Shawn Mendes has the most Annoying YouTube Ads

It’s a fact. The most annoying ads currently on YouTube belong to Shawn Mendes.

Until they started playing, I might have been peripherally aware of him, in the same way I was somehow aware of the existence of the Jonas Brothers and that red-headed guy named Ed.

However, while I was willing to let those gents play their music in the periphery of my awareness, at malls, in washrooms, or wherever else they’re on the air, this guy is different.

I’ve learned to hate this guy.

No, scratch that. Learning suggests volition. This was out of my hands.

I’m been indoctrinated to hate him.

How?

Well, I’m going to say 3/5th of the time an advertisement plays on YouTube, it’s one for this guy.

Considering I listen to music a good four or five hours at work each day, and I get an add like every five minutes… there’s a good chance I see his ad 30-40 times a day.

Every day.

It doesn’t matter how many times I thumbs down it, skip it as soon as it loads, or event block his page, his ads keep playing.

You’d think that YouTube’s advertising algorithms would cut me some slack.

After all, the purpose of ads is to make money and gets clicks, right? Not ostracize the audience and turn them into vendetta-hungry enemies?

What is even the purpose of playing his ads (and forcing us to listen to clips of his music) when we CLEARLY are listening to other genres.

Listening to a Massive Attack playlist? Here, have a dose of some teenager boy singing about heartbreak.

Tuned in to some electro-jazz cafe and looking to unwind? Time to hear some guitar punk scream about what’s in his blood.

Do you like literally any genre of music and dislike teeny pop singers? Well, here’s one you’re REALLY going to hate.

And if you don’t hate him yet, then you’ll learn to hate him soon.

And hate him I will.

I mean, what’s the purpose of hearing some kid rattle about his passion for writing teenage heartbreak songs over and over again? Certainly not for his wisdom or “clever” comments.

I won’t even list them. All you need to know is that his interview clips are about 50% dumber than pre-game interviews on Hockey Night in Canada.

Hell, I’d pay to hear some pre-game talk about creating good opportunities and getting out there with our all, rather than listen to him tell me he’s getting emotional about being famous.

Fuck that guy. Seriously.

My only conclusions is that Shawn Mendes’ marketing team one day found themselves with assloads of cash. Maybe they deliberated between lighting it on fire and annoying every single YouTube user.

They chose the latter.

Maybe they’re the real criminals.

Why is my WordPress Sitemap not Working? One Simple Answer.

Ah sitemaps.

They play an essential role in WordPress SEO by telling Google and friends what pages to crawl.

When they work, we love them. When they don’t, well, just thinking about all that lost traffic makes us shake our fists and want to smash our keyboards.

My WordPress Sitemap isn’t working, what do I do?

So you’re running a WordPress site and you got a faulty sitemap that’s not working?

There are a lot of different reasons why a sitemap might not function correctly in WordPress.

Some are technical, such as issues with an integrated WordPress ache plugin like WP Super Cache or developer code that went a little awry in its implementation.

Others could be much more mundane, such as having an out of date plugin generating your sitemap, or even something as simple as the box for sitemaps being unchecked by accident.

However, if you’re running a WordPress site and having issues with the sitemap that’s being generated, I’m willing to bet that it’s a plugin conflict issue.

I’ve had tons of issues with sitemaps over the years, and from my own experience (not to mention what I’ve read from browsing around the net), I’m gonna say this is one of the top culprits for faulty sitemaps.

What plugins are causing my sitemap to malfunction?

From my experience, the two main plugins that typically lead to a broken sitemap are Yoast SEO (or other comprehensive SEO plugin) and Google XML Sitemap.

Now don’t get me wrong. Both of these are great plugins. Yoast is the most popular WordPress SEO plugin for a reason, and Google XML Sitemaps does a great job at, well, making sitemaps.

The issue is when you have both of them installed and activated at the same time. The reason for this is because Yoast has a built-in sitemap feature.

If you try to activate two different sitemap plugins, your site simply won’t know what to do with itself.

What seems to happen is that one sitemap becomes static, frozen, while each time you try to update it causes a duplicate sitemap or backup to be created in your root directory.

The problem here is that the one frozen in time, never updating or completing itself, is the one bots will crawl and not the other file.

Fixing this is fairly simple, if not exactly straightforward.

Just going into your WordPress backend and disabling one of the two conflicting sitemaps won’t solve the issue. Neither will deactivating one of your plugins.

You’ll notice if you have Yoast installed and Google XML Sitemaps too, and you disable the latter, the conflict will persist in your sitemap file.

The only solution as far as I know is to delete one of the plugins. Not disable, actual DELETE.

In my case, when this happened to me, Google XML Sitemaps and then installed Yoast and didn’t even notice the issue for months. It was only when I replaced Yoast with the SEO Framework did I realize how bugged my sitemap was.

So if you’re in the same situation try:

  1. Double check to see if you have two plugins that both generate XML sitemaps.
  2. Disable / un-check all your sitemap creation tools.
  3. Delete one of the plugins. If you’re running Yoast, I would recommend deleted Google XML Sitemaps simply because it affects less of your posts.
  4. Reactive one sitemap tool.
  5. Refresh your page and maybe even clear your browser’s cache just to be sure.
  6. Verify that your sitemap is now correct and voila!

An optional step, in case your issue lasted for an extended period of time, is to re-submit your sitemap.xml file to your Google Search Console. That way Google will be able to discover all the “lost” pages that might not have been getting crawled or indexed correctly.

Of course, if you’re not sure where to look for your Yoast sitemap in the first place, try this:

Open WordPress and find Yoast:

Next, go to features:

Third, scroll down and see if Sitemaps is activated.

Hope this helps. If it does (or doesn’t), leave a comment below and let others know.

Google Adds Star Wars Easter Eggs to Search Console May 4th

It’s almost May the 4th – the official day celebrating George Lucas’s Star Wars franchise – and it looks like Google added a couple of Easter Eggs this year.

I happened to be doing some work on a client side when I noticed this little guy up here in the top right of the header.

At first I thought it was some some-sort of DJ. I don’t know why. Maybe it looked like a head wearing headphones?

Either way it’s C3PO and you can go right up there and give him a click. When you do, you’ll get a little title crawl asking if you want to activate the Easter Eggs.

Once you do, not a lot is different around the console, but there’s a couple of nice touches and one that scared the hell out of me.

Head down to your Coverage and…

This little ditty with the lightsabers honestly spooked the bejesus out of me.

I was wearing headphones with the volume turned high, with my music turned low. Needless to say, it sounded like someone was drawing a lightsaber right next to me.

Depending on what you have selected, it will change colour from red, to orange to green and even a really odd-looking grey one.

Fortunately, the others are less intense and kinda fun.

When you go to examine errors, warnings or other indexation issues, you get greeted by these little guys.

Very apt observation there, Chewbacca. (and may he rest in piece)

Most are iconic characters and some are pretty well played.

There’s another couple of secrets hidden around the search console that are worth looking up.

I haven’t checked to see what other products have Easter Eggs like this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this wasn’t the only one.