:::: MENU ::::

Yahoo Web Analytics Beta Launched

Yahoo Web AnalyticsYahoo has just announced that they have launched their Yahoo Web Analytics (Beta) on Limited Basis starting from this week. The tool is currently offered as a limited beta to customers of Yahoo Small Business, select Yahoo advertisers and some third-party application developers.

Last year back in April, Yahoo acquired IndexTools, who was a major provider of analytics software based in Hungary. So basically Yahoo has bought over the business and technology that IndexTools had and repackaged it with Yahoo’s own technology as – Yahoo Web Analytics.

Yahoo! Web Analytics (beta) will provide powerful data and insights reporting that will help webmasters to evaluate their marketing performance and tweak their website designs. They’ll get custom real-time reports and graphs that will help them to slice and dice metrics like sales, page views, and sources of traffic and ultimately identify ways to boost up their visitor’s satisfaction.

And as you might expect, Yahoo Web Analytics also includes full integration with other Yahoo products. For instance, you can easily analyze the effectiveness of Yahoo search marketing campaigns and track how well each of your products within your e-commerce shop are selling. This analytics product can easily be compared to Google Analytics, the free analytics service from Google that has similar integration with its own products such as – Google AdWords.

Some Screen shots of Yahoo Web Analytics: (Credit: Visual Revenue)

Yahoo! Web Analytics – Dashboard

Yahoo Web Analytics Dashboard

A Look at Yahoo Web Analytics Sales Summary Page

Continue Reading


Aweber to Add Twitter

Darren just blogged about Aweber adding Twitter updates for their publishers. So this service will automatically send an update to Publisher’s Twitter account when they send a new broadcast or newsletter. The tweet will then link to an online version of the newsletter (hosted by aweber) so that your twitter followers will get to see what you’re sending out to newsletter subscribers.

aweber

How to Activate Twitter in Aweber

In order to activate this option you will need go to the ‘Syndicate’ section in the admin area of sending out new newsletters. This is cool little feature that will definitely help publishers to extend their audiereach.


Google AdSense for Games Launched

Google Adsense for GamesMid of Last year, Andy Beal reported that Google plans to bring AdWords to video games via “AdSense for Games.”

That plan has turned into a reality as Google today announced the official launch of Google Adsense for Games via Google Adsense Blog.

Google has already partnered with some of the major game developers and publishers including Konami, Playfish, Zynga, Demand Media and Mochi Media. They have also got a hand full of on beta advertisers to test their system such as Esurance, Sprint, and Sony Pictures. Basically this new program – Adsense for Games will allow social games and flash-based web games to integrate video, text and image ads into the games.

Official Google Blog writes:

As a beta user of AdSense for Games, you can display video ads, image ads, or text ads within your online games to earn revenue. You’ll be able to show these ads in placements you define, such as interstitial frames before a game, after a level change, or when a game is over.

Here’s a quick video that will give everyone a good idea of what kind of games are part of the adsense network and how advertisers can use this medium to reach their target audience:

Publisher’s Eligibility for Google Adsense for Games

  • must have a minimum of 500,000 game plays
  • 80% of site’s traffic must be from the U.S. or the U.K
  • Only Web-Based Flash Games are allowed
  • The Publisher must be technically capable of SDK integration
  • The Content of the publisher’s site has to be family safe and targeted at users age 13 and up
  • Must be able to report embed destination and have control over where games are distributed

Apply for AdSense for Games Beta Publisher

To apply for Google Adsense for Games, simply make sure you meet the above requirements and then submit an online application. You can also find more information on Google games Ad site.

Continue Reading


gAttach Gmail Application for Windows

If you are heavy desktop email client user (e.g. Outlook or Thunderbird), you must love the convince of the built email function in many windows applications like Microsoft Word, Windows Explorer, etc to attach files with ease. Sadly this functions doesn’t work for web-based email clients like Gmail. (Which I use as my Primary Email Client). Even though you make Gmail as your default email client inside your browser (e.g. Firefox), your Windows desktop applications still considers your desktop email clients (e.g. Outlook) as the default.

But recently I stumbled upon this cool Windows Application for Gmail called – gAttach which solves this problem!

What is gAttach?

gAttach is a tiny Windows application that lets you email using Gmail with or without attachments from almost any Windows application. Below are a list of gAttach features:

  • gAttach Handles email – mailto links from all browsers and not just Firefox
  • gAttach can send email from any Windows application via Gmail
  • It works like a charm with Google Apps
  • It uses HTTPS for added security
  • gAttach can remember your Gmail username/password for convenience or you can just login yourself anytime
  • Choose to launch Gmail after creating a draft message
  • Availablity of both basic HTML version and Rich Text version
  • Option Load Gmail when you click on an email link
  • You can setup proxy server details inside gAttach
  • Absolutely Free for personal use

Once you have installed gAttach, you can simply use the Send to ‘Mail recipient’ function in your Windows Explorer right-click menu to attach files. Just keep in mind that Gmail current only allows 20MB of attachment.

Let me know if you run into any problem with gAttach via the comments.


Microsoft Live Search in Facebook

It looks like Microsoft just got lucky, as Facebook has got into a partnership with them to add Microsoft’s Live Search inside Facebook’s Friend Search.

Now Facebook users in the U.S. have the option to “Search Facebook” or “Search the Web.” In addition, Microsoft adCenter is delivering search ads alongside those results.

Microsoft Live Team has also launched a Facebook Page for their product. Check it out and become a fan (If you are a Microsoft Lover ;) )


AOL-Yahoo Merger Deal

AOL-Yahoo-Merger As TechCrunch reports, AOL-Yahoo Merger can take place as early as this month!

AOL’s Parent company Time Warner definitely wants this deal to go all the way but it still isn’t very clear whether AOL’s assets will fix any of Yahoo’s current problems.

The deal structure that is currently being discussed is Yahoo’s acquisition of AOL (content, services and advertising), minus their subscription dial up business. That plus a couple of billion dollars in cash from Time Warner gets them approximately a third of the combined entity. Time Warner’s AOL headache is gone, and they have a stake in the world’s most valuable chess piece in the Google/Microsoft search and advertising war.

Points favoring this Deal:

  • Both the companies believe Yahoo’s advertising platform would monetize AOL assets far beyond what they’re generating today (a little over $2.4 billion annually).
  • Yahoo & AOL has a combined dominance in e-mail market would be substantial (they’d have a combined market share of 48% wordwide according to Comscore, where microsoft in the 2nd position with 42% market share)
  • In Instant messaging (Yahoo-AOL has 39% worldwide combined market share, compared to 55% for Microsoft).

But in reality, this might turn into a problem if Microsoft then comes in and buys the combined entity. (Which might actually happen!!~). Will update you if anything actually happens…so stay tuned.


YouTube Starts to Sell Music and Video Games

Youtube Selling Music and Video Games

Have you ever came across a song on Youtube and wanted to buy it? (Just like how you can in Myspace …) Well YouTube is actually counting on it! YouTube, which is now the world’s most popular online video blogging and sharing community, will start to sell music and video games via their website to grow revenue from its massive audience and eventually hope to justify the massive amount of money ($1.65 billion) they spent to acquire YouTube back in 2006.

The “click to buy” buttons has already started to appear in the U.S. today and it simply connect viewers to the product page on Amazon.com or Apple’s iTunes.

As a start, YouTube initially will receive a commission for each sale of songs from two major labels, EMI Music and Universal Music Group, and video games from Electronic Arts. But I think eventually YouTube will expand its horizon by promoting sales of other products such as movies, television shows and concert tickets.

Google usually does not disclose YouTube’s financials, but analysts at Piper Jaffray Research estimated that YouTube would earn about $200 million in revenue in 2009, compared with estimates of around $27 billion for Google.

Continue Reading


Hakia Search Engine Redesigned

Just recently I blogged about Ask.com Getting a Facelift but now I see that Ask is not alone, Semantic Search Engine Hakia has launched a brand new design for their engine with some new features.

The biggest change I see at Hakia.com is their Tab interface in the redesigned Search Results Page. Now Hakia provides an option to refine your search results to sites that have been gone through review by Hakia to meet strict non-commercial and credibility standards. The results from credible sites, however, are currently limited to only in the health and the environment category.

Hakia Semantic Search Engine

Continue Reading



Gmail Goggles

Gmail LogoHave you ever regretted sending an email to someone that you shouldn’t have? Like maybe a harsh email to your boss saying ‘you had enough’ and you want to quit? (..But moments later you realized that you don’t have any money to pay the next month’s rental..) or maybe you have emailed some private photos of you and your ex (by accident) to a girl whom you just started dating? (…Probably you were way drunk at that time..!)

Well worry No more! As usual Gmail always comes with awesome solutions for your problems! Previously they made a nice tool that reminds you everytime you forget to “attach” files when sending an email… (That was a big problem for me, at least). Well this time Gmail engineer, Jon Perlow has came up with Gmail Goggles – An extra pair of eye for your email account.

What it does is, by default it activates itself at late night on the weekends (thats the time when weird things starts to happen usually…!). So whenever you would want to send an email during that period of time, Gmail Goggles will try to test you and figure out whether you are in the right state of mind. And How does it do that? Well by giving you some math problem to solve!

Gmail Goggles

So the moment you click on “Send”, Gmail Goggles will automatically give you a hand full of math problems to solve and if you are able to solve the problems in the predefined time, then only you will be able to send the email! Sounds Stupid? Well Think Again! This feature is certainly not a ‘must use’ and can be turned off (in fact its turned off by default). You can activate it from your Settings page > Labs > Mail Goggles.

After activating Mail Goggles you can also change its settings –

So for instance, if you want it to be enabled on particular days (e.g. Sundays) or everyday from a time, you will be able to customize all those from the General Settings page of your Gmail account.

My 2 Cents

Well its a promising new tool that is certainly going to help many Gmail Users. But personally I don’t think I’ll be needing it (i hope~) as I am certain that I’m always in the right frame of mind. (well at least “most” of the time…). Most of the emails I send are very late at night, and solving math problems for every email I send would be a pain.. I hate math btw!



Ask.com gets a Facelift

Ask.com Redesigned - All New Ask.comSearch engine Ask.com has had yet done makeover in order to boost their user base, reports BBC News. The relaunch follows the decision earlier to drop its iconic butler at the start of 2006. They have also introduced some new applications last year in order to provide users a better search experience.

But lately Ask has decided to refocus on its ability to act as the search engine that will be able to answer questions of it’s users.

A recent research at ComScore shows that Ask is more often used by people searching for specific answers to questions. While such questions account for about 5% of queries to Google, Yahoo and Microsoft Live Search, it accounts for almost 15% of Ask’s total search volume.

Ask.Com Search Engine New Design

Some of the New Addition to Ask.com

According to their claim’s the brand new Ask.com will be a lot faster and relevant in terms of search results. The new site will go live from 6th October 2008 in USA and 20th October 2008 in Europe and other parts of the world. They have extensively borrowed their design ideas from Google. (Something tells me, its going to be yet another Google clone….)

In the UK, Google currently dominates over 80% of the market share compared to only 2% for Ask. In the US, Google’s share is slightly less at 60% but Ask’s share remains the same. But searching on Ask remains pretty high. During August 46 million searches were conducted via Ask in the UK which accounts for one in five of all people using a search engine.
Continue Reading


FoxTab: 3D browsing in Firefox

Have you ever heard of 3D Browsing? I’m sure you have! Many browser makers have tried to enter the web browser market with 3D capabilities in last 2 years. But most of them failed because they were all resource hungry and slow!

I use Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome as my primary browsers. And Guess What? Now you can experience 3D browsing in your Firefox with a very simple add on, absolutely free of charge!

Why Do You Need a 3D Browser?

Well there are often times when you open so many tabs that you can’t remember which site is where, sometimes you open the same tab twice or thrice because you just couldn’t remember that it has already been open in another tab.

With the help of a 3D view, you can easily view all your tabs at once, thus letting you easily access all the open tabs and navigate them in the way you want.

FoxTab 0.9.9 – 3D Interactive Browsing (Firefox Addon)

Foxtab 3D Browsing

 

FoxTab is a 3D interactive tab switching add-on for Firefox that is very similar to the Aero flip 3D capability of Microsoft Windows Vista. While Flip 3D in Vista allows you to switch between the numerous application/windows that you have opened, FoxTab allows you to do the same with all the tabs you have opened inside your Firefox browser. This definitely help you to spend less time on browsing by allowing you to do more in less time and with greater efficiency.

Even though FoxTab is currently in the beta testing stage, I have personally tested the latest version and found it to be absolutely bug free. However since FoxTab is still a beta software, a free registration is required before you are allowed to download and try out this firefox add-on.

Download FoxTab 3D Browsing Addon

Click on the following link to: Download FoxTab Firefox add-on

The add-on itself is really small in size (only 358 kb). It currently supports Microsoft Windows OS only. Versions supporting Ubuntu Linux and Mac OS X are planned and will be made available at a later date.

FoxTab Operation Instruction

Once you have installed the add-on just press the “launch FoxTab” button on your navigation toolbar and FoxTab will arrange all the tabs you have opened in a 3D “stack” which is tabs arranged one behind another. Just roll your mouse wheel or press the Ctrl-Tab keys to flip through the various tabs you have opened and click the one you want to go to. You can press the Ctrl+Q keys to keep it in a flip mode.

Try it out and let me know how you like it via the comments.


How to Rank Your Blog High in Search Engines

Every blogger dreams of getting a lot of targeted traffic from search engines. Because first of all – organic search traffic is absolutely FREE and secondly it gives the blogger a wider reach of audience. For instance, I’m from Malaysia but I believe a lot of you who are reading this are from different parts of the world. So a blogger doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to his own locality but with the help of Search engines his blog can reach out to the whole world.

Search Engine Optimization For Blogs

So Today I have decided to share some of the simple tips that anyone can implement in order to “Optimize” their blog and get good ranking in the search engines. Please note that this tutorial is not only limited to ‘blogs’ but any website that exists on the web. However the article has been written for bloggers in mind so some of the things may be a bit different for other types of sites.

Step 1: Know Your Self – Select a Niche – Set a Goal

The first step is to know yourself and your blog, so that you know exactly what you are writing about. Many bloggers just blog about their daily ramblings (like a personal diary). So if you are a blogger who only keeps your journal for your daily ramblings you are probably witting about – what you had for lunch, how much did your kitty ~poo~ today (jking) etc….

Is there anything wrong with that? Well absolutely not! Its your blog and you can write about anything you want. However the problem raises (especially among the asian bloggers) when it comes to “earning money from blog” or “getting international traffic”.

Unless you have a selected a “niche” (or many niches) that you are comfortable talking about, its very hard to attract traffic just by writing about ‘random’ stuffs.

For example – if you are a female blogger and you are particularly interested in fashion, your posts can be targeted for the fashion world. Your daily ramblings that you put up in your blog will then be more “fashion” related. E.g. new cloths you bought, picture of the latest shoe you saw in the mall etc. Similarly, if you are a car freak, your blog posts can be slightly partial about cars, racing, modifications, sound system and so on. A blogger can choose as many niches he/she wants like- politics, food, cooking, fashion, pets, lifestyle, dining, travel, technology etc.

So you should ask yourself, what are the topics that you are more comfortable to talk about? Whats Interests you? Once you have gotten that answer, slowly sail your blog to that direction.

No, You don’t need a new blog or a domain to do that. You can start writing ‘on your niche’ in your existing blog. And I’m not staying that because you choose fashion, you can’t write about “politics”. Remember, Its your blog so you are the Boss. You can write about absolutely anything you want. However if your writing has a particular focus, it would be easier for your readers to categorize your blog as a part of your respective niche. Even fashion and politics can be blended together if you are creative! (Think about it…)

So once you have selected your comfort zone, set a target for yourself. For example, how are you going to measure your success? It can be in terms of No. of visitors, No of RSS subscribers, Earnings from Blog etc.

Step 2: Optimize the Title of Your Blog Home Page

This is probably the most important “on-page optimization” factor that is the most easy to do. The title of your blog is what everyone sees on the top of their browser when they visit your blog. For search engines its the most important determining factor of what your blog is all about. So for instance, If your name is “John Doe” and you want everyone to find your blog when they search for your name in Google, you MUST put your name “John Doe” in your blog’s Title Tag. So You can perhaps format your title tag like – “John Doe’s Blog” or “John Doe – Recipe Blog” etc.

Bad Title Examples:

“My Daily Ramblings”
“My Blog”
“My Blah Blah”

Why are the above bad Titles? Because no one is actually going to search for “My Blog” in google. You should put something in your title that you think people will search for. Try to get some of the important keywords in your title, such as – your name, your blog’s name, keywords from your niche etc. So If my niche is digital cameras & photography, My title can be:

“John Doe: Digital Camera Review Blog”
“John Doe Digital Camera Blog”
“Digital Photography blog by John Doe”

……and other combinations that makes sense.

Step 3: Meta Tags Optimization

Even though not all meta tags are not as important as before, Meta Description tags are still very useful and a determining factor for increasing your chance of ranking in the search engines. So sometimes Title tags can’t do it alone, if you also optimize your Meta Descriptions tag, you have a higher chance of succeeeding.

A blog’s Meta description should contain a brief description of your blog focusing on the areas and niches that you often write about. This small piece of text can be considered as a selling snippet, if a reader finds it appealing he is likely to click and go inside your blog to find out more information. But if your Meta Description is too generic and isn’t written too well then there is a good chance that your blog will simply be ignored even though its probably ranking well in the search engine. Check out an example of a good meta description:

Example of a Good Meta Description

Now Why do I call the above a Good Example? Because:

  • The meta description is descriptive enough for a reader to know what to expect from the blog.
  • It contains important keywords – For instance, the name of the photographer is specified (e.g. Laura Novak), The type of photography is also described (e.g. Wedding & Portrait) and her locality is also specified (e.g. Wilmington, Delaware).
  • The meta description automatically appeals to someone who is looking for a wedding photographer in Wilmington. So If the searcher sees this result in the search engine.

Of course this description can be improved and further tweaked, but I guess you already got the general idea of having a good meta description.

Important things to include in your Meta Description:

  • Include your Selling Point– Tell your readers what they want to hear through your site’s Meta Description, and you will definitely get some advantage over others in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). For instance – if you blog about digital camera and photography then including a phrase like “Digital Camera Review & Advanced Photography tips” may result in more clicks and visitors because your description will exactly match the flavor of search performed by the user.
  • Keywords – Including some of your keywords (E.g. Wedding Photography, Photography Tips, Camera Review) will give you some advantage in Google’s relevancy algorithm.

Step 4: Structuring Your Content

Another important thing is to structure your content so that its becomes more readable. Important text should go in top and less important text should go in the bottom. Usage of Bold, Italic, Heading (h1 tags) is a must. If you properly structure your content, it will be more readable for your readers and it will also help the search engines to determine what is more important. For example, when you write a new post, always choose the Post title carefully. Whatever you choose as the title becomes the Header of the particular page and it appears in “big letters”.

So if your post heading reads “I am Bored…” and inside the post only the first two line is about ‘why you are bored’ and after that the whole post is about How to cook cheese macaroni…Its just not going to work! Ask yourself, How do you usually read a newspaper? Do you start reading from the left and read every single word? No – we usually “skim” a newspaper and we look at the heading and if the heading interests us, we read the news beneath the heading.

Blog kind of works in the same way, if you have a poor heading you can’t expect people to read the whole entry. Similarly a Search engine will not consider your Post very related to “cheese macaroni” unless your heading has the words inside. So a Post title “How to Cook Cheese Macaroni” is better compared to “I am Bored….”.

Things to Remember:

  • Always use short Post Titles. Think of something that people may use to search for that particular post and use it as your title.
  • Always Use Header Tags (h1, h2, h3) effectively. If you have a big article, break it down into different sections and give each section a sub-heading.
  • Use Bold, Italic where necessary. Its often good to highlight important words so that they are easily noticeable to your readers as well as to the search engines

Step 5: Image Optimization

No matter what type of blog you are running, You must use a lot of images! Human eyes love images and its often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Its actually true! If your blog has a lot of images, it would be a lot easier for you to engage your users. Moreover You can get additional traffic from Image search engines like (Google Images). When You are putting an image in your blog, you must optimize it for the search engines so that the search engine knows what the image says… (Search engines are dumb and so they can’t see inside images…yet).

Some Important Image Optimization Elements:

  • Alt text : ALT text or Alternate Text is the text to describe your image when your mouse moves over an image on your web page. The text should be meaningful but short. You can use your relevant keywords as ALT text. If your browser can’t display the image for some reason, the alt text is used in place of that particular image.
  • File name : always use meaningful file name for your images, use names like “apple-iphone-cover.jpg” instead of meaningless “DSC24045.jpg”. Keep image file name same or similar to the ALT text.
    Image Title : always use the title tag in images which will show the title as tool tip when a user moves his mouse over the image. Example of an image with title tag: [img src=”http://imagelocation.jpg” alt=”Image description” title=”Title of the Image”]
  • Image Linking : Whenever you want to link to your image, use the image keywords in your link text. Example: use “view an Apple iPhone”, instead of “Click here to view” as the anchor text.

Step 6: Keep your blog Up-to-Date

Search engines loves fresh, new content, so always feed them! Not only your blog will grow automatically if you always add something to it; search engines tend to come and spider your website more often if they always find something new. So you will have a higher chance of ranking high in the search engine if you keep on adding fresh, quality and unique content.

If you follow the 6 steps that I mentioned above, you blog will already be considered as one of the Search Engine Aware blogs. You will definitely see some improvements in your ranking as well as traffic.

Those of you who are using Blogger, Xanga, WordPress, Typepad and other blogging platforms and doesn’t know how to change “title” or meta description, I’ll definitely try to put up separate instruction guide for all of you. But there are hundreds of good resources already available on the internet, and you can simply do a Google search to find them =)

This guide is no way complete and its very basic as I have particularly wrote it for Newbie bloggers (especially those who have absolutely no idea about SEO). So if you run into any problem you are free to put your questions in the comments or you can always email me at – me[at]saadkamal.com.


Yahoo News Redesigned

Yahoo News is trying out their brand new look and inviting its user to try out their new version, which has new design and a lot more advanced content features.

The first thing that all Yahoo News readers will probably notice is a much a wider footprint on the new Yahoo News, as well as larger text and other new design elements. The content has also been rearranged and now it will b e much easier to access to the most popular stories of the day and top news videos from around the world.

TechCrunch has noticed another interesting change: Readers coming to Yahoo News from social media sites will see shorter versions of news stories at first, with links to similar stories featured more prominently.

Yahoo figures that these readers are more likely to click through to new stories, and are less concerned with reading the full article.

By default Yahoo doesn’t show you the new design when you visit – news.yahoo.com. In order to experience the new look, go to Yahoo News and click the “Try the new Yahoo! News” link at the top of the page.
Continue Reading