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Browsing "Google"

SEO spells success, Canada finally gets it.

Jun 11, 2010   //   by freshtraffic   //   Google, SEO Expert  //  Comments Off

So Canada finally gets it, SEO I mean, they must do as CTV has covered a story about it. A guy in Ottawa has even started a club, WOW only 10 years after the rest of the world. He says

Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) can make or break your online business and personal web activities”.

What it means is how to set things up so that people can find you when they do an online search and 90% of the time that is a Google search. It is the difference between showing up on the first page of results or the 10th page.

Well I never.

He follows with “It’s website combat our there,” “You have to battle to get people to find you rather than your competition.” His top two pieces of advice: “Be sure your site is focused on your firms key facts; don’t try to do too many things so it’s easy for people to find what they need. Second, do something that is going to wow people within 30 seconds of arriving on your home page.”

Obviously he’s been reading blogs and visiting the tech shows and listen to people at search engine land and the likes, I bet he’s even bought the SEO Book.

The story finishes with the statement, Be Google-friendly as Google gives more and more weight to mentions on social sites or how many times your material is on Twitter. He says the new web world is the “Klondike gold rush of 2010, yet 95% of the people I talk to have no idea of how much search activity is passing them by.” Google has more than 200 million visitors every day.

To be honest, crap like this totally pisses me off, just another dink jumping on the bandwagon trying to promote a new marketing club, get speeches and take easy dollars.

How many people do you hear talking, blogging and writing about SEO? shitloads.

How many of these individuals or company’s actually rank on the search engines for what they do and talk about? not many. Deeeeerrrrrr!

Search engines like Google and the others are great for doing due diligence, if these so called marketing and seo experts are as good as they tell everyone, surely they will be at the top of the search engines right?

Lets see SEO World Expert

Check out Yahoo's Pulse

Jun 7, 2010   //   by freshtraffic   //   Google, internet news, microsoft, yahoo  //  Comments Off

Yahoo has been trying for months to make itself the ultimate start page for Internet users; you can already view your Facebook and Twitter feeds using Yahoo’s “Quick View” feature, but Yahoo Pulse aims to provide an improved interface and offer new kinds of integration with both Yahoo and Yahoo Mail.

Wall Street Journal reports: “A new service called Yahoo Pulse will one-up Google Buzz by offering privacy tools and integration with Facebook newsfeeds on the Yahoo home page”

Notably, Yahoo Pulse will have a privacy menu that will apply to multiple services. That feature will be an important draw for some users, given that Facebook has dealt with a big privacy backlash in recent weeks. Just don’t expect it to add completely new privacy features to your Facebook account.

The privacy angle is also important when you consider that Google — Yahoo’s chief rival — made some major privacy errors that greatly hindered the launch of Google Buzz, a very similar service. Those mistakes, and the lack of Facebook integration stopped Buzz from becoming a killer application. Pulse is Yahoo’s answer to Buzz; hopefully it learned from its Googles missteps.

The way it looks, and how it interacts with Facebook have not yet been revealed, but it’s all expected to launch within the next few days.

What’s the Package?
According to the Wall Street Journal:

“Yahoo is rebranding its Yahoo Profiles feature to be Yahoo Pulse, which is currently unavailable but expected to launch in a few days”

Pulse will eventually exist as a hub for Yahoo members, to connect with others and post information about themselves. It’ll also aggregate social network info, allowing users to browse Facebook updates for example. Yahoo plans to add other social networks in the future. These integrations will spread across most Yahoo pages, including the Yahoo home page, Yahoo Mail, News, Sports, Answers, omg!, TV, and Music.

Should Google Worry?
In short: no. It seems nothing will knock Google off its Stand. Google receives more than 50 percent more visitors than Yahoo, according to Hitwise data, and even with these few tricks to gain share — including partnering with Microsoft — it’s unlikely that it’ll come anywhere close to Google.

Now, that doesn’t mean Yahoo won’t nab a chunk of Google’s glory. Facebook recently beat Google to become the most popular site in the world. So naturally, the Facebook-Yahoo marriage can only boost usage.

What About Privacy?
Lately when you hear Facebook, you may begin questioning how much privacy you have. Yahoo came prepared for such an event: Yahoo Pulse will supposedly simplify user’s privacy settings. But, Whether or not you’ll have to adjust settings in both Yahoo and Facebook has yet to be seen.

Google – Street View in Germany

Jun 4, 2010   //   by freshtraffic   //   Google, internet news, street view  //  Comments Off

Google admitted they’ve made a mistake, they apologized, and worked with a few countries to handle and destroy the mistakenly corrected data. The biggest impasse however, is still with their collection of data in Germany.

Google was given a deadline for handing over a hard drive with the data collected, so that it could be analyzed and determined the severity of the charges; if any, are brought against Google. They even tried to stave off the deadline by using Germanys own laws against their demands, citing that to turn over the hard drive, would be breaking their laws. But, an agreement has been reached, and the data will be turned over for inspection.

Google plans to publish the results of an audit into the street view gathering practice, and made note that the erroneous code snippet which captured the data may have been a 20% time project by an employee. Their Street View code was orginally built while driving around the Stanford University campus checking for WiFi connections. Googles “20% time” block, which is basically free work time for their employees to work on projects of their own, will remain, and there are no current plans for an internal audit of current projects.

CEO Eric Schmidt said: “It would be a terrible thing to put a chilling effect on creativity”

If the code was accidentally left in, which was developed within the guidelines of the free work period for Googles employees, it may be a tiny enough loophole for the company to squeek through. I wonder how much 20% is worth these days..

Google on the move!

May 28, 2010   //   by freshtraffic   //   Google, internet news, mobile advertising  //  Comments Off

Google has been blessed by the FCC, and purchased AdMob to setup advertising for smart phones. Initially, it looked as if the FCC may try and block the purchase, as the acquisition of AdMob may have given Google to firm an upper hand, but after speaking to the other players in the industry, decided to allow the union.

There’s some real marketability soon to come for users of AdSense for mobile apps. With the format of “click-to-call” as the framework, it will make the use rather simple.

“It’s clear that mobile advertising is becoming a much larger part of our clients’ and partners’ strategies and with this acquisition, it’s now a central part of our own business,” said Susan Wojcicki, vice president of product management for Google.

Advertisers may use click-to-call ads to include a local business or national phone number directly in their ad text. Users can then click to call the business via phone.

Simple isn’t it? You write compelling ad text, pay for your shot at coming up in mobile search results much like an AdSense format, and voila! Instant business generation. How trendy are you? If you want to cover all your bases, and use both Googles mobile advertising model, and Apples version (iAd), early indications point to Apple charging upwards of $1 million for an iAd campaign. It’s your advertising dollar, how will you spend it?

Googles Pies

May 26, 2010   //   by freshtraffic   //   Google, internet news, yahoo  //  Comments Off

In an article I read some time ago, and has been debated, recycled, and somewhat scoffed over, Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz uttered the memorable words :

Google is going to have a problem because Google is only known for search…It is only half our business; it’s 99.9% of their business. They’ve got to find other things to do..

It’s a rather bold statement made from one of the most unlikely sources, but it’s been said.

Every user has their own style and use for the internet. Some where along the way, you will need to look for information. Now, whether or not you use Yahoo, Bing, or Google to perform your search, you will try and find the answers which suit you best. Google just happens to be the best at search. It’s what their business was started on, and as per Google’s President of Global Sales Operations Nikesh Arora retort to the comments:

If we are a one trick pony, we have a pretty good trick.

But just because they built their house on search, that by no means has been their only business venture. Youtube, Gmail, Adwords, cloud computing, cell technology, fibre optic technologies, are just a handful of the offerings which Google brings to the world table in terms of ventures.

It was put into perspective best perhaps, by a chart constructed by Nick Bolton of the New York Times. Looks like Google actually has more pies in the oven than Yahoo does, and who is it that needs to diversify?

Home Sweet Google?

May 21, 2010   //   by freshtraffic   //   Google, internet news, web development  //  Comments Off

On the web, there’s a fairly basic rule of survival; adapt, or disappear. It would stand to reason then, that one of the biggest names on the net, Google, could be viewed as the kings of change, as well as search. And, well.. they’re doing it again.

With more feathers in their cap than most birds have on them, Google is adding a few more tricks up it’s sleeve. Some of the bigger ideas being brought forward are their contributions and innovations into web video and television. The business model idea which Google uses, provide the a paid service, for free, has fed them well since their birth. It stands to reason that their new toys would allow the same.

The jewel making the most buzz during their conference, would have to be their own offering of a video playing software, as an alternative to the sometimes sketchy performance of Flash. The Google variant, dubbed VP8, is being provided as an open source alternative, with royalty free use, all rolled up with an open source audio platform to boot. Currently, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera support the format, but IE and Safari, do not. Flash however, can still play the content generated, a new WebM standard, so the browsers aren’t totally in the dark. Only iPhone and iPad users who won’t have the option of having Flash on their devices, will be left in the lurch.

And just because you don’t think of them enough, there’s Google TV in the works. A new set top type box from Sony HDTV’s and Blu-ray players, and Logitech set top boxes, will let you search cable, internet or satellite than a normal program guide can. It uses the Chrome web browser (Flash enabled), so it can play pretty much all video content currently available on the web, Hulu included; provided Hulu doesn’t block out the browser. Tie into that it’s powered by the Android software, and you can incorporate the apps, current and future, into your use. Is this the Google way to shake things up in the television market like they did webmail? Time will tell.

Google video, Google TV, Google cell phones, Google Google Google.. Interesting thought; Google plus WalMart teaming up to provide consumer goods..

The Google Two Step

May 20, 2010   //   by freshtraffic   //   Google, internet news  //  Comments Off

Been a rough week for Google and their Street View app they’ve been working on pushing out in Germany. After being found of having collected wi-fi data from unsecured networks (keyword being unsecured), and been given the proverbial swat on the nose with a newspaper, things are heating up back home in the USA.

Only this past Wednesday did the US government start to show signs that they’ve noticed what Germany, Ireland, France, Italy, and Ireland have been calling out about Googles data collection.

Germany wants an untouched hard drive, data intact, just to see what, and how much Google collected from the networks scanned. Big G has until May 26th to comply. France and Italy have both started their own investigations into the matter, France is reviewing the matter before proceeding and Italy wants to know the when and the why of the matter, and if any of it has been sold. Ireland has passed on the matter, being content in the fact that Google has deleted the data, destroyed the hard drives, all while under the watch of a third party, as has the U.K.’s Information Commissioner.

So now that the FTC is involved in the case back in the States, what is their stance? As from Reuters :

Both the FTC and the Justice Department are reportedly “interested in looking into the data collection”

Not exactly knock the doors down and seize what’s going on in hand. Maybe it’s more of a “let’s see if maybe this isn’t such a bad thing..” move?

Was it a mistake to collect the data? Was it on purpose and Google got caught with their hand in the cookie jar? Only they really know. I do have to admit, the most interesting point of the article to me, was how with all of the countries mentioned : Italy, Ireland, France, UK, Germany, and the US, it sure looks like home.

Fishing with Google

May 17, 2010   //   by freshtraffic   //   Google, internet news  //  Comments Off

Coding websites, debugging pages, with thousands upon thousands of lines of code is a pain staking process and it’s rather easy to miss things from time to time. In the biggest example to date of this, is Googles most recent roadblock to Street View.

Google’s Street View cars were collecting more than images and coordinates for its sophisticated GPS site. As much as 600GB of data from Wi-Fi networks — in more than 30 countries — has been snagged in Google’s fishnet.

It was picked up by the Data Protection Authority in Germany, when they asked for a sample of the wi-fi data collected by their Street View cars. Upon closer inspection of the data collected, it was found that the information collected from unsecured Wi-Fi networks did contain fragments of payload data.

Why mention debugging code? Google’s response to how this happened:

In 2006 an engineer working on an experimental WiFi project wrote a piece of code that sampled all categories of publicly broadcast WiFi data.

And long story short, it was never removed. Part of an idea, never fully finished, and never removed, was a huge cause for privacy concerns as of late for the big G.

The Street View cars were programmed to scan up to 5 different channels per second on Wi-Fi, and in order for them to actually nab data of any kind, you had to be on an open, unsecured network and actively using it. Their fix they’ve implemented now is all the Street View cars are grounded until debugged, and the data collected has been segregated and they’re working with privacy agencies on how best to handle it.

What’s next for Google? Well, Gmail was encrypted for protection earlier this year, and now next week; they’re going to try out encrypted Google searches. Time for another roller coaster ride on the SERPs!

Morning Coffee

May 11, 2010   //   by freshtraffic   //   Google, internet, online marketing, search engine optimization  //  Comments Off

M – “I started dating this girl, and I want to Google her because she said she’s done some modelling, what do you think?”
W – “You could check Facebook first and see if she’s on there, and what her friends are like.”
M – “Yeah, that’s a good idea I guess. My boss was asking me today if we should try search engine optimization on our site.”
W – “We’ve been looking at it too, the web guys are trying to decide who we should talk to about it, or just do it ourselves.”

A very generic, not so surprising conversation today, but what if you heard it 6+ years ago? You’d have thought they were nuts, and using language and words that had no meaning or bearing on the world today. Google. Facebook, search engine optimization, all everyday terms in normal conversation between two people buying coffee in the morning.

The internet has become so entwined in our everyday lives, that it would be completely strange, to not talk about using it in some way or another in our day to day. In the conversation above, two references to online marketing were used within the span of a few seconds of conversation. Don’t see it? Googling a persons name just to see if they come up, and a brief conversation about how their business is contemplating the use of search engine optimization for their website.

Social media, Google, SEO.. they’re not passing trends. They’re not fly by night, and they’re not going to disappear or magically stop working. They are topics which get discussed over the morning coffee run by the interns. The choice you need to make as a user, or business, will you have the tools work for you, or against you.

NEW Google!! (not really)

May 7, 2010   //   by freshtraffic   //   Google, internet, internet news  //  Comments Off

So Google has gone and changed the game a bit again. This time, they’ve changed the look and feel of the results page. In the last couple of days there’s been a blog here, a comment there, how Google “must have been scared” or “taking a page from Bing”. To see and read such comments, actually made me shake my head.

Jon Wiley, Senior User Experience Designer

“We’ve been creating mocks of left-hand panels since the earliest days of Google and have tested these designs with users as far back as 2006.”

In 2006, Google threw a number of changes in the user experience at Googlers, such as search within search (refine your search), left hand nav bar that has been part of the search site since May ’09 (just closed by default), and by trying an option to remove a result from your (personal) results.

No just in relation to the left hand nav bar, it changed a fair amount from design to implementation. Greatly cleaned up to make it easier to use, and persistently open on your results page to help you sort and find what’s relevant to you as a user. It’s just been about helping you find, what you want. As quickly, efficiently, and painlessly as possible.

There have been other changes as well, although they’re more on the aesthetic side of the spectrum. The logo has been flattened, and lightened in color, and the footer has followed suit. The internet is in a constant state of change, and when you try and remain motionless, changeless, and don’t adapt to it, you’ll be lost in the hundreds of millions of pages available. Google, has always tried to bring something new, useful, or sometimes just pleasantly looking to it’s users. For your viewing/nostalgic enjoyment, you’ll find a couple of examples below.

Blue Homepage Self explanatory

Universal bars “This design emphasizes different types of results with labeled blocks in the main results pane, such as books, news and shopping.”

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