Global Tags not being picked up.

Hi there. My site is based on the work of an author (Charles Dickens) and I have split his works into individual sites as things got a bit too big. I use 'posts' for quotations from this author (and 'pages' for alll other content) so I like the global site tag feature to bring all the tags from all the sites posts (i.e. quotations) together (which you can see at http://thecircumlocutionoffice.com/tags/).

However i've gradually noticed that some tags are not being picked up from the multi-sites. They are being indexed as they can appear in some categories but not in others. An example is http://littledorrit.thecircumlocutionoffice.com/through-the-heart-of-the-town-a-deadly-sewer-ebbed/ which has three tags associated with it but the London tag is not being picked up by the global tags widget. In fact none of the London tags on this subsite are. Another example is my Oliver Twist subsite (http://olivertwist.thecircumlocutionoffice.com/) which has a number of tags to do with Poverty (and also London) but which arent being picked up wheras other tags are. It doesnt seem to be confined to any particular tags (although London and Bureaucracy seem to be noticeable for not being picked up) and it doesnt seem to be confined to any particular sub-site. The post indexer plugin is woking fine and updating as soon as I make changes. Any ideas or help please?! Thank you, Kevin Frost (http://thecircumlocutionoffice.com/).

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hello CircumlocutionOffice,

    I hope you're well today and than you for your question!

    I'd like to make sure that we're on the same side here, I hope you don't mind that.

    I've visited your "tag cloud" and I saw some tags there, including aforementioned "London". After I clicked on "London" tag, I was presented with a list of three articles none of which seemed to be a part of any sub-site.

    It looks to me like although tags got indexed across your network, the either the tag cloud you're using on your tag page is not global or the plugin is malfunctioning. Is that correct?

    Would you mind me taking a closer look at you setup? To do this, I'd need to access it via our WPMU DEV Dashboard plugin. You may grant me a support access by following this guide:

    https://premium.wpmudev.org/manuals/wpmu-dev-dashboard-enabling-staff-login/

    Best regards,
    Adam

  • Predrag Dubajic

    Hi CircumlocutionOffice,

    I can see London tag displayed on your tag page, however global site tags currently has limit to show only 50 tags.

    Can you try downloading attached file, unzip it and place it in your wp-content/plugins/global-site-tags/ folder overwriting the old files.

    After that go to Settings > Network Settings in your network admin section and increase the value for Tags Shown option.

    Let us know if all tags are being picked up after that or if you need to increase this value even more.

    Best regards,
    Predrag

  • CircumlocutionOffice

    Hi Predrag,
    Thanks for doing that and it helps to pick up more tags by type but that isn't the actual problem as it seems to be the number of times that a tag is appearing that its not picking up correctly for some tags.

    For example, going back to the London tag it appears 3 times on the main site (http://thecircumlocutionoffice.com/). It also is tagged to 3 posts on the Little Dorrit site (http://littledorrit.thecircumlocutionoffice.com/), 2 times on posts in Great Expectations site (greatexpectations. subdomain), 3 times on posts in the Oliver Twist site (olivertwist. subdomain), 3 times on posts in the Sketches by Boz (sketchesbyboz. subdomain) etc. Only the three on the main site show up and none of the other 11 instances for example are being indexed by the global tags function.

    Its not just the London tag. The Bureaucracy tag appears five times in the Bleak House site (bleakhouse. subdomain) but again the tag cloud is only picking up those that have been posted on the main site (http://thecircumlocutionoffice.com/). As i write this I've just noticed the Poverty tag appears 3 times in the SketchesbyBoz site and 5 times in the Oliver Twist site but again isn't being picked up by the tag cloud (which is only picking up the three times it is used in posts on the main site).

    The plugin is indexing the posts ok because where a post might have two or three tags it is picking up some of them but not all. As i said in my support ticket an example is http://littledorrit.thecircumlocutionoffice.com/through-the-heart-of-the-town-a-deadly-sewer-ebbed/ which has three tags associated with it but the London tag is not being picked up but the other two are.

    I was wondering is there a limit to the amount of tags (by number rather than by taxonomy) it uses to calculate the tag cloud? I have 221 posts across all sites and about 60 tag types (taxonomies) but each of these posts can have multiple tags so potentially a few hundred instances to calculate the mathematics involved to do a tag cloud. The second reason i was wondering is that where there are tagged posts on the main site (http://thecircumlocutionoffice.com/) is it indexing those tags and then not continuing to index sub-sites as the problems I have seen in the three tags above are where it has only shown posts on the main site with those tags and then missed the others?

    NB. When Adam said in his reply 'After I clicked on "London" tag, I was presented with a list of three articles none of which seemed to be a part of any sub-site.' - these three belong to the main site which also has quotations/posts that do not fall into any of the sub sites so it isn't an error by the plugin. They should be picked up as well as those on all the other sites.

    Thank you.

  • CircumlocutionOffice

    I've been testing various tags today to see if i can solve the problem. I added a new Tag taxonomy which was added to posts in two of the sub-sites. Both were picked up by the global tag plugin. I then published two test posts with the Tag 'London' and 'Poverty' (because they don't seem to be being picked up). Neither were picked up by the global tag cloud. So the problem appears to be certain tags are not being picked up across the sites (only from the first main site) but others are. At the moment i've identified at least three tags that are doing this as mentioned above (London, Bureaucracy and Poverty). Hope that is of help.

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hello CircumlocutionOffice,

    Thank you for sharing that analysis with us, that's very helpful.

    I've accessed your site again and investigated it a bit more. I've also checked the Global Site Tags code (version provided by Predrag in this thread) and I'm beginning to think that there's a coincidence of two related issues here. Let me explain please :slight_smile:

    In order for Global Site Tags to work, the Post Indexer plugin must be up and running. It is "harvesting" posts around the Multisite network and storing results in its own database tables.

    I'll stick to "Little Dorrit" site and "London" tag, if you don't mind.

    According to Post Indexer stats all the posts from that site has been indexed already. Three of them include "London" tag. It's not much important however at this stage whether the "London" tag is there or not because it also appears on other site. Let me now switch to "Global Site Tags".

    This plugin checks stored results that were fetched by Post Indexer and displays the tag cloud. The "math" is indeed quite simple: basically all the occurrences of particular tag are counted and then the list is sorted by the number of occurrences and displayed on the page. The number of displayed tags is limited (in plugin's settings). Therefore if there's e.g. 300 tags but the "Tags Shown" value is set to "150" then only the 150 most often appearing tags will be shown.

    Regardless whether the "London" tag is used on "Little Dorrit" site or not, it's shown in tag cloud because it occurs enough times across the network to be included in the list.

    Thus, we've got the first issue (I'll refer to it later as "#1 issue":wink:: some tags - and as a result posts tagged with them - may never be reachable via Global Site Tags tag cloud because they'll never appear on a tag Global Site Tags tag list.

    Assuming however that the tag shows up on a list, clicking on it should bring all the posts that are tagged with it, regardless on what site of the network these posts are. In case of some tags this works and in case of others it doesn't. The "London" tag is one of them. It appears three times on main site and three times on "Little Dorrit" site, yet only the main site's posts are listed. Even though some posts from "Little Dorrit" tagged with other tags do show up.

    This brings me to the second issue (#2): it's not necessarily that the tags aren't pick up but rather that either the post listing code for specified tag doesn't work quite as expected or the site weren't actually properly indexed by Post Indexer and Post Indexer tables lack some taxonomy associations.

    In my opinion to make it all work flawlessly we'd need to solve both issues.

    Issue #1 can be addressed easily by setting "Tags Shown" option for "Global Site Tags" plugin to the value equal to or greater than the total number of unique tags in your network. For example, if there's 300 unique tags (the number of occurrences, which may be e.g. 1500 in total, of these tags doesn't matter here) the "Tags Shown" option should be set to 300 or more.

    Issue #2 bothers me much more here as I'm still not sure whether its Global Site Tags or Post Indexer that's malfunctioning.

    Having said that, I'd like to take a closer look at your database. If you feel familiar and comfortable with phpMyAdmin, you could use it to export Post Indexer tables (both structure and data) from your site's database to the file and then share this file with me here.

    The tables I'm interested in are all tables that start with "wp_network_":

    - wp_network_log
    - wp_network_postmeta
    - wp_network_posts
    - wp_network_rebuildqueue
    - wp_network_terms
    - wp_network_term_relationships
    - wp_network_term_taxonomy

    Please note that I used default "wp_" prefix here but your installation may be using other one if you changed it during Multisite WP installation.

    In case you wouldn't want to risk playing with the database yourself, please send in:

    Subject: "Attn: Adam Czajczyk"

    - your site's WordPress admin login URL
    - admin login and password (may be a temporary account)
    - FTP credentials (hostname, username, password, port number if needed)
    - any other relevant URLs and information
    - link back to this thread

    Please use our contact form here https://premium.wpmudev.org/contact/.
    Select "I have a different question" from the drop-down list.

    Please be sure to make a full backup of your entire site first and let me know here after you sent the message.

    Best regards,
    Adam

  • CircumlocutionOffice

    Thanks Adam for your comprehensive reply. I will get back to you on the tables once i have done a backup. I just had a quick look in my database at the wp_network tables you mentioned and noticed something. In the table wp_network_terms there is a field called 'term_group'. Almost all the tags have the value 0 in the table apart from 7 different tags which have the value 1. These tags with the value 1 look like the ones that are causing the problem and are only indexing the main site (they include the three i've mentioned before and i just checked one of the new ones and it is also doing the same). As i said give me a few hous to do a backup and get the tables to you. Thanks again.

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hello Kevin,

    Thanks for taking time to create these database exports. I admit however that you finding about "term_group" seems really promising here! I checked your site and I think I can confirm that these are the tags that don't work as expected.

    The "term_group" is a core WP "feature" that's meant to allow developers create "groups" (or rather "aliases") of tags. The tags grouped in the same group should basically act as the same single tag so e.g. "London" = "Poverty" = "Weather" in case of your database.

    I must say that I've never used that feature (on purpose) before and I'm not quite sure what's the reason for this being used in Post Indexer but I'm thinking of a little experiment that may shed some light on this. Since you seem to be comfortable working with database I think you may want to update "term_group" value for all those tags that got it set to "1" and change it to "0" (so it would be the same as for all other tags).

    I've got a feeling (hopefully the right one) that this may affect the issue here. Could you give it a try please?

    Fortunately, that's fully reversible operation so in case it didn't help (or worse) you may set them back to "1" and all should be back to the same state as it currently is.

    That said, I'll ask plugin developer about the meaning/usage of "term_group" here but please note that he's extremely busy with some other complex issues and he's response time may be a bit longer than mine here on support forum.

    Yet, if you would be so kind and give it a go meanwhile, it would be great. Please let me know if it worked.

    Best regards,
    Adam

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hey Kevin,

    I'm really happy that it's working now. Your finding definitely speed fixing it up and pointed me in a right direction so thanks for this.

    I'll keep investigating that though and hopefully will come up at least with the reason why this happened in the first place. If necessary, we'll implement fixes with one of the nearest Post Indexer (as it's definitely caused by Post Indexer) releases.

    That said, I hope it will work for you from now on but in case it happened again, please let me know here!

    Best regards,
    Adam

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