I've never been able to get Readability-the-app to work on most sites. It seems far less useful than the original bookmarklet. I also don't want to send things to my "Reading List" or my imaginary Kindle.
You might enjoy this "position:fixed fixer" bookmarklet I wrote, it just sets all elements with position:fixed to position:static. In 99% of the cases this does exactly what is needed to improve the page, without even having to manually click or select the elements.
I have it named "fix", so I can just type "fix" in the address bar and it applies to the current page. It's lovely, all those floating fixed elements just disappear (possibly somewhere to the bottom of the page) and you get your screen estate back.
edit: I just see a bunch of others also made bookmarklets to remove elements, so I added a bit more description as to why mine is different. Setting all position:fixed elements to position:static really does seem to do exactly what you want in one fell swoop, in 99% of the cases.
"But also nearly cripple a site's functionality aside from static content pages.
It is pretty refreshing to load a page and have it usable within fractions of a second, instead of it having to go and fetch an untold number of external scripts, initialize and create the widgets and objects, etc. Not to mention that sites with auto-play A/V are prevented from blaring at you without your permission.
Ads can't be effective, if you'd made a product that was better than what I use, and specifically targeted at me, via magic(?), I'd already know about it because I would have read a review. Ads are just lies. But the question was about popups asking you to sign up, do a survey, etc. I already block ads.
I think websites in general are getting away with bloat overall. Ever since I started using noscript I've gotten increasingly annoyed by how every site seems to wanna run scripts from at least 3-4 sources that I know aren't essential to my experience on the actual site. Some sites have upwards of 15 sources and I have to wade through them to allow the content servers, etc..
Extensions like Readability and Clearly let you read just the main content on the page. It would be nice if they had an option to automatically load pages like in that mode. Besides avoiding all the clutter websites put, the pages would also load faster that way.
I'm pretty sure readability routes web pages through their service to strip them down to the main content, and restyle them. Since this processing isn't done on your machine, it would probably be slower than loading the original page. Also, a company would never invite the amount of traffic such a feature would incur.
Well, the aforementioned extension is by Google, they just took the functionality out of Google Search and put it into an extension because it was easier to maintain for the number of users that used it.
Interestingly, they used to just blur their text with effect, and the actual text was available in the source. I am not certain what prompted the change, but they now screenshot the text, blur it, and put the screenshot (!) in the page, preventing view source snooping.
Since that started, I stopped reading Quora entirely and I always avoid their links. Occasionally there is some great content I can't find elsewhere, and I won't sign up to a service that is so abusive. This is a great trick. Thanks.
Only if they're serving up a different page to Google so that it can index that text. If Googlebot gets the same HTML someone clicking on the search result would get, your site can be as user-unfriendly as you want.
That was when I cancelled my account: they're doing this because someone decided it would be profitable. I don't want to subsidize an unethical business with my content or help them by viewing ads or sharing their pages. This has yet to be a problem in any way: the amount of “must-read” Quora content has remained zero.
Obscuring content to non-bot users is still cloaking, I believe. Google's goal is to mimic a human user clicking through links and if the experience the bot gets is markedly different than others, that's a problem.
"Cloaking is essentially serving different content to users than Googlebot".
I'm a user who cannot view Quora content that Googlebot has indexed even though it was a result Google said matched my query. This result is therefore unusable without modifying the URL or signing in. That is the definition of different content, HTML/CSS/JS or other semantics be damned, and a poor user experience. And that's something Google is allegedly trying to avoid.
The Matt Cutts video also talks about mobile user experiences. If I worked for Quora, I'd pay close attention as I cannot view the site at all without getting their mobile app even though, again, Google said "you should check out this Quora link for this query".
•Using white text on a white background
•Locating text behind an image
•Using CSS to position text off-screen
•Setting the font size to 0
•Hiding a link by only linking one small character—for example,
a hyphen in the middle of a paragraph
When evaluating your site to see if it includes hidden text or links,
look for anything that's not easily viewable by visitors of your site.
Are any text or links there solely for search engines rather than
From that enumeration none seems to apply. There is an image with blurred text, but no bad SEO practice to game a search engine bot.
You're right about the pages still appearing with high ranks on specific queries, but on the other hand I attribute it more to Google bombing than page relevance. At least I'm pretty sure Googlebot finds nothing to read on Quora, so the effect must be due to incoming links.
Since Googlebot will dutifully obey canonical, we now have link-bait to the original question with obscured content instead of the non-obscured answers. Again, this is gaming the system. You may disagree, and Quora may as well, regardless that's what's happening.
Edit: Link to webmaster guidelines on rel="canonical" :
Adding this link and attribute lets site owners identify sets of identical
content and suggest to Google: "Of all these pages with identical content,
this page is the most useful. Please prioritize it in search results."
Quora is gaming the system. Period. I won't pursue this point any further.
I've just tested and I don't see any image, the html is right there and just clicking will make the lightbox go away. I never see it anyway cause I'm signed in but I tried in incognito mode and it was fine. Not sure why there's so much misinformation and hate on HN when it comes to quora.
I clicked on this link and clicking outside of the lightbox anywhere on this page makes the blurred image disappear. Tried on both firefox and chrome in incognito mode so signed off. Did you try to click anywhere on the page?
I still feel that Quora should promptly go die in a fire, Google should de-rank them, Stack Overflow should supersede them, and users should abandon them for the good of the internet, but what do I know.
Having written enough on both to know them reasonably well (4 gold medals on SO, Top Writer on Quora), I like Quora much better as a platform. The community design is much better on Quora, I think the UI is more appealing, and I don't have to worry about insane moderators nuking valuable content because it doesn't fit their personal agendas for the site.
My only real objection to Quora is that they make it so hard to share content. I think the walled garden thing is just wrong; I (and many other Top Writers) haven't been shy about telling them that, either. I hope they will eventually come around.
Agreed. There is some great content there, but its just such a shame it is hidden by a wall of frustration. SO/SE seems to have it pretty much nailed, but I guess Quora wanted to monetize quickly... to the detriment of its users.
Another good one is simply to load the google cache. Often these sites want to turn up in search results, so they allow the googlebot to see the content, and then show the user a paywall. Obviously this means the full content ends up in the cache. This works for the Financial Times, and probably many other such places.
Nope. Even if this promise were to hold true, I have no intention of supporting such scammy tactics as content cloaking (which I would by implicitly supporting the company which engages in them, thus validating it).
Rather than that I have trained myself to never click on Quora links. I never understood why they became popular in the first place but then they went and thought forcing people to register to view pages is somehow needed for success on a Q&A site.
Jesus H. the lengths people go through not to register a throwaway astounds me.
"How to get into a library without having to fill out a registration form" where the library doesn't care what you write in it, including Dicky McDick.
Honestly. Just register under some kind of pseudo. The sense of entitlement here... why do you think people write great answers there?
You're taking for granted the resource - which wouldn't exist if Quora didn't create and encourage a platform - and want to not give back to an uttely inane extent: even the idea of registering a pseudonym is abhorrent to you.
> why do you think people write great answers there?
Well, I certainly don't think it has anything to do with the fact that they require registration. People write great content on 4chan.
> Jesus H. the lengths people go through not to register a throwaway astounds me.
Have you ever actually been to Quora? The registration modal doesn't even give you the offer to register with a pseudonym that you so casually throw out. You get smacked in the face when you go to the site with a demand to link to your (real-name required) Google or Facebook accounts before you can so much as read 'their' precious content. To sign up with just an email address (that you then have to verify, which automatically opts you in to literally over 30 different 'newsletters' and notifications and other bits of spam that you have to manually opt out of individually). It certainly isn't just "type something into this form to shut up" as you suggest.
You are attacking a straw man argument. The problem lies not with registration, but with purposeful degradation of content a la expertsexchange, for the purpose of _forcing_ registration just for viewing. I'm _not_ interested in registering into every walled garden out there on the Internet, just for the purpose of reading a result of a web search.
(All right all right, you can do the "but it's technically not content cloaking" quora astroturf dance now; but you know the saying: if it walks like duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck...)
- They blur their answers for non-registered users. They're wasting my time when I think I find what I'm looking for only to find a blurred image. Just tell Google you don't want to be indexed if you don't want to share the content.
- You can't use their website without using your real name. They're really persistent in this. A pseudonym won't do, they'll ask you to identify yourself with a scan of your ID before they let you participate. It's ridiculous.
They are blurring the answers. If you search for something and end up on quora, it can get a bit frustrating , due to the fact, that you can't read the answers and are forced to sign up. That's just rude.