Does Google Care about Custom Excerpts in WordPress?

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You no longer have to worry about Google ranking your Wordpress archive pages and leaving your main page rotting on the vine, but if you’re happy with that you’re missing a big opportunity. Custom excerpts improve the user experience and help you rank in Google.

Obesity, Rap and the Google Correlate Tool

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I plugged some data series into Google Correlate to see what would shake out. What shook out was surprising. How do obesity and rap music correlate? I have no idea, but they do, at least according to Google data.

The Wright Brothers’ Kites: Why the Bacon Number Calculator is the Key to the Future of Google

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Google’s Bacon Number Calculator has drawn a lot of laughs and sneers, but the last laugh will be Google’s, or whoever gets this technology correct. True, the BNC is a funny and mostly useless toy. I also think it’s the harbinger of the biggest change in the organization of human knowledge since the invention of writing. The BCN is small. The concept is monumental.

Twitter for Writers

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How do you promote your book with Twitter? It’s not necessarily obvious, especially for those of us who are writers and scholars first and foremost. But publishers aren’t doing much for new authors anymore, so you have to do it yourself.

You Can Always Yell Later

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My mom taught me as a child, it’s really hard to unyell once you’ve yelled. If you want to get what you want, start soft. You can always yell once that fails, but you once you’ve yelled, it’s too late for the soft approach.

Social Proof (Weapons of Influence, part 3 of 3)

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We all know birds of a feather flock together, but we’re often unaware of how frequently we flock with birds of our feather. Even when we say we are uninfluenced, the opinion and action of the crowd often get us to behave in ways we do not expect and can be used against us to influence our actions through the principle of social proof. (part 3 of 3 in the series on Weapons of Influence).

Commitment and Consistency (Weapons of Influence, part 2 of 3)

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Consistency and Commitment are usually good things, but what about when underhanded marketers or other persuaders get us to subtly commit ourselves before we know what they’re after and then play on our desire to be consistent with our commitments? This is used against us every day. (Part 2 of 3 in the series on Weapons of Influence).

Reciprocation (Weapons of Influence, part 1 of 3)

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Robert Cialdini’s book Influence discusses several “Weapons of Inflence”. This first part examines the power of reciprocation — our need to give back to someone who has given something to us — and how this is used to influence us every day in our buying decisions and in other areas. Parts 2 and 3 will look at social proof and comment and consistency.