Articles written in September, 2010

September 30 2010

Do You Think You Understand Rich Snippets in Google?


As you may know, Rich Snippets in Google are a way to serve enhanced data in the “snippet” portion for a site’s organic listing in the SERPs. With just basic HTML knowledge, you can add enhanced data to your organic listings, such as event dates, reviews and customer ratings. This is a great way to entice the user to click on the link to your site and not have to necessarily rely on the automated text-based snippet that Google may pull from the description meta tag, page content or from DMOZ.

What are the real SEO benefits of the Rich Snippets? User experience is one thing, but what are the direct ranking benefits of incorporating them if a regular description served up in the SERPs will suffice? Google is able to interpret the information much better when a site is utilizing the Rich Snippet’s markup language (microformats and RDFas). Microformats and RDFAs are instructions in the code of a webpage to describe a specific type of information (reviews, products, events or a person).

Known as “semantic markup”, this technology tags different parts of the page with code that “explains” to the computer what the data is referring to. A search engine may be able to “see” the instructions for making chocolate brownies on a page, but the semantic markup will be able to explain to the search engine what the data is referring to, and the relationship between different parts of the data.    

Here is an example of a site using code to generate a Rich Snippet in Google:

Rich Snippet

While there are several types of microformats, Google currently only supports 6 major ones. Those are:

  1. hcard — for marking up business card or profile information
  2. hReview — for dealing with individual user reviews
  3. hReview-aggregate — basically a summary of hReviews
  4. hProduct — for marking up products, prices, and all things e-commerce
  5. hCalendar — pretty self explanatory, dates and appointments
  6. hRecipe — also pretty explanatory. Recipes and ingredients
September 28 2010

Useful Developer Extensions for Chrome


Do you often make updates to your site and wish you could change the look and feel in the live site without making changes to the site files? Google Chrome provides helpful extensions that when combined, allow you to achieve great changes to the site.

Below are a list of some very useful extensions and how you can use them to perform changes.

IE tab:
This extension is a wonderful addition for developers to cross browser check the look of the site in IE browser without having to installing the actual browser. Chrome will change the current tab being viewed to an IE tab.

Eye Dropper:
The Eye dropper is an extension that allows you to obtain colors in Hex value from the current page being viewed. One of its features provides a history of the colors you have selected from a webpage; this is a great way to be able to reuse the color without having to use the eyedropper twice to know its value. The only restriction faced, was using the eyedropper on Google pages, since you are not allowed to retrieve any color from Google pages due to a Google Chrome policy.

Measure it:
This tool helps you get measurements in pixel width and height that can be very useful when making updates to a website. These changes can include changing the width of the entire website, an image or a container of contents, this being a table or a div.

Awesome Screenshot:
This extension allows you to save a page and perform a crop, add text, lines and circles that help you illustrate the changes you would like the page to have. This can be a very useful tool to communicate between clients & designers as well as developers & designers. The tool also provides a back function to undo any of the additions made to the page. You can then right click and save the image as jpg.

Awesome Screenshot

This is an open source and a very user friendly tool, which allows you to change the styles of a website as well as remove content from the page. It allows the selection of tags and the ability to change their color, font size, location on the page as well as visibility. This is a tool that can come in handy when requested to make quick changes for review before implementing the actual change.  


When combining some of these tools together you can create a great and fast work environment when it comes to making style updates to sites as well and saving a jpeg of the changes with comments on each of the changes. These tools can also help show clients how a few changes can make their site load faster, as well as explain in detail changes that will help the site be more search engine friendly.

September 20 2010

Twitter Update


In recent weeks, Twitter has announced that it will be updating its look and feel.   Many of us who use Twitter on a daily basis are excited for these new changes.   For those of you who haven’t heard that Twitter is updating, here is a run down of some of the items that it will be changing:

Pictures and Movies in the interface — In the past when someone Tweeted a picture or video by way of Twitpic or Twitvid, one would click the link in the Tweet, and it would take them off page and open a new tab or browser to view the photo or video.   With this update, these photos and videos can now be featured in the right rail of the interface by clicking in the tweet area, but not on the Tweet.   If you click on the link that is contained within the Tweet, you will still be taken offsite.

Twitter Profile Information — Currently, if you were to click on a username (@morevisibility) in your twitter stream, you will be taken to their Twitter profile page where you can see additional information and their most current Tweets.   With this new update, a click on the username will display a mini profile in the right rail.   From here you can then go a step further to read more about them or see related content.

Endless Stream — When using Twitter presently, you must scroll to the bottom of the screen and then click a button to view more past tweets.   With Twitters’ new rollout, you will not need to click buttons to receive older content.   As you scroll, content will update automatically and you will be able to see all the past information.

Overall, I think these changes will be great for Twitter, as it will keep users viewing one page more often and it will be easier to see related content as you browse through all of your Tweets.   Twitter has stated that this rollout will be happening over the next few weeks.   As you see this rollout happening, let us know what you think!

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