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Beanstalk's Internet Marketing Blog

At Beanstalk Search Engine Optimization we know that knowledge is power. That's the reason we started this Internet marketing blog back in 2005. We know that the better informed our visitors are, the better the decisions they will make for their websites and their online businesses. We hope you enjoy your stay and find the news, tips and ideas contained within this blog useful.


January 10, 2013

Missing Authorship Photos?

If you’ve become accustomed to seeing your charming mug in the SERPs when you are Google’ing your keywords, it might be rather unsettling to see those images suddenly disappear.

Rich Snippet SERP example

Fear not! This isn’t something you have done, or not done, this is actually kicking up a bit of fuss on the SEO forums/discussion areas today and clearly looks to be an issue on Google’s end.

In fact if you were in need of reassurance, all you have to do is hop into your Webmaster Tools account, and visit the ‘Rich Snippets Tool‘ to get a preview of what your SERPs would normally look like.

If you are sure that you’re not part of the current issue, or you’re just curious what we’re talking about, the Troubleshooting Rich Snippets page is a great resource to tackle possible problems.

Google invests another $200,000,000.00 in renewable energy..

I could have written .2 billion, or 200 million, or even 200 thousand thousands, but why play with such a large sum of money?

Google certainly isn’t playing around; With this latest investment Google’s grand total in renewable/clean energy is over $1 billion US and growing.

This isn’t just charity either, some of these investments are just smart business because the returns are very fixed and low risk.

Illustration of power saved by using GMail vs. Postal Mail

Being honest about pollution is brave, and bragging about your low footprint is begging for trouble, but Google marches on stating:

“100 searches on Google has about the same footprint as drying your hands with a standard electric dryer, ironing a shirt, or producing 1.5 tablespoons of orange juice.”

You can read more about Google’s efforts to reduce, eliminate, and assist others with power consumption/carbon footprints, over on the Google Green Pages.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:57 am


 

 

December 6, 2012

#DROIDRAGE Back-Fires and Creates #WINDOWSRAGE

#WINDOWSRAGE

Microsoft is spending an increasing amount of resources on pointing out the faults of it’s competition, reviving the #DROIDRAGE hash-tag at a moment in time when most Android users have very little to rage about.

For me it’s like watching some high-school bully try and make light of his own faults by pointing out the problems with one of the best students in school; Ultimately running out of complaints and resorting to childish tactics in an attempt to keep themselves from looking bad.

In this case the best student is pretty popular, and the insults have backfired on the bully, leaving the bully (Microsoft in this example) feeling like they are standing in public with their pants around their ankles.

The net today is bubbling with annoyed Windows users sharing their frustrations.

For me, a non-mobile PC user, I have general beefs like:

DirectX 11.x will be for Windows8 only?!

Microsoft Security Essentials is getting merged into Windows Defender?!

But if you take a swim through the #windowsrage hash-tag on Twitter you will see a lot of Windows Mobile, XBox, and other flavors of rage against Microsoft’s products.

Meanwhile, Google’s Saving the World..

While I’ve yet to see Google chase after Microsoft’s reputation, it might just be due to them having no time for it, what with all the awesome things Google’s been doing around our planet.

Google Drones seek out poachers

Like a $5 million dollar grant from Google to the WWF that’s getting spent on unmanned aerial ‘drones’. While the WWF doesn’t want to call them ‘drones’ because of military references to the term, that’s pretty much what they are.

Unlike the military’s drones however, these unmanned aerial watchdogs won’t be rigged for anything more than surveillance of the vast areas of land that the WWF protects.

In fact from what I can tell these will just be ‘commercial’ versions of the drones you see hobbyists and flight enthusiasts playing around with.

The $5 million is actually a small part of the $23 million total funding that Google is providing, this year alone, to non-profit organizations with challenges surrounding technology and innovation as part of Google’s Impact Awards Program.

I doubt that’s much of a ‘slag’ on the competition, but apparently Google has bigger goals than mocking/slandering competing companies?

SEO news blog post by @ 12:44 pm


 

 

October 24, 2012

Cooling the Google Data Center and the World

In a previous post called “Internet Pollution – The Dirty Secret of the Information Age” I spoke about how the methods and technologies used to cool data centers and the perceived need for people to have instant access to online messaging and archival data are propagating a huge amount of pollution.

On the advent of its 14th birthday Google unveiled its data center in Lenoir, North Carolina to the world. Google then disclosed one of its best kept secrets: "How it cools their multitudes of specialize servers in high density racks".

google-hotaisle image

The Coles notes of the Google cooling process is broken down as follows:

• The entire rooms serves as a cold isle
• Enclosed hot aisles are framed on either side by rows of racks
• Cooling coils circulate cooled water above the racks as a “ceiling” for the hot racks
• The ceiling in turn houses large stainless steel pipes that circulate water to and from cooling tower located in the equipment yard.

We can all agree that the technical knowledge and the applied science required to successfully create and to maintain such an enormous infrastructure is nothing less than incredible and is a very lofty achievement. What was not disclosed by Google was the raw data on their power consumption figures.

Google states that they are committed to reducing consumption and is actively engaged in increasing internal efficiency and give us lots of information to back up their approaches to do so. Creating and promoting energy efficiency does not start and stop at the data center. The more data and features we crave or think we need to have access to drives the machine of the industry and promotes pollution.

Data centers and information technology will continue to become more efficient but if data usage patterns continue to grow at current rates, the environmental benefits will be negligible and will probably even get worse. A fundamental paradigm shift in our global consciousness is necessary to curb our spiraling energy consumption patterns.

In a scenario akin to the decimation of the global environment due to our perceived dependence on petroleum, our escalating usage and reliance on technology requires all users to play an active role in promoting energy efficiency and furthering green technologies.

SEO news blog post by @ 12:05 pm


 

 

September 26, 2012

Microsoft Data Center Wasting Energy to Avoid Fines

As a follow up to my previous post on Internet pollution which discussed the amount of electrical consumption and wasteful energy practices by data centers; a post from the NY Times today really summed up the national mentality towards the consumption of energy and the wastefulness of the industry.

Microsoft Data Center

The Microsoft Redmond Quincy data center, which is the home of Bing and Hotmail and other cloud based servers, had a contract with a Washington state utility which contained clauses that imposed severe penalties for the under-consumption of electricity.

Microsoft was fined $210 000 for not meeting its “power-use target”. In an effort to avoid such a sizable penalty this year, Microsoft deliberately consumed millions of watts of power within three days in a “commercially unproductive manner” to avoid the fine being levied against them. The Washington utility board capitulated and reduced the amount to $60k. While the Redmond center claims that it is moving to a carbon neutral footprint, this squandering of energy shows that both groups care little for the environment and are more concerned with the almighty dollar.

With industry becoming ever increasingly more environmentally conscious, such blatant wastefulness cannot go unchecked. It seems that both the power company and the consumer are at fault in this situation. You cannot blame Microsoft for trying to save money; yet why is the power company charging such outrageous amounts for “under-consumption” in the first place? This model forces unneeded energy consumption for the sole purpose of avoiding a fine. This entire model is flawed as it has no regard for the environmental impact for this amount of wastefulness.

With alternate energy technologies becoming commonplace and affordable, we can only guess as to why data centers continue to waste such copious amounts of energy with such blatant disregard to the environment. Certainly the same laws that apply to more traditional dirty industries needs to be applied here as well.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:48 am


 

 

September 24, 2012

Internet Pollution – The Dirty Secret of the Information Age

The New York Times hired the consulting firm of McKinsey & Company to conduct an extensive year-longdata center energy audit to document power consumption and usage patterns amongst data centers in the United States.

datacenter

With tens of thousands of data centers, and no regulations in place to curb energy consumption, the information age is at odds with the established image of efficiency and environmental friendly that seems to be associated with it. On average, most data centers use approximately 6-12% of electricity to power their servers to perform routine computations. The rest of the power is spent to keep servers idling and at the ready in case of a power surge or brown-out that could slow or crash the servers.

"Worldwide, the digital warehouses use about 30 billion watts of electricity, roughly equivalent to the output of 30 nuclear power plants. A single data center can take more power than a medium-size town."

data center spending

Most data centers run theirs servers 24/7 at maximum capacity, regardless of demand and as a result end up wasting approximately 90% of the electricity that is pulled right of the electrical grid. To make matters worse, most rely upon banks of generators that emit copious amounts of diesel fumes.

The pollution emitted from data centers, are being cited by authorities as violating several clean air regulations. Many of the data centers in Silicon Valley, CA appear on the government’s Toxic Air Contaminant Inventory roster.

The inefficiency stems from the symbiotic relationship between users and the servers. Users want instantaneous access to all data, and the companies that are at risk if they fail to meet the demand.

"It’s staggering for most people, even people in the industry, to understand the numbers, the sheer size of these systems," said Peter Gross, who helped design hundreds of data centers. "A single data center can take more power than a medium-size town."

Many companies such as Google and Facebook are looking for ways to reduce power consumptions and are looking at things like reengineered software and more efficient cooling systems in an effort to decrease wasted power.

"This is an industry dirty secret, and no one wants to be the first to say mea culpa," said a senior industry executive who asked not to be identified to protect his company’s reputation. "If we were a manufacturing industry, we’d be out of business straightaway."

US Data Center Energy Usage

Google’s data centers currently consume approximately 300 million watts and Facebook’s, about 60 million watts. Many solutions are available to help combat this out-of-control power consumption, but in an industry that cannot afford any downtime, many companies are hesitant to implement any large scale changes.

The problem is two-fold. As users, we need to be less dependent on the data we expect to have at our finger tips at every second of every day and data centers and the computer manufacturing industry need stricter regulations and must be made to adhere to more stringent environmental standards.

Computers servers must be made more energy efficient and adhere to compulsory power consumption standards. As we see many businesses and industry moving to greener technologies, one has to speculate why the IT industry has not followed suit?

SEO news blog post by @ 12:32 pm

Categories:Green Tech,IT Industry

 

 

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