NGFB, WPSSO Release — New Options in Free Version

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NGFB version 7.7.0.2 and WPSSO version 2.7.0.2 have been released — The description for BuddyPress members / activity / groups index pages has been improved by using a more generic text for the meta tags, instead of using the latest activity text (Pro version). The ‘Use Filtered (SEO) Titles’, ‘Apply Excerpt Filters’, and ‘Apply Content Filters’ Advanced options have also been added to the Free version (previously only available in the Pro version).

WPSSO v2.7.0.2 also includes a small fix for WooCommerce — The WpssoMedia::get_meta_image() method has been replaced by WpssoProUtilPostmeta::get_og_image(), and the WooCommerce addon still contained a call to the old method (Pro version).

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WPSSO v2.7.0.1 — Image Dimensions per Post / Page

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WPSSO version 2.7.0.1 has been released — This latest version includes custom ‘Image Dimensions’ options in the Social Settings metabox. You can change the default Image Dimensions for Facebook / Open Graph (Google+, LinkedIn, etc.) and Pinterest Rich Pin for each Post / Page. You can also enter a custom Image ID and Image URL for Pinterest. Please note that you’ll need to display “All Plugin Options” in the NGFB settings pages to view the Pinterest Rich Pin Image Dimensions, Image ID, and Image URL options.

Since Facebook does not accept images with an aspect ratio greater than 3:1, and additional check has been added to reject images exceeding a 3:1 aspect ratio.

New versions of the WPSSO AM, WPSSO PLM, and WPSSO SSB extension plugins have also been released — WPSSO SSB includes a small change to use a new image size method in WPSSO v2.7, and WPSSO PLM includes two new schema meta tags.

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NGFB v7.7.0.1 — Image Dimensions per Post / Page

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NGFB version 7.7.0.1 has been released — This latest version includes custom ‘Image Dimensions’ options in the Social Settings metabox. You can change the default Image Dimensions for Facebook / Open Graph (Google+, LinkedIn, etc.) and Pinterest Rich Pin for each Post / Page. You can also enter a custom Image ID and Image URL for Pinterest. Please note that you’ll need to display “All Plugin Options” in the NGFB settings pages to view the Pinterest Rich Pin Image Dimensions, Image ID, and Image URL options.

Since Facebook does not accept images with an aspect ratio greater than 3:1, and additional check has been added to reject images exceeding a 3:1 aspect ratio.

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NGFB, WPSSO / SSB – Fixes for WC, BP, Buttons

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WooCommerce and BuddyPress have made significant changes in the past few versions, which required some adjustments in the NGFB and WPSSO plugins. WooCommerce, for example, does not load all the code necessary to render shortcodes on the admin side, so these additional functions and classes must be loaded by NGFB / WPSSO instead. Some adjustments were also made for BuddyPress to better detect activity loops (for sharing URLs and activity descriptions).

A possible “infinite loop” condition was also fixed for WPSSO SSB, which affected the Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter buttons.

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Social SEO: WordPress SEO vs WPSSO

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In the past, most website visitors came from Google Search results. Plugins designed to optimize your content for Google Search became increasingly popular, and part of many “must have” plugin lists. Recently though, that trend has been shifting, as the percentage of visitors coming from social websites is increasing — often matching and sometimes out-pacing — the number of visitors from Google Search. Traditional Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plugins, like WordPress SEO by Yoast for example, have adapted to this change by stepping away from their designed purpose, and re-using the SEO content they gather to generate additional meta tags for social websites.

What happens when someone shares a URL on a social website like Facebook, Twitter, etc.?

To understand how social websites describe a webpage, and how you can influence its display, you have to be aware of what happens in the background. When someone shares a URL on a social website (either by using a “share” button or copy-pasting a URL), the social website then connects back to the shared URL and gathers information about its content, such as its title, description, main image, etc. If no structured information is available within the webpage (aka schema markup and/or meta tags), the social websites must “take a guess” — and this is where things can get a little weird. Without proper guidance, social websites may use a sidebar advertisement as the main image, menu or banner text as a description, etc.

Social Sharing Optimization (SSO) plugins like WPSSO, and some Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plugins like WordPress SEO, can provide structured information about the webpage for social websites — providing them with a specific title, short description / summary, one or more images, embedded videos, product information (price, color, size), etc. In the case of Twitter, you can even describe the content as a photo gallery, and provide several images for it to expand the tweet as a Gallery Card (just one of seven available Twitter Card types).

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