Archive For: October, 2015

Making vBAdvanced CMPS Mobile Friendly – Avoid Google Penalty

Many vBAdvanced Users have come to realize that their CMPS Portal system is not mobile friendly.

Google now penalizes sites for not being mobile friendly as of April 21st, 2015.

Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.

Test Your Site!

You can view information and documentation and also test your site.

If I don’t use vBAdvanced, how do I become Mobile Friendly?

  • AdminCP > Settings > Options > Style & Language Settings > *Scroll to find “Default Style for Old Mobile Browsers” and “Default Style for Modern Mobile Browsers” and set both to the Default Mobile Style.

The “Default Style” should be set to a normal desktop/pc style, if you set this as the Default Mobile Style it can produce a blank white page upon visiting the forum so ensure that you leave the “Default Style” setting alone and only change the settings for “Default Style for Old Mobile Browsers” and “Default Style for Modern Mobile Browsers” respectively.

That one simple change to two settings now has your site shown as Mobile Friendly, test it to be sure!

If I use vBa CMPS – What does vBAdvanced Recommend?

If you use vBAdvanced CMPS Portal System your site will not test as mobile friendly when using the vBulletin default mobile style. vBAdvanced CMPS is known to not be mobile friendly, you can reference that here:
http://www.vbadvanced.com/forum/showthread.php?48266-CMPS-page-is-empy-when-viewing-on-a-mobile-device

Then the work-around is in this thread:
http://www.vbadvanced.com/forum/showthread.php?t=47981
^ Although  this doesn’t always work for everyone.

Instead it was advised to disable the cmps on mobile devices:
http://www.vbadvanced.com/forum/showthread.php?41168-VBA-intergration-problem-wish-I-don-t-know-anymore
^ Reference post #6 in that thread.

However as many site owners know, the CMPS is their home page and/or primary portal system so disabling it on mobile devices is not the way to go, the best thing to do is to have the CMPS working properly in the mobile style so it’s 100% mobile friendly!

How can I make vBAdvanced CMPS Mobile Friendly?

Our staff has successfully done this! Please note the .xml file attached is for vB4.x series only, this fix has only been performed on a vBulletin 4 site and since no default mobile style exist in vBulletin 3 this tutorial does not apply to vBulletin 3 powered sites respectively. Here is a quick guide on how to make your vBulletin vBAdvanced CMPS mobile friendly:

  • Install the Innovative Template Manager (vB4.x Series)
  • > AdminCP > Template Manager > Import / Export Templates > *Now click the top selection to “Import templates from XML file”.
  • *On the right, click the checkbox titled “Default Mobile Style” so the templates are added to the mobile style ONLY.
  • Download the correct template file (right-click and choose to Save As) and save it to your desktop: For vBAdvanced 4.2.1 use this vbulletin-vba-cmps-templates.xml OR For vBAdvanced 4.3.0 use this vbulletin-vba-cmps-templates-430.xml
  • *Click BROWSE and select the file vbulletin-vba-cmps-templates.xml from your desktop.
  • *Click the box “Add Template(s)” to import the missing templates.

Example Import Templates Image:

importtemplates

After you import the templates, check the CMPS using your Default Mobile Style, it should now work properly and test as mobile friendly – Enjoy no penalty and a working CMPS system!

A Screenshot of the templates you need to have in the default mobile style in order for the CMPS to work properly in the mobile style:

vba-cmps-templatelist

Please Note:

  • The templates in the file provided are from vBa CMPS ver4.2.1 OR 4.3.0 ONLY, the most current is vBa CMPS ver4.3.0 as of 10/21/2015. So with that being said, if you run a version between 4.2.1 and 4.3.0 and notice any issues – simply edit your default styles vBA templates and carefully copy the template contents then paste over the same templates in the default mobile style which will ensure all the templates are from the current version you have installed.
    While the CMPS can display on the default mobile style with some adjustments, your widget content can still cause it to not pass the “Mobile Friendly” test i.e. if links are too close together or if using stacked images that are also links – it truly depends on your widget content. Making adjustments to widgets and other issues listed will result in it finally passing.
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    Upgrading phpAdsNew OpenX Revive Ad Server

    Revive Ad Server is an excellent free software to help you deliver ads to your website and/or forum with it’s ease-of-use and multiple features including advertising campaigns among other options!

    Over the years it has went through several name changes:

    1. phpAdsNew
    2. OpenX
    3. Revive

    With the latter i.e. Revive being the most current and official version.

    Upgrading OpenX to Revive

    When you upgrade Revive, it’s actually very easy due to how they’ve designed the upgrade script. When you upgrade from OpenX to Revive you should follow the upgrade documentation they provide and you should ensure your server meets all requirements. Using the guide provided by Revive regarding upgrading you will see it consist of:

    1. Uploading fresh files.
    2. Copying then editing a .conf file.
    3. Cloning a database OR exporting then importing the ad tables into a new database.
    4. Running the upgrade script.

    Typically following their guide will result in a successful upgrade of OpenX to Revive, this brings you fully up-to-date regarding Revive software and ensures you’re able to deliver ads more securely.

    Upgrading phpAdsNew to Revive

    Now we can discuss the purpose of this article! The reason we wanted to discuss upgrading phpAdsNew to Revive is the fact that we recently had a client who wanted to upgrade their phpAdsNew to the new version which was currently Revive. Upon following the upgrade instructions on Revive’s site we realized the easy way of upgrading was not an option, there was no .conf file present in the /var/ folder of the old installation in fact there was no /var/ folder at all! So what did we do? Upgrade then tell our client to manually include all their ads over again? No as URLJet prefers to work smarter, not harder so here’s a quick guide on how to upgrade from such an older outdated version to the newest!

    1. Run backups! File and Database!
    2. Upload the new Revive files to a new folder (we used /adserver/ per the documentation as the older ad system was at /ads/ respectively).
    3. Perform a 100% Fresh installation. *Why yes, you won’t have any ads but we’ll sort that later! **Ensure you setup the Admin account with the same username+password as your older system it’s easier this way.
    4. Now create a new campaign (name it whatever, but NOTE: the campaign ID should be 1), advertiser, and manually create one banner (so you can view the table in phpmyadmin to see the structure and more easily).
    5. Once you’ve created a new banner view the structure of the rv_banners table. Now view the structure of the ads_banners table, as you can see some of the columns are missing since you’re seeing an older versions table and comparing to a newer version.
    6. You will need to export the structure from the newer table into the older one. *DO NOT forget to delete the one entry in the new banners table (the demo banner you created earlier to view in the table itself) otherwise duplicate entry error for primary will show when attempting to import the structure into the older table.
    7. In our scenario when importing the structure not everything came through. Now the tricky part but easy since it’s only comparing… open up each table in a new tab so you can easily switch back and forth – what is missing in the older table that you see in the newer table? This is what the difference is and you need to adjust this before the banners functionality in your admin panel for Revive will function properly.
    8. What you’re basically doing is taking an older table and updating it to ensure the structure and all columns match. Once done you should see 40 columns in the Revive rv_banners table (Revive Ad Server version 3.2.2) if you have any additional columns or entries other than the required 40, delete them.
    9. Now you must run a query on the rv_banners table:

    UPDATE `rv_banners`
    SET `campaignid` = 1
    WHERE `campaignid` = ”;

    The above query will then associate all your older banners with the current campaign and upon clicking to view Banners in the Admin panel all will now show ;). The only downfall to all of this is the fact the Name for each banner is currently “Untitled” so you’ll need to manually edit each banner and input a proper name.

    Please Note: Regarding #8 above where it states you should have 40 rows in the table rv_banners; Here is a list of the rows in the rv_banners table and they need to be in this order – an sql query and array bring processed when updating a banner is why they need to be in this order:

    1. bannerid
    2. campaignid
    3. contenttype
    4. pluginversion
    5. storagetype
    6. filename
    7. imageurl
    8. htmltemplate
    9. htmlcache
    10. width
    11. height
    12. weight
    13. seq
    14. target
    15. url
    16. alt
    17. statustext
    18. bannertext
    19. description
    20. adserver
    21. block
    22. capping
    23. session_capping
    24. compiledlimitation
    25. acl_plugins
    26. append
    27. bannertype
    28. alt_filename
    29. alt_imageurl
    30. alt_contenttype
    31. comments
    32. updated
    33. acls_updated
    34. keyword
    35. transparent
    36. parameters
    37. status
    38. ext_bannertype
    39. prepend    text
    40. iframe_friendly

    Please Note: You must setup a new zone and other perquisites, if you do not then the ads have no “Zone” to display in. Furthermore any previously used codes in your websites or templates (if using a CMS or Forum software) will need to be changed and the new invocation codes used once proper zones are created.

    Navigate around the new Revive system and ensure it’s all working as-intended. Don’t forget that you’re now on a much newer version of the software so you’ll still need to setup zones, redo your old <script> and ad codes so the new code is present in any files/templates before they’ll show again, so some manual work is required unfortunately but once completed you should be in the clear for quite some time.

    We hope this helps all of those who ran into issues upgrading from such an older version, please comment if you have any questions or feel free to open a support ticket and we’ll gladly assist.

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    Uninstalling Modifications – vBulletin

    Uninstalling Modifications:

    Note: On some occasions disabling the modification instead of uninstalling is best.

    1. Prepare yourself i.e. if you’re uninstalling a modification it’s best to know exactly what you’re uninstalling.
    2. Run a backup of files and database beforehand.

    When to disable versus uninstall?

    Note: When you disable a mod the data remains within the database. When you uninstall a mod all data is removed permanently. *With that being said if you uninstall a mod due to whatever reason, you will not be able to retain any previous data.

    Example: A Thanks mod for thanking people on certain posts, if you uninstall and later decide to re-install all user thanks will be gone SINCE you previously uninstalled the mod – if however you disabled it and now upgrade the mod the previous data will upgrade with the new version of the mod and all users will still have their previous thanks amount.

    • If the mod only works on a certain version of vBulletin AND you’re unsure if an upgrade will become available then you could retain the mod by simply disabling it.
    • If the mod is a basic mod that generates no user data it can be uninstalled then re-installed at any time without the loss of data.
    • If the mod has a security risk you can either disable it so it cannot be exploited (some can even if files remain so you could disable AND remove the files to be safer than usual) OR uninstall it completely (*Refer to the Note above, be sure you want to specifically uninstall instead of disabling – knowing the difference can save you a headache later on if a mod was in fact required).

    How to uninstall?

    Note: Some mods have file uploads and some do not. The easiest way to know if it has file AND what those files are (since you remove all files associated with mods IF uninstalling) is to re-download the same version of the mod you have installed, within the .zip if it had files to upload all the files will be shown in the .zip and now you know what files to remove. IF the mod is no longer available you can inquire for assistance or for file names themselves from the community on vbulletin.org.

    *We strongly advise against using warez/nulled sites for downloads as they can be compromised or you yourself by utilizing such sites and on top of that most are providing scripts, files, and much more without permission and are usually in violation of the law by conducting illegal activity – be careful!

    *Not all mods are in the modification graveyard yet were removed from vbulletin.org so their author might have a version available on their site otherwise if it’s in the graveyard on vbulletin.org AND the company went belly up you must rely on Google and other searches to find the file names associated with the mod.

    Directions:

    > AdminCP > Plugins & Products > Manage Products > *Now to the right of each mod listed is a drop-down, select to disable OR uninstall the mod in question.

    Note: The mods title on the left is a hyperlink. Hovering above the mods title on the left will reveal the url of the mod on vbulletin.org or the authors site, click it to view and possibly download the .zip required to know what files should be removed.

    • If a mod has no files associated with it and only an .xml file was present then no further cleanup is required i.e. a mod with only an .xml will not have files that need to be removed.
    • Some mods have manual file edits to default vBulletin files required before use, be sure you read any readme.txt or readme.html files to ensure that you remove all customization’s (easiest way to revert custom changes in a file is to overwrite the default vBulletin file with a fresh file of the same version). Another example would be changes to .htaccess in which case you should remove any custom additions and only retain what is required in a typical .htaccess file.
    • If you’re unsure about which files to delete (for example if you could not find a download of the modification and are using your best judgement to clean old files from your site) you can CHMOD them to 000 which makes them unusable by the server in a sense – if the file was required you will see some form of error on your forum in which case you now know the file was not a file to be removed and can CHMOD it back to the previous CHMOD permission value. *Only CHMOD the files to 000 AFTER uninstalling the modification from the product manager – If you CHMOD files to 000 before you uninstall the product it WILL produce errors respectively.

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    Will Google start punishing repeat spammers

    Webmaster Pay attention to this;

    Google published a blog post this morning named Repeated violations of Webmaster Guidelines explaining that if you have repeated violations of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and those violations lead to numerous manual actions, Google may take a more serious approach to penalizing your site.
    Google said “repeated violations may make a successful reconsideration process more difficult to achieve.” “Especially when the repeated violation is done with a clear intention to spam, further action may be taken on the site,” Google added.

    https://www.seroundtable.com/google-manual-actions-repeated-20918.html

    https://www.seroundtable.com/google-manual-actions-repeated-20918.html

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