WordPress sharing button opens new window with same post

The problem:

Clicking on the JetPack sharing buttons in WordPress opens a new window with the parameter ?share=... added to the URL. However, instead of being redirected to twitter or Facebook or wherever you wanted to go, you’re redirected to the post itself again.

The solution:

In my case, this was caused by the “Redirect ugly URL’s” setting in the popular Yoast WordPress SEO plugin (marked as “not recommended”, obviously for good reasons):
Clean permalinks - not recommended

After unchecking this option, sharing worked as expected.

If you don’t want to disable this feature, adding “share” to the list of variables not to clean should also fix the issue:
Variables not to clean

Unencrypted content: a threat to Google’s business model

Google’s recent announcement to give a (currently still small) ranking boost to websites using HTTPS is undoubtedly going to make the web safer for everyone.

Missing from the discussion is the fact that unencrypted content and unscrupulous ISPs present a small, but growing threat to Google’s business model. Google depends on ad revenue, and insecure connections allow third parties to tamper with data while in transit. ISPs can use this to their advantage by injecting their own ads. This is already happening: see here or here and this topic on reddit. It was also briefly mentioned in one of the comments under the original “ranking boost” announcement:

HTTPS ads comment google

HTTPS ensures data integrity and would make ad injection not only technically far more difficult, but also most certainly illegal. This also explains why Google says that even simple “content sites” should use HTTPS: they might not collect any user data, but they can still serve ads.

Being a good citizen of the web” and making the web safer for everyone sounds nice and is certainly something many people working at Google have in mind. However, it would be naive to assume that Google isn’t also looking out for it’s own commercial interests.

This is what happens when your website sucks

Here’s the first page of “search hits” from my three private blogs (hypermegaglobal.net, meltdownblog.com and krise.hypermegaglobal.net – all updated much more frequently than this one):

Search hits and keywords
All of these are from today

As you can see, most of my visitors where looking for fnapf, which is a pet supply franchise chain. That’s because I blogged about how badly fnapf‘s Luxembourgish website sucks. Not only is it configured in a way that omitting the “www.” will get you nowhere, even if you make it to their website it’s difficult to locate their biggest store unless you know where to find it on a map (or keep zooming out). This quickly became the most popular post on my blog (pathetic, I know) which means that I’m obviously not the only one who had trouble finding what I wanted on their site.

So here’s a quick reminder of the very basic content you should put on your website (examples are geared towards a brick and mortar store).

The 5 friggin’ Ws – things you should definitely put on your website

Let’s simply take the well-known 5 Ws from journalism and reinterpret them from the perspective of a website visitor looking for information (which should also get us pretty close to the perspective of a search engine trying to determine your website’s ranking). Apparently these basics are so obvious that they’re often forgotten (either that or many people just have no clue of what to put on a website).

Who?

Who are you? Example: We’re “Zombie Megastore”, Luxembourg’s leading store for all you zombie needs.

What?

What exactly is it that you do? Example: We carry a large selection of… well, maybe I shouldn’t have chosen the zombie store example. Anyhow, here’s where you list the things customers can find in your shop so that 1. they’ll find you when searching for your city + a certain item or brand on a search engine and 2. they don’t have to call and ask if you sell product XYZ item before taking the trip to your store.

When?

Opening hours. If you’re closed on certain days, put this on your website. If you’re closing your shop for vacation, put this on your website (yes, I’m looking at you, Luxembourgish shop and restaurant owners who like to take long summer vacations).

Where?

Your address (you might want to include your phone/fax number, email, link to contact form, etc.).

Why?

This is the place where you might think you’ll have to come up with a wonderful story to justify why you’re doing what you do (“when my grandfather turned into a zombie, I realized there was no shop where I could buy thinks to make his… uhm… ‘life’ just a bit better”). That’s cute, but I suggest staying with the customer perspective and just answering the old basic “why should I buy from you”-question. It can be as simple as “we are the biggest store for zombie supplies in the entire state”.

That’s it, the basics. Of course a website can do much more than just answering these questions, but not answering them means you’ll lose potential visitors/customers every day.