At one time my Google PageRank™ used to be quite high – 6 or 7, without even trying. I guess I did something to annoy it over the years and my PR dropped to 0. So I decided to do a few things as a part of my new “Ego Drive”, not to be confused with the “Eco drive” that I still haven’t embarked upon. So far I have gotten around to doing just two:
- I registered with Technorati. And then I hit a kind of weird situation: Technorati wouldn’t let me claim http://mynethome.net/blog or http://blog.mynethome.net, both of which point to my blog. It instead let me claim my home page http://mynethome.net. I couldn’t figure out how the pinging on Technorati worked, though. How does Technorati understand that there is new content? I had a feeling that it has something to do with publishing feeds. And therein lay a problem – my feed lay on my blog, not on my homepage.
- That is where the second thing came in. I wrote my own feed generator. So far I have written it only for Atom 1.0 – I am yet to do it for RSS2. The feed generator posed some interesting challenges:
- How was I to manage the list of sites in a flexible manner for the feed to report against? I solved this using a simple XML-based sitemap. You can very easily write a simple XML to represent your website. XML being structured content, I could use the same document to create a PHP sitemap.
- My sitemap is better for static content. What was the best way to show the dynamic content like that in my blog? After a bit of thinking and a bit more research I figured out that the easiest of ways to handle this – a link to a feed in my sitemap. I put in a linkfor my blog saying:
I then used the Zend Framework to get the entries in the feed. On the fly I pull up the entries whenever my site’s feed is accessed and show the results. For this I used the
I considered dynamically determining the information from the page’s
<link>tags, but ran into some issues processing some feeds, when Zend kept throwing Exceptions.
- The third was to dynamically get the summary and content of all the pages in my sitemap, to display in my feed. For this I used the Simple HTML DOM Parser. That let me retrieve the details from a specific segment of my pages. In most of my pages the main content is stored in a
divblock with class
content, so retrieving the details was pretty easy.
The next step would be to write an RSS2 feed, just to ensure compatibility with feed readers that can’t read RSS2. I would be interested to know, though, if people who are savvy enough to use feed readers would settle for a feed reader that isn’t compatible with all kinds of feeds.
In the meanwhile I would like to welcome suggestions if you know how to do this better.
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