

Smashing Magazine has put together an interesting article that describes what RSS is and why it’s a good idea to have an RSS icon on your site. It’s interesting to note that not long ago, RSS icons were merely graphics with XML on them, which was wrong. XML is the markup language, not the syndication itself. SM also goes into detail regarding the different RSS icons that exist and the different ways to tell your visitors that you have an RSS subscription feed without always having to use the STANDARD icon.  You can check out the article here.

By the way, I thought it was hilarious to see a page that contains the world’s LARGEST RSS icon on the planet. I am REALLY tempted to place it on this page to see what sort of reactions I get!

This article makes me think that perhaps my RSS button is not clearly defined enough. What do you think?

Zeusbox Releases Version 2 Feedicons

Zeusbox studio has released it’s second set of feedicons. The first set which I wrote about here ( Zeusbox Releases Free FeedIcon Set ) ended up becoming a big hit as according to Zeusbox Studio, the pack was downloaded thousands of times. Version 2 contains more than 10 new icons and is filed under the Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Work By the way, they are also free.

feedicons version 2.0

Click here to download version two of these professional looking icons.

Google Reader Has Impressive Numbers

GoogleReader LogoThe hot news item of the day seems to center around a leaked GoogleVideo which was supposed to be a training video for ‘Noogles’ or new Google employees. The video contained quite a few interesting tidbits of information.

* Google Reader has two kinds of feeds:
– feeds that have one subscriber (two thirds from the number of feeds, they’re updated every 3 hours)
– feeds that have more than one subscriber (these feeds are updated every hour)

* Google Reader uses 10 TB for storing all the raw data

* Google Reader crawls 8 million feeds

* Google Reader is the only major feed reader that keeps the entire history for all the feeds.

* many Google applications use Google Reader’s infrastructure for feeds: iGoogle, orkut, Gmail’s web clips, Blogger widgets, Google Spreadsheets, Ajax API. Google Reader is the place for any kind of user-driven activities that involve feeds and it’s independent from Google Blog Search.

* the rate of user growth = the rate of growth for the number of feeds

* the index size grows 4% every week

* 70% of the Google Reader traffic comes from Firefox (a lot of geeky users)

* Gmail and orkut are the only Google applications that have a bigger number of pageviews/user than Google Reader

* search requires a lot of computational resources. Google Reader uses two indexes for search:
– a big tree updated twice a day (150machines, 600 million documents)
– 40 small trees for recent posts, updated every 5 minutes (40 machines, 40million documents)

* future features:
– very soon: internationalization, feed recommendations, accepting pings sent to Google Blog Search
– in the near future: simple clustering based on links (posts that link to the same page), adding comments to the shared items
– idea for monetization: adding AdSense ads and sharing the revenue with publishers, assuming they use AdSense

Most of the information from this post comes from a leaked, confidential video in which Google’s Ben Darnell explained to some Nooglers how Google Reader works. The video was hosted by Google Video, but it’s no longer available. More about the video here.

You can hear the audio portion of the video by using the player shown below.