Matt's Blog

Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

Twisted PageGetter is… SpotPlex?

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Awhile back, I made a post on a bot called Twisted PageGetter. Twisted PageGetter is a bot that I found while searching through this blog’s access logs, and it was crawling quite often.

Well, two days ago I got a trackback on that post from this post. They seem to have discovered, somehow, that this bot is actually crawling for SpotPlex.

I emailed SpotPlex to confirm this, and, sure enough, it is their bot. I obviously replied suggesting that they change the name of their bot, or put up a page on their site about it.

So, if you currently have Twisted PageGetter blocked, and you’re signed up to SpotPlex, you may want to unblock the eager little bot.

Track Searches With Google Analytics

Saturday, November 3rd, 2007

Google AnalyticsGoogle has rolled out a new feature in Google Analytics. You are now able to track searches that have been made on your site. This means that if your site, blog or forums has built-in search, you’ll be able to get some statistics for it.

I think that this new feature will be quite helpful to many people. You’ll be able to see what people are search for and possibly adjust things accordingly. You’ll also be able to see any refined searches by the same visitor, which will help you in seeing how effective your site, blog or forums search is.

How the tracking works is that you tell Google Analytics what URL parameter your search uses, and it’ll start to track all the searches on your site. If you already have Analytics tracking your site, no additional code is required. Just a note, Site Search tracking is not enabled by default. Also, it’s currently only available for English Analytics accounts, but Google says that it should be more widely available soon.

Here’s how you enable it, and configure it to work with WordPress.

  1. Login to Google Analytics
  2. Under “Website Profiles“, find the site you want to enable Site Search tracking on, and click the “Edit” link corresponding to it
  3. On the Profile Settings page, click the edit link for “Main Website Profile Information
  4. Find the section called “Site Search
  5. Click the radio button “Do Track Site Search
  6. In the input box that pops up, enter in “s
  7. Decide whether or not you want Analytics to strip out the parameter stuff when displaying it to you. I chose for it to not to.
  8. Leave the question “Do you use categories for site search?” as no
  9. Click Save Changes

There you have it. Google Analytics will start tracking any searches made on your site right away. This is assuming that WordPress is still using the default format of “?s=search+term” for searching. If someone searches in a specific category in your site, it should show up in Google Analytics as “/category/cat-name/?s=search+term” (assuming that’s have your permalinks are setup).

To see your Site Search reports, go to the Reports of the site you enabled this on, click on “Content” in the sidebar, then click on “Site Search” under the Content menu.

Enjoy your Site Tracking (oh, and try not to become mesmerised in the reports 😛 )!

WordPress 2.3.1 Released

Friday, October 26th, 2007

WordPressNot long after WordPress 2.3 was released, WordPress 2.3.1 has been released today! WordPress 2.3.1 includes bug and security fixes.

Also, if you use Windows Live Writer, 2.3.1 includes the necessary files to make tagging possible.

To see the full run-down of the changed things, check out WordPress’ Trac.

Well, at least we all know that the update notification works!

I’ve upgraded, have you? 😀

Download WordPress 2.3.1

So Google… When Are You Going to Integrate FeedBurner More Into Other Google Products?

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

Anyone else wondering when they’ll be able to login to FeedBurner through their Google account? I think Google should actually do this. It will be another wedge in the circle that is Google’s useful and all-in-one-login services. It’s quite handy because I can sign into Gmail, then go to Google Reader, Adsense, Analytics and Docs and already be logged in.

Also, is anybody else wanting to see FeedBurner subscriber stats in Analytics? I’d like to see this, so that I can just go to Analytics and kill two birds with one stone. It’s also be pretty cool to see a graph comparing unique visitors to the number of subscribers you get.

I think if Google does both these things then FeedBurner will be an even better. 😀

Switch Back to Technorati Incoming Links

Thursday, October 11th, 2007

When WordPress 2.3 was released, it introduced a change that, most likely, affected every Blogger using WordPress. Whether the change affected the Blogger in a good or bad way, it still happened.

That change I’m talking about is, of course, the Incoming Links section, of your WordPress Dashboard, beginning to use Google Blog Search, instead of Technorati, to get a list of the links. Using Google over Technorati does have it’s advantages. Google is faster and includes links not just from Blogs, but from all sites. However, if you’re a Blogger that’s obsessed with your rankings on all the rankings sites, you might want to see who’s linking to you through Technorati’s eyes, so that you can easily tell when your Technorati rank is improving.

So, for people who want to change the Incoming Links on their Dashboard back to using Technorati, I created a simple WordPress plugin. I called the plugin Technorati Incoming Links. When activated, the plugin will start using Technorati for the Incoming Links instead of Google. If you want to switch back to Google, just deactivate the plugin.

This WordPress plugin requires WordPress 2.3 or higher and is licensed under the GNU General Public License version 3.

I hope you enjoy the Plugin! 😀 If you find anything wrong with it, let me know.