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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.


November 14, 2012

Google’s New ‘AuthorRank’ Bigger than Panda and Penguin Combined

If you are in the SEO industry, you have probably a new buzz word floating around the water cooler; “AuthorRank.”
AuthorRank signals image
In August of 2005, Google filed a patent for a technology dubbed Agent Rank in which ranking ‘agents’ use the reception of the content they create and the resulting interactions as a factor in determining their rankings. The patent goes on to suggest that more well-received and popular “agents” could have their associated content rank higher than unsigned content or the content of other less-authoritative “agents”.

After adding a continuation patent in 2011, Google is now able to attribute content to specific agents and can now rank these agents thanks to platforms like Google+. AJ Kohn goes into much detail about AuthorRank and why he feels it will be bigger than Panda and Penguin combined. AuthorRank will not be a replacement for PageRank, but will work in conjunction with it to enable Google to rank high quality content more appropriately.

I certainly don’t claim to be an expert on AuthorRank and in fact am only learning about it as I write this. What I did learn from the information I read is that content has and will always been key to the success of any website. Google’s mantra to publishers has always been that “content is king”; provide high quality content and the ranking, and followers will follow. This new signal will be in place soon as a final coup de grace to those still stuck in antiquated methods of content creation and syndication.

SEO news blog post by @ 10:59 am

Categories:Google,Google,Google+

 

 

November 5, 2012

The Ever-Changing Face of Google

New Gmail message screen
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 @ 9:53 am

Categories:Facebook,Google,Google+

 

 

October 25, 2012

Time to look at your Google Calendars (Again)

October is a trade off between birthdays (New-years babies unite!), feasting, and parties, vs. bearing witness to the lament caused by waking up in the dark, low energy, and the changing seasons.

Google can’t change the position of the sun, but it could improve your mood by helping quickly add events to your calendar.

Example of a Google calendar with more calendars added to it.
I tried to get a screenshot of the weather feature but only so much fits in 550px

 
To get more events on your calendar, without importing or adding them one at a time you need to ‘subscribe’ to additional calendars.

The first step, after getting logged into a Google account is to click on the Other Calendars menu and choose the “Browse Interesting calendars” option:

The Other Calendars menu in Google Calendars.

 
On the next page you should see three tabs, “Holidays”, “Sports”, and “More”.

I’d say everyone should add their national holidays, even if you’ve done this before, take a moment to preview the official calendar for your country, as the official version is likely a lot better than what you’ve been subscribing to.

The sports tab is pointless, since we’re nerds, and there’s no WRC/Drifting events in the list. (I kid, I kid.. No, not really.)

Finally the ‘More’ tab is where the magic happens.

Under the ‘More’ tab you want to seek out: “Contacts’ birthdays and events”

Subscribing to this calendar and allowing it to show on your main calendar will help you track all those birthday parties that will help get you through this dreary fall season.

Keep in mind however that subscribing to a calendar does not modify your calendar, nor does it add notifications or alerts to your calendar.

If you want to be reminded a week ahead of your best friend’s birthday, you should go make that event manually.

If you just want to know on the day of his birthday that you forgot, then you can simply click on the birthday’s calendar item and then click on “copy to my calendar” to get that event on your personal calendar.

All my friends use FB not G+ so who cares?

Well, at least in New Zealand, G+ user interest is actually passing Twitter/Linked In for new users, and making up ground quickly on Facebook.

Illustration of the user growth in major social media for the NZ area.

Roy Morgan’s analysis of Social Media trends in NZ is a bit hard to look at (even upsidedown) but his data is very telling of the growth that G+ is getting from the adoption of Android phones and other Google products.

I’d love to say that G+ is just more social/edgy/trendy than FB but that’s never what it’s been for/about.

If you’ve read any of my rants about comparing the two social networks you’ll know I look at it like replacing a banana (FB) with an orange (G+).

On one hand, a banana can be fun, especially if you’re care-free about discarding the peel, but an Orange has some serious potentials that a Banana lacks, especially in clean presentation.

Ultimately as SEOs we would advise paying respects to both networks as each has it’s perks, though G+ hasn’t made news this week for app developers selling 1 million user profiles for $5 US.

TL;DR: Man buys 1 million user data records (mainly First/Last Name, Gender, Age, Email, Phone #,etc.. data) for $5 and FB thanks him by telling him not to talk about it.

So really, enjoy your access to private data while it lasts, build those calendars while it’s easy, because if we have app developers selling a million user data records for $5, you can be sure people won’t want to share valid info with insecure sites. In fact due to this, it’s better to put in intentionally incorrect info and only trust services with solid security reputations.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:47 am


 

 

October 18, 2012

Google Rickroll’d the Internet

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:

 
Not missing a beat, Google’s G+ account noticed the recursive nature of the servers taking a picture of the servers that would then host the pictures of the servers taking pictures of the servers..

Google+ post from Google about Google Street view inside a Google Data Center that hosts Street View data.

 
Folks with a keen eye will notice some ‘odd’ images in the tour, including the world’s largest ever single Rick Roll attempt:

A Google employee casually shares the same video on two screens. Apparently he's never going to give us up or let us down, never going to run around and desert us..

 
Someone hiding in a costume that looks like an android:

A Google employee dressed as an android inside a Google Data Center.
Love the white boards! All offices need whiteboards!

 
And even an image of their on-site security team:

A Google employee dressed as a stormtrooper and a mini R2 unit stand guard inside a Google Data Center.

 
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 @ 11:39 am


 

 

October 3, 2012

Reeling in the Years: 30th Anniversary of the Compact Disc.

The compact disc is 30 years old today. If that doesn’t make you feel old, then youhere is something more relevant to your age: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justin_Bieber

Compact Disc Player circa 1982

The year was 1982 when the first compact disc revolutionized the music industry and industry profits for ever. While Billy Joel’s 52nd Street was the first compact disc to be officially released in Japan, technically the first actual compact disc that was created and tested was a pressing of Richard Strauss’s ‘Eine Alpensinfonie’. The honor of the first batch of compact discs manufactured goes to ABBA’s ‘the Visitors’.

Billy Joel "52nd-street" CD

Although they seem antiquated now and are regarded as throwbacks to prehistory by the younger generation, at the time CDs were a galactic leap forward in technology. Audiophiles from around the world rejoiced and marveled at the clarity the compact discs offered.

No longer were listeners affronted with hiss, cracks and pops associated with vinyl records. Initially the astronomical price tag kept compact discs and compact disc players were too prohibitive and resulted in a slow adoption rate by consumers. There is still an ongoing argument amongst the vinyl-generation that compact discs don’t have the same "warmth" as an analog record offered.

Abba-The_Visitors_(1981)-CD

With all technologies, the CD was come and gone to be replaced by newer digital technologies. Those growing up today regard CDs with the same nostalgia as the previous generation regards vinyl records; with a quaint sense of nostalgia. In much the same way, digital music has also revolutionized the music industry.

Much to the chagrin of major record labels, the barrage of pirating and licensing issues has redefined the role of big record companies and given rise to a huge influx of indie (independent) recording artists that owe their fame to the like of YouTube and peer-to-peer file sharing networks and self promotion that seeks to redesign the whole industry.

For the first time in the history of the music industry, we have hit a technological plateau. The battle being waged over piracy, royalties and industry profits is creating a fundamental paradigm shift that will resonate for decades to come and will set the stage for all future generations of music lovers.

The Top 10 Albums of 1982:

Top 10 Albums of 1982

  1. JUDAS PRIEST – "Screaming for Vengence"
  2. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN – "Nebraska"
  3. JOHN COUGAR – "American Fool"
  4. LED ZEPPELING – "CODA"
  5. RUSH – "Signals"
  6. VAN HALEN – "Diver Down"
  7. IRON MAIDEN – "The Number of the Beast"
  8. TOM PETTY & the HEATBREAKERS – "Long After Dark"
  9. ROBERT PLANT – "Pictures at Eleven"
  10. KISS – "Creatures of the Night"

SEO news blog post by @ 12:30 pm

Categories:just for fun,YouTube

 

 

October 1, 2012

Dying Online, Facebook and the Digital Afterlife

From time immemorial, countless people have looked at the stars and contemplated their existence and life’s greatest questions; What happens to us after we die? What will our legacy be? What will become of my Facebook account?

dying online

In an ever increasing digital world, this is a question that has been posed more than a few times between around the water cooler here at Beanstalk. With an ever increasing amount of users employing cloud based digital assets, and engaging in social media, many people are concerned not only for the protection of these valuable assets and intellectual property, but in preserving memories for friends and family for posterity.

A paper published law professor Jason Mazzone from the University of Illinois calls for federal government to interevene and to regulate what happens to digital accounts after an account holder’s demise.

Along with an ever increasing amount of people, Mazzone argues that social platforms and other online services have policies that do not adequately protect an individual’s intellectual property or privacy after their death.

"Virtually no law regulates what happens to a person’s online existence after his or her death," he said. "This is true even though individuals have privacy and copyright interests in materials they post to social networking sites."

In an absence of any legal regulations, social sites are unlikely to adopt any policies of their own accord that will do little to protect a users account or intellectual property. Presently there are very few regulations in place, and most sites are left developing policies on-the-fl, with little regard for the user’s data.

"It’s becoming increasingly common for people to have digital assets, and some of them do actually have value," he said. "Not only are such sites repositories of intellectual property, they also are important to family members and friends. Historians of the future will likely depend upon digital archives to reconstruct the past, which creates a real problem, particularly in an age when we don’t leave diaries, and, increasingly, people don’t write books."

Facebook’s policy is to "memorialize" the deceased’s account. All content that has been uploaded (status updates, photos & videos) are removed. The user’s wall remains intact so that individuals can express their condolences to the departed. However, the user data is not deleted by Facebook. Currently, the data is archived with the speculation that it will be held for posterity by Facebook until a such time where it can be re-purposed for historical records.

There is no system in place to state your wishes for your account after your demise (similar to a living will) and no regulations in place to appoint an executor of your estate. As the population of Facebook users begin to age, Mazzone is at the forefront of a growing movement to instill federally mandated regulations to protect the billions of Facebook and social networking users worldwide.

SEO news blog post by @ 12:43 pm


 

 

September 27, 2012

Google is 14 Years Old and Under Arrest

Well I guess ’14′ is not a very important number, since Google’s own birthday doodle is an animated GIF:

Google's 14th Birthday Doodle Gif
Does that really say PooP?

.. unless you count this ’14′ year old girl with ’14′ million views?

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 TranslateOpen in a New Tab, 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

Ugly remarks like: “Transgender Sikh Dwarf” didn’t phase Balpreet!

Rather than get upset, Balpreet Kaur, took the attention as an opportunity to register with Reddit as a new user and explain herself in a calm respectful manner.

This resulted in a huge cultural awareness among the thread readers, and she is currently being hailed as an outstanding example of how to handle criticism.

Here’s the full storyOpen in a New Tab (with twitter reactions) over on CBC News.

You go girl! :)

SEO news blog post by @ 12:36 pm


 

 

September 19, 2012

Google Forbids Online Anonymity…While Patenting It

Recently Google stated the importance of using your real (common) name so that people you want to connect with can find you. Google goes on to say that using a secondary online identity or pseudonym on its Google+ service can result in your profile in being suspended if it does not adhere to the Google Names Policy.

dafuq?

At the same time, Google has been awarded a new patent called Social Computing Personas for Protecting Identity in Online Social Interactions.

In the patent application, Google explains to the USPTO (US Patent Office) that when a user reveals their identity on the internet that it, that “it leaves them more vulnerable to stalking, identity theft and harassment.” Google’s patented solution is to provide online anonymity to social networking users using an alter ego, or anonymous identity.

pop art girl image

One can only speculate why one hand of Google is warning about the folly and penalties for not following their Names Policy, while the other hand of Google says that users are at risk if they do not protect their identity with an anonymous identity.

Has Google change its official stance regarding online anonymity? Is this a case where one hand of Google doesn’t know what the other is doing? Or is Google just avoiding putting all its eggs into one basket? And what about Mary-Lou?

SEO news blog post by @ 12:03 pm


 

 

September 18, 2012

Google-a-gram? Insta-oogle? Google-Shop?

Do you like pictures? Pretty pictures?

Google just purchased an online graphics startup called ‘Snapseed‘, adding the outstanding features of it’s tools to Google’s already growing list of image editing options.
A photo of Blueberries with the Google logo hidden in the middle
While we like to get people’s attention, this news does not require Snapseed to suddenly be elevated to the status of ‘Instagram rival‘ just for the sake of writing an article.

In fact Snapseed was popular with photographers, not just ‘people taking pictures of their cats’; Something which already declassifies it from comparison to Instagram; Above and beyond the fact that photographers actually paid for Snapseed’s services.

In fact I don’t even need to pretend that:

Google and Facebook Inc are locked in a battle for social network followers

..to bolster this article either, but thanks for your attempt at ‘journalism’ Reuters.

The truth is that G+ isn’t for the MySpace holdouts, nor has it been designed to force people off of FB.

Heck I’m sure there’s users of both systems who will never make the switch and I’m just as sure that the developers working on G+ are fine with that.

You heard it here folks:

  • Google+ is not Facebook.
  • Does Facebook allow me to video chat with my GMail contacts?
  • Can anyone guarantee efforts on Facebook will always be favored by Google?
  • Do FB business pages give me the same professional exposure that a company page on G+ would provide?
  • Would it be worth it to setup rel=author links for employees FB profiles when G+ is far more business worthy?
  • Etc.. etc..

People keep saying things like, “Google is playing catch up in social…“, which is true if you completely ignore the innovations and ways that they are leading social tech.

Google already has some great graphics options like SketchUp:

.. and SVG Edit which is great for HTML5 authoring:

(This is a 3kb SVG script)SVG Edit Logo in SVG Format

.. and Picasa for photos:

Picasa logo

Oreo the Cat - Politely explaining his deepening interest in eating some of his owner's food.
(Which in version 3.9 has a lot of image filters already!)

Heck, speaking of Picasa and Google+, with Picasa installed locally I can organize/edit photos on my desktop and have that organization flow seamlessly to email contacts/friends/public.

With multiple PCs at my disposal, having my efforts tied to a single online sharing point is ‘huge’ to say the least.

In fact, some tools, like SVG Edit, are directly available online, making it a very accessible tool for quick web design work on-the-fly.

If Nik Software’s Snapseed adds even more options to the process then I’m super happy to be a G+ user.

Thanks for all the free love Google!

SEO news blog post by @ 12:43 pm


 

 

September 13, 2012

Mmmmmm Bacon..

Did that get your attention? Some crispy fresh smoky bacon?

It’s a pity then that the story isn’t about hot pork but instead about degrees of bacon.

Degrees of Kevin Bacon to be exact.

Google has given us yet another nerdy Easter Egg, not unlike the StarCraft inspired ZergRush or StarFox inspired BarrelRoll, Easter Eggs. (Shame on PCWorld for their typo this morning!).

If you add ‘bacon number’ to an actor’s name in a Google Search, Google will tell you the degrees of separation between the actor and Kevin Bacon.

Heck it even works with actresses!

Try a Google search for: “Oliva Wilde bacon number

..you should get a Bacon Number of “2″!

This is because Oliva worked with Ryan Reynolds in ‘The Change-Up’..

Ryan Reynolds is working with Kevin Bacon on the action/comedy film ‘R.I.P.D.’ that’s coming out in early 2013.

Thus Oliva Wild’s ‘degree of separation’ with Kevin Bacon would be a 2.

All Oliva needs to do now is add her Bacon number to her profile page like so:

 
Since you’d need to be pretty famous to have a Bacon Number I expect that it will be *the* thing to have, if you’re a movie star.

Fat Hacker – Cosmo the God & UGNazi

This is not my best segway(seguay?) between stories, but I was simply blown away by the tale of a chubby 15 year old hacker in California who is in jail for widespread hacking and mischief.

This inventive teen, with poor supervision, has managed to hack a wide cross-section of some of the worlds biggest companies including:

Amazon, Apple, AT&T, PayPal, AOL, Netflix, Network Solutions, and Microsoft

`Cosmo`, as he is called online, likes to point out that none of these hacks were particularly tricky, and is calling on companies to fix their easily exploitable systems, while he sits in a juvenile detention center after admitting to many of his `hacks`.

The story I read on Wired.com was so well written I’m not even going to try and do any excerpts, I’m just going to drop the link and insist you give it a read.

 
Nicely done Mat Honan, from a victim to a sympathizer, all in one interview. This is great investigative journalism, and we need more like it.

SEO news blog post by @ 1:01 pm


 

 

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