This whole HTTPS and Google’s push to encrypt (or weaponize depending on your perspective) is back on people’s lips again. I’m a little late to the party of course, since I have been out of the country so many times in the last three months that blogging has been a distant thought. With all of this talk, I’m left to wonder if the uproar has any merit. You’ll remember, I’ve spoken about this before; actively discussing Dave Winer’s commonly cited reason why sites don’t need to move to SSL.
If you run a WordPress , and you to search Google‘s index using the site parameter – namely, site:%yourdomain% – you’ll probably find that Google has also indexed all of the archives, categories, and tags of your site. For many, the first impulse is to delete this from Google somehow or maybe use robots.txt, or some other method. But, I’ve found the solution is easier, and I’ll show you how to do it (without a plugin).
Like Google Reader, iGoogle, Wave and Buzz before it, the days of the social network Google Plus may be numbered. The writing appears to be on the wall. With Twitter’s announcement on May 19 that Google‘s app would include tweets in searches, Google is making massive changes. While Google may want to spic it differently, signs are pointing to the end of the social network.
In a move that make lots of sense, Google announced today a rebranding of its web-based tools console from Webmaster Tools to Search Console. As a tool I’ve come to love (and hate) over the years, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on this important part of any Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Strategy.
In a recent blog post, Mozilla (makers of the popular Firefox browser) plan to set a date by which non-encrypted  websites would see access to browser features gradually removed. While the details aren’t yet clear as to the timeframe, or exactly what features will be limited; but it’s a definite message that powerful players are pushing encryption on everyone. This trend of “encrypt everything” is becoming very troubling.
Does it make sense to move your blog to https? If you’re on the fence about this, you might be very confused. There seems to be a real war of words going on about this right now. Clearly, Google is trying to get publishers to move to the encrypted standard as evidenced by their recent blog post. But some are actually saying this move is about public relations, and not a ranking signal. As you might guess, I’ve been very interested in this topic given the full switch this blog has made. As someone who has blogged for a while and site owner, I can help you make sense of this.
With all the attention swirling around the recent leak of The Expendables 3, I’m reminded of a rather prescient article from Kurt Sutter – creator and showrunner for Sons of Anarchy. I consider him eloquent, interesting, entertaining, and somewhat crazy. But he’s also as wrong as, well, everything Gene Simmons says. The early August article for Variety went after Google and its apparent love of piracy. In this piece, he’s attacking Google for “systematically destroying [our] artistic future”. Yes, Sutter is attacking a search index for destroying the future of his children, and their children too. And possibly, Armageddon. Seriously?
Google’s bread and butter is search and advertising. While that will likely not change for some time, Google seems to be looking for ways to converge some of its services into a kind of super offering. One such case is Google Domains; hosting, DNS, mail and registrar services all on Google’s infrastructure. For a cost. Here’s what the service currently offers and a first look at what you can expect from this invite-only offering.
As a blog that runs on WordPress, this site is bound to the glorious options that are presented by this tool; but also many of the limitations. I’ve worked with WordPress in a number of ways, but one that seems to be most tricky is its internal linking. Out of the box, WordPress won’t offer you the ability to show internal elements (such as images) with a relative URL.
And, this seems to run counter to what Google suggests. In a recent post Google sets forth a suggestion to “Use relative URLs for resources that reside on the same secure domain” and “Use protocol relative URLs for all other domains” Given these suggestions, not having relative links in WordPress had me thinking.
In the past I’ve kind of flirted with the idea of encrypting this site (and all of the articles contained within), but didn’t think it was all that important. Over the years, this has just been a blog and nothing more. Well, things have changed with us offering stuff like free software. This may not be the only thing we provide in the future, but as a blog, and the face of a business, I really wanted to start encrypting information on this site.