:::: MENU ::::

Yahoo Glue – All in One Page

yahoo-glue-launched-worldwideWhen you search for a very popular term in google, you will notice that a variety of different kinds of results show up including videos, news articles, blog posts, pictures, regular search results etc. Google called this feature Universal Search.

Yahoo also has a similar service that they opened to a limited number of countries called – Yahoo Glue. Amit Agarwal recently reported that Yahoo has opened up this service to all countries.

So basically if you search for a renowned person that is likely to generate a lot of different kind of results (e.g. news, photos, videos etc.) you will be able to see it’s effectiveness clearly. Amit shares the following screen shot which appears if you search for Barack Obama in Yahoo Glue.

barack-obama-yahooglue

Read more about Yahoo Glue in Yahoo! Cool Things of the day blog.


Top Internet Marketing Blogs – WinningTheWeb

Are you new to this Internet Marketing industry and looking for blog & resources to read? Gyutae Park, a successful Internet entrepreneur and SEO from Winning The Web has recently came up with an incredible dynamic list of Top Internet Marketing Blogs.

What is cool about this list it, it dynamically updates the ranking of the blogs that are inside the list by taking into several ranking metrics into consideration. Some of them are: No. of RSS Subscribers, Alexa Ranking, Yahoo Backlinks, Google PageRank along with some cool social metrics like No of StumbleUpon Reviews, Delicious Bookmarks, Technorati Ranking, social votes etc.

Things I like most about WinningTheWeb Internet Marketing Top Blogs List:

  • This list it completely dynamic. You can play around with it, for instance sort it in any order you want or view the list based on categories
  • Since the Ranking of the blogs keeps on changing constantly, its a good place for the people to keep track of the top players in the industry and also the new players with promising performance.
  • When a blog’s ranking changes in that particular list, it lists the variation in a column which is pretty cool
  • You can directly dip into the content of the blogs via RSS directly from the list
  • They give away cool badges like the the one below to show of your current ranking to your readers

How Can This List Be Improved in Future?

  • I’d want to see more ranking metrics to be included so that the ranking can become more unbiased and un-gameable.
  • Date of Last Update should be a compulsory metric to look at when ranking these blogs. Because readers want to read fresh content and not a blog that hasn’t been updated for months!
  • Looking for “high authority links” might also be a good idea. (e.g. how many .edu, .gov, .mil etc. links does a site have). Maybe a custom list of authority websites can be created and links from those domains can be valued higher.
  • Allow users to subscribe to the RSS of the blogs directly from the list. Currently they don’t have this feature present.

So hopefully WinningTheWeb will continue to come up with more tools and goodies for this industry and I thank Gyutae for making this wonderful resource for the community.

Hopefully he will take periodic feedback from all the bloggers and make the necessary changes/fixes/updates that needs to be done.

So don’t waste any time – head over to list of WinningTheWeb Top Internet Marketing Blogs.

If you wish to Increase your traffic on your website, you may want to hire a professional internet marketing company which can help you to build your site’s traffic and also increase your overall site’s visibility. MatrixMT is a reputable firm which provides many search marketing services at affordable cost. You can call them at 858.346.1430 ext. 11 to get a custom proposal for your business.


Google Featured in Hollywood & You Can Make Money With It!

Well its probably not new when an Actor in a Hollywood movie is probably is some sort of ‘identity crisis’, wants to find out more information about some weird ‘virus’ or looking up information about a serial killer — and they all turn to Google.com and always seems to find the answer in matter of minutes. The brand “Google” was mentioned a number of times in Hollywood movies and we have seen movie stars using it too but this is probably the first time I’m seeing a Hollywood movie promoting Google’s Search Engine in their commercial trailer – 2012.

2012 is a movie directed by Roland Emmerich. The movie has some famous casts like John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Danny Glover, Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Woody Harrelson. Basically the storyline is – The world is devastated by some sort of cataclysm in the year 2012, and there are some survivors who has to struggle for their lives…

Right after the short teaser trailer ends, this is what they show:

Movie 2012 - Search Google 2012

Notice the last two lines – “Find out the Truth….Google Search: 2012”! So Basically instead of giving any Web URL, they are actually encouraging users to search for 2012 in Google. Pretty Innovative isn’t it? So naturally I went to Google and searched for 2012 and surprisingly I couldn’t find their official site of the movie 2012 in the Top 50 (I didn’t bother looking after that). So unless they can put themselves in the position 1 (using ppc) or 2 (Organic) as shown in the screen shot below, their website won’t get the publicity that they probably hoped for!

2012-Screenshot

Bonus Tip: How to take advantage of this to get Massive traffic

I don’t want to be an evil person nor I have any problem with Sony pictures but I must say that its really very stupid of them to publicize something before even thinking about its implementation! I know that the movie is due next year and some might say that they have still plenty of time to do SEO, Linkbuilding, PPC and other things to get on the #1 position. But a number of their trailers are up and running in youtube for over 8 months with a combined view of 500,000+! So if even 20% of those viewers actually goes and search for 2012 in google thats like 100,000 people!

According to Google Keywords Tool, the word “2012” (with exact match) receives about 201,000 searches and for Octobar it received 301,000 searches.

Google Trends also shows a promising amount of searches –

Google Trends - Movie 2012

Ok Fine! There are Lots of Searches…So What?

Well, do you want to get all these traffic to come to your website? Of course you do! Well guess what, at the time i’m writing this the PPC bid price for the keyword 2012 (in exact match) is only $0.09-0.13 cents for Position 1! That is insanely low because not many people are targeting any ads to that particular keyword! And due to the fact that it has been mentioned in the movie trailer (and is likely to be mentioned ever more in future)….a lot of people are actually searching for the phrase “2012”. In fact that is not all, there are some other hype going with the year 2012 which is making many people to search for it naturally as well.

So if you invest some money in PPC and only target that particular keyword alone (with exact match) and also write a very good ad copy..I can guarantee that you will get a lot of traffic and a good CTR (since people are really curious to find out about 2012..so if you mention certain keywords in your ad that the visitor can relate to in the movie (Hint: A phrase from the trailer..), they are likely to click on your ad.

Now what can you do with this traffic?

I guess thats something that you need to figure out. There is a lot of ways you can monetize that kind of traffic – for instance, signup with an account with Cafepress and design some cool 2012 t-shirts and sell them via that landing page. Make unofficial wallpapers, skins, themes of the movie 2012 (watermark your domain name) and give them away for free via your landing page. Or do whatever you want as long as it is legit!

What If I don’t want to do anything with 2012, but I just want the traffic?

That is certainly an option, but you really need to figure out whether the traffic that will come via this medium is going to convert for your site. I know I haven’t covered PPC in my blog yet (which i intend to), but in brief conversion means – if you are spending $0.09 cent to get a visitor and out of every 100 visitor you get (costing you $9), 10 people converts (signs up for an offer, buys a product, or does something that has a monetary value) and makes you $20 then its giving you a ROI of $11 (per 100 visitors). So its like for every $9 you spend in PPC you are getting about $20 in return. So I advise you to test your campaign and see whether this is worth the time, effort & money.

Once the word gets out, a lot of people might start doing what I just suggested and thats when the bid price will start to rise and eventually it won’t be so cheap anymore…So I guess this post was just for fun after all, if you have never don’t PPC in your life this is your chance to test it out (Right now!). Your advantage is, you will have the privilege to test it out with a lot of traffic and have to pay less for clicks.

Any other cool (‘evil’) ideas running in your mind? Share them in comments.


Google SearchWiki – Personalize Your Search Results

Google SearchWikiHave you ever wished to play around with the search results? Like move it up or down, include things that are not there or remove sites that you find “BS”? Well now you can by using Google’s brand new service – Google SearchWiki.

The official Google blog just introduced this brand new service – Google SearchWiki which is a way for you you to customize the search results by re-ranking, deleting, adding, and commenting on the results directly. With just a click of the mouse you can move the results up/down or you can even add a new site that doesn’t appear in your results. You can now attach small notes to a particular site and also completely remove a site from the results page that you feel don’t belong there. Your modifications will be recorded under your Google Account and will be shown to you every time you do the same search in the future. As you can imagine, SearchWiki is only available to the Google users (while they are signed in).

Google SearchWiki

The changes that you make via SearchWiki will only affect your own searches and not the whole world. So when you make a certain change, its only you who sees that change. But Google says that SearchWiki also is a great way to share your insights with other searchers. You can see how the community has collectively edited the search results by clicking on the “See all notes for this SearchWiki” link.

Watch the following video where Google’s lead engineer of SearchWiki, Amay demonstrates a few ways to use SearchWiki:

My Two Cents

I think this is a good example of how search is becoming very dynamic, social and more personalized. Does this mean that SEO is no longer useful? Well certainly not! In fact SEO is no longer just the on-page and link factors. If you really want to optimize your website for the search engines there are certain bit of ‘social’ elements that you need to pay attention to as well. SearchWiki is certainly a good feature for people who wants to do research on a niche topic – say, once you have gone through a particular site in the SERP you can probably put a little note there or if you come across any spam or irrelevant page you can just remove it from the results page thus it will save you some time when you perform the same search a month later.

However I must warn you that, if you Opt-in to this feature, there is currently no way to Opt-out! (As far as I know). So I’d prefer to stick to the sweet old google for now.


TweetStalk – Stalk People in Twitter Without Following

tweet-stalkMichael Arrington of Techcrunch shared a nice little twitter plugin today called – TweetStalk that will let you stalk a twitterers without having to follow them!

The site writes: “Stalk, Don’t Follow — Sometimes you want to follow someone on Twitter, but you don’t want them to know you’re following them. We present to you TweetStalk ? the simple way to stalk Twitter users without having to follow them. ”

How to Use TweetStalk

Step 1 – Download and Install The TweetStalk Firefox Addon

Step 2 – Click on the Stalk Button

tweet-stalk-screenshot

Step 3 – Confirm the Twitter Account (If you’re not already logged in to your twitter account, you will need to log-in first for the first time you start using TweetStalk. Simply confirm your username and click on the Stalk button to start stalking….

My Two Cents

I’m not sure why people wouldn’t want to let the person know when they are following but I guess there are certain twitter users who likes to stay anonymous but still wants to deep into the twitter world. So if you prefer to “Stalk” people than to “follow” then TweetStalk is for you :)


Bloggers Best Practices Guide by Google

After launching the Official Google SEO Guide, many webmasters has really appreciated Google’s effort in trying to help out web community. The blogosphere demanded that Google should often come up with more such guides so that at least the ‘best practices’ of the subject matter is clear to the public.

And now It looks like Google has came up with another Guide for Bloggers, unfortunately its not a PDF this time but instead its a new document inside the Google Webmaster Help archive. So in this small guide, the Google Webmaster Central team has offered some basic but useful tips on how bloggers can improve their blogs. They have divided the document in 3 parts – Creating great content, Making the content Crawler & user friendly & lastly use of Google Webmaster tools for your blog.

I have created a small summary of what the guide talks about. So here goes:

Creating Great Content

  • Write Good content & Write as Frequently as possible — As you may already know, Content is King but do you know that writing more ‘frequently’ can encourage your readers to come back to your site more often? But obviously you need to take into account that the subject of your writing should be the same as what your readers expect from your blog. A very good quality post once a week is better than many low-quality content published daily.Tip: — Perform a search in Google for a subject of interest on your niche. If you can’t find a good answer, simply create a blog post about that particular subject – chances are that other people are also searching for the same thing.
  • Always follow the Webmasters Guideline and try do things naturally. Try not to get involved in shady practices like this.
  • Organize your content to make your Blog more User-friendly! Use categories, tags & labels appropriately so that your content are easy to find.
  • Host your blog in your own domain and link it from your Home page so that the users & search crawlers can easily find your content
  • Always create original content & content that are primarily for users and not the search engines. If you are promoting a affiliate product, DON’T use the content that they provide which has probably been used in tons of other places and are just duplicates. Always write unique & original content that you feel will be useful for the reader (e.g. Product reviews, How-tos etc.)
  • Stop Comment Spam – Comments are Good but SPAMs are not. Read more about how to stop comment spam.

Making your Blog Crawler & User Friendly

  • Always use Descriptive Titles for each your posts – Think of words that people may use to search for that particular post and include them in your title. Write Unique Titles so that it doesn’t get mixed up with another post of yours in your blog.
  • Engage in your community, participate in discussion and interact with the readers who leaves a comment in your blog
  • Publish a FULL feed of your content rather than a partial Feed. Full feeds can make users happy because they can view your content with a lot less effort. Even though it might result in a short-term decline in visits to your actual blog, but it has long-term benefits for you

Webmaster Tools For Your Blog

Thats all! Pretty basic isn’t it? If you were expecting more “advanced” stuffs I invite you to read some of the following:

Bloggers Guide to SEO by Aaron Wall & Giovanna Wall – SEOBook.com

WordPress SEO – Definitive Guide To High Rankings For Your Blog by Joost de Valk – Yoost.com

Search Engine Optimization for Blogs by Darren Rowse – Problogger.net

Whitehat SEO tips for bloggers by Matt Cutts – Mattcutts.com/blog/

21 Tactics to Increase Blog Traffic by Rank Fishkin – SEOmoz.org

Tips for Optimizing Blogs and Feeds by Ross Dunn – SearchEngineGuide.com

Do-It-Yourself Search Engine Optimization Guide by Lorelle – Lorelle.Wordpress.com

SEO For WordPress – The Complete Guide by Jim Westergren – JimWestergren.com

Did I miss any great resources? Please Include it in comments or notify me via twitter (@saadkamal).

Update: I forgot to add my very own post that I wrote particularly for Bloggers titled: How to Rank Your Blog High in Search Engines. Check it out and I’m sure you will be able to take some useful pieces from it.


InLinks: MediaWhiz Selling Links for SEO

InLinks- Selling Links for Search Engine Optimization Benefits Techcrunch just picked upon MediaWhiz for launching their new product InLinks that is a straightforward Link-buying system for SEO benefits.

How Does InLinks Works?

With InLinks advertisers can buy links to those sites are then added to publishers sites whenever certain keywords pop up in content. These aren’t pop-up ad links like Kontera and others – InLinks offers full blown links without any notation (like a nofollow) that tare primarily meant for giving out link juice for SEO benefits.

What Does Matt Cutts Thinks about InLinks

Techcrunch shared the following email from Matt Cutts (Head of Google Webspam Team):

Google has been very clear that selling such links that pass PageRank is a violation of our quality guidelines. Other search engines have said similar things. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has also given unambiguous guidance on this subject in the recent PDF at http://www.ftc.gov/os/2008/03/P064101tech.pdf where they said “Consumers who endorse and recommend products on their blogs or other sites for consideration should do so within the boundaries set forth in the FTC Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising and the FTC’s guidance on word of mouth marketing,” as well as “To date, in response to this concern, the FTC has advised that search engines need to disclose clearly and conspicuously if the ranking or other presentation of search results is a function of paid placement, and, similarly, that consumers who are paid to engage in word-of-mouth marketing must disclose that fact to recipients of their messages.” Oh, but you say your blog isn’t in the U.S.? Maybe it’s in the UK? Then you’ll be interested in http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2008/uksi_20081277_en_5#pt11 which covers unfair trade practices and specifically mentions “Using editorial content in the media to promote a product where a trader has paid for the promotion without making that clear in the content or by images or sounds clearly identifiable by the consumer (advertorial).” But you’re not in the UK? I believe many of the unfair commercial practices directives apply through Europe, e.g. http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/rights/index_en.htm to prohibit misleading or aggressive marketing. The reality is that accepting money to link to/promote/market for a product without disclosing that fact is a very high-risk behavior, in my opinion.

What Others Bloggers are saying about InLinks:

InLinks.com – TLA Launches In Links, an Inline Link Buying Program : Aaron Wall – SEObook.com

Normally, It’s a Good Thing to Get Featured on Techcrunch : Rand Fishkin – SEOmoz.org

InLinks – These New Text-Link-Ads May Be Tough to Detect : Amit Agarwal – Labanol.org

Text-Link-Ads Debuts Inlinks.com — Hopes To Fly Under Googles Radar : Deep Jive Interests

My Two Cents

I won’t go into any debate of whether ‘paid links’ are good or bad. I think i have written enough of it already here. But I’d just say that both publishers & advertisers needs to be careful when signing up for these kind of programs due to the fact that they are ‘extremely’ dangerous when they get this kind of publicity and goes inside the radar…



TweeTag – Tag Search for Twitter

Tweet Tag If you like twitter, you might want to try out TweeTag, which is a brand new way to search Twitter, or ‘browse the Twittosphere’!

This web based application is fairly simple to use: you just need to enter a search tag, and Tweetag will automatically show public Twitter messages that contain that particular keyword, but more interestingly also a list of other tags that are related to it. The Homepage of Tweetag also displays the top 40 most recent/frequent tags, so you can easily get an idea of what’s hot on Twitter.

Tweetag - Search the Twittosphere

Twitter has its own Search functionality that they acquired from Summize, and I guess it won’t take them long to integrate this tagging feature into the Twitter’s defaullt search if its of real value to the user.

But I feel that twitter is really slow in making ‘changes’ and so It would be fair to say that until they can come up with such feature use Tweetag freely to monitor specific keywords and find out what’s hot on the popular micro-sharing tool in just a few seconds.

If you wish to integrate the results of Tweetag in your blog widget or other 3rd party applications, they have a API that you can use.

And Don’t Forget to Follow me (@saadkamal) in Twitter!


Official Gmail Theme Launches

Michael Arrington at TechCrunch just reported that some lucky users were able to see a new button under their Gmail Settings Tab – Themes!

Yes thats right! It looks like Gmail Team is finally coming up with their own set of themes that Gmail users will be able to click-n-change! I guess most of the Gmail users will find this new addition very useful as users were kind of sick and tired of seeing the same ‘plain-boring-simple’ interface over and over again. My Gmail window is open almost 24/7 (as long as my laptop is turned on…), so you imagine how excited I am to hear about this cool new feature of Gmail!

Right now, I still don’t see the feature under my account. But I believe Google is rolling out this feature slowly to all of its users.

Update: Ok the news becomes official as Gmail Engineer, Annie Chen breaks the news today in the Gmail Blog that over 30 odd themes has been launched today for Gmail. I have looked through their theme database and I must say that their collection is substantia. There’s a shiny theme with chrome styling, another one that turns your inbox into a retro notepad, nature themes that change scenery over time, weather driven themes that can even rain on your inbox, and fun characters to keep you always in good company.

How to Activate Gmail Theme

In order to activate these cool Gmail Themes and fully customize your Gmail Inbox, Log on to your Gmail account and then go to the Themes tab under Settings. Google be rolling out these themes to everyone over the next couple of days, so if you don’t see them yet, check back soon!!


Google Search-Based Keyword Tool for PPC

The Official Adwords blog just announced that they have released another tool called Search-based Keyword Tool (beta). With the help of this brand new tool an Advertiser can now make a better sense of what his potential customers are searching for and which keywords he should advertise on.

How Does Google Search-Based Keyword Tool Works

Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Land has already done a more detailed review of Google Search-Based Keyword Tool.

What it does is, basically it looks at your pages and finds out keyword that people are searching for in the Google Search engine but you are not targeting them in your Adwords Campaign. Baris Gultekin who is the Business Product Manager of Google Search-Based Keyword Tool told SEL that the value in this unique tool is that it gives advertisers a look at keywords that they are currently not targeting, that might bring in a positive ROI to the campaign. For example, a site that sells watches can use this tool to find a popular model or brand that they are currently not advertising for but has a lot of positive amount of searches in the search engine.

Trevor Claiborne at Inside AdWords Blog explains:

….you know that the Google search engine starts with searches conducted by users and helps them find relevant pages. But for keyword targeting, what you want is a tool that goes in the opposite direction by starting with your pages and identifying keywords that potential customers are searching on to find your products or services. The Search-based Keyword Tool does exactly this, leveraging search query data relevant to your website’s content. In other words, this new tool gives you keywords that are highly relevant to your site but are not part of your AdWords campaigns. This helps you take advantage of missed opportunities.

The Search-based Keyword Tool is currently available to advertisers of only US and UK. Google will be expanding to additional languages and more countries in the near future. You are welcome to try this tool out at http://www.google.com/sktool, and give the Adwords team your useful feedback.

My Two Cents

This is an excellent addition to the Google Adwords Tool family. I think this tool can also be used for competitive analysis. So if you have a strong competitor on your niche who spends a lot of money in adwords and sort of kills the whole market, you can easily run this tool on that domain and find out which keywords are they missing out and thus you can bid on those (at a low bid cost) and get all the traffic.


Microsoft Teaches Black Hat SEO

Microsoft Supports Link ExchangeToday I was pretty amazed to read an article by the Sr. Product Manager of Microsoft, Skip Chilcott who openly endorsed that webmasters should participate in Link Exchange as it helps to boost the rankings in search engines.

That totally contradicts with what I wrote in my complete Linkbuilding tutorial and most importantly it contradicts with Google’s Webmaster Guideline as well as Microsoft’s very own guideline.

This is what Google has to say about participating in Link schemes:

…some webmasters engage in link exchange schemes and build partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking, disregarding the quality of the links, the sources, and the long-term impact it will have on their sites. This is in violation of Google’s webmaster guidelines and can negatively impact your site’s ranking in search results.

This is what Microsoft’s guideline says (Important part in Bold):

..Techniques that might prevent your website from appearing in Live Search results
The following techniques aren’t appropriate uses of the Live Search index. Use of these techniques might affect how your website is ranked within Live Search, and might cause your website to be removed from the index….. – Using techniques, such as link farms, to artificially increase the number of links to your webpage.

Yahoo also takes a similar stance about Link exchange

What Yahoo! Considers Unwanted: … Sites cross-linked excessively with other sites to inflate a site’s apparent popularity (link schemes)….

Now I wonder why would Skip Chilcott of Microsoft would publicly recommend participating in Link exchange scheme (a semi black-hat technique) and also endorse certain software/firms for that purpose.

Why Do I strongly discourage Link Exchange Schemes

Search Engine has become competitive and more useful for people (like us). We heavily depend on search engine to find useful & relevant information everyday. The reason we find ‘search engines’ useful is because – It allows us to find what we are looking for in a quick time. But as more and more people starts to ‘game’ the search engine, there will be more ‘spam’ and ‘low quality results’ in the respected engines. One way of stopping that spam is to, making sure that the Search algorithm doesn’t take ‘certain’ attributes into consideration that can be artificially manipulation (E.g. low quality links). Google (The primary engine that I personally uses) has taken several measures in past and has discounted those ‘bad links’ from counting. They have discouraged and taken necessary action to prevent webmasters from gaming the search ranking using those ‘shady SEO techniques’.

Even though I may not 100% agree to what Google does (they do have some strict ruling about a lot of things), I do agree that Reciprocal Linking or participating in automated link exchange program does not benefit the user at all and it just benefits the webmaster to game the whole system! And if search engines are gamed, then it will lose it’s usefulness.

And when such ‘shady advice’ comes directly from the Sr. Product manager of Microsoft, it just makes everything clear to me that why Live Search has been so far away in producing anything but good results!

Update: Skip Chilcott has created another post, identifying the mistake he made in his first post. This time He has asked a colleague over at Live Search to share some expert advice on linking best practices. [ I’m really looking forward to that post ]

What Kind of Link Exchange Are Possible White Hat?

  • Links that helps the user to find more useful information on that particular subject.
  • Links that are not promoting or giving Link juice to a site that is spammy in nature
  • Links exchange that are primarily meant for Traffic and not for “search engine ranking”
  • Links that you would want to recommend to the search engine because of their quality and value to you and your users

Natural Link building techniques that many Search Experts recommend:

8 Ways to Buy Links Without “Buying Links”, Rand Fishkin – SEOmoz.org

Should I Avoid Link Exchange / Link Trading Hubs?, Aaron Wall – SEObook.com

The definitive link building strategy, Web Credible

101 Link Building Tips to Market Your Website, Aaron Wall – SEOBook.com

Link Building Tutorial – A Complete Walkthrough, Saad Kamal

Five Link Building Strategies That Work, Brian Clark – Copyblogger


Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang Decides to Step Down

Jerry Yang Yahoo CEO Decides to Step down from CEORight after Jerry Yang’s Interview at the Web 2.0 Summit, the whole blogosphere was demanding Jerry to step down from his CEO position… and now it looks like he has finally taken the initiative to search for a new CEO to replace him as he plans to step down and go back to his former role as Chief Yahoo!

The official press releases from Yahoo says:

Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO) today announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a search for a new Chief Executive Officer. Jerry Yang, co-Founder of Yahoo!, has decided to return to his former role as Chief Yahoo! upon the appointment of his successor as CEO, and he will also continue to serve on the Board. Yang, 40, assumed the CEO role at the Board’s request in June 2007, and he has led Yahoo! through a strategic repositioning and transformation of its platform. Chairman Roy Bostock, working with the independent directors and in consultation with Jerry Yang, is leading the process of assessing potential candidates and determining finalists for consideration. The search will encompass both internal and external candidates, and the Board has retained Heidrick & Struggles, a leading international executive search firm, to assist in the process.

Jerry also wrote a personal memo to all yahoo employees (which was obtained by BoomTown).

Continue Reading


Google Analytics for Flash

google-analytics-reviewIf you have a lot of flash content on your website you might want to know how your visitors are interacting with those fancy flash content —are they actually seeing it or just skipping it? Now you can find out using Google Analytics as they ads Adobe Flash tracking via their open source API.

How Does Google Analytics Track Flash

If you use the given API, Google Analytics should be able to track various uses of Adobe Flash in a website, including the number of viewers, whether the creative attracts new users and the effectiveness of the flash at getting visitors to take action.

The Official Google Analytics blog has included a short video which shows this cool flash tracking feature in action:

Currently Google provides tracking libraries for both Flash and Flex which can be downloaded as a ZIP file here. The libraries include:

  • Flash visual component
  • Flash AS3 library
  • Flex MXML component
  • Flex AS3 library

You can learn more about how to use them through this developer documentation.

The entire AS3 code base has been made open source under the Apache 2 License. So If you are a developer and wish to improve the current code and add new features, you can contribute to the code base. Or, if you are working for a company that is running a content platform, such as Sprout, you can very easily merge the Flash tracking codebase into your existing platform.


Mashable Open Web Awards Nomination Suggestions

2nd Annual Open Web Awards

If you all remember, just about a week back I have announced that saadkamal.com is a partner of the Mashable 2nd Annual Open Web Awards. And I just want to remind everyone that the last date for Nomination is Sunday night, 11:59 pm PST (2:59 am Monday EST, 7:59 am Monday GMT).

I’m really excited to see who gets nominated for this year’s Open Web Awards. According to Adam Hirsch (COO of Mashable.com), this has been their biggest web awards ever with over 100 Mashable Blog Partners.

So I’ll take some time and highlight some of my own favorite sites that I feel should be nominated. Check them out and if you feel that they have what it takes to be nominated for the Open Web Awards of 2008 then simply nominate them using the widget provided at the end of this post. Remember time is ticking (Tick Toc Toc) and you have only about 24 hours before this nomination gets closed.

Social News

I must admit that I spend a lot of time in the social sites, because I’m a Information junkie. I really love to read and I personally believe that learning is like a never ending process, and you can never learn ‘enough’ about anything (No matter how good you are at it). There is always something new that comes up if you actually take some time to read what others are writing about the same subject. Social News sites are mostly designed in such a way that it makes finding relevant information/news very easy. Now there are certain obvious ones that I’m sure you have already heard of such as: Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Mixx etc. Since they will be getting a lot of votes naturally, I’d like to showcase some other alternate Social News sites that are nomination worthy:

Yahoo Buzz

Yahoo Buzz

Yahoo! Buzz is a basically a community-based news article website, similar to Digg. It combines the features of social bookmarking and syndication through a user interface that allows editorial control. Users can easily Buzz Up/Down a story, participate in discussion & share the story with their friends. This service was launched by Yahoo in February this year and in short period of time Yahoo Buzz has really created a big buzz among the community.

Some other social news websites are:

Truemors: Truemors is basically a social rumor news site which focuses on the publication of “true rumors that are relevant, informative, and interesting. Users can even post links anonymously via text, voicemail, web or email.

Plime: Plime is a pretty general news site which features a wide variety of topics ranging from religion and sports to technology or business. It has been seen that the Odd news performs really well in this community.

Blog Plugins

There are plenty of plugins that are useful and I appreciate all the hard work that the developers put in to create these plugins that make our blog look so cool! I will particularly write about two plugins that has helped thousands of blogs to enable bookmarking & sharing of their posts to

ShareThis

Share This Plugin

ShareThis is a easy to use blog plugin that lets you integrate several social media voting & distribution buttons under one single ShareThis Button. It allows bloggers to Increase their content distribution with much less clutter and also has option for free tracking.

AddThis

Add this Blog Plugin

Very similar to ShareThis, this plugin is widely used for easy Bookmarking & sharing of your content via the social sites. Its easily customizable and loads faster then the ShareThis Plugin.

Social Search

I’m not sure how familiar are you with Social Search, but its something that has been there for quite some time already. The main difference between Social Search engines compared to any traditional search engine (e.g. Google) is that Social Search engines rely heavily on the social interactions & buzz in order to determine the relevance and ranking of a website. Some of the notable ones are:

Mahalo

Mahalo Social Search

Started by Jason Calacanis, Mahalo has done pretty well to bring social & search together under one roof. Their engine gets about 75,000+ visitors per day according to Google Trends.

Check out a comprehensive list of over 40 other Social Search sites.

Photo Sharing

Sharing photos on the Internet has been like a regular activity for many of us. Luckily there are so many paid & free photo sharing service out there that makes the task really simple & easy. The most popular ones are – Flickr, Photo Bucket, ImageShack and so on. But there is another photo sharing site that has recently caught my attention.

Smugmug

SmugMug

Smugmug is devoted to priceless photos, that is backed up to three data centers across the U.S. They currently have about 300,000 paying customers and 417,543,558 photos and counting.

Travel

Whether you are planning a holiday trip with your family or your honeymoon, the Travel portals really play a key role in your Trip planning and overall experience. According to a comScore study in 2007, booking travel over the Internet has become something of a nightmare for people. Why? Well its because over “Information Overload”. There are just too much information out there that makes planning a vacation really overwhelming. The travel portal that I’m about to share with you tends to solve that problem by using the Semantic Web Technology.

UpTake

UpTake Travel

UpTake allows you to search over 1000 travel websites and 20 Million user opinions at once. There service is currently under beta and only open to US.

Checkout out 25 other Top Travel Websites reviewed by CNN

Social Shopping

Social Shopping may be a new concept but its something that is growing rapidly. Companies have started to figure out the power of “social influence” in a buyer’s decision making process.

ThisNext

ThisNext Social Shopping

ThisNext is an interactive wish-list based social shopping network that works based on recommendation from real people. One can easily add or recommend different products and participate in discussion such as product reviews. Shoppers can create wish-lists with the direct ability to buy the items from ThisNext.

Check out the review of 18 other Social Shopping sites by Mashable.

Niche Social Network

I’m sure you are all familiar of different social networks that are out there: Facebook, Myspace, Orkut and so on. These social network are pretty “general” in nature, But the social networking site that I’m about to share with you here is pretty different than the ones that you are already using.

Ning

Ning is a social networking site that lets its users to create any niche social network about anything! So if you like gardening, you can open up or join a niche social network about gardening in Ning. Users have already created over thousands of small social networks on various topics that anyone can join.

Music

There are hundreds of music sites that are worth mentioning here. But two of my personal favorites are:

Last.fm

Last.Fm Social Music Site

Last.Fm is a UK based Online Radio and Music Community that was founded way back in 2002. It currently has over 21 million active users from over 200 countries. Last.fm builds a detailed profile of each user’s musical taste by recording details of all the songs the user listens to, thus it can also recommend you the type of music that you may like.

Blip.fm

Blip.Fm

Blip.Fm allows you to become a DJ and discover new music on the fly. You can listen to a continuous stream of songs and DJ your own music station.

Nominate Your Favorite Sites for 2nd Annual Open Web Awards

Now its your time to nominate your favorite sites that truely deserves an Award in any of the 52 available categories. The nomination process if very simply, just use the following widget to choose a category and include the URL or the name of the company whom you wish to nominate. Please note that you may only nominate one-site for each category. Be sure to Use a valid email address as you will have to click on a confirmation link that you will receive via email in order to confirm your nomination.

The Nomination closes in the next 24 hours!