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Directory Builder Adds Page Titles, Filters, and Territories

Dotted Map Banner

Directory Builder 4.2.08 was released today bringing new features to the Store Locator Plus add-on pack.   Dynamic page titles adds another layer of SEO-friendly output to the listings.   Filters make it easier to create heading-separated groups of locations. A new territory field has been added allowing for simple aliases on location listings.

Dynamic Page Titles

Add the [[slp_directory style=”title”]] shortcode to the Directory Builder Landing page title and the plugin will automatically generate an SEO Friendly page title like “Atlanta Locations” or “Charleston Locations” depending on which link is clicked from the listing page.    The title is included in both the H1 tag as the on-page title as well as in the <title> tag which is indexed by most search engines.

Directory Builder 4.2.08 Editing Landing Page With Dynamic Page Title
Directory Builder 4.2.08 Editing Landing Page With Dynamic Page Title
Directory Builder 4.2.08 Dynamic Page Title
Directory Builder 4.2.08 Dynamic Page Title

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List Filters

Add the filter_by clause on your listing page to show locations from a specific country or region.  For example you can use [[slp_directory by=”city” filter_by=”country=’USA'”]] to show a list of locations in the USA only.   Put two of these on a page and get a directory with a “USA Locations” and “International Locations” section.

Editing The Territory List With Country Filters
Editing The Territory List With Country Filters
Territory List With Country Filters
Territory List With Country Filters

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Territories As Aliases

The latest iteration of Directory Builder adds a new territory field, shared with the location extender, to the location data.   Combine this with the if_blank_use attribute of the listing page shortcode to build aliases for locations.   Add a new “Near Paris” territory and assign that to any location.     If you have filled in the territory field for a location as “Near Paris” the location will be listed as that entry on the listing page.    Leave the territory blank and combine with the if_blank_use=”city” attribute and you can have a listing that shows locations in Boston, Milan, and Near Paris that will change dynamically whenever you edit the territory and city fields for your locations.

Directory Builder 4.2.06 list of location territories using the new territory field and if_blank_use to fill in cities for locations with no territories assigned.
Directory Builder 4.2.06 list of location territories using the new territory field and if_blank_use to fill in cities for locations with no territories assigned.
The location data showing the new territory field that was used to build the if_blank_use based listing shown above.
The location data showing the new territory field that was used to build the if_blank_use based listing shown above.
The new shortcodes used to build a territory-based directory.
The new shortcodes used to build a territory-based directory.

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Directory Builder Changelog

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SEO Friendly Store Pages Updated

Store Pages Banner

Store Pages, the per-location SEO Friendly content creator add-on for Store Locator Plus, was patch to version 4.1.02 today.

Default Store Pages Generated Page
Default Store Pages Generated Page

The new version fixes a problem for sites that are using Store Pages with a default Store Page publication setting of “Published”. Sites with the default mode as “Draft” did not experience the problem. Some WordPress themes did not work properly when the default Store Page mode was set to Published. The Store Page would be created but the location would not be added to the Store Locator Plus locations table.

Store Pages Tab 4.1.01
Store Pages Settings

The conflict with using the recommended ‘the_content’ WordPress filter on all post->content updates has been resolved by removing the filter. Using WordPress best practices in this situation is preferable, however the number of reports of locations not being added warranted deviating from best practices in order to support as many themes as possible. The filter change should have a minimal, if any, impact on Store Pages as most themes should not be modifying default custom page type content.

 

Release Details

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Store Pages SEO For Your Locations v 4.1.01

An update for Store Pages,  and SEO friendly add-on that created per-location pages for Store Locator Plus locations, enters final testing today.    The public release is expected within 24 hours as preliminary testing has gone well.  Premier Members can get the release candidate from the downloads page (must be a Premier Member to view this page).

The coming update will stop listing the website links for Store Pages that are not published.   This will ensure that draft pages, which generate a  page not found error, will not be shown on the results listing when using the “pages replace website” option is enabled.

The phone and fax labels have been updated making the Store Pages labels WPML compatible for users with multilingual site support.

A new settings, “Prepend URL” has been added to the product to allow site owners to turn the leading “Front Base” on/off when referencing Store Page URLs.

Store Pages Front Base for Prepend Settings
Store Pages Front Base for Prepend Settings
Store Pages Tab 4.1.01
Store Pages Settings

Prerelease Details

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Store Pages Version 3.9 Released

For Immediate Release
Contact: Lance Cleveland
Email: www.charlestonsw.com/mindset/contact-us/

Store Pages v3.9 Released

Charleston SC, February 21st 2013 –  Charleston Software Associates released a completely re-constructed version of the Store Pages product this afternoon.   In conjunction with the release of Store Locator Plus version 3.9, the new Store Pages version 3.9 product takes advantages of new internal components to provide a better SEO management experience for Store Locator Plus users.     Store Pages is a premium add-on pack available for the free Store Locator Plus location management system.   Pricing for the 3.9 release is set at $45.    Existing licensed users of prior versions can request a free upgrade to the Store Pages 3.9 release.

The new version of Store Pages creates several oft-requested features.   Custom page addresses and the ability to manipulate the generated page formats are two of the biggest additions to the new release.   Several minor features have also been added to the update.

Site administrators will now have the ability to customize the URL where their store pages will be rendered, adding the SEO impact of the plugin.   The default /store-page/store-name web address can now be modified to better fit the site.  For example a list of doctor offices can now read /doctor/location-name .

Store Pages also includes a new page template engine that offers live dynamic data elements.   Store Pages now read the store location database in real-time.  This is a departure from prior releases where a page would need to be re-created every time location data was updated.  The same template editor feature also allows the site administrator to change the layout of the generated page to suite their tastes.   A completely free-form HTML syntax with data placeholders, in the form of WordPress standard shortcodes, allows the site administrator to build the page exactly as they want to see it including embedding maps, directions, images or other site specific data.

You can learn what is new via the SLP 3.9 Release Notes page.

About Store Pages

Store Pages is a premium add-on for the free Store Locator Plus location management system.  The Store Pages add-on creates independent pages the WordPress site that contain a complete description of the store location.   The add-on package provides for a convenient way to build a detailed store directory while improving the site search engine presence, commonly referred to as Search Engine Optimization (SEO).   Interest in the relatively new Store Pages add-on has made it the second-most popular add-on pack for Store Locator Plus, second only to enterprise-class Pro Pack.

About Store Locator Plus

Store Locator Plus is an advanced system for managing multiple physical locations via a fully integrated WordPress solution. You can add details such as a store description, hours, a website address, an email address, and tags for each location and then display those locations easily on any page using a shortcode. The location search form and Google Map will automatically be displayed.

Advanced customization is available via the settings interface in the admin panel. The map can be customized via the admin panel to fit better on your site by allowing for different sizes, map types (terrain, satellite, standard views), and default location settings. The search form can be customized to show or hide a country pulldown, a city and state pulldown, and tag search fields.  can also re-label every entry field and can opt to enable pop-up email forms to help reduce spam.

For additional information, contact:  Lance Cleveland at /mindset/contact-us/.

About Charleston Software Associates

Charleston Software Associates (CSA) is a software publishing and consulting firm that specializes in WordPress plugins.  Charleston Software Associates was founded in 2004 as an independent software consulting firm specializing in custom application design.   The consulting division was acquired by now-defunct Cyber Sprocket Labs in 2005.    CSA was re-energized in August 2012 with the acquisition of key software products.   The flagship product is a top-rated WordPress plugin that brings a low-cost yet full-featured location management system to businesses large and small.   Research & development continues on additional business-centric products built on the WordPress content platform.    Charleston Software Associates is located in the Charleston South Carolina Metro area operating from a home office in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

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SEO : The Rel Attribute

After attending the WordPress User Group this week I decided to pay slightly more attention to the SEO elements of the page content on the Cyber Sprocket site.

One of the topics they brought up was the importance of the rel tag. Google is putting more emphasis on the linkages between sites since the Panda update (http://www.google.com/search?q=google+panda+update) this past summer. They are not just counting links in/out, that is old school. They are using heuristics to determine the nature of the relationships and assign different weights based on the type of relationship, proximity, and a dozen other metrics.

You can use the rel attribute of your links to influence the algorithm. How much weight they give the rel attributes is still unknown, however there is enough weight that most SEO groups recommend you always use rel on links (and often recommend the use of rev). The only values of rel I ever use are rel="me" and rel="nofollow". The WPUG presenter mentioned using rel="author", to indicate that the link goes to the author’s “about me” page.

I decided to look into just what values can go into rel and what those values mean to a search engine. IMO, the notable values of rel has gotten out of control. To wit, rel="crush" is defined as “this person considers the referenced person to be a crush (i.e. has a crush on the referenced person)”. What? Here is a decent list in case you want to see what other values can go into rel that provide added “intelligence” to the Skynet Crawler Bots:
http://microformats.org/wiki/existing-rel-values

The official W3C page does not list half these values, but it is well known that rel="nofollow" has a definite impact on web crawling and SEO, yet is is not listed here:
http://www.w3schools.com/tags/att_link_rel.asp

Your Thoughts?

What rel values do you use?  How does it impact SEO?

What are your thoughts about the proliferation of rel tag values?