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Official Google SEO Guide

Google SEO GuideGoogle has just released an Official Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide for the webmasters. In a recent blog post at Webmaster Central blog, Brandon Falls of the Google Search Quality Team writes that many webmasters often have some basic SEO questions that goes unanswered or they just get confused due to the fact that SEO is an emerging thing and there are lots of different resources on web. So Google has decided to make their own Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide public, which covers around a dozen common areas that webmasters might consider optimizing. So from now on If anybody has any SEO related doubts they can easily refer to this easy to read 22 page(PDF) – Google SEO Starter Guide.

This guide was already being used internally within Google to optimize their own sites such as Youtube, Orkut and so on. I have personally gone through the guide and I must say that it’s a very basic 101 type of guide that any SEO newbie should read. Its very well written had contains a lot of illustrated examples & screen shots.

I have created a small one page summary that basically covers everything that is written in the Google Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.

  • Always create unique & accurate Page Titles – Page title should accurately describe the page’s content. Webmasters should make sure that their titles are unique for each page. The Title should be descriptive but not extremely lengthy. Don’t stuff your title with only Keywords – write a title that will benefit both the user and the search engines.
  • Make use of the “description” meta tag – Google clearly states that Meta tags such as (Meta Description) is not dead! Meta description should accurately summarize the page’s content. Webmasters should write a description that would both inform and interest users if they saw the description meta tag as a snippet in a search result. Don’t fill up your meta description tag with only keywords and avoid writing a description meta tag that has no relation to the content on the page. Try writing unique descriptions for each page, if your site is really big try to generate description meta tags based on each page’s content automatically.
  • Improve the structure of your URLs – Try to use words in your URL. – URLs with words that are relevant to your site’s content and structure are friendlier for visitors navigating your site. Visitors remember them better and might be more willing to link to them. Don’t use lengthy URLs with unnecessary parameters and session IDs. Avoid choosing generic page names and using excessive keywords. Provide only one version of your document, if you accidently happen to have multiple version of the same page, do a 301 redirect from non-preferred URLs to the dominant URL
  • Make your site easier to navigate – Create a naturally flowing hierarchy – Make it as easy as possible for users to go from general content to the more specific content they want on your site. Try to use text for navigation and its a good practice to put an HTML sitemap page on your site, and use an XML Sitemap file. Have a 404 page that is user friendly.
  • Offer quality content and services – Practice writing easy-to-read text as users enjoy content that is well written and easy to follow. Break your content into logical parts so that the users find the content they want faster. Use relevant keywords in your content and take help of the Google Keyword Tool where necessary. Write fresh, unique content and avoid re-writing or copying existing content from the web. Always create content primarily for your users, not search engines
  • Write better anchor text – Always write descriptive anchor text, The anchor text you use for a link should provide at least a basic idea of what the page linked to is about. Use keywords in your anchor text and use anchor text for your internal links too.
  • Use heading tags appropriately – Take advantage of the HTML Header tags H1, H2, H3 to break down your content for easy scanning by your readers. Give some thought into what the main points and sub-points of the content on the page will be and decide where to use those heading tags appropriately.
  • Optimize your use of images – Use brief, but descriptive filenames and alt text for all images. Avoid using generic filenames and stuffing in excessive keywords in the alt tag.
  • Make effective use of robots.txt – Robots.txt is not enough to block your sensitive or confidential material. So take appropriate security measures for your confidential information.
  • Be aware of rel=”nofollow” for links – Setting the value of the “rel” attribute of a link to “nofollow” will tell Google that certain links on your site shouldn’t be followed or pass your page’s reputation to the pages linked to. Avoid using no follow for links in blog comments or other sites that you don’t trust. You can nofollow all of the links on a page by using “nofollow” in your
    robots meta tag, which is placed inside the tag of that page’s HTML.
  • Promote your website in the right ways – Blog about your new content or services to get your users excited. Use appropriate offline promotion, social media to promote your content. Add your business to Google’s Local Business Center.
  • Make use of free webmaster tools – Google provides a lot of free tools for webmasters inside Google Webmaster Tools to help webmasters better control how Google interacts with their websites and get useful information from Google about their site.
  • Take advantage of web analytics services – Use Web analytics programs like Google Analytics that can be a valuable source for identifying your users, the content that they are reading, the source of traffic etc.

My Two Cents

Its really good to see that Google is genuinely trying to help the webmasters to succeed. If you are new to SEO, I strongly recommend you to Download the Full 22 Page PDF of Google’s SEO Starter Guide.


Link Building : A Complete Walkthrough

Link Building Tutorial

External Links (Links coming from other sites) was (*and still probably is) one of the major contributor of any Search Engine Optimization effort. Obviously links alone can’t help you to rank well in the Search Engines, but they do play a “major” role to push your ranking up to the top.

What is Link Building?

Link Building is basically the process of getting quality Web sites to link to your Web site, in order to improve search engine rankings.

Why is Link Building Important?

Link building is absolutely essential for your SEO campaigns because currently majority of the search engines (e.g. Google, Yahoo etc.) uses link popularity as a metric to judge the quality of your website. An incoming link from a 3rd Party site works like a “vote” or “recommendation” towards your site. So say if 500 people are linking to you from their websites, you can look at it as — 500 people has recommended your site.

Are All Links Treated Equally?

This is a very common question among the Webmasters. Well, The answer is “No”. Each website has their own “reputation profile” that enables them recommend other websites. Now when a high profile website links to you, their link value is much higher compared to a low profile website who is probably new in the market and doesn’t have any reputation to spare for you. A perfect example of this would be, Suppose if CNN links to your website, that particular link would be more trusted and will be more valued by the search engines due to the fact that CNN is a authoritative website and their news/stories are trusted by everyone. So if CNN links to you it gives an indication to the Search Engine that your website is also of high quality and value.

Which Sites are Worth Getting a Link From?

CNN is not the only authoritative site on the Internet, the above was just an example. There are thousands of other quality sites that have high authority. Now you may ask – “How do I determine the quality of the site”. Well below are some of the easy metrics that you can use to determine a site’s quality:

  • Age of the Website: The older it is, the better. Old sites are likely to be more Trusted by the Engines.
  • Page Rank: Even though I pay very little attention to this myself, But it is some what a good metric to determine the quality of the site. The only Page Rank that is visible to public is the Google Toolbar PR. Its a number between 0 to 10 where 10 denotes the highest quality and 0 denotes the lowest. The Toolbar Page Rank is updated every 3-4 months and its just a partial representation of the Actual Page Rank (an proprietary algorithm of Google to determine a site’s quality & rank them accordingly).
  • No. of Pages Indexed : This is another metric that I like to use to determine whether the site has a good search engine presence. If a site has thousands of pages indexed in Google, its an indication that the site has been in business for a long time and it some what trusted by Google. To find out how many pages are indexed, simply go to Google Search and type the following command – site:www.domain.com. This should show you all the pages of domain.com indexed in Google.
  • No. of Incoming Links : Since “authority” & “trust” flows from one domain to another via links, its important to see who is linking to the domain that you are testing for authority. There are many tools out there that can help you to check the link profile of any domain. e.g. Yahoo Site Explorer, Backlink Watch etc. The easiest way would be to type link:http://www.domainname.com in Google or Yahoo and it will show you a list of websites that are linking to that domain. Do note that Google often shows a lot less links compared to Yahoo. So if the site has a lot of good quality incoming links, then its likely that a link from that site will give your website a lot value.
  • Traffic: Traffic is often a good determinant of a quality website. To check how much traffic a site gets, you can use tools such as: Google Trends for Websites, Compete, Quancast, Alexa and so on. Remember, these tools are not 100% accurate and may not display the traffic information of all domains. (Websites below a certain traffic threshold is not being monitored by these services.)
  • Others: There are many automated applications out there that can help you to determine a site’s quality/authority on the web. E.g- SEOmoz Trifecta Tool.

How Do I Get These Links?

There are basically two types of link building, the first type is Organic (a.k.a Natural Linkbuilding) & the other type is “Artificial Linkbuilding”.

Continue Reading


Google Introduces Video Chat in Gmail

Gmail Video ChatToday it was reported by cnet that Google is rolling out Video Chat feature in Google’s web mail service – Gmail. Rafe Needleman of cnet called it a “bare-bones voice and video-conferencing service” which is extremely simple to install and use but has very limited functionality.

google-video-chat-screenGmail Video and Voice, as it’s called, can’t connect to the plain phone network, as Skype’s paid service can. And there are plenty of other optional features missing, like a voice call recorder.

Rafe had the privilege to test it out first and he have found the voice and video quality on the service excellent. Gmail’s Video quality is supposed to be more consistent than Skype because it doesn’t run on a point-to-point architecture like Skype, instead all the Gmail Video traffic all runs through Google’s private servers.

Unlike many current video chat products, Gmail Video and Voice uses their own proprietary plug-in and not Adobe’s Flash Player. The small (2MB) download supports Firefox, IE, and Chrome on the PC, and Firefox on the Mac. Linux & mobile browser support will be included later, source said.

How to Start Video Chat in Gmail

Gmail Video and Voice will be publicly available to all Gmail users starting Tuesday at noon PST. Global rollout should be complete by the end of the day. If you would like to check whether you have this functionality, simply open up a chat window with someone and if your account is video-enabled, at the lower left of the chat window, there will be an interface element labeled “Video & more.” Clicking on that will directly walk you through the installation of the plug-in that is required. If you want to make a video call to someone who hasn’t yet installed the plug-in, you’ll be able to invite them to do so.

Sadly even though the existing Desktop chat client – Google Talk has voice support it may only get the video capability later.

Update:

Watch the following video that introduces Google Video & Chat Program:

My Two Cents

I’m really excited to try out this new video feature of Gmail. But I’d much prefer to have that feature in my Google Talk instead of Gmail. What do you say? Share in comments!


Tips for Optimizating Your Adsense Ads

Google Adsense Optimization TipsGoogle has recently started to publish a series of videos for AdSense tips at their official Inside AdSense blog. This is definitely a wise effort to help Google Adsense Publishers to better monetize their websites. After all, the better the Adsense publishers can make out from adsense, the more money Google makes, right?

Basically the first video talks about ad sizes, and Google recommends them to be big. They think that “bigger is often better”. They suggest using the following sizes:

  • 300×250 medium rectangle
  • 728×90 leaderboard
  • 160×600 skyscraper

Mel Ann Chan of the AdSense Australia Optimisation Team makes it very clear that the suggested ad units have delivered proven in the past and proved to be profitable for both publishers and advertisers. Advertisers usually favour these formats, and if you’ve receiving all ad types, you’ll find that advertisers will specifically target your sites more often.

Chan says that, If a publisher can position his ad units well, the users will be more likely to see these ad formats and find an ad that they are truely interested in.

She suggests that if a publisher displays at least one of these ad formats on their page it can increase the AdSense earnings of that publisher substantially.

I completely agree with Chan as I myself have seen many websites that has really poor design and ad placement. I think Ad placement is purely an art rather than a science. You really need to test different kinds of ads and see what works and converts best for you.

And I think the primary reason why Google recommends large sized ad blocks, because those ads are more likely to catch the eye, but if they are placed poorly and blended within the site’s design, It may result in a lot of ‘accidental clicks’ which doesn’t convert well for the advertisers.

Some other tips for Optimizing your Google Adsense ads:

In the Inside Adsense blog, Google Adsense team has also shared some other tips that can benefit Adsense publishers.

Competitive Ad Filter

Adsense Publishers can restrict contextually-targeted and placement-targeted ads from appearing on your pages by adding the URL of each ad to your Competitive Ad Filter. To access this filter simply login in to your Adsense account, click the AdSense Setup tab and visit the ‘Competitive Ad Filter’ page. You can also find full instructions and tips for entering in specific URLs in Google Adsense Help Center. Why is this filter useful? Well, if your site is about dogs and you are selling a particular type of dog food on your site, you wouldn’t want your visitors to see an ad of your close competitor who is selling a different brand, right? So with this competitive ad filter, you can easily filter out your competitors so that their ads don’t show up in your website. This tool is also proven useful, if you want to filter out ads that’s pays really is low and doesn’t convert well for you.

Ad Review Center

The Ad Review Center is a very useful addition in Google Adsense that gives publishers additional control over the placement-targeted ads that may appear on their pages. Using the Ad Review Center, a publisher can review specific ad groups and advertisers before they start appearing on their pages. This will also allow publisher to block certain types of ads from showing up. You’ll need to opt in to the Ad Review Center at the top of your Competitive Ad Filter page, and then you can begin reviewing ads instantly. This is particularly useful for those publishers who has a lot of traffic and gets a lot of advertisers who site target their ads.

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Thank you for subscribing! If there are more Adsense tips from Google, I’ll update this post, so do check it back later.


FriendFeed Integrates Instant Messenging

Friend Feed Integrates IM Friendfeed is a very popular social website that lets you keep track of all the online activities of your friends. So if you sign up for a free friendfeed account and subscribe to someone’s feed, you will be able to see all his online activities such as – his blog posts, twitter messages, stumbled sites, dugged stories, his new photos at flickr and so on. Similarly you can make your own feed which other people can subscribe to and the best part of all is everything is purely automatic and you don’t really need to do anything other than just joining your different social profiles in Friendfeed. And not only that your friends can see your feed, they can also leave comments, Like it and share it.

The only problem of Friendfeed is you need to log in to their website – Friendfeed.com every time you want to see what your friends have been doing, Unlike Twitter which has different desktop/mobile clients that gives you all the updates from your friends instantaneously.

But looks like Friendfeed has identified the problem and recently announced that they are bringing in Instant Messaging Integration in Friendfeed that will allow you to get an IM every time someone comments on on of your stories. You can also respond to that with another reply right from your IM client. It’s just an amazingly easy way to keep on top of conversations and keep them flowing.

If you’ve never used FriendFeed before, it’s a must-see application for sharing and discussing cool stuff on the web. This new feature addition is going to make it even better.

Gary Burd writes at the FriendFeed Blog:

After we launched our real-time interface, we heard from so many of you that you loved being able to instantly see the new things in your feed. We also love FriendFeed for the quick and easy communication it offers with our friends. So we’re hoping this new way of using FriendFeed will be something that combines both, in a way that already feels fun and familiar.

How To Enable FrindFeed’s IM Capability

Friend Feed Instant MessagingIf you wish to enable the FriendFeed IM service, simply go into your FriendFeed account settings, and click the button to enable your IM notifications. If you already have a Gmail address or other Jabber client, your address will have already been populated into the address bar. Otherwise, just fill it out yourself. Once you click the enable button you’ll receive a message via IM asking to add the FriendFeed user in your IM client, and then asking you to confirm by clicking on a link. Once you do that, you’re up and running.

How to Choose The Types of Notification to Receive via IM

From your account settings you can choose to enable either all posts, all posts and comments from your friends, or all posts and all comments on the site. In addition to receiving posts and comments, you can also post back and reply to others.

Here is a Complete List of FriendFeed IM Commands.

My Two Cents

By enabling this feature, I’m sure a lot more people will start using friendfeed and it will make the existing user base even more active & as they will be able to participate more in real time. Let me know how you find this new feature and you can always add me as your friend in Friendfeed – http://www.friendfeed.com/saadkamal


Programming for Children – Small Basic

programming-for-children This is a bit off topic but, I felt that it might be useful for some of my readers. If you have small children in home and you want them to learn basic programming language from an early age, Small Basic is for you!

What Is Small Basic?

Small Basic is a free programming language by Microsoft that is aimed at kids. Unlike other tools that has been previously designed to teach kids programming in a ‘codeless’ environment, Small Basic is essentially a small version of the popular BASIC language.

Drawing inspiration from the original BASIC language, but based on the newer .Net Framework, Small Basic has many useful features that will definitely help your kids to learn programming in a more professional but easy manner.

Small Basic - A Programming Language for Kids

Some of the highlights of Small Basic are:

  • Small Basic Language: The Small Basic Language consists of just 14 keywords, that is extremely easy to learn and remember. Small Basic is pure imperative code that runs on the .Net Framework.
  • Programming Environment: Small Basic’s development environment is simple but provides features that professional developers have come to expect from an IDE including Intellisense (Intelligently detects error and suggests you different variation of code)
  • Small Basic Libraries: Small Basic also comes with a set of libraries, and allows you to create your own libraries or modify existing ones. It also allows third-party libraries to be plugged in. (Hint: So if you are a developer and would like to do something nice for the young generation of programmers, here is your chance!)

Free Resources for Small Basic – Programming For Kids

If you are interested to give Small Basic a try or if you wish to introduce it to your kids you don’t need to go and buy any expensive books. Just download a comprehensive and easy to read, FREE SmallBasic Introductory Ebook (PDF) that introduces the reader to this new language and to programming in general.

Even though Small Basic is primarily made for children, it just may be the ideal way for anyone interested in programming to dip their feet in the cold water.


The 2nd Annual Open Web Awards is Live

img class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-428″ title=”Open Web Award” src=”http://www.saadkamal.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/owa-blog_partner_468x60.jpg” alt=”2nd Annual Open Web Awards” width=”468″ height=”60″ />

I’m very delighted to announce that the 2nd Annual Open Web Awards is on again! After last year’s tremendous success, Mashable is once again organizing this grand event that will let you nominate the most influential and cutting-edge company in social media

There are In total of 26 categories, from social news to online games. And I’m very proud to be a blog partner with Mashable for this award.

If you believe your company has what it takes to be nominated or if you’re just a huge fan of a company / Web Service that you believe deserves the recognition in the 2nd Annual Open Web Awards – Please nominate them using the widget below.

Nominations will close on November 16th 2008 (Sunday) at 11:59 pm PST. Nominate now and start campaigning! Spread the word via your blog by embedding this widget (simple click on the “Grab This” button!)

Some General Rules:

Nominations:
1. Any site or application can be nominated in as many categories as seen fit
2. Nominations is one Site per Category per person (validated through PollDaddy)
3. Nominees with the most submissions and/or determined by Mashable will move to the voting round

Voting:
1. Voting is one vote per Category per person (validated through PollDaddy)
2. IP tracking and e-mail confirmation will remain in place
3. E-mails will only be used in regards to alerts about the Open Web Awards
4. Winners will be determined after voting round is closed and data is verified

Winners:
1. “People’s Choice” Winners will be validated by Mashable and PollDaddy before any announcements are made
2. “Blogger’s Choice will be validated by Mashable and compiled from our Blog Partners


Jerry Yang Making A Fool of Himself

Jerry Yang - CEO, Yahoo

Jerry Yang - CEO, Yahoo

Yahoo’s current CEO Jerry Yang very recently gave an interview in the Web 2.0 Summit that has been described as a train wreck, self-delusional, and as making a mockery of the vaunted company he helped create. Andy Beal of Marketing Pilgrim thinks that Jerry should step down from the CEO post and TechCrunch on the other hand states Jerry is Just Out of Gas!

I seriously don’t understand what is wrong with him. I know that it’s not easy to become the CEO of a company like Yahoo!, but lets face the facts — he was never forced to become the CEO, He wanted it badly to bring change in the company back in June 2007. In the official Yahoo Blog he wrote (June 18th 2007) –

I look forward to teaming more closely with her as we pursue our joint vision. What is that vision? A Yahoo! that executes with speed, clarity and discipline. A Yahoo! that increases its focus on differentiating its products and investing in creativity and innovation. A Yahoo! that better monetizes its audience. A Yahoo! whose great talent is galvanized to address its challenges. And a Yahoo! that is better focused on what’s important to its users, customers, and employees.

Lets identify the key points from the above quote:

  • Focus on Differentiating Products & Investing in Creativity & Innovation
  • – They have been very late to adapt to change and often acted as a ‘copy cat’.

  • Monetize the Yahoo Audience
  • – Yahoo still can’t monetize their audience well.

  • Focus on What’s important to Users, Customer & Employees
  • – They are still far behind in determining whats important for their users & customers and most importantly they can’t make their shareholders happy.

And last but not the least, two major deals (one with Microsoft & Google) were canceled while he is still holding his chair. Now I know he may only take a $1 dollar pay cheque from Yahoo, but that certainly doesn’t give him the right to destroy Yahoo completely. When Microsoft came knocking at Yahoo’s door a number times with an acquisition offer of $31/per share, Jerry was not willing to sell his company to Microsoft and now suddenly after being dumped by Google from their ad deal, Jerry says – “Its best for Microsoft to Buy Yahoo…”. Just watch the video and see how Jerry Yang, the current CEO of Yahoo! Makes a complete fool of himself!


Top SEO Mistakes Video

If you are very new at SEO, you might find this video really useful. The video presentation is done by Stephan Spencer at WordCamp 2008 San Francisco.

And for those who don’t know Stephen – He is a Internet Marketing Guru and also the founder and president of interactive agency Netconcepts. He is a journalist and also a professional Speaker. He is often invited to speak at different search conferences. Read his full bio here.

So what do you think of the above video? Is there any comments that you would like to share?

Update: Some of you have asked for the presentation slides, so I’m including a direct link to the ppt file – http://www.netconcepts.com/learn/seo-mistakes.ppt


Google Profile Search

Google recently released a Google Profile Search option under your own Google Public Profile. So use the link to go to your profile and once your public profile loads, simply look for the search box named “Search profiles”.

Google Profile Search

This Profile search option simply lets you view the Public Profile of Any Google User. To test the feature, I searched for some names and majority of them returned no results (due to the fact that not everyone has their profile set to “public”). But Anyway check out some of the profiles that I could see:

Matt Cutts

Matt Cutts Google Profile

Profile Link: http://www.google.com/s2/profiles/109412257237874861202

Brittany Bohnet

brittany bohnet google profile

Profile Link: http://www.google.com/s2/profiles/106665185918564754695

Andy Beal

Andy Beal Google profile

Profile Link: http://www.google.com/s2/profiles/113171227622011939089

Chris DiBona

Chris Dibona Google Profile


Profile Link:
http://www.google.com/s2/profiles/114765095157367281222

My Two Cents

It is really interesting to see that Google is bringing in a lot of “Social Features” within their existing services. Just few days back we saw a Social Voting Feature being implemented in Google Search, and now they are also doing something with the Google user profiles. So I believe Google is planning on something big here … What Do you Think? Share in Comments!


New StumbleUpon 3.27 Beta – New Features Added

Stumble Upon Beta One of the most popular Social Bookmarking site – StumbleUpon is going through some major changes as seen in their latest 3.27 Beta. Some of the most prominent changes of the new StumbleUpon are:

Unique Thumb Down Button which has the following options:

1. Not-for-me — You can tell StumbleUpon that the content doesn’t suit you.
2. Stumbled this before — This option lets SU know that you have previously stumbled the page
3. Too much like this lately — Tired of stumbling the same ‘kind’ of pages? This feature will definitely help!

Some other new feature includes:

  • Block a Website via the thumb-down menu for FF 3.x users.
  • Bug Fix: A problem with FF 3.x bookmark integration that could cause a tag to be applied upon rating thumbdown.
  • Ability to report a stumble as ‘Factually incorrect’ or ‘Unsafe’.
  • More convenient reporting of incorrect topic via an optional reporting menu. See the ‘Show topic as’ item on the Configuration tab of Toolbar Options.
  • When a particular topic is displayed as a menu (for reporting incorrect topic), other reporting items are located on this menu rather than on the Tools menu.

Download StumbleUpon Beta Toolbar

You can download the StumbleUpon Beta or join in with your own questions and comments at the official stumbleupon discussion thread.

My Two Cents

Its really good to see that StumbleUpon is trying to make the user experience better by implementing features like “Stumbled this before” and “Too much like this lately”. This is definitely going to reduce some SU Abuse by the shady marketers. I hope everyone at SumbleUpon will test out this new beta toolbar and help StumbleUpon to create a better final product.

Do you think the new feature is going to have any effect on the your traffic? Share in Comments!


Google Experiments with Social Voting within Search

Yes Finally Google has started to experiment with Social Voting. I heard this story long ago in Techcrunch but didn’t really get a chance to see it. Thanks to Lee Odden‘s Tweet, where he posted a link to a Metacafe video which shows this feature live in action.

Leeeodden-Twit-Google-Social-Voting

Before you watch the following video remember — This feature is still probably on an experimental stage and you might not see it right away. (Even I don’t see it). Google is still testing this on a very limited basis.


Google’s New Social Voting FeaturesWatch more amazing videos here

So what do you think of this new feature? Share in comments!


Google Alerts Providing RSS Feed

Yes Its Official! Google has started to provide RSS Feed of Google Web Search Results inside Google Alerts. To get the feed url of any search term in google, simply log on to – http://www.google.com/alerts and click on Manage Your Alerts.

Note: For first time users, you may need to add an Alter first with your “Email Address”. (Don’t worry later you will be able to change that and get the Feed URL).

Google Alerts Providing RSS Feed

Once you go to Manage your Alerts page, edit the alert that you wish to get via Feed, and you will notice in the “Deliver To” column a new item has been added called “Feed” (Previously there was only the email option).

Google Web Search Feed via Google Alerts

So select the “feed” option and save and you will notice that Google Alerts will provide you a unique feed URL for your search term.

Google Providing Feed URL of Web Search Results

So now simply add it to your favorite RSS reader (or just add it in your Google Reader) and you are done.

What Can This Feature Do For You?

You may ask, what is the point of having this feature? Well this is pretty important if you want to keep track of certain things (like your brand name, product name) as they get mentioned in the Web, blogs and so on. This is certainly going to make your Online Reputation Management efforts a lot easier. What else can it do for you….Can you think of anything? Share all in comments!


Gmail Gadgets: Google Calender and Docs

Gmail Gadgets - Google Calender and Docs

Google has recently added some useful sidebar options (a.k.a Google Gadgets) inside Gmail. Now you can add some of these useful gadgets on the side that show your appointments directly from Google Calendar and also your last five edited/added documents in Google Docs.

In the calender gadget you can view all your subscribed gadgets and also add events directly from your Gmail. Similarly you can use the Google Docs gadget to view your recent documents directly from your Inbox. You can customize your view options such as – only spreadsheets, only presentations, or only documents previously opened by you.

Gmail Labs is also planning to release an option that will let the user to cut and paste the URL of any Google gadget and turns that gadget into a sidebar item in Gmail.

However the feature isn’t very user friendly right now; it’s basically a sandbox mainly aimed at developers who want to play around with gadgets in Gmail. So I don’t really think its a good idea to install it right now.

How to Activate the Gmail Gadgets

Step 1- Log on to Gmail.com

Step 2- Click on Settings

Step 3- Move over to the Labs Tab

Step 4- Scroll down and you should see the gadgets. (Screen shoot provided below)

Step 5- Click on Enable & Save!

Gmail Gadgets


Free Online Notebook – Memiary.com

Do you remember what you did last tuesday? I seriously don’t! And that is when we need a personal scheduler or a diary. There are tons of free online notebooks out there that can help you to keep notes & remember things. But most of them are very complex in nature and sometimes requires fancy registration or often takes time to load – because they are for more “advanced” use and purpose.

Memiary.com provides a free online diary services and lets you record down the 5 things you did today in a very simply & clean interface. The signup takes less than 10 seconds and after signing up it lets you go straight to business.

Memiary is a creation from Sid Yadav who is a long-time app reviewer at Rev2.org. On his blog he wrote an interesting post about the process of creating Memiary and how proud his mom was of him who happens to be the very first user of memiary.

My Two Cents

As shown in the screen shot, I tried out Memiary and so far I have found it to be an excellent app. There may be too-many online diary sort of app on the web now, but I have found this to be the most simple. However there are few things that they can improve on, such as:

  • They should let the user to export this data out
  • Send a Auto Reminder (SMS/Email), asking the user to update the notebook.
  • Give more space to write! Incomplete sentences aren’t pretty.
  • Give user the option to add more than 5 items
  • An option to change the Password