If you haven’t noticed it already, Google is making some sweeping changes to the look and feel of their Gmail service. Probably the next time you sign in to your Gmail account, you will receive a prompt informing you of the changes to the compose message interface.
Google has continued to implement a minimalist, streamlined interface across their properties. The new compose window is very reminiscent of a social chat window. The new window sits on top of the screen rather than opening up in a new window. Users can now compose a message without leaving their inbox and now have the ability to edit more than one message at a time.
This is an ongoing move by Google into a more ‘social’ source of revenue due to a failing business model that targeted click ads for revenue. It is also part of a larger rollout of sweeping changes being made to Google properties such as Gmail, Search, News and Google Docs (now called Drive) by integrating more of a consistent G+ social feel to them. It may also be an attempt to familiarize people to the G+ interface by bring the look and feel of the fledgling G+ platform to the user, in order to make the transition more seamless.
SEO news blog post by guestpost @ 9:53 am on November 5, 2012
Heck looking at this thing’s sensor list (5mpx front Camera, 2mpx rear Camera, Microphone, Accelerometer, Compass, Ambient light, Gyroscope, Barometer, GPS), all it’s missing is the ability to taste.
… and removable storage?! I find it very odd there’s not one mention of what sort of interface the tablet has for removable storage, though I’d be really shocked if it didn’t support MicroSD cards.
The price is almost as shocking, with the 16GB selling for $399US, and the 32GB version selling for $499US. Both models should be available on the 13th of November, which is also shocking because it’s a bit early for an xmas promotion, but that’s Google for you.
The Nexus 7 sports many of the same sensors as the Nexus 10, but it’s single 1.2Mpx camera is clearly just for web-chat/video calling.
The $299 Nexus 7 has fully unlocked HSPA+ support which I am almost certain will be used for more than just web-surfing given the available internet telephony options.
Last but not least is the latest cell phone from Google, the Nexus 4. In fact I seem to have saved the best for last.
This is way more than a phone at this point, we’ve really got to start looking at these devices as mini-tablets because the Nexus 4 has better features and functionality than most existing tablets.
The price gives the Nexus 4′s secret goodness away, the 8GB version goes for $299US, and the 16GB retails for $349US, both of which are unlocked/contract free. That’s not a typo, if you spent $799(CAN) on an unlocked 32GB HTC One X, which has inferior screen hardware, you might want to sell it, quickly.
According to Google’s blog:
The 16GB version will also be available through T-Mobile for $199, with a 2-year contract (check here for more details).
In a nutshell it’s 4.7″ display, at 1280 x 768, has got the highest pixel density (320ppi) of any device in it’s class.
Indeed, if the world were to switch to this grade of phone and/or tablet hardware the concept of a ‘mobile version’ of your website would be pointless since this hardware has more than sufficient resolution to display a desktop style website.
At these prices the idea of the world switching to Nexus isn’t too far fetched either. I know I’m in the market for a better phone and I’m so glad I went with a standby device and waited for something this good of a value to come out.
SEO news blog post by Ryan Morben @ 12:55 pm on October 30, 2012
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".
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 guestpost @ 12:05 pm on October 24, 2012
It’s fall and soon it will be winter, with Old St. Ballmer putting an integrated Windows 8, with integrated Internet Explorer, under the tree for Christmas this year, learning a new UI is all we have to fear.
Yes we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, you’ll have to re-learn Windows to love Windows 8.
So then you might ask, “Why bother learning Windows if I have to learn something new?“, which is where this post becomes informative.
Windows 8 isn’t trying to teach old dogs new tricks for the sake of being different; that’s someone else’s logo/catchphrase. Microsoft wants to integrate your devices and applications so that your efforts with one product aren’t wasted in another product.
What’s all this integrated brouhaha? Well this video shows you a sample of it:
That’s pretty cool stuff, and if you have embraced Microsoft products, say you have an XBox based Car-PC, this sort of integration tech between your smart phone or your tablet would really make you glad you invested with Microsoft.
The thing that gets me is that if my phone is over in the corner recharging, and I don’t own a surface, how ‘attached’ will I get to touching my screen vs. locating a mouse and keyboard?
If you become hooked on touching what’s that going to cost in terms of a multi-touch screen?
Looking at my local suppliers, a multi-touch 1080p 21″ screen is $200 more than the same screen without the overlay.
While that’s a lot less than it used to cost for an touch overlay equipped screen, it still adds far too much cost to the screen price to justify the usability.
As someone who has worked with touch technology for over 10years, I can also point out that unless you are super careful your touches will wear the screen in the sections you are touching frequently.
So until they are making it easy to remove/swap overlays I’d predict that this will be a bust in a few years if people adopt the current touch solutions for desktop use.
Do you have a hankering to try Windows 8 even without a touch option? It’s really not recommended but you can challenge yourself to trying it out using VirtualBox and either of the ISO files from this handy page: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/download (No Signups Needed!)
Search for Life
Google seems to be one step ahead of us, and indeed they have done it again, just weeks after starting a project involving “Conway’s Game of Life“, where I’d suggested we use the algorithm to animate some tiles in a website background.
Having beat me to the punch, I used an image generated from a Google search as the background image of this post.
However, if readers suggest some good images to tile and animate for a fun use of the code, I’m keen for suggestions, as long as they aren’t all along the lines of: “Grab random puppy and kitten images from Google image search and use those for the squares!”
SEO news blog post by Ryan Morben @ 11:10 am on October 23, 2012
So Google has time for more than attacking your websites with black and white animals. They recently did a virtual ‘street-view’ tour of a Google data center in Lenoir, North Carolina, and managed to include some ‘easter eggs’ in the process.
Here’s the ‘video tour’ with nice audio explaining the various sections of the Street View tour:
Some good humor from Google, and a really neat tour of something that is typically a very private operation.
One last ‘observation’, I also like the advice of freshly washed/sliced veggies, like celery/carrots as an item to have beside your keyboard throughout the day. As the sign says, those veggies are a good source of fiber which is really important if you give a .. darn.
SEO news blog post by Ryan Morben @ 11:39 am on October 18, 2012
This is part 2 of an in depth look at the newly revised Webmaster Guidelines from Google. Google has recently updated their list of best practices and suggestions for site development. To give your site the best chance of ranking well, and to keep a competitive edge, the Google guidelines should be read like the gospel.
• Did you ever wonder how Google processes your site to determine its focus and content? Try using a text-based browser like Lynx to understand what Google is using to interpret your site.
• Check to see that your web server supports the “If-Modified-Since” HTTP header. This tells Google if your content has changed since it last crawled your site, saving bandwidth and overhead.
• Use the robot.txt file to exclude directories that do not need to be crawled from Google. Keep it updated in your Webmaster Tools account and ensure that you are not blocking Google bot from crawling your site by testing it in Webmaster Tools.
• Keep advertisements (such as Google’s AdSense and DoubleClick) to a minimum and ensure that they are not affecting your rankings by making sure they are excluded in your robots.txt file.
• If you use a content management system (CMS), makes sure that it support seo friendly URL structure and is easily crawled by bots.
• Test you site in several browser’s (IE, FireFox, Chrome, Lynx, Opera, Safari) at different resolutions.
• Use tools to monitor page load speeds. This is becoming an increasingly bigger factor for rankings. Use Google’s Page Speed, or Webmaster Tools Site Performance Tool to gain insights on how to boost you page loads speeds.
• Make use of the robots.txt file to keep your site accessible to the Google bots
• Block unneeded/irrelevant content from
• Use SEO friendly urls and move away from parameter-based urls
• Monitor your page load speed and take steps to improve it.
SEO news blog post by guestpost @ 12:09 pm on October 17, 2012
Do a search for ‘coinflation’ + ‘gold’ or really, almost any other keyword to see what Google considers an ‘improved’ result following the EMD update.
If you didn’t get something like the results above, please let us know!
Okay so that seems slightly silly, but how the heck did they pull that off? There’s clearly PPC/AdWords competition for the phrase, and EMD should either be a penalty or moot, shouldn’t it?
Well apparently not! In fact EMD can still clearly be an asset if the ‘quality’ scores are all above par!
This means that if you have an organic campaign, with ongoing back links/references from trusted sources, and you aren’t hitting other penalties, you really should be feeling no loss at all from the EMD update.
Indeed, if your competition was using non-organic approaches to EMDs they should have taken a trust hit, and you may see an improvement in position due to their failings!
So while I can show you some examples of the EMD apparently failing to work, we can assure you it’s working, and overall seems like a positive step for Google.
10″ Google Nexus from Samsung?
Last night CNET announced some ‘highly’ probable info that Samsung is manufacturing a new 10.1″ Nexus tablet for Google.
The article is more of a stub of hear-say but had some rather ‘exact’ details including the resolution of the display:
The 2,560×1,600 display will have a PPI (pixels per inch) of about 299, said Shim. That tops the 264 PPI on the 9.7-inch 2,048×1,536 Retina iPad.
Clearly this will be the ‘high end’ model for the Nexus line (currently manufactured by Asus), especially when you consider that Google will be releasing a 7″ Nexus subsidized down to a $99 price this December!
In fact since we’re pondering things to come more than talking facts, I’d have to assume this will be a dual or quad core device with GPU acceleration of some sort to assist with up-scaling video content and 3d games to that eye-popping resolution.
So if this high-end Nexus tablet is anything less than $399 I’d be really shocked and very worried for Apple.
Okay, perhaps more worried for Apple, would be more accurate given it’s current public affairs issues..
In case you’re wondering ‘who cares?’; Tim Pool goes to the streets and broadcasts unedited footage of protests/events.
I’d like to think Apple is patenting this to prevent companies from doing this, but in actual fact this is very creepy stuff from the overly litigious makers of the most expensive walled gardens on the planet.
It seems almost like Apple is testing how well their brand/product can weather bad public image at this point?
SEO news blog post by Ryan Morben @ 11:53 am on October 9, 2012
When I was a kid all I really wanted from my wrist watch was to tell the time, date, temperature, speed of movement, elevation, relative humidity, and it had to be a fully working calculator while still fitting on my wrist and not costing more than I could afford.
Yeah I was a humble child.
But I wasn’t alone in my desire to have the kitchen sink on my wrist!
Clearly there were others who wanted more than just time from the device they carry everywhere.
In 2001 news of the Bluetooth functions in IBM’s Linux Watch was making headlines in the tech circles I frequented.
It was a beast but it ran Linux and X11 on your wrist plus it had Bluetooth communications so it could turn your lights off and on, start the coffee maker, even control your TV/Stereo!
This was back when Bluetooth wasn’t in every single phone, so the obvious connection between the watch and the phone wasn’t there at the time, and this was more of a standalone device vs. and accessory.
Today’s phones however, are very well equiped, and it’s actually unusual to see a phone without bluetooth support; So now the interaction between the watch and a paired phone is driving a new market.
When you think of ‘getting out your phone’ compared to ‘glancing at a watch’ the value of having your timepiece reflecting the status of your nearby phone suddenly ‘clicks’.
If Android is a lean/mean version of Linux developed for mobile devices, why aren’t we seeing it used in a watch?
IBM had this working 12 years ago!?
Enter the Google Watch
Google to the rescue! Well, almost, since it’s just a fresh patent vs. an actual product announcement…
If you visit the USPTO link above you’ll see a long list of patented products that are falling into the same classification, some of which are nearly as old as me! Yikes!
Indeed Google’s input is more along the lines of a sister(?) product to the Google Glass project which uses the same display techniques and has a lot of the same goals as this patent.
Speaking of displays, looking at the above image, you’d supposedly release the transparent top display marked as ’30′ (pushing on the latch marked 20?), which would then still keep working as the base display (item 16?) shows other information.
In one of the USPTO images the watch is shown doing some overlay images to apparently assist with price matching/product purchases. If it can break all the sticker prices down by actual price per unit values so they can be compared easily, that alone would make it a must have item for me.
You do NOT have to wait for Google to find the time to build and test this watch.
If you want an Android based watch right now, it’s not cheap, but they are already for sale from other companies.
Here’s the “I’m WATCH” (seriously, that’s the name!) from “i’m SpA” (?!):
It’s attractive, and functional, but it’s not very ‘Google’ and I do believe they found a man with the biggest fingers on the planet to demonstrate it:
[iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/34903242?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0" width="550" height="413" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen][/iframe]
The headphone jack seems nuts for a bluetooth device, but it’s very fresh and clearly still a work in progress.
The watch is a device that has to be reliable, functional, and stylish, so it really could take someone like Google to ‘nail it’.
SEO news blog post by Ryan Morben @ 12:15 pm on October 4, 2012
Why? Because the gains in SEO wouldn’t match the losses in user trust/conversions.
Would a good organic SEO/White Hat tell you NOT to purchase those types of domains for 301s to your main site?
I’d like to think so, but this was clearly a strategy for a lot of sites competing for top rankings.
Regardless of your SEO ethics, the practice of domain parking/selling because of search ranking signals is clearly an unnecessary burden on the internet.
While the ‘domains for sale’ issue would still exist without search engines, search engines honestly should be making your choice of domain name MUCH less relevant.
Ideally fresh internet traffic should occur as match between the searchers needs and the services/information that your site provides.
And with this latest update it’d appear that Google agrees with the idea that book should found by more than what’s on the cover.
As of this last update you can expect sites with nothing but some keyword dense 301′d domains to now face a penalty instead of a positive ranking signal.
We didn’t see this coming!
I’m already seeing people post sad tales of the deep impact this update is having on certain sites, and I’ve had a laugh at a few ‘professionals’ claiming they never felt this day would come.
Personally, while I’ve watched some very good presentations on SEO and web ranking strategies, the one thing that helps me most as an SEO is Matt Cutts’ breakdown of the real philosophy behind ‘good SEO’ which boils down to:
Never do something for the sake of search engine rankings alone.
If you like ‘Lord of the Rings’ then look at this as:
‘One Rule to Lead them all, one Rule to be found by…’
..and you should never have to fear a Google update!
In fact you should look at each Google update as a chance for your rankings to improve as other sites are punished for their ‘clever’ attempts to game the system.
Another Google Easter Egg?
And finally, to end the post with a chuckle, here’s a Google search phrase for you to test out:
That’s evil Google, even if you didn’t actually make that the top search result for ’14 years old’, it’s very evil.
Stop! Jail Time!
Speaking of unintentional evils, Google’s chief executive in Brazil, Fabio Jose Silva Coelho, was arrested and then released after a Brazilian court found him guilty of violating South American pre-vote election laws.
Fabio’s crime? He denied a request to have politically sensitive videos removed from YouTube.
The same judge also ordered a .5 million dollar per day ‘penalty’ for Google to pay if it continues to host the videos!
Since the videos are not in English and most of the news sources are English, finding these ‘horrible’ videos isn’t very easy.
Here’s one explaining a connection between the candidate for Mayor, Alcides Bernal, and a money laundry scheme with a co-operative taxi service.
My Portuguese is pretty non-existent, but even without Google Translate, it’s pretty clear that the candidate for Mayor isn’t being promoted favorably in this video.
Google is facing similar political pressures over the recent anti-Muslim videos, including fines, however they are all currently being left online by YouTube/Google as it’s very clear that no rules of the service have been violated and removing the videos would merely make people want to share them even more.
Bearded Sikh Woman Teaches Reddit A Lesson
In fact these political types could learn a great lesson from a young Sikh woman who recently was ridiculed for not tending to her facial hair/beard over on Reddit’s r/funny boards : source