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Saad’s Hot Picks – July 15, 2010

Get Firefox Home on your iPhone – Firefox Home provides access to your Firefox desktop history, bookmarks and open tabs on your iPhone. Get up and go and have exactly what you are looking for on the Web on your iPhone or iPod Touch.

The Google Algorithm – Google had made a number of acquisitions over the years which puts them in competition with several other businesses. Does Google favors their own services over others? Well, New York Times thinks so and they are suggesting that Google should be regulated. But Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land brought up some things about NYT and explains why it should be regulated instead.

Exclusive: Apple’s FaceTime coming to iPod touch, iPad – Boy Genius Report has a pretty interesting scope today with some screen shots & details!

Google Announces Second Quarter 2010 Financial Results – “Google had a strong second quarter,” said Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google. “Solid growth in our core business and very strong growth in our emerging businesses drove 24% revenue growth year over year.

Apple Is Not Expected to Recall Troubled iPhone – As Apple prepared to address the mounting controversy surrounding the antenna of the iPhone 4, one thing appeared clear: the company does not plan to recall the popular device.

Twitter Continues To Help You Figure Out Who Exactly Is Following You – Twitter’s notification emails that are sent when you have a new follower are getting a much-needed makeover.The new emails have a cleaner interface and now include the follower’s location and bio. This should help users easily detect if a follower is a spammer. This is indeed an excellent addition.

Yahoo Begins Testing Bing Powered Results This Month – Yahoo has confirmed today that they will be testing Bing powered results in the live search results.

WordPress And Thesis Go To Battle. Mullenweg May Sue. – Matt Mullenweg vs Chris Pearson and a never ending debate.

Video: David Letterman’s Top 10 Signs You’ve Purchased A Bad iPhone 4 – You got to watch this :)

Tweet With Your FACE: Why Big Brands Need Social Brand Ambassadors – Brian Carter writes why sometimes its better for a brand to have a face associated with their social media strategy.


Saad’s Hot Picks – July 13, 2010

Why Consumer Reports can’t recommend the iPhone 4 – It’s official. Consumer Reports’ engineers have just completed testing the iPhone 4, and have confirmed that there is a problem with its reception.

Waging war on WordPress: Posterous prepares the switch – Looks like posterous is creating a tool everyday so that people can quickly migrate their old data from other platforms to their own. Looks like tomorrow its “Migrate from WordPress to Posterous” day!

Microsoft Opens Windows 7 SP1 Beta out to Public – Microsoft has released Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 (along with SP1 for Windows Server 2008 R2) for public beta testing. However, please note that the intended audience at the moment is enterprise users, not consumers.

Google Suggest as a Context-Sensitive Spell Checker– Google operating system reported that the Google Suggest that automatically does spell check for you when you miss spell something in your search query is context-sensitive…erm interesting!

Wrapping up World Cup Coverage with Yahoo! Search – World cup pretty much made everyone crazy (even the netizens). Digg deep into what they were searching for during the world cup.

Microsoft Launches Outlook Facebook Integration – Microsoft has integrated Facebook and Windows Live Messenger into Outlook, bringing the newsfeeds of millions of Facebook users into inboxes across the world.

Man Claims Ownership of Facebook – This one is kind of funny, a New York judge has issued a temporary restraining order restricting the transfer of Facebook Inc.’s assets, following a suit by a New York man who claims to own an 84% stake in the social-networking company.

YouTube ‘Partner Grants’ to Offer Money to Video Creators – With hopes of producing more high-quality content, YouTube is ready to provide financial support for some of its amateur auteurs.

It’s Time to Prepare for the End of the Web as We Know It – A great piece by Steve Rubel on Digital Communications


Saad’s Hot Picks is Back!

I’m going to resume my Hot picks section that I started half a year back. Hot Picks is basically my personal curation of links of all the hottest stuff/news on the web and I’ll combine all them as one single post and put it up here, everyday. Since I don’t have much time to blog about each of them anymore I’m just going to link out to the best stories that are out there. So here goes..

Yahoo Style Guide is Available for order: Is it Web site, website, or web site? What’s the best on-screen placement for a lead story? How can you better know your site’s audience? Why should you? If you want to learn how to write and edit for a global audience
through best practices from Yahoo! then get the Yahoo Style Guide, which is available for order now.

Show Multiple Business Address of a particular area in your Google Adwords Ad: With the makeover of the Adwords Location extensions, you can now show multiple addresses that are relevant to a potential customer’s location.

Google’s Do-It-Yourself App Creation Software – Google is bringing Android software development to the masses by offering a very simple software tool that is intended to make it easy for people to write applications for its Android smartphones.

Google Working On Secret New Ad Format: “Interactive Video Ads”: So finally Google is thinking of a different way to monetize beyond those blue text links.

Google Maps Labs Adds Automatic Short URL For “Link” Feature: If you often link to maps, you are going to appreciate this new lab feature of Google maps that allows you to shorten the Maps “Link” to be a more compact URL.

Android Market Will Hit 100,000 Apps This Month : So you still think android platform doesn’t have apps? Think again…

Would Gaming Fuel A Google Social Network? – Google has recently shown some interest in gaming & social networks (by putting $100 mil in Zynga) and also by ‘staying quite’ about the rumors about a new Google social platform “Google Me”.

How Google’s buy of ITA signals where it’s headed in real estate – Google has recently bought one of the biggest airfare search & pricing provider ITA, and now everyone is trying to guess what are they going to do with it. Are they going to integrate it fully in search?


YouTube Leanback – YouTube for TV

youtube leanback - youtube tv If you are addicted to YouTube then you are going to love this new beta interface that youtube has put up – Its called “Youtube Leanback“. As the name implies, YouTube Leanback is basically all about letting you sit back, relax and be entertained by all the crazy cat videos great video content that YouTube has to offer. The best part of this interface is It works exactly like a TV channel; you basically tune in to YouTube Leanback and it automatically starts playing videos tailored to your interests and stuffs that you liked before. The videos play in full screen and in high definition. It doesn’t require any input from the user as it plays continuously one video after another. You don’t need to click, search or even browse for videos – you get them all automatically like a broadcast of a TV channel.

This is a basically Google’s move to put YouTube on your living room and essentially on all television sets & set top boxes that has access to the Internet. However I don’t quite like the way they recommend videos. I know its largely done automatically by the algorithm based on my preference & social graph, however I think Google needs to go one step forward here and find out a way to make these video content really ‘suitable’ for the living room. I mean, I may have came across a cat video and “liked” it on YouTube but that doesn’t mean that I am willing to watch cat videos all day on my TV.

How to get Youtube Leanback?

To experience YouTube Leanback yourself, simply go to www.youtube.com/leanback, and you’ll note that a selection of videos — your “feed” — plays immediately. This feed is created based on your YouTube settings and preferences. This includes videos from your subscriptions and stuff that your friends are sharing on Facebook (Provided that you have connected your Facebook account with YouTube). You can also watch the most popular comedy, entertainment, news, or more. And if you don’t care for the video that’s playing, use the right arrow key on your keyboard to skip ahead to the next video, or try the up/down arrows to search, access player controls, and browse channels and videos. The best thing about this interface is that you won’t need your mouse for this experience. Check out the video below to learn more:


Gmail Rich Text Signature

Adding a Rich Text / HTML Signature in Gmail was not natively possible before. So people had to download browser plugins or use different Greasemonkey scripts to make those ‘shiny’ signatures to work.

But thanks god that Google has finally listened to their users and started supporting Rich Text Signatures out of the box in Gmail. Simply go to your Gmail Settings page and the option will be right there for you. You can now customize your signature by adding pretty formatting, links, and images — or decide to leave things nice and simple.

gmail rich text signatures

The feature has also been added to all Google Apps users, so if your company has been using text based signature all this while – It is time for you to move to a more creative version of email signature!

Gmail now also supports a unique signatures for each email address that you have associated with your account. So you can use a different signature for each of the accounts that you use to send out emails from. On the Gmail Settings page, you can edit the signature for each account by changing the email address that appears in the dropdown menu.

[Source: Official Gmail Blog]


Google DevFest Malaysia 2010

google-devfest-malaysia-2010

Good news for Malaysia! Google DevFest Southeast Asia 2010 is now coming to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on the 16th of July.

DevFest events are a really great opportunity to learn more about Google technologies, new APIs & other developer products. Google DevFest Malaysia 2010 will give you a chance to meet Google developers and engineers in person and ask them any questions that you may have about the Google products. Best of all, DevFest events are free for all developers! However seats at Google DevFest Malaysia 2010 are very limited, so you need to register early.

Google DevFest Malaysia 2010

Date: July 16, 2010 (8:30am – 6:00pm)

Venue: Technology Park Malaysia, Ground Floor, Enterprise 4, Bukit Jalil, 57000 Kuala Lumpur


View Larger Map

Agenda:

– 8:30am – 9:30am – Registration
– 9:30am – 10:00am – Introduction
– 10:00am – 10:45am – Maps
– 10:45am – 11:00am – Break
– 11:00am – 11:45am – Chrome
– 11:45am – 12:00pm – Demos
– 12:00pm – 2:30pm – Lunch & Google Office Hours
– 2:30pm – 3:30pm – Social
– 3:30pm – 4:30pm – Apps
– 4:30pm – 6:00pm – Hackathon

Topics Covered: This year the primary topics of interest are – Chrome/HTML5, Google App Engine, Social APIs, Maps API and more.

For more info about the event & registration, visit the official page.

So are you going to Google DevFest Malaysia 2010?


Get Yahoo on your Andorid Phone

Yahoo has finally released Yahoo! Search, Yahoo! Mail & Yahoo! Messenger for the Android mobile platform. With the yahoo search widget, android users can access web search directly from their mobile’s home screen.

yahoo mobile andorid

The user interface of this widget is pretty simple and fits nicely on the size of your phone screen. You can interact with the widget by not only typing (via the touch screen) but also using your own voice. (Yes, it supports voice input, but I believe this is a feature of the phone/android OS itself). But regardless of how you enter the query, Y! search suggestions will help you to find what you’re looking for. The new Yahoo! Mobile search results also shows different shortcuts, news and deeper results only a tap away. For instance if you search for “world cup” it gives a concise set of the latest scores and news, with deeper results about the games, the players the stats and so on.

Yahoo Search Widget for Android

To get Yahoo! search widget on your android phone, firstly download the app from the Android Market and then touch and hold your homescreen. A list will popup, select Yahoo Search from the widget menu — and viola; it’s going to be on your home screen!

Yahoo Mail & Messenger for Android

Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! Messenger is also available on all Android devices now as standalone applications, but are also integrated to provide an optimal Yahoo! communications experience. Both the apps comes with features like rich text formatting, Yahoo! emoticons, and access to the Yahoo! Address Book, in apps that are designed from the ground up for the Android platform.

Features Yahoo! Mail App for Android:

– Push notification of new email messages
– Availability of Yahoo! Address Book as well as contacts in the native phone address book
– Good Search Feature. You can search email messages by sender, recipient, subject and keywords in the body of the email
– You can upload photos as attachments directly from camera or your android’s photo gallery
– You can toggle between the Yahoo! Mail and Yahoo! Messenger apps with ease

Get Yahoo! Mail App for Andorid here.

Features of Yahoo! Messenger App for Android:

– Easy Contact management. Check friends’ status updates & availability as well as update their own status & availability
– Send instant messages to friends via SMS text messages
– Y! Messenger can run in the background with full multitasking support
– Full use of emoticons and rich text formatting
– Send photos to friends directly from the phone’s camera or the photo gallery

Get Yahoo! Messenger for Android here.

You can try out the Yahoo! Search widget and other available yahoo widgets by scanning the barcode below with your Android phone.

Yahoo Barcode for Android


Yahoo Real-Time Search Suggestions

Yahoo has recently updated their Yahoo! search assist to provide near real-time search suggestions to the users. Yahoo Search assist is very similar to Google Suggest that gives you search phrase suggestions as you type in a query in the search box.

However with the new Yahoo Search assist the suggestions that you will get are likely to be ‘real-time’ and a bit ‘time aware’ says Linda Wang, Senior Product Manager of Yahoo Search. So if you want to find out who will Netherlands play next in the world cup, you can search – “Netherlands vs” and Yahoo search assist will automatically show you suggestion based on real-time results.

yahoo realtime search assist

This feature also works in the Yahoo News search, thus when you are searching for a news story you will get real time news search suggestions based on the keywords that you enter in the search box.

Yahoo News Search Suggest

For some reason, I couldn’t really test out this feature as its not working at my end. This might be one of those “US only” additions. I personally think that this feature would be excellent for mobile devices.



Bingbot – Bing Web Crawler

bing-web-crawl-bingbotBing has just announced that they are going to change the name of the bing web crawler (a.k.a user agent) to Bingbot. In the past Bing’s user agent was known as MSNBot.

Microsoft’s Bing Crawl & index team has been testing a beta bot for quite some time along side their regular MSNBot, and now they have decided to remove the beta name from the Bing crawler and change the name of the crawler to reflect Microsoft’s new brand for search – Bing. They also highlighted that instead of the old msnbot 2.0b showing up in your server logs, the updated user agent will be:

Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; bingbot/2.0 +http://www.bing.com/bingbot.htm)

The HTTP header From field will also change as shown below:

From: msnbot(at)microsoft.com will become From: bingbot(at)microsoft.com

Even though they are making this change, bingbot will still honor robots.txt directives written for msnbot, so webmasters are not required to make any changes in the robots.txt file.

If you feel that your site is not being indexed properly, or your search traffic from Bing has decreased dramatically you can contact the bing crawl & index team at: bingbot@microsoft.com.


BlueGlass Interactive says “Hallo World!”

blueglass logo
A couple of pioneer Internet Marketing companies has partnered up together to create what I call an AWESOME One stop Internet marketing agency – BlueGlass Interactive. The parties of the mergers are Tampa based firm Search & Social (the mother ship of SEJ), Second Step Search with New York based 10e20 and several other reputed firms & individuals.

blueglass-equation

After looking at their website and browsing through their team profiles It is pretty clear what BlueGlass intends to do, Like Garyvee says – I think they are here to “Crush It”! The merger has brought together some of the best minds in the online marketing industry and with their diverse experience & clientèle, they can really position themselves as ‘the place’ to go to for any business who wants to excel on the web. Currently they are offering a wide range of services including Social Media Marketing, Organic SEO, PPC account management, Online reputation management, Facebook & Mobile app development, Content development and many more.

And thats not all, they are also holding BlueGlass LA, a conference in LA on July 19 & 20, 2010 which will cover a range of topics from entrepreneurship, to search marketing, internet marketing and more. I have been told that this event is going to be kept exclusive for a small crowd therefore grab a ticket before its too late. If you are in LA or can fly there for two days, don’t miss this chance! The networking session itself will be worth the money!

Blueglass conference

The speaker lineup for BlueGlass LA is pretty extensive too, I quickly scanned through the long list and saw – Rand Fishkin from SEOmoz, Neil Patel from KISSMetrics
Ben Huh from ICanHasCheezburger, Tony Adam from MySpace, Loren Baker from Search & Social, Jessica Bowman from SEO in house, David Szetela from Clix Marketing, Marshall Simmonds from The New York Times, Vanessa Fox from NinebyBlue and many more! Do check out the Agenda, if you are interested to know which topics are going to be covered in the conference.

Follow BlueGlass on Twitter & Facebook and stay tuned for more goodies.


WordPress 3.0 – Complete Upgrade Tutorial

wordpress logoWordPress has just released the newest version – WordPress 3.0 “Thelonious”. The new version is available for download from the official wordpress website, or you can just get the latest wordpress zip file from this direct link.

Whats New in WordPress 3?

There are quite a number of nifty feature and improvements in this new WordPress 3 series. I have highlighted some of the important ones below:

WordPress MU Merges with WordPress — The multi-user project WPMU and WordPress is becoming one! This will make creating sub-sites via sub-domains or sub directories very easy going forward.

Set custom username & password during installation — In WordPress 3.0 you will be able to choose your own username and password, instead of accepting the auto-generated “admin” as your default user, which was irritating and an easy target for any hackers.

New “Twenty Ten” wordpress default theme — WordPress 3.0 is now using “Twenty-Ten” as default theme to take full advantages of current WordPress features. Bye Bye Kubrick theme.

Custom post types — In previous versions of wordpress, only posts or pages could be added to a WordPress blog. But the good news is in this new version of WordPress, users will be able to set up common post taxonomies (or tags) and templates pages such as videos, quotes, products etc. This feature won’t replace the categories and tags however this will be a very handy way of organising posts and very useful for those who blog a lot. As WordPress’s Jane Wells puts it: Custom Post Types + taxonomies = Better CMS.

Improved Look & Feel — WordPress dashboard is now more snappier and has on screen help on every single page.

Support of Canonical plugins — Don’t you get annoyed when you find a plugin that you really want and then you realize that the plugin is no longer supported by it’s original author? Well not anymore as Canonical plugins has now been introduced meaning that a community develops a plugin rather than an individual.

Support for Bulk updates — Finally a way for you to update all your plugins in bulk!

Custom menu management — WordPress 3.0 now allows creation of custom menus combining posts, pages, categories, tags, and links for use in theme menus or widgets.

Support for custom background image — In WordPress 3.0 you’ll be able to upload a background image and make some basic changes to its settings within the admin interface.

You can read the complete feature list of WordPress 3.0 from the official wordpress site.

How to: Upgrade to WordPress 3.0

If you are coming from an old version of WordPress and want to upgrade to WordPress 3.0 there are a few options for you. Since WordPress 2.7+ there is an automatic upgrade feature. You can launch the automatic Update by clicking the link in the new version banner (if it’s there) or by going to the Tools -> Upgrade (or Update for version 3) menu. Once you are on the “Update WordPress” page, click the button “Update Automatically” to start the process off. You shouldn’t need to do anything else and, once it’s finished, you will be up-to-date.

If for any reason the automatic update doesn’t work for you then you have to go for a lengthier manual update. To manually update your wordpress installation follow the steps below:

Step 1: Replace WordPress files Get the latest WordPress file – Simply unpack the zip file and delete the old wp-includes and wp-admin directories on your web host (via FTP). Later upload the new WordPress files to your web host, overwriting old files.

NOTE – you should replace all the old WordPress files with the new ones, including those in the root directory like index.php, wp-login.php and so on. Simply copying the contents of the zip you downloaded over the top of your existing files should achieve this. Make sure you copy all the sub-directories as well. Don’t worry – your wp-config.php will be safe. Be careful when you come to copying the wp-content directory. You should make sure that you only copy the files from this directory, rather than replacing your existing wp-content directory. This is where your themes and plugins live, so you will want to keep theme.

Step 2: Update your installation – Visit your main WordPress admin page at /wp-admin. You may be asked to login again. If a database upgrade is necessary at this point, WordPress will detect it and give you a link to a URL like http://example.com/wordpress/wp-admin/upgrade.php. Follow that link and follow the instructions. This will update your database to be compatible with the latest code. You should do this as soon as possible after step 1. And that’s all!

Things to Remember before you Upgrade to WordPress 3.0

  • Just assume that things are going to break (it always does!). Thus, before upgrade make sure that your plugins support the latest version of wordpress. If it doesn’t and you have already upgraded then reversing the whole thing would be a troublesome job. Before upgrading disable all your plugins and re-enable them once the upgrade is complete.
  • Don’t even touch your wordpress files if you don’t have a full backup or at least a recent backup of your database (which contains all your posts & comments). Backing up wordpress regularly is very essential and you should just do it anyway. If you want an easy way to backup your wordpress database, I would highly recommend the plugin: WP-Db Backup. It automatically backs up your wordpress database everyday and sends it to you via email. Another new cloud backup service is – Backupify (which currently has wordpress support).
  • Ask yourself if you really need to upgrade right away. With every new WordPress release there are always bugs & security holes which are sometimes missed by the developers on a test environment. So its always good to wait for few weeks/months before you are certain that no big exploit has been found on the particular release that you plan to upgrade to.

Questions? Please ask them on twitter – @saadkamal or post them in the comments below.


Blogger Template Designer – Make your Own Blog Template

blogger template designerIn early march, Google released a beta version of Blogger Template designer – an intuitive system to customize your templates on the fly with easy to use features and pretty much just drag-and-drop. Yesterday Google opened up the Blogger template designer to everyone! It has already created a lot of buzz and all the bloggers who use Google’s Blogger/Blogspot to host their blogs are simply loving it.

What is Blogger Template Designer?

Well just watch the video here. You will be amazed to see what it can do!

Highlights of Blogger Template Designer

There are a gazillion blogs out there and majority of them look just the same. Why? Because most of the blogging platform doesn’t make it easy to customize the look and feel of the blog. Of course there are templates available, but its hard to make edits on them if you are not a code wiz. SquareSpace really saw this as an opportunity and made a wonderful service that lets anybody to start a blog with a really cool and almost ‘unique’ design, without having to worry about coding, hosting or anything at all. But it didn’t get a lot of traction among the general bloggers who wants to blog about their cat or their hair for instance. The reason being, the service isn’t free and its not even cheap.

Google’s Blogger on the other hand is a free service and used by millions of people. However it had a lot of limitations in terms of what you could do with the design and layout. Those limitations made a lot of people to switch to other platforms like wordpress. But with the introduction of this new template designer, newbie bloggers might prefer to stick to Blogger for now.

With the Blogger Template Designer, you can create your own blog designs through:

19 Awesome looking templates. You can now quickly give your blog a great new look by selecting one of the new templates.

Finally, CSS Support! Designs are completely defined in CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), meaning that any design can be applied to any blog layout, making templates more flexible and unique.

Lots of Free Stock Images for your blog. Google has partnered with iStockphoto to offer you hundreds of gorgeous background images at zero cost.

One Master control over your design colours. With other platforms, users have to define every color in their blog separately, making changing the color theme of your blog a tedious task. The Blogger Template Designer lets you change all the colors in your blog at once, by changing the Main color theme.

Real time preview. You can watch your blog update as you create your template design via the real time preview feature.

Complete control. Under the advanced tab, you can override a design’s CSS and enter your own CSS in the editor and see your blog’s preview updated in real time.

Cross-browser support. Blogger handles cross browser support for you, so you don’t have to. Your blog will work perfectly in Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome and other major browsers.

and many more…

Lets Try Blogger Template Designer

Anyone can try out the template designer here. If you like your design, you can apply it to a new blog or to an existing blog. You can also try the Template Designer on your blog (Design > Template Designer).

Here are some Tips from the Blogger Team

  • You can get your links to match a background image quickly by using the Background panel’s “Main color theme” to adjust all of your blog’s colors at once. This works particularly well with Simple’s second design.
  • If you have a three-column footer, you can fit in several gadgets to interest your readers after they’re done reading your post.
  • If you’re using our new Pages feature, put the Page List gadget in the wide section at the top of your blog.
  • Many of the patterns in the background image picker are semi-transparent, to let your blog’s background color show through. Look for the “transparency page curl” to see which patterns these are.
  • The Attribution gadget (added to the footer by all new templates) is there to give credit not just to the designer and artist of the background image, but to you as well. Edit its settings by clicking “Edit” on Layout > Page Elements to add your own authorship or copyright information.

So do you like the Blogger Template Designer? Share your experience with me!


Google Search adds Background Image

Everyone seems to like Bing’s background image implementation that changes every single day. Well apparently Google also ‘liked’ the idea and rolled it out in the Google Search home page. Sadly it received a lot of backlash initially as it automatically started showing those background images and users were unable to change/remove them. Many thought that this was a permanent change from Google. Marissa Mayer, Google’s VP of Search later explained that there was a bug that caused this issue and Google has stopped this experiment for the time being.

But personally I really liked the original idea of being able to change & personalize the Google Search background as per your choice. I think many users would like the idea of having their own/family or any photo for that matter in the Google search home page. It sort of gives them the same experience as they get from their Desktop wallpaper. Now our life and our use of computer is mostly constricted inside a browser, so it makes sense to have a nice background image for our browser’s desktop – Google! Every time when I’m in front of my PC, I do see Google’s Home page/search page more than my desktop wallpaper.

How to add a Background Image in Google Home Page

If you wish to add a nice background image in the Google homepage and get rid of the boring plain white background, simply follow the steps below:

Step 1: Firstly of all sign in to your Google Account in the top right corner of the Google homepage. Your background will be set in the account level, thus regardless of which browser/computer you use, your background image will always show up as soon as you sign in to your Google Account.

Step 2: Click Change background image in the bottom left corner of the Google homepage.

Step 3: Choose where to select your background image. Currently Google gives you 4 options as follows:
– From my computer: You can select an image that is saved on your computer.
– My Picasa Web photos: You can select an image from your Picasa Web Albums.
– Public gallery: You can also select from public photos featured in Picasa Web Albums.
– Editor’s picks: Select from a set of Google recommended images.

Step 4: Once you’ve chosen your image, click Select at the bottom of the window. You are done! Your selected background image should appear in the Google home page instantly.

This is how my current Google homepage looks like:

Google Background Image - How to

If you wish to remove the background image from google’s home page at any time, simply click on the remove link on the bottom left corner. (I have highlighted the link in the screenshot).

So do you like this new feature? Show off your Google home page!


Google Adsense Revenue Share, Finally Disclosed!

Finally Google has decided to disclose the exact revenue share percentage that they have been using to split the cut between the Adsense Publishers and how much Google actually generates from their advertisers via the AdWords platform. Webmasters have been dying to know this number ever since Google started adsense back in 2003.

So far this is what Google has released:

Adsense for Content: If you you are an adsense publisher and you are running Adsense for content ads on your site then you get to keep 68 percent of what Google makes off from their advertisers. Thus Google takes 32% revenue share and passes the rest to the publisher. This number is surprisingly very high than what I initially guessed. Some suggested that this figure has been changed by Google recently, however google argues that this has been the figure since the launch of their adsense program.

Adsense for Search: If you using Google’s custom search on your website and using the Adsense for search, you are receiving 51 percent of whatever that Google makes off it’s advertisers.

Google said they will not disclose the revenue share of AdSense for mobile applications, AdSense for feeds, and AdSense for games at this point, but may disclose those revenue share amounts as the products mature.

Why the sudden change of heart about disclosing all these numbers? Well, frankly Google has been under a lot of heat lately because of Anti-trust issues, and SEL reported earlier this month that Italian Government was all over Google to make them reveal this cut for the Italian publishers. I guess finally Google figured out the meaning of being transparent, open and their ‘do-no-evil’ mojo.

Google on it’s Inside Adsense blog writes that it doesn’t guarantee that the revenue share will never change however they don’t have any current plans to do so for any of the AdSense products. In the next few months publisher will be able to see this revenue shares for AdSense for content and search right in the AdSense dashboard.

However do note that if you are a big publisher (especially newspapers or blogs with millions of pageviews), you can ‘negotiate’ a special cut with Google and that are most likely to be more than 68 percent.

But am I surprised with the numbers? Hell yeah!

Are you? Share in Comments!


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