June 29, 2016 Last Updated 8:09 am

Google continues to issue warnings to TNM in error, so be warned of possible shutdown

Morning Brief: The WordPress plug-in for Apple News has been updated, changes include the ability to set the background color, as well as some coding fixes

Just how long TNM will continue to publish is an open question. This site depends on revenue from a number of sources to justify its continued existence and Google is one of them.

But TNM continues to get warnings from the AdSense team regarding violations of its rules. The last time TNM was banned by Google was 2010 when it said the site had suspicious clicks but refused to provide any proof (traffic was so low that we must be talking about a half dozen).

Now, the problem is that Google continues to accuse this site of publishing nudity and altering Google ad code, but claims are preposterous.

The nudity violations come from stories such as that of when Playboy decided to end its publishing of nude models. That story featured the cover of the new Playboy which, obviously, featured no nudity. Another time running a picture of Donald Trumpp’s wife was considered a violation.

As for ad code violations, all ad codes are taken directly from Google’s own website, so I have no clue what they are talking about regarding that claim.

This site covers digital publishing and so talks a lot about Apple and Amazon, maybe that is the problem.

The real problem, of course, is that the site is dependent on Google ads and the small number of advertisers that buy directly. Unfortunately, the number of digital publishing companies that support TNM financial can be counted on one hand. TNM has never received a dime from the major players in the industry, and I assume never will.

If TNM is shuttered soon, now you know why. It has been a good six years, probably four or five years more than I had originally planned. So, that may mean that I will be open to opportunities outside publishing TNM, let me know if you have heard of any.

The developers behind the WordPress plug-in for Apple News have issued an update, bring the plug-in up to version 1.1.5.

AppleNews-icon-150Here are the details:

  • Updated logic for creating a unique ID for anchored components to avoid occasional conflicts due to lack of entropy.
  • Fixed issue with lack of container for components when cover isn’t the first component causing text to scroll awkwardly over the image with the parallax effect.
  • Added the ability to set the body background color.
  • Fixed issue with empty but valid JSON components causing an “Undefined index” error in Apple News validation.
  • Fixed issue with an invalid API response or unreachable endpoint causing the post edit screen to break when trying to load the Apple News meta box.

The plug-in has bee a God send for small publishers using WordPress, as it automates much of the production, while doing a very good job of keeping the layouts true to the original. But as Apple News has a few rules that must be followed, such as with rejecting small photos, it is usually best for the publishing to know what will work in Apple News and so make sure their web layouts conform.

There remain a few quirks. For instance, one can embed a Tweet on the web and have it work in Apple News, but don’t do two tweets in a row. Also, code can’t follow code. So, when TNM might use a line to break up sections, if there is an embedded video, picture or tweet next to that line there will be a problem.

These are minor annoyances that can be adjusted for.

My biggest recommendation for publishers using the plug-in is to set it to manual so that you have to manually push the stories to Apple News rather than have then go automatically. This allows you to see when there are problems at the time of publisher, rather than later when you review your Apple News content.

  • Wojtek 4 months ago

    That’s odd. Sometimes I have this strange feeling that giants; like Google, Apple and so on, forget about people for whom they were created, to coexist. How many times we were rejected from App Store because Google Glass photo on our publisher’s cover or magazine’s screenshots.