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Opened 16 months ago

Closed 15 months ago

Last modified 11 months ago

#23143 closed enhancement (wontfix)

Change user "website" profile field to "Web Profile page"

Reported by: mark-k Owned by:
Milestone: Priority: normal
Severity: trivial Version:
Component: Text Changes Keywords:
Focuses: Cc:

Description

WordPress have almost all the tools in place to support 3-link google authorship as described in http://searchengineland.com/the-definitive-guide-to-google-authorship-markup-123218 without any need of a plugin, and the only obstacle is not having a place in which to specify the G+ profile URL.

I suggest to change slightly the meaning of the "Website" profile field to mean "the user profile page" instead of any random URL the user has control of. The only required code change for every theme to be able to support google authorship without plugins is to change get_the_author_link to return a link with rel="me" instead of rel="author".

I don't think that this semantic change is that far from the current usage of that field to create any problem to anyone using it right now.

Change History (14)

comment:1 cais16 months ago

  • Cc edward.caissie@… added

comment:2 follow-up: toscho16 months ago

  • Cc info@… added

Why shouldn’t we leave the additional fields for plugins? The website field is for any website, not just a very specialized part like another profile page. I don’t see any benefit restricting the semantics here.

comment:3 follow-up: markoheijnen15 months ago

  • Keywords close added

I think we should close this ticket. Also for me it doesn't make sense to change the field. Doing this because of Google + is just lame.

comment:4 in reply to: ↑ 2 ; follow-up: mark-k15 months ago

Replying to toscho:

Why shouldn’t we leave the additional fields for plugins? The website field is for any website, not just a very specialized part like another profile page. I don’t see any benefit restricting the semantics here.

What is the use case for having that semantics in the first place? is there anyone using it at all? The semantics right now are too broad to be useful. I have 2 blogs, twitter, facebook and G+ accounts, so which URL should I specify as my website? The best answer is probably "the one from which I can discover all the others". I call it here a web profile, but maybe there are better descriptions.

An alternative solution is to have a UI that allows several "websites" and specify some meta for each. Google profiles let you specify whether a webpage you link to is work website, blog, profile or a site you contribute to. I don't think there is any reason to adopt all of those specifications, but having a URL specified as a profile can be useful in deciding where you should go with rel="me" instead of rel="author"

comment:5 in reply to: ↑ 3 mark-k15 months ago

Replying to markoheijnen:

I think we should close this ticket. Also for me it doesn't make sense to change the field. Doing this because of Google + is just lame.

You are not going to do it because of google authorship, but because rel="me" as part of HTML5 as rel="author". You have an API to include rel="author" in author links and twentytwelve demonstrates the use of rel="author", but no API to include rel="me" in links, and no easy way to define URL which should be used with it.

google authorship just shows that specifying rel="author" and rel="me" has practical meaning. I can easily see hoe facebook and twitter will want to utilize authorship as well and it might become usefull to link to your facebook and twitter profile for them to be able to increase your social mojo when your content is being liked or tweeted

comment:6 markoheijnen15 months ago

It still doesn't make sense to me. First of all people already using that field. No clue what people fill in but for example if the majority fills in a twitter url then the new name doesn't make sense. I guess this ticket is created from your point of view. For the things you would use it for but that doesn't have to mean to majority does that too.

Also I don't think your alternative solution will ever be in core. That kind of things is plugin territorium.

comment:7 follow-up: mark-k15 months ago

@markoheijnen, Whatever the solution will be it has to be in core because otherwise you get married to a plugin/theme with no way to divorce. Right now yoast implements this in his own way in his SEO plugin and "All in one SEO" implements differently, and there are several plugins dedicated for google authorship which have their own settings.

comment:8 in reply to: ↑ 7 JDTrower15 months ago

I believe your proposal would be a big change for a lot of people. In looking at several WordPress sites I have running, only 1 person out of a couple hundred have their website pointed to another profile page. Everyone else that does list a website (I didn't crunch numbers, but my guess would be less than 5% of the registered users) they are pointed to a personal web site or personal blog, not to their Twitter account, Facebook account, or any other social or profile site. Personally, when I register on a blog or web site running WordPress, I use my personal web site.

Replying to mark-k:

@markoheijnen, Whatever the solution will be it has to be in core because otherwise you get married to a plugin/theme with no way to divorce. Right now yoast implements this in his own way in his SEO plugin and "All in one SEO" implements differently, and there are several plugins dedicated for google authorship which have their own settings.

What you described though is the wonderful thing about plugins. There are different ways of implementing the same thing and different people will implement it in different ways. That doesn't mean its wrong or that it needs to be moved to core to be standardized. What you are proposing, would lessen the value of the web site field within WordPress. IMHO, if WordPress wanted to do anything with the web site field at all, it should be to do away with it since most people don't populate the field any way. However, I think it should be left as is. Your proposal is an edge case best left to plugin territory, as is currently the case. I strongly recommend closing as wontfix.

comment:9 in reply to: ↑ 4 toscho15 months ago

  • Resolution set to fixed
  • Severity changed from normal to trivial
  • Status changed from new to closed

Replying to mark-k:

What is the use case for having that semantics in the first place? is there anyone using it at all? The semantics right now are too broad to be useful.

As JDTrower said: This would be a big change. I just took a look at the websites I manage, and most users did not use the field for some profile page, but for their personal website.

Your proposal is not backwards-compatible, and I see no way to get this conversion right.

I have 2 blogs, twitter, facebook and G+ accounts, so which URL should I specify as my website? The best answer is probably "the one from which I can discover all the others".

This might be your best answer. I would use one of my blogs, because that’s the only URL and content I can control. Other people might use the website they want to get a backlink for better SEO or whatever. WordPress cannot and should not restrict that.

comment:10 toscho15 months ago

  • Resolution fixed deleted
  • Status changed from closed to reopened
Version 0, edited 15 months ago by toscho (next)

comment:11 mark-k15 months ago

@toscho, @JDTrowe, I think that you just prove my point that current use is semantically almost (or totally) identical to proposed use. When I say "profile" I don't mean social network profile page, it can be any page that have a better/fuller description of the user. If people think that their blog's home page is their best profile on the web then they should keep using it in that field.

Technically that field now is a URL, and there is no reason why you should restrict yourself to pointing to a root of a website, but since the wording says "Website" I assume that people feel like they have to point to a root of a website. How many of the blog owners point to an "About me" page in their blog?

Taking @JDTrowe statistics as representative, 95% of the users will not feel the change because they don't use the feature at all. The 5% that do use probably expect that info to be provided somewhere at their author page and maybe on their posts, but I don't think any theme does that as googling for get_the_author_link shows almost zero results outside of codex and code Cross References.

AFAICT The only place that actually uses this info is comments. The current wording is so bad that people probably don't understand that they can use that field to have their external personal pages accessible from their comments.

About plugin vs core: The more it is being discussed I get to the conclusion that there are two things that I wrapped as one

  1. The wording "Website" is a core bug and needs to be changed as it doesn't convey any clue on how it will be used. If @JDTrowe as an expert don't know about its usage in comments how less experienced people are supposed to know about it?
  1. A way to specify a link for rel="me" is an enhancement. Even if you disagree about the need to let authors to connect with their other web profiles, the fact that plugins are basically recreating the same functionality signals that some basic support for the functionality should be in core.

comment:12 helen15 months ago

  • Component changed from Users to Text Changes
  • Keywords close removed
  • Milestone Awaiting Review deleted
  • Resolution set to wontfix
  • Status changed from reopened to closed

Since we do not (and should not) enforce that the "website" field contain a Google+ URL, which is what would be required to really support what you're asking for here, this is not a helpful text change. It is up to the theme to support Google authorship thoroughly, with perhaps some plugins that help, and so at the moment it is up to a theme or plugin to add that field to the profile. If current use is already along the lines of how you think it should work, then why change it? "Website" is a normal, common term used around the web for such a field, and we should be sticking to terminology that most users are comfortable with.

Semi-related, slated for 3.6: #11541

comment:13 seowebanalyst11 months ago

well I say if the idea is to get Google+ authority on your word press that shouldn't be a biggie, you should check for common mistakes first.
Take a look at lines of your source code if you see that you have NOINDEX enabled -
meta name='robots' content='noindex,nofollow' thus Privacy enabled in WordPress under Settings, then Google will return errors about Authorship if you have NOINDEX set on the page.
Also, you do need to go to your Google+ profile and add your blog as a Public Contributor link as stated in the Rich Snippets tool (See Option 2 here - http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1408986).
To do this go to http://plus.google.com/me/about/edit and click the last but one icon (Links) then add a link to your blog under Contributor To.
That said I presume their are plat forms script embed able that allow the use of such activity- like the use of livefyre or disqus for easy authorship markup for wordpress, such can be seen at http://www.seowebanalyst.com

comment:14 mark-k11 months ago

well I say if the idea is to get Google+ authority on your word press that shouldn't be a biggie, you should check for common mistakes first.

no, it is totally not about G+, it is just a use case. Guess I failed in explaining that. If you want a better non G+ related explanation read comment 11

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