Week in WP #9: Google Penguin Again

Greetings WordPressers!

This Week in WP has a lot of cool news.  There is plenty to be said about changes, both on the front and back end of WordPress-powered websites.

As has become the recent trend over the last few months, the community became even stronger this week as well.

Plus, as mentioned by the title, Google Penguin is said to be coming back and should be “badder” than ever for SEO hounds.

Making WordPress Events News

There were TONS of items mentioned this week, regarding the recently established “Make WordPress Events” section of WordPress core.  These announcements included multi-event sponsorship, inventory, meetup starter packs, mentorship programs, and graphic & web design.  All of these items were listed by Jane Wells, the Automattic member who oversees this operation.

Multi-event sponsorship is a call to action to determine a scaling price system to be used across the board at WordCamps that would change depending on how many people were attending said event, where the event was located, etc.  The benefit here is to get people thinking about multi-event packages where, say, one company could sponsor all WordCamps in a bundle in the Northeast or whichever package best suited them.

Meetup starter packs are being designed to make it easier for a first time small business or blogger to hold an effective tent at a WordPress event, no matter what it may be.  It is designed to give newcomers a checklist of what to do and bring along with some general knowledge.  These checklists could be mailed out to whoever needed them.

Speaker mentorship programs are a simple way to increase the level of information and speaking at WordPress events.  Not everyone is a natural born speaker, but having the mentorship of previous WordPress speakers who can bestow knowledge of what to say and what not to say is very helpful.

Graphic and Web Design

Part of Jane Wells’ content flow this week was graphic and web design.  She wanted people to band together and volunteer to make banners and other signage for WordPress events in their respective cities or elsewhere.  It will be interesting to see who will bite on the volunteer side of things, given how much is already being asked for.

The last item to be talked about in the “Make WordPress Events” is the inventory.  Jane knows that there are plenty of events out there besides WordCamps that make people happy.  The inventory is a listing of all types of events that should be seen and helped by the WordPress.org core community.  These events would include special dev talks, hack days, and the like.

And all this happened this week!


Where did Polls and Ratings Go?

Changes were made to anyone using WordPress.com for their website or blog creation.  Specifically, the WordPress team felt that giving the rating and poll items their own section was overkill given the use of the items mentioned.

Polls and Ratings have been moved within the feedback section of the WordPress.com website structure.  Any settings that were previously accessible for polls and ratings have been transported underneath the “Settings” tab.

For the user, this is great because it frees up some space in the tabs section and makes the whole interface less clunky.  Think of it as a great way to clean up some space for future endeavors.

Winter is Coming

It’s getting colder on the Internet.

And what lives and thrives in colder temperatures? Penguins.

In an interview this week with Matt Cutts, head of search spam with Google, he spoke briefly about the coming update to the already alarming Penguin update.

Matt Cutts was quoted as saying that “you don’t want the next Penguin update” and later went on to call it “jarring and jolting”.

According to the source article (mad cred to Barry Schwartz for the find), this is the first time that anything of this sort has been said by a Google employee, implying that this update is going to be serious business.

The good news is that it should be a little ways off.  But we should all be shaking in our boots at the prospect.

It is getting colder by the day.

Web Designers Guide to WordPress

One of our good friends Jesse Friedman just launched his new book, which is a full on designers guide to using WordPress.

The book is great because it goes through all processes of creating a website, all the way from grabbing a domain on a server and installing WordPress to implementing content and plugins to maintaining the website.

Even cooler, our Studio’s very own Jon Desrosiers and Jeff Golenski are major contributors to the book.  Jon did most of the technical editing of the book, while Jeff Golenski contributed to the themes section.

Check it out, if you are interested in creating WordPress based websites.

The Peril of Penguin

While we wait for the Google Penguin update to come and knock our SEO-utilizing socks off, we can talk amongst ourselves.  Leave your comments or suggestions for future episodes below.

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