As you may have noticed there was no blog about the Store Locator Plus versions 4.4. 21. The skipped versions never made it to production release due to a test fail and a few last minute changes to the base plugin addressing special characters in the mouse-over appearing as html script. If you have the Pages add-on, you must update the base SLP plugin to 4.4.23 that implements the REST route to be used for advanced features.
Highlights on the updates (see release notes for more information):
Settings under the SLP General Tab would not save the deletion of Google API. This would have impacted multiple options that could no longer be set to their default, (blank) in some cases.
Fixed the disappearing act of the ? “help text” in the UI
Changed the appearance of the User Interface
Fixed the display of the ampersand and apostrophes in the hover mode
Introduced REST routes (more in release notes and the technical voodoo to be explained in upcoming blog,video for the uber-technical
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