What the Hatom!
Google won’t crawl.
I’ve recently had the dreaded Hatom problem giving 174 hatom error messages for pages on my website, reading “Missing author”, and “Missing update”. But I checked my profile on my website, and there I am, listed as the author. And I know me, personally, so I know I’m really the guy that writes the stuff on my website. So why is Google not recognizing me as the author?
After researching this, and seeing that scores and scores of other WordPress users are having the same problem, I wondered why a plugin hasn’t been designed to solve this problem. I surely can’t do it. I understand some aspects of web design, but I’m more of a creative guy, and appreciator of the arts. Not a code man. But as a professionally trained risk manager, and technical analyst, I’m also inquisitive. Why so many problems between WordPress sites and Google crawlers, and indexing? Without being crawled, or indexed, websites fall off the face of the digital communication world. You can build it, but they won’t come, if Google can’t, or won’t, crawl and index your website, and pages.
As a sometimes investor, and trader. (Very seldom, if ever, these days) I begin to wonder about cause and effect, and coincidental occurrences, when it comes to trading, and investing. So this problem with WordPress sites having this hatom issue, making them somewhat invisible to Google, makes me wonder if Google wants to devalue the WordPress franchise, in order to make a bid for the company. Or do they own the company now ? I don’t know. That’s something that I’m going to research. Is WordPress a public company? What is the relationship between the two companies? And is there something to gain by one, if the other company is seen to have been wounded, in a way? Is this a problem for WordPress that Google has created, just so they can provide a solution once WordPress belongs to them? Does WordPress already belong to them? Does Google want to offer a platform similar to WordPress? Google+ is a wonderful Google product. I love it. But does Google want to supersede WordPress with a similar service? I’m just rambling, but it seems strange that so many WordPress sites and themes are affected by Google’s’ failure to crawl their websites, due to the hatom error problem.
What’s WordPress got to do with it?
What about WordPress, and the myriad of theme developers using a dynamic site development programming like AJAX on so many of its’ themes, when they know that Google will just ignore crawling those themes? Ignore, or eventually just give up. Because that is another issue. From reading lots of comments on lots of message boards, dealing with this Hatom problem, a great many have to do with WordPress stripping out code that would make AJAX developed themes crawlable by Google. Why, WordPress ? Why? Why have so many developers use AJAX to develop dynamic pages and sites, only to strip out the code once the WordPress sites have been published to the web, by literally thousands upon thousands, and maybe tens, of hundreds of thousands of bloggers, and businesses, using WordPress themes?
What’s the story here? Because there is one. I just don’t know what it is.
Does the issue lie with AJAX?
AJAX is a group of interrelated Web development techniques providing a method for exchanging data asynchronously between browser and server to avoid full page reloads. But this isn’t the first time an issue with an AJAX related code has had widespread effect, and disapproval from Google. There seemed to be an issue regarding a simplified, but progressive use of AJAX, called Hijax. Again, I’m no expert on this, but I don’t have to be, to be concerned with how it’s effecting my website content and creation. I’m learning more than I ever thought that I wanted to know about this stuff, simply because I want to get my website, and pages, back into view on the web. Oh! They’re viewable, if you know what you’re looking for, but without being crawlable, or indexed, I might as well have never written, or posted them, in the first place. Now multiply my frustration by millions of WordPress users, and internet users, in general, searching for sources of information, and not finding what they are looking for.
To be sure, Google offers code, or links to code solutions, for both the hatom, and AJAX related problems, but if you are a non-coding WordPress website owner, like many are, the prospect of opening your php.files, and pasting code into your theme, can create as much, or more stress, aggravation, and fear, as seeing that your web pages aren’t crawlable, or being indexed.
Come on, Google!
Come on, WordPress!
Com on, WordPress Plugin developers!
Come on, AJAX!
Get your acts together. Work with each other to find a solution. You’re collectively irritating the blogosphere off. And some of the them aren’t a singular blogger, like myself, writing just another crazy post.
And why is my article showing up twice, on the same page, with one article underlined, after using the Google data highlighter tool ? That’s a whole other can of disgusting worms.
Shortly after publishing my initial post on this Hatom problem and WordPress sites, I cut and pasted some code to my php.funtions file, and saw a steady reduction in error codes drop from 174 to about 128 error codes. I tried a different WordPress theme too, by switching from Pilcrow, which I had used for a couple of years, to Twenty Twelve, but saw no discernable difference in the Hatom problem.
But lately I made another theme change that has seemed to to have had a very positive effect on the reduction of hatom errors on my website, that being switching to the VIRTUE theme. The reduction in the number hatom errors was almost immediate, and has continued to reduce the error codes day by day, as google crawls the site. The error codes dropped immediately to below 100 error codes after installing VIRTUE. About one week after that install the error codes have dropped to 59 error codes. And this, without me cutting and pasting any code into the VIRTUE php files to make that happen. The difference seems to be all in the VIRTUE theme.
Is the hatom problem solved? I don’t know, but it’s sure a lot better than it was. And the virtue theme offers some other theme options that I think will make my site look better, and flow better. So, I’m happy to have found it.