Google Calendar is Down? There’s a First.

Hmmm…

Google Calendar is down? Now there’s a first.

I was working in Adwords… sorry, Google Ads, all morning and noticing that things were a little on the slow side.

Of course, in the case of Google Ads, “on the slow side” really means “on the slower side” since that new dashboard always takes forever to load.

Anyways, after I saved up some work, I went to add an event into my calendar and then the fun started happening.

After adding a meeting, I got a message saying that the calendar couldn’t create this event and to please try again later.

I X’d out the notification, and then it popped up again. And again. And again.

Nothing like a spin around the block.

Finally, I refreshed the page and that’s when I got hit with that little 404 message up there.

Definitely not something I’ve seen before – nor expecting from Google.

Usually, that company gets pretty creative with its error messages and pages not found. Just check out what happens with Chrome when you try to browse and you’re not connected to the internet.

Why is it apps always seem to break when you need them the most? Here’s hoping it comes back to life soon.

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.