Monthly Archives: March 2011

Google Doodle Lets you Boil Water with your Mouse

Google Bunsen Burner

If you used Google today (who doesn’t use Google every day?) you would have seen the doodle for today is celebrating Robert Bunsen’s 200th birthday, what you may not have noticed is the mouse control it has.

Move your mouse left or right and the flame goes from yellow to blue respectively, move your mouse up or down and the flame gets bigger the higher your mouse is.

Google Phoned – Changes Made to AdWords Billing System

Today we were called by Google to let us know that their billing system isn’t working properly!

A recent update has caused many user’s cards to be automatically disabled, so you need to click the ‘Enable’ button to re-enable the card.

They’ve had to phone every use to let them know of the issue so if you have an active AdWords account in the UK (or possibly worldwide) you may have received a call from Google as well.

Let us know in the comments below if you’ve been called by Google or had any issues like this!

How to Add Twitter’s Official Tweet Button in WordPress using TinyUrl

It’s very simple to just add the official tweet button to your site, but if you have very long Search engine friendly URLs (see any post URL on this site) it can be a bit difficult!

To implement the tweet button with a short URL I used tinyurl, as unlike you don’t need to create an account and the only data it sends back to you is the shortened URL.

The code should be implemented within the loop, you can even include it if you want to keep file sizes low.

//the url you want to make tiny
$maketiny = ''.get_permalink();

/*Initialise and set options for cURL
(this lets you transfer data between URLs)*/
$ch = curl_init();
$timeout = 5;
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, $maketiny);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_CONNECTTIMEOUT, $timeout);

//execute and close cURL
$data = curl_exec($ch);

//You now have the tinyurl stored in $tinyurl
$tinyurl = $data;

Now that you have the tinyurl stored in the $tinyurl variable, you can use it in the twitter button!

You have two choices about how to code the button, either use JavaScript or an iFrame.

For JavaScript you need the following code:

<script src=""
   <a href="" class="twitter-share-button"
      data-url="<?php echo $tinyurl; ?>"
      data-count="<?php the_permalink(); ?>">Tweet</a>

For an iFrame you need this code:

<iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"
url=<?php echo $tinyurl; ?>&amp;counturl=<?php the_permalink(); ?>"
style="width:130px; height:50px;"></iframe>

The following attributes and query strings can be used:

Query String Attribute Description Default
url data-url URL of the page to share HTTP Referrer
via data-via Screen name of the user to attribute the Tweet to none
text data-text Default Tweet text Content of the <title> tag
related data-related Related accounts None
count data-count Count box position (can be horizontal, vertical or none) horizontal
lang data-lang The language for the Tweet Button en
counturl data-counturl The URL to which your shared URL resolves to (only needs to be used if a short url is used in for the other url) the url being shared

For more information on the tweet button see the Official Twitter Tweet Button Page.

Google Algorithm Update Helps eHow

Last week Google announced a search algorithm update which would impact nearly 12% of all queries. The update was aimed to reduce visibility of “low-quality sites” from the SERP (Search engine Results Page). It has only been released in the US so far, but it has already caused quite a stir…

Although Google has never explicitly stated it the new update is an attempt to crack down on content farms like eHow, and other Demand Media sites. However the effect on page rankings in the US alone have been unexpected to say the least.

Many content farm sites have seen their rankings reduced, but they’re not the only ones seeing a negative impact on their search engine rankings. Several sites which create their own unique content were slammed, losing in some cases over 90% of their Google spots., an Apple-focused blog which produces it’s own unique content has seen 96% of it’s Google spots disappear in the past week! has actually seen improvements in it’s Google visibility and search engine traffic, so the update has actually removed some of it’s competition and boosted it’s traffic.

It hasn’t been a very good week for Google, on Monday 0.02% (about 35, 000) Gmail users logged onto their accounts only to find ALL of the emails missing. According to the Google’s Gmail blog the error was caused by an update that created a software bug which infected Google’s online backups of the accounts, so they’ve had to bring in the back-up tapes to restore the accounts.

Let us know if your site has been affected by the update whether it’s good or bad news.