Thứ Ba, 31 tháng 1, 2012

Technorati Tags in Blogger Posts

Technorati, which indexes some 94 million weblogs, allows blog owners to assign tags to their posts. These tags are essentially words which describe the category that the posts, photos and videos fall under. Visitors can then search these tags to find the relevant blog posts. How can the Technorati tags be inserted into Blogger posts so that they can be indexed by Technorati? Is there a need to include Technorati tags in the first place?

Tags for Blogs

There is a Blog Finder function in Technorati which searches for blogs within general topics of interest. When you first register with Technorati, you can assign twenty tags which best describe your blog. To edit them, login to Technorati and go to Account -> Blogs. Click “Edit Settings” to change the tags and when finished, click “Save Blog Info” at the bottom of the page. Try to fill up all the 20 tag slots and choose keywords that are relevant to the blog contents.

To check if your blog is properly tagged, copy this URL into the internet browser and insert one of the 20 tags into the portion in red. Your blog should appear in the blog listing.

Tags for Blog Posts

If you search the net, you can find several online tag generators which help you to easily create Technorati tags. What they do is to identify the keywords and insert a code to these words so that Technorati spiders can index them. Those using Firefox browsers download the Greasemonkey add-on and install user scripts to automatically append Technorati tags to their posts. From our reading and testing, it seems that these extra third party scripts and tools are no longer necessary in the Blogger Beta or the new Blogger platform.

When creating a Post, you will see at the bottom of the text editor a box for “Labels for this post”. Enter the labels or keywords that describe the Post. A label can comprise more than one word and each label should be separated by a comma. For example, our labels for this post may read “Technorati tags, Blogger Tips, Labels”.

The limit for this box is 200 characters. What can you do if your labels exceed 200 characters? A tip that you can bear in mind is to remove the spaces after the commas. A spacing is deemed as 1 character. We will therefore have something like “Technorati tags,Blogger Tips,Labels” with no spacing after each comma.

Technorati Tags in Blogger Posts

When the Post is published, the Labels will appear in the footer. What if you do not see the Labels? Follow this guide to Customize the Blog Posts Elements. Make sure there is a tick against the “Labels: photos, vacation” option. In fact, you can change the word “Labels” to “Tags” or “Categories” or even “Technorati Tags”.

If you refresh the Blog page and view the source code, you will notice that the Labels automatically contain an additional code:-

<a href='http://tips-for-new-bloggers.blogspot.com/search/label/Blogger%20Tips'rel='tag'>Blogger Tips</a>

The first part in blue is just a hyperlink, a URL that directs the users to the search results of posts bearing this label. The second portion in red is what we are most interested in because the rel='tag' is what Technorati reads.

According to the Technorati guide, their search spiders will look out for these tag links that bear the rel='tag' code. These will then be indexed and will appear in the Technorati tag pages. To ascertain whether your Blog Post label or tag has been indexed by Technorati, copy the following address into the internet browser. Replace the TAG (marked in red) and your BLOG URL (shown in blue).

http://www.technorati.com/tag/TAG?from=BLOG URL

Using our above example, if we want to confirm that the label “Blogger Tips” has been tagged in Technorati, we would enter this URL into our browser. We should see the posts that are tagged with this label:-


Although it appears that essentially all you need to do is to key in the Labels to have them tagged by Technorati, there are still several things to bear in mind:-

1. After posting, submit your blog to a Ping Service which notifies several major feed aggregators, syndicates or directories that your blog has been updated. Ensure that Technorati is one of the sites that you ping.

2. Technorati reads the blog feed to pick up the tags. Check that blog feed has been enabled by going to Settings -> Site Feed -> Allow Blog Feed and choose either “Short” or “Full”.

3. There appears to be a slight problem if you have selected the “Short” feed, syndicating only the first paragraph, or the first 255 characters, whichever is shorter. What happens is that when Technorati spiders visit your site feed, it sees only this short paragraph. As you are aware, the Labels that you have inserted appear at the footer of the article and quite naturally, the spiders may miss out these tags. Fortunately, it seems that Technorati is aware of this and besides the blog feed, they will index the tags that appear in the new posts that are on your main Blog page. So long as you have a habit of pinging Technorati after each new post, and the full article is displayed on the main page, their search spiders will visit your main Blog page to index the labels/tags. Once indexed, it does not matter whether or not your feed shows only a summarised content.

4. For a week, we have not posted any article because our recent posts were not shown in Technorati. We did not realize it until we clicked our Technorati Blog page. To digress a little, the first thing we noticed was that we were somehow ranked within the “Top 5K” blogs. Quite a surprise to us since we were not even in the top 10K the last time we visited the page. Of course, it is all thanks to you, our readers, for the continued support and encouragement. Back to our issue, we saw at the same time that our latest 3 posts were not updated in the index. We submitted a ticket to the Technorati team. Because of what we mentioned earlier, we had to change our blog settings to show 3 posts on the main page so that the spiders can pick up the tags in the posts. As at today, the problem has yet to be rectified. Probably they are too busy. We can't delay our posts and have therefore decided to keep changing our blog settings to show more posts in the main page until Technorati indexes them.

Template Tweaks for Technorati Tags

If you are still concerned that the labels at the footer may not be seen by Technorati spiders, one of the things you can do is to shift the Labels to the top of the article. Go to Template -> Edit HTML and back up the existing template. Next, check the box against “Expand Widget Templates”. Scroll to these lines:-

<p class='post-footer-line post-footer-line-2'>
<span class='post-labels'>
<b:if cond='data:post.labels'>
<b:loop values='data:post.labels' var='label'>
<a expr:href='data:label.url' rel='tag'><data:label.name/></a><b:if cond='data:label.isLast != "true"'>,</b:if>

Cut the entire piece of code and Ctrl+F to search for the following code (marked in green) and paste what you have cut just below it like this:-

<div class='post-header-line-1'/>
<div class='post-footer'><p class='post-footer-line post-footer-line-2'>
<span class='post-labels'>
<b:if cond='data:post.labels'>
<b:loop values='data:post.labels' var='label'>
<a expr:href='data:label.url' rel='tag'><data:label.name/></a><b:if cond='data:label.isLast != "true"'>,</b:if>

We have added the code (shown in blue) so that the style of the Labels will follow the Footer styles. Preview the Template. The labels should appear after the Post Title but before the Post contents. If you are happy with it, Save the Template.

Selective words for Technorati Tags

Let's say you have a post and as you write, you want a word in the post to be tagged in Technorati. Switch from “Compose” mode to “Edit HTML” mode. Type in this code before and after the word to be tagged.

<a href="http://technorati.com/tag/WORD" rel="tag">WORD</a>

If the keyword comprises two or more words, use this:-

<a href="http://technorati.com/tag/TWO+WORDS" rel="tag">TWO WORDS</a>

You can change the URL to anything else, as long as you keep the rel="tag" in the code.

About Tags

Tags are not case-sensitive. However, you may want to consider using variations of the keyword now and then. A word in British English may be spelled differently in American English. Some people may even misspell the word altogether. This is very likely since tags are inserted by individuals who write the blog posts and these individuals may not be English-educated. Having different spellings of a keyword may increase the chance of your blog being found. Nonetheless, do not go overboard. Having too many keywords that mean about the same thing may be deemed as keyword spamming and is frowned upon by search engines and users alike.

The tags should reflect the post contents. If they are wholly irrelevant, users who are 'tricked' to visit your blog would be annoyed. If Technorati or other tag search engines heed such calls, you may one day find your blog blackmarked or de-listed.

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