Guest blogging for SEO gets the boot

Guest blogging for links and pay is big money business – illegitimate business.  Matt Cutts heads Google’s spam team and gives those using guest blogging for SEO purposes a boot in the butt. He approved 423 comments in response and the majority are from whiny protesters and nit-pickers who didn’t like his reality check. Continue reading

Google fails to render correctly in IE11 on Windows 8.1, disabling Compatibility View is a temporary solution – The Next Web

Users who have upgraded to Windows 8.1 are reporting that Google.com doesn’t render correctly in Internet Explorer 11.

In IE11, click on Tools and choose Compatibility View Settings. Uncheck “Use Microsoft Compatibility lists” and Google’s search engine should work again. via Google fails to render correctly in IE11 on Windows 8.1, disabling Compatibility View is a temporary solution – The Next Web.

Category and Tags Descriptions and SEO

question marksSEO is a hot topic these days. How do you increase your Google page rank? How do you build a better site for readers and search engines? Go to your Google Webmaster’s Account and look for duplicate meta descriptions errors and duplicate title tags errors. Here’s how to correct some and prevent more errors.

Continue reading

Weekend Blogging Reads and Resources

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I know it’s not Friday when I usually publish this weekly feature but I can do more reading so why wait? Happy reading!

Five Things You Should Not Do On Your Home Page – Most people immediately press X button on their browsers after seeing cluttered home pages. If you want to avoid it, here are few things that you should not to do on your home page. Continue reading

Google and Data After Death

globe, boxes, computer mouseMany sites make it very difficult for anyone other than the account holder to access accounts and that can create problems for your Executor and Beneficiaries unless you plan in advance.

Have you taken steps for the disposition of Your digital assets after death?

  • Created a secure list of digital assets?
  • Designated heirs and a Digital Executor?
  • Decided which assets are transferred to heirs and which are deleted?
  • Legally protected your digital assets? Continue reading

Weekend Blogging Reads and Resources

weekend readingI had a productive and satisfying week and hope you did too. I kept to my schedule. I completed my month end contracted work 2 days in advance of the deadline. I used that time to clean up my computer files on all 3 computers preparatory to the big computer switch over, which was scheduled and cancelled once again. Being on call for the 3 computer switch over is nerve wracking because it means they must be ready to be carted off at a moment’s notice. Continue reading

Feedburner on the Rocks?

On July 26th of this year, Feedburner had made a decision to shut down its Twitter account, an account that it had not posted to in over a year. That same day, they also announced that they were shutting down their AdSense For Feeds blog, a blog that they hadn’t posted anything to since October 2010. —  via Feedburner – Is The Sky Really Falling? Continue reading

Top 5 Site Title Tag Tips

title tag Are you blogging and thinking ‘build it and they will come’? If you are, then put on your thinking cap and think again. We all want our blogs to receive search engine attention so they attract incoming targeted readers. It’s site title tags that tell search engines and their users you have the welcome mat out. Continue reading

Reposting content from other sites

In one ear we hear that to increase reach cross-posting a blog post or update on a number of other sites and social media platforms will lead to success. In the other we hear cross-posting too many automated links will class us as spammers. In this post you can view Matt Cutts of Google in a video where he answers a cross-posting question. Continue reading

Revisiting Keywords and Tags

google magnifying glass Search engines detect and use keywords when indexing your posts and each tag has a unique descriptive keyword term – permalink. Theoretically assigning relevent Tags/Categories to posts helps potential readers locate relevant content in search results, and increases the odds your content will be found by new readers. Continue reading

Facebook, Google, Yahoo and India’s Laws

India, the world’s largest democracy is the third country after Brazil and Germany  expecting that Twitter,  Facebook and Google will block objectionable content or Government will take action on it.  Indian regulations oblige Internet companies to remove material that is “grossly harmful” or “ethnically objectionable”.  Some web giants may be allegedly committing the offence punishable under section 292 (sale of obscene books etc), 293 (sale of obscene objects to young person etc) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC. Continue reading

12 Tips for Improving Search Queries Ranking Position

google magnifying glass Google announced, “starting today,  we’re updating our Top Search Queries feature to make it better match expectations about search engine rankings.  The new definition will take the average of the top ranking of your site for all searchers, as opposed to all URLs listed and average that. In the past, they would take all the positions of your rankings and average them together, now they are taking only the top positions.” — Google Changes Definition Of Average Search Ranking Position. Continue reading

Google Search is all over Your World

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If you are concerned about your privacy and what your online “friends” may have shared about you that wasn’t appearing in simple searches before, then take note of Google Search, plus Your World is being been rolled out for people who are signed in and searching on www.google.com in English.

We’re transforming Google into a search engine that understands not only content, but also people and relationships. We began this transformation with Social Search, and today we’re taking another big step in this direction by introducing three new features: Continue reading

YouTube gets a makeover

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

On December 1, 2011 YouTube got a makeover inluding  a new homepage, Channel design and a fresh coat of digital paint. Here are three ways these updates aim to improve your YouTube experience:

1.  A new homepage – You can now create your own, personal, customizable YouTube Channel line-up,  customize your homepage’s feed; even link your YouTube account to Google+ and Facebook.

2.  Simpler, customizable Channels – There’s a new Channel design and now there are four new Channel templates too.

3.  A new overall design –  Feedback  on the  experimental design called Cosmic Panda insulted in a cleaner and simpler design, with a consistent gray background, bigger video thumbnails and a more streamlined watch page.

Get More Into YouTube

Discussion:

What do you think about these new features? Have they improved your YouTube experience?

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Brief Updates for Google Plus Watchers

lowercase "g"

“Of course I know that it’s important not to waste your time. So the following list of things that you should be doing on Google+ will keep you both productive and effective, not just entertained.”  Read  10 Productive Tasks You Should Be Doing On Google+ Right Now.

“What if from the outset, Google+ was never supposed to simply be a competitor to Facebook? What if Google wasn’t bringing the fight to Palo Alto, swords drawn and ready to take them on. No no, Google’s vision was much, much bigger than that, and it comes down to one thing. Advertising.”  Read  Google+ Was Never a Facebook Competitor

Related post: Facebook or Google Plus?

Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Raising awareness of cross-domain URL selections

Now Google will alert you if  they canonicalize your URLs to a different domain.

To be transparent about cross-domain URL selection decisions, we’re launching new Webmaster Tools messages that will attempt to notify webmasters when our algorithms select an external URL instead of one from their website. The details about how these messages work are in our Help Center article about the topic  via  Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: Raising awareness of cross-domain URL selections.

Related posts found in this blog:
Can Google detect which content is original?
Duplicate Content in the SERPs Sucks!

Facebook or Google Plus?

google plus iconIf you are a regular reader of this blog then you are well aware of my antipathy when it comes to Facebook. However, I have been considering joining Google Plus. For the last month I have been reading all I could find on both so I had some information upon which to make an informed decision. Below are excerpts from some articles I would like to share. What I’m looking for now is feedback from those readers who do have a Google Plus account. Continue reading

Google+ added to Google Social Search

google button Today, Google began adding Public Google+ Posts to Google Social Search.

Remember, to experience this updated feature, you’ll need to be on Google+ and also make sure that you’re logged into your Google Account when you search. In addition, only public posts on Google+ are visible in search results. Private posts on Google+ aren’t.

To learn more, check out our help center. May your searching be tasty!   The latest update to Google Social Search: Public Google+ Posts

Bottom line: Google Social Search continues to operate as before. Things shared socially at places like Twitter and Facebook by those you’re connected with may appear with annotations and rank better in results.  The main difference is, as Google’s post says, is that things you share on Google+ itself are now part of the mix. — Google+ Public Posts Coming To Google’s Social Search Results

Google+ has been on quite a ride in its first 6 weeks of existence. It obtained 10 million users in just two weeks and is now said to have over 20 million users. The overall reaction has been positive, but since the platform is currently invitation-only, the early adopters have mostly been the tech savvy crowd. Google+ Makes Splash in Social Sector, But Will It Last? Social media and search leaders react to Google+

Related posts found in this blog:
Google + The Next Big Thing in Social Networking
Google Search Changes and Search Approaches

Google + The Next Big Thing in Social Networking

google buttonBy Guest author  XanthusKidd

Google Plus has a very clean looking interface that’s not entirely dissimilar to Facebook. It keeps the new Google toolbar that is normally displayed on Google’s search site at the top of the screen, but changes the icons around to give you access to more collaborative items (Gmail, Calendar, Documents, etc.).

Google+ Contacts and Circles

One of the major changes from Facebook consists of the way that G+ handles your contacts. In Facebook, you only have the option to add people as “Friends.” Once you’ve done that, you can group them and play with settings, but it’s quite complicated and easy to miss the minute details. In G+ you add people to circles, and whenever you post anything, you choose which circles see the info. It’s incredibly easy and very smooth. Much of G+ is drag-and-drop capable, so the interface is very easy to use.

Your Google +  WebPage

When you first open G+ after creating your profile, you are greeted by a three column webpage, like Facebook. The far left column displays your profile picture and name, your various “Stream” options, your “Sparks,” and the chat dialog box.

  • A “Stream” is like a news feed in Facebook. It shows all of the posts from the people in that circle. You can specify what you see in your main feed by narrowing the feed down to different circles.
  •  A “Spark” is an interest of yours. When you want to be kept up to date on something on the web, merely search for that term in the sparks search bar and add it to your interests. You will be notified whenever anything new is posted on that topic.

The center column is much like Facebook’s “News” column; this is your main stream. At the top of this column resides the option to “Share what’s new…” via text, photo, video, or link.

  • The status box is very similar to Facebook, and gives all of the same options, although there are some improvements. The link option is the most noticeable change. If you post many links, you will like this option. Not only can you choose what picture it pulls from the website, you can remove the summary statement as well. The photos and videos buttons give you the option to drag-n-drop to create an album, and the video button allows you to post YouTube videos. You can also share photos directly from your phone, using your PC, if you have an Android phone.

The right column shows the people in your circles, suggestions of people you might know, the “Hangout” option, and some other options from Google.

  • The “Hangout” option is, while not revolutionary, a very solid and nicely put together option. You can text chat, video chat, watch YouTube videos simultaneously, and host and participate in video conferencing. One of the convenient, and slightly amusing, features of G+’s video conferencing is the option to mute individual people.

Your profile on G+ provides all of the standard options, plus the ability to link accounts from Facebook, Yahoo, Flikr, and others. You can also modify each aspect of your profile to set which circles can see what. You can change the visibility of tabs (such as your photos and videos) and allow only certain people to see them. That infamous +1 button that’s popped up everywhere on the internet is finally showing its worth. Everything that you’ve +1’d shows up on your profile under the +1 tab.

Google + Photo Album Feature

The photo album feature in G+ is greatly improved from Facebook’s. If you have used Google Picasa then you will be familiar with the album view option in G+. It shows one main photo with all of the others down at the bottom of the screen, allowing you to browse an album easily without constantly exiting the photo viewer.

Google + Notifications and Takeout systems

The last features that I’ll cover are the Notifications and Takeout systems. The notification box in the top right corner of your screen shows a number that corresponds to however many new notifications you have. When you click on it, it opens a drop down box in which you can read and respond to the notifications. You also have the option of opening all of your notifications on one page.
The Takeout feature is a backup system for your account. It allows you to download all of your data as a zip file and store it in case anything ever happens to your Google account.

Google + Performance

Right now, G+ is very fast and seems to be quite stable. The best option seems to be using it with Google Chrome, although I haven’t had any problems with Firefox 5. My main browser is Opera, and there are quite a few glitches and unusable features (namely notifications and drag-n-drop.)

Google +  My Take on the Future

I think that Google Plus has a very good chance of becoming the next big thing. If Google plays their advertising right, and markets towards the younger crowd, I think that they will have a viable and strong social networking community. The main features missing right now are the options for business and website accounts, like Facebook’s Pages. If Google builds those in, I think they can compete quite well with Facebook.

Hold on Facebook, you’re in for a fight; there’s a new kid on the block, and he’s cool.

Related post found in this blog:
Google +1 Buttons for Bloggers

Visit XanthusKidd’s two blogs:
XanthusKidd – A Recreational Read
Squared Away – The Comic!

Google Search Changes and Search Approaches

Google search magnifying glassI use Google search almost every day and many times every day. I use it when I answer WordPress.com support forum questions. I use it when I’m doing research for my contracted work. I also use it when I’m researching material for blog posts I intend to create.

Have you noticed the new preview style on the Google search page and the new Google sticky search bar? I have and like both. What do you think? Is it helpful or not helpful?

The search bar on the results page is stuck to the top of the page, all the way down. Also, page preview is a little different – the button appears to the side of the result text preview instead of to the side of the result webpage name. The site also doesn’t pop up the preview when you simply click something inside the text, you have to hover over the magnifying glass icon.

New Google Homepage Design with Sticky Search Bar

Top 10 Alternative Ways to Search Google: There’s more than one way to use the leading search engine

Have you seen the excellent slide show By Jared Newman , PCWorld? If not then I recommend it.  You are bound to be surprised at some of the inclusions.

GPlussearch

Related posts found in this blog:
Blogging Basics: Becoming a Webmaster
Blogging Resources: Search Engines

Google Chromebook in the Cloud

chromebookGoogle announced Chromebooks  and they became available on June 15 in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany,  Netherlands, Italy and Spain.  Chromebooks which come in Acer and Samsung models,   are  a barebones computer that runs Google Chrome OS.  Chromebooks are built and optimized for the web, so you get a faster, simpler and more secure experience without all the headaches of ordinary computers.  Chromebooks boot in 8 seconds and with long battery life, they can work an entire day on a single charge.
Continue reading

Google +1 Buttons for Bloggers

Google search introduced the +1 button for search results. Google figures  integration of +1’s in search results will make it an attractive option to bloggers (publishers) to gain more traffic when their visitors start “+1ing” content.  Now you can add the button to your site using a simple JavaScript code, just like the buttons for offered by Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and LinkedIn.  As +1 voting buttons are JavaScript WordPress.com Staff have provided a means for including them in our sharing options.

goggle+1“In order to +1 things, you first need a public Google profile. This helps people see who recommended that tasty recipe or great campsite. When you create a profile, it’s visible to anyone and connections with your email address can easily find it.

Your +1’s are stored in a new tab on your Google profile. You can show your +1’s tab to the world, or keep it private and just use it to personally manage the ever-expanding record of things you love around the web.

Adding +1 buttons to your pages is a great way to help your content stand out in Google search. By giving your visitors more chances to +1 your pages, your search results and search ads could show up with +1 annotations more often, helping users see when your pages are most likely to be useful. — Add Plus 1 to your site See also: +1 Button Announcement

At this half way point in the year we can rest assured that changes and developments in search and social media are far from over.

Google Opens Wallet and PayPal Sues Google

google walletGoogle Unveils Wallet And Offers: An Open Platform For Mobile Payments. Google Wallet will work with Mastercard Paypass. This means right now 300,000 merchants around the world and 120,000 in the U.S. are technically ready (though it’s not rolling out everywhere yet). It will initially work with “Gcard” a Google pre-paid card set up by Mastercard. The initial trials will be in San Francisco and New York and will expand nationally in the coming months.

via Google Unveils Wallet And Offers: An Open Platform For Mobile Payments.

Shortly after Google announced its new mobile wallet for Android phones today, Paypal [and parent eBay] filed a lawsuit against Google and two former PayPal executives who now are in charge of mobile payments at Google (Osama Bedier and Stephanie Tilenius).  The complaint  alleges “misappropriation of trade secrets, and “breach of fiduciary duty.”

via PayPal Lawsuit Against Google Reveals Recruiting Saga And A Deal Gone Sour.

Spending time in courtrooms is generally not our thing. We prefer to compete and innovate, serving our customers by offering the best way to pay and be paid. That’s how you really win. But sometimes the behaviors of people and competitors make legal action the only meaningful way for a company to protect one of its most valuable assets – its trade secrets. …  You can read the entire lawsuit  via PayPal files lawsuit to protect trade secrets: A reason worth fighting for

Update: See 43 Things You Should Know About Google Wallet

Google Ad Probe & Facebook Security Breach

brokenlock None of us want to become a victims of personal information disclosure or cyber crime but most of us don’t want to hear about it. We just want someone else to fix it for us and restore trust that our our personal and private information is kept private.   As I said in my earlier article  Social Networks Siphon Personal Information there’s no doubt about it. Also note the information in Facebook Connections and Reputation Management. This brief synopsis of articles constitutes an update I’d like to refer to my readers.

Google Advertising and Privacy Issue

Government investigation into online advertising and privacy issues results in regulatory filing.  In a regulatory filing this afternoon, Google disclosed that it was taking a $500 million charge in the first quarter, apparently to potentially settle charges related to a Department of Justice investigation of the company. — Google Discloses DOJ Ad Probe

Facebook Security Breach

A security vulnerability on Facebook gave advertisers and other third parties a way to access users’ accounts and personal information, for years, according to security firm Symantec Corp. … As of April, Symantec estimated that the flaw affected close to 100,000 Facebook apps—and that since Facebook introduced apps in 2007 potentially hundreds of thousands of applications may have inadvertently leaked millions of access tokens to third parties. Facebook has fixed the leak, but it’s recommended you change your Facebook password to render any leaked tokens useless . — Facebook Security Flaw Exposed User Accounts

Finger points back to Facebook

I wrote a very long examination of the issues that Facebook employed a PR firm to publicize, about how Facebook feels Google may be violating privacy with its Google Social Search product. Here’s a shorter look, especially from the angle of how Facebook itself has enabled Google to do what Facebook is now complaining about. — How Facebook Enables The Google Social “Scraping” It’s Upset About

Do Not Track Bill

Privacy groups and consumer rights advocates have enthusiastically endorsed the Do Not Track bill introduced by U.S. Sen. John D. Rockefeller. Rockefeller (D-W. Va.) introduced an online “do not track” privacy bill that would give consumers the ability to block Internet companies from tracking their online activity. The proposed law already has the endorsement of several major consumer advocacy and privacy groups. The framework would allow the Federal Trade Commission to define the rules within a year of the bill being signed into law. -- Privacy Groups Applaud Rockefeller’s Do Not Track Bill

Extended Validation SSL (EV SSL) Certificates

For the past three years, the Online Trust Alliance (OTA) has published an annual online safety report that examines the adoption of proven countermeasures against deception and identity theft that help protect online brands and consumers. … The report underscores measures that mitigate account takeovers, breaches, email spoofing, and phishing attacks. The adoption of Extended Validation SSL (EV SSL) Certificates was one of the solutions highlighted by the report. 2011 Online Trust Alliance Trust Scorecard Highlights Increase in EV SSL Adoption

Canada a Country of Choice for Cybercriminals

The American online-security company Websense found that Canada’s reputation as a law abiding country is making it a preferred location from which to launch cyber attacks, with Canada ranking No. 6 worldwide among countries hosting cybercrime, up from 13th place last year.  Patrik Runald, Websense senior security researcher, said that while the United States still ranks No. 1 among the top 10 countries in hosting phishing sites -used by cyber criminals to trick computer users into downloading malicious software or divulging passwords, financial information and other confidential data. — Canada new breeding ground for cybercrime

Is Google penalizing no-follow sites?

Five years ago no-follow links were introduced to combat comment spam. In the beginning all links were do-follow.   It didn’t take long before blogs were being inundated by those who left insincere comments that added nothing to the discussion just so they could get a backlink, so no-follow links were introduced.

Today many blogs and content management systems, including WordPress, Blogger (Blogspot blogs), Typepad and most of the main blogging platforms have no-follow links enabled by default on comments and to change the links to do-follow links that pass PageRank action must be taken.

Meanwhile we hear the drama lamas who blog for money projecting the silly notion that the internet is full of no-follow blogs. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

Matt Cutts answers todays’ webmaster video: Will Google penalize sites which only link using the nofollow attribute?

Related posts found in this blog:
Links: No-Follow and Do-Follow
More from Matt Cutts on no-follow no sculpting