Implementing Google Authorship

I really want to get a better handle on google’s concept of authorship… As I find it’s always best to learn by trying to implement things, I spent some time this afternoon trying to configure myself as an “official” author within google search results.

google plus updates

The idea is that my profile photo should show up next to search results where I’m an author (similar to what google does for my google plus updates that get indexed):

Here are some of the things I did:

  • I added my Google Plus account to the author section of my company blog posts (You can see an example here: Naughty or Nice), and although I don’t think this was necessary, to be extra safe, I verified my work email
  • I added a link to my google plus account to the sidebar of this blog (I don’t have a “author” section under each post, so hoping this does the trick!). Again, to be safe, I also verified my domain email for my personal blog.
  • I added links from my Google Profile to both my personal and my work blog.
  • I updated my google profile photo make sure it was a clear profile picture
  • I updated my name on both blogs to make sure it matched my Google Profile exactly
  • Made sure to include the text: “?rel=author” to the google plus url string. As in: https://plus.google.com/+DustinLuther/?rel=author

That’s all I know to do at this point.

Now it’s just a waiting game as I check google to see if my “authorship” status starts showing up next to searches like these:

hide the timeline picture from public in facebook - Google Search

how to pick a good twitter name - Google Search

And if I missed something in setting up Google authorship (or I should have configured stuff in a better way), I would love to know!

UPDATE — First signs of success!
After hitting publish on my latest blog post (The Benefits of Relentless Networking), I noticed that my name shows up as an author next to that post for the term “Relentless Networking“! Thinking google still needs to reindex all my “old” posts, but this seems like great progress to me! 🙂
relentless networking

A WordPress High at Real Estate Connect!

I know I’m a bit biased because the Inman team has been good to me, but I really love the Real Estate Connect events.  So much fun!  And a day after hosting the WordPress Workshop I’m just now coming down off the high.

Here’s a few of the photos I took of the session!   So much fun!

The entire workshop was recorded and I’m pretty sure will be available to Inman News subscribers in the near future…  Such an awesome group of presenters.  Thanks to all!

Here was the workshop schedule along with links to learn more about the various speakers:

8:30am – 9:10 am
Waaaaay Beyond the Blog:
Kickass Theme Development

Speakers:

  • Chris Pearson, Founder, Pearsonified & DIYThemes.com, @pearsonified.
  • Peter Ricci, Co-Founder, AgentPoint, @peter_ricci

9:15am – 9:40am
Plug Ins You Must Have to Rock a Real Estate Web Site

Presenter:

  • Reggie Nicolay, Director of Social Media for Realtors Property Resource, @ReggieRPR. MyTechOpinion

9:45am – 10:10am
Listings Liberation – How to Display Listings on Your WordPress Site For Maximum SEO Value

Presenter:

10:15am – 10:40am
Using WordPress As Your Online Hub

Presenter:

  • Chad Parizman, Director, Emerging Ventures at Scripps Networks Interactive, @cparizman. TooManyCaps

10:45am – 11:30am
Going Beyond the Blog – Advanced WordPress Installations

Speakers:

11:35am – 12:00pm
Future of WordPress

Presenter:

  • Jane WellsUX Lead, WordPress & Automattic, @janeforshort

Hacked at Twenty Ten to Revamp 4realz. Check it out!

Feels like it’s been “WordPress-all-day, Every-day” lately! One of the things I’m most excited about is hosting the WordPress WorkShop at Real Estate Connect in a few weeks!

The Inman team did a fantastic job lining up speakers (Check ’em out: Chris Pearson, Peter Ricci, Reggie Nicolay, Justin LaJoie, Chad Parizman,Todd Carpenter, Niall Kennedy, and Jane Wells! Wow! )… and it made me realize how much I needed to play with WordPress again!

The result: I completely new 4realz.net!

Just some of the things I wanted to accomplish with this new theme include:

  • Really wanted a much cleaner look that didn’t feel overwhelming.   It’s not in my personality to get too simple, but I knew I could do a much better job!
  • I wanted to play with the concept of a WordPress child theme… so I started with Twenty Ten as my “base” so I’d have built in access to some of the more interesting new features!
  • I thought I would focus the homepage on a few key areas that drive the most of my business… i.e. my speaking and consulting.

The result is that after more than a few hours, everything is “working” well enough to write this post (although I’m far from done with what I plan to do!).

Some of the changes I made:

  • The homepage is now a “static” page that uses the Smooth Slider plugin to highlight “featured posts”.  I figure these are probably more relevant to someone who is new to my site.
  • I added a bit about myself to the homepage and filled out a bunch more on a page I call My Story.  This is the part of the page I’m least “sure” of, but I think I like it and I’ll just have to look at the stats to see if others who land on 4realz find it interesting to learn a bit more about me… and the story itself is far from “complete”. I’m hoping to add some more photos and details over the next few days, weeks, and years!  🙂
  • I changed with the operation of the default “header” graphic on the theme. By default, there is no header graphic!  However, it’s really easy for me to use the “set featured image” to add one, although the only place I’ve done that so far is on my speakers page.
  • I added a few things to the footer that I thought people might find interesting… like the Google Voice “call me” button, a twitter feed of @tyr mentions and my latest blog posts.

While I like I’m at a spot where the current theme is an improvement over the last, there are still a few things I’m hoping to do in the near future:

  • Revising the page on Agent Marketing Tools to better reflect my current approach… and in particular, my thoughts on the Agent Business Cycle.
  • Add more header graphics to specific pages
  • Improve how I track conversions on the page… I’ve worked with more than a few clients to use Google Analytics to track conversions, but I’ve never done much beyond adding the GA code to 4realz.  I’m going to change that and play a bit more going forward!
  • (not 100% sure about this one)… I’m thinking of using the new MU-style hosting that’s available with the standard WordPress to host some of the “other” wordpress sites that are currently on my server.  I’m not sure I want to take the time, but Boone Georges sure does make the multisite option look tempting.

In terms of what I learned by hacking away at a WordPress theme…   I was super-impressed with just how easy the entire process was… and, in particular, how easy it was to build a child theme off of twenty ten.  The WordPress team has done an awesome job with the child theme functionality!

If you made it this far in the post, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the new theme!  🙂

Just Launched: Facebook Like Plugin for Every Post on Your WP Blog!

Super-sweet!

The HomeQuest Team just launched a WordPress plugin that adds Facebook’s new Like button to every one of your blog posts! SWEET!

You can download it (free!) here: http://u.pdat.es/ejprq

It’s really easy to use. I added it to both 4realz.net and Rain City Guide in under 5 minutes…

Here’s what it looks like on RCG after a few folks have hit the like button on an article:

Here’s what I did to add it to both sites:

  • Download the plugin to a memorable place on your hard drive (desktop?)
  • Navigate to the “plugins” section within your WordPress backend
  • Click on “Add New”
  • Click on “Upload”
  • Click “choose file”  and select the zip file of the plugin
  • Click “Install now”
  • Click “Activate”

That’s all!  Now Facebook’s Like button will be displayed at the bottom of every blog post.

Test it out here:

Implementing Facebook’s Recommendation Social Plugin

Yesterday, Jeff let me know how Facebook launched the “like” button yesterday and a bunch of other social plugins, and it’s been a non-stop conversation around the M Realty office this morning.

The default “like” button didn’t work so well within my P2 theme, but I was able to get the recommendation plugin working with almost no effort at all… and it rocks!

It not only shows the number of folks who are sharing each article on my site, but will make personalized recommendations to you for articles based on the articles that you’re friends are sharing! So slick!

To get it launched on 4realz.net, all I had to do was

  1. head over to the recommendation generator page,
  2. fill in some basic information,
  3. click the “get code” button
  4. copy and paste the code into a sidebar text widget

It’s so darn easy, I decided to post it in this blog post!

WordPress at Real Estate Connect SF?

Are you breaking the rules with WordPress in real estate? I wanna know!

wordpress sticker on laptopThe good folks at Inman News have asked me to moderate the WordPress Summit at Real Estate Connect this summer and I couldn’t be more excited!

While we haven’t tried to confirm any speakers yet (that’s where I want your help), I’m positive the lineup is going to be awesome. We’re going to be covering themes, plugins, strategy, advanced installs, listings, and the future of WordPress!

The idea of a half-day at Real Estate Connect dedicated to WordPress is simply awesome.   I love WordPress and have been using it since the very birth of Rain City Guide (over 5 years ago!).  Over the years I’ve been a part of too many WordPress blogs than I could count… And unlike a lot of software I was using in 2005, WordPress has continued to improve with each iteration!    Especially now that website vendors are building in advanced IDX and CRM tools into the platform, it’s become a no-brainer option for real estate professionals!

By the way, did you know the new conference website for Real Estate Connect was built on WordPress?

I think it’s a pretty slick design and implementation, although I’m probably a bit biased since we designed and built the site!  🙂

Coming full circle… If you know someone in the real estate space doing interesting things with WordPress, send ’em my way!   I want to make this the best half-day on WordPress educational event around!

And finally, a huge hat-tip to Dan Woolley for the idea behind this post when he wrote about his ConnectTech Workshop!

I added the PuSHPress plugin that’s sup…

I added the PuSHPress plugin that’s suppose to push your new blog posts to sites like Google Reader in real time… and sure enough, I checked Google Reader JUST after publishing my last post, and it was already there!

Sweet! I love it when stuff like that works, even if I never can remember exactly how to say PubSubHubbub…

Publishing from my phone???

About a wek ago I decided to stop trying to make do with my blackberry and bought an iPhone… I’ve spent the past week playing with apps and found some great ones, although I haven’t tried publishing a blog post using the wordpress app, so here goes…

By the way, (assuming the photo upload works like I think it will), here’s the apps that have made my home screen so far: