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Posts tagged with: Google

Recover your Google Password via SMS

google-password-recoverWe often tend to forget things as we grow older and sometimes we depend heavily on others when it comes to remembering things. Take a look at your browser for instance, every website that you go to that requires a log in account, any standard browser like – Firefox, IE, Safari or Chrome asks you whether you would like to save the password. And in most of the cases we do save the password and then forget about it, as our dear browser takes care of it for us.

But what happens when you format your computer or move to a different PC and you don’t have that password saved anymore and you have no clue of what you have set as your password?! Well that’s when you use another friendly tool that is available with most of the web services today, that lets you to recover your password once you have forgotten it.

Cristelle Blackford, an Online Operations Strategist of Google blogged about the same issues. She mentioned that, recovering passwords is one of the top reasons why people visit the Gmail Help Center. So to make things even easier for people Google has introduced a way to recover your Google password via SMS.

How to Recover Your Google Password via SMS

In order to take advantage of this password recovery option, you will first need to setup your Mobile phone with your Google account.

First of all just sign in to your Google account via the link: https://www.google.com/accounts/ManageAccount and select, select ‘Change Password Recovery Options,’ enter your cell phone number and click ‘Save.’

recover-google-password

So the next time you forget your password, enter your user name on the Google password-assistance page, and Google will send you a recovery code via SMS. So you don’t need to check your secondary email account or even leave the page.

Try to have as many password recovery options as possible so that you never lose your password. Google currently allows you to recover your password via a secondary email, security question and of course the new addition – SMS.


Find Creative Commons Images

creative-commons-logoIf you are a blogger, you would know how hard it is sometimes to find a picture that matches or explains the thing that you are writing about. Well different Image search engines like Google Image Search, Yahoo Image search & Bing Image Search has so far made it easy to find images, however you really should make sure that you don’t use images without the permission of its original owner, and sometimes its just not possible to afford the licensing fees for professional photographers.

And that’s where Creative Commons license kicks in. Creative Commons licenses allow an individual or an artist to specify the ways others may use their work (e.g. photos). Artists can license their images for general reuse, or for noncommercial reuse only. They can also decide whether or not to grant people the right to modify or remix their images. Once they’ve chosen to make their work available online under these terms. So basically images that are licensed under Creative Commons can be used freely without any issues as long as you abide by the appropriate licensing policy/requirements.

creative-commons-image

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Eichh%C3%B6rnchen_D%C3%BCsseldorf_Hofgarten_edit.jpg

How To Find Creative Commons Images

Official Google blog just reported that they have added in a neat filter in Google Image Search that allows you to particularly search for images under the creative commons license.

google-image-search-find-creative-commons-licenced-images

To enable this feature, simply go to the advanced image search page in Google Image Search. Under the “Usage rights” section, you can select the type of license you’d like to search for, such as those marked for reuse or even for commercial reuse with modification. Your results will be restricted to images marked with CC or other licenses. Once you confirm the license of the image and you have to make sure that your use will comply with the terms of the license (such as proper attribution to the image’s owner) etc.

This feature is currently being rolled out to everyone, so don’t be surprised if you don’t see it just yet.


Google Chrome OS to Launch in 2010

google chrome os

The official Google blog has announced earlier today that Google is coming up with a new operating system called “Google Chrome OS“.

Sundar Pichai, VP Product Management and Linus Upson, Engineering Director writes:

Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks. Later this year we will open-source its code, and netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010. Because we’re already talking to partners about the project, and we’ll soon be working with the open source community, we wanted to share our vision now so everyone understands what we are trying to achieve.

So it looks like all the previous speculation is indeed true! Lets look at whats the deal here – Google has been very successful on the web with their search engine and several other web properties and next they sort of tapped into the browser and mobile OS market withchrome browser and Android (Mobile OS). And now they will be competing head on head with software giant Microsoft in the OS market with Chrome OS!

Well I think everyone saw it coming, when Google released chrome they mentioned that its more than just a browser, its a platform where web applications can be built on. So basically the Chrome OS will eventually be something like a cloud based operating system and for people who mostly use computer for the internet will find this very fascinating.

Google Chrome OS will basically run on both x86 as well as ARM chips and Google is working hard with multiple OEMs to bring a number of netbooks to market in 2010.

The software architecture is pretty straight forward, You can look at Chrome OS as the Google Chrome browser running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel. For application developers, the web is the platform. All web-based applications will automatically work with Chrome OS (as they are both the same platform) and new applications can be written using your favorite web technologies.

The best part about developing web applications is that they are pretty much platform independent, the apps that you develop will run not only on Google Chrome OS, but on any standards-based browser on Windows, Mac and Linux thereby giving you as a developer the largest user base of any platform.

I’m really looking forward to this new Chrome OS. I really can’t wait to get my hands on one of the netbooks running Chrome.

What others are saying about Google Chrome OS:

Google vs. Microsoft: Net giant readies own operating system: USA Today

Google Says Yes to Launching An OS (Based on Chrome)Louis Gray

Google targets Microsoft with new operating systemGurdian.co.uk

Google plans Chrome-based Web operating systemCNet

Google to launch Operating SystemMashable!

Google OS Becomes RealityReadWriteWeb

Google announces Chrome OSZDnet

Google to Challenge Microsoft With Operating System (Update1)Bloomberg

Google Drops A Nuclear Bomb On Microsoft. And It’s Made of ChromeTechcrunch

Check the rest of the stories on Techmeme .


Google Finally ditched the “BETA” Label

gmail out of beta

Whenever Google comes out with a product, you will notice that it is always in “BETA”. For many years Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar and many other awesome google products has been under Beta.

Google’s VP of Search, Marissa Myers was once asked, about Google’s common practice of keeping everything in Beta. In her reply she mentioned that when it comes to software ‘beta’ basically refers to something that is incomplete or in other words ‘buggy’. But Google looks at the whole thing very differently; As the life cycle of the web services that Google comes up with is always evolving so they never consider it as the final product. At that time, I was wondering why don’t they put Google search under beta? It’s also always changing & improving every day!

Anyway it seems like Google has now finally decided to take off the Beta label from Gmail, along with 4 other major google products including – Google Docs, Calender & Gtalk.

Gmail has been in Beta for over 5 years, so why go out of Beta now? Matthew Glotzbach, director of product management for Google Enterprise, said on reply that the beta tag “just doesn’t fit for large enterprises that aren’t keen to run their business on software that sounds like it’s still in the trial phase. Google basically sells a bundle of its applications, including Gmail, Calendar and Docs, to businesses via Google Apps. Businesses don’t like the idea of buying something that is not ‘complete’ (or in Beta).

So basically by lifting of the beta label, Google’s paying customers will be happy. But if you are a regular users who wants to see Gmail in beta forever, You can simply go to “Labs” under “Settings” and choose the “Back to Beta” option, which restores the little “beta” label to the logo. Funny isn’t it?


Feedburner – Change Email Subject Line

feedburner-logo Feedburner is one of the most popular feed management solution that is available today for absolutely free of charge. But because it is free and now owned by Google, the users had to make certain compromises when it came to features. For example for a long time everyone was crying out loud for a way to change their feed email subject line that are automatically sent out from Feedburner; and guess what? there was simply no way of doing that – the subject line was static!

But not anymore! Google adsense for Feeds blog has recently blogged about this new feature that feedburner was supposedly working on for some time. Now if you log in to your feedburner account and go to Publicize > Email Subscriptions > Email Branding, you will be able to change the title of the email that feedburner sends on your behalf and that’s not all, you will now be able to insert the title of your last post in the subject line using their predefined variables.

feedburner email subject line

How to Customize Feedburner Email Subject Line

Just follow the steps and you will be able to change your Feedburner email subject line in no time.

  • Step 1 – Login to your Feedburner account.
  • Step 2 – Go to Publicize > Email Subscriptions > Email Branding
  • Step 3 – Under Email Subject/Title, write what you want your email subject line to be. For example, if you wish to insert the title of your last post you can use ${lastestitemTitle}. So a nice title would be: Your Blog Name – ${lastestitemTitle} (or any other way you prefer).
  • Step 4 – If you have more than one post on a day, then you can also include additional information on the subject line. Check the option, “Change Subject when email has 2 or more…” and it will give you an additional field to refine your subject line.

    Examples
    Your Blog Name: ${latestItemTitle}
    Your Blog Name: “${latestItemTitle}” plus ${m} more
    Your Blog Name (in this message: ${n} new items)

So what are you waiting for? Check out Feedburner today and customize your feed email subject line!


Google Blog Search – RSS, Hot Queries & Latest Posts

I am a huge fan of Google Blog Search, its pretty much the first place I go to when I’m looking for latest blog posts of my favorite topics like technology, gadgets etc.

Today Google has announced that they have added in some neat feature inside Google Blog Search. So I thought why not give them a quick run down..

1. RSS Subscription: If you are particularly interested about a topic you can now easily follow all the stories of that topic as they come along using your RSS Reader. In case you don’t use a RSS feed reader, Google is also providing an iGoogle gadget that lets you embed the Blog Search front page right inside of your iGoogle home page or any other page where iGoogle gadgets are accepted. Now you can easily browse topics and dig into stories from within the widget, and you can customize the gadget to choose which topics you want to follow and so on. In my opinion this is definitely a nice addition and it should have been there a long back!

2. Hot Queries: Google Blog search now also displays the popular blog searches in a list called “Hot Queries”. It’s an easy way to quickly dive into the trending topics of conversation on the web. Bloggers should definitely keep an eye on this area as this gives a good pointer on what to write about.

3. Latest Posts: This new section sort of displays the new posts from popular blogs right at the Google blog search home page! Google hasn’t provided any criteria on how they select the “popular blogs”, but so far based on my observation I saw that it picks up posts from reputable blogs hosted everywhere (even from blogspot and typepad). So regardless of what blogging platform (free/paid/self hosted) you use, as long as Google thinks your blog has quality – its likely to be picked up.

google-blog-search


Notify Google about your Domain Change

google-domain-name-changeBarry Schwartz @ Search Engine Land recently reported that there is a brand new feature in Google Webmaster Tools named change of address.

How To: Tell Google about your domain change

If you’ve recently moved your site to a new domain, you can use the Change of address tool under the Google Webmaster Central dashboard to tell Google about your new URL. This will allow Google to update their index to reflect your new URL. Changes will stay in effect for 180 days, by during that time Google will crawl and index the pages at your new URL.

The change of address tool is safe to use as its backed up by Google’s site verification. So only the real site owners will be able to use it.

Note: If you’ve specified a preferred domain for your original site, you should also set it for your new site.

In order to use the change of address tool, make sure that you’ve added and verified both your old and new sites in your Google Webmaster Central Dashboard. In addition to that, make sure your original site is not a subdomain (for example, http://newwebsite.example.com).

change-address-webmaster-central

Access Change of address from:

1. On the Webmaster Tools Home page, click the site you want.
2. Under Site configuration, click Change of address.
3. In Step 4, in the Select a verified site list, select the new site.

Google posted a help document on moving your domain to assist webmasters with this process.


Become a Google Analytics Guru

google-analytics-iq-testIf you are an online marketer or just an in-house webmasters managing your company sites & blogs, I’m pretty sure you are already familiar with the web analytics tools like Google Analytics.

Google Analytics is a completely free tool which allows any webmaster to get different statistical information of their website in the form of reports. Now it may seem very easy to install & use Google Analytics in your website – but using it to it’s fullest potential is something that very few webmasters can achieve.

Google has recently started offering a FREE online course in web analytics techniques and Google Analytics implementation, administration, and analysis tools.

So if you are interested to master Google Analytics, you can easily do so without spending a penny – Just log on to ConversionUniversity.com to master Google Analytics. In addition to the free course materials, Google is also offering a test that you can take online to prove that you are qualified in Google Analytics — Google Analytics Individual Qualification (Google Analytics IQ) test.

The press release by Google states:

The Google Analytics IQ program is tailored for agencies who want to retain and develop employees who are knowledgeable about Web analytics, and for individuals who seek ways to improve their job prospects or further their own personal development. Individuals do not have to be associated with an agency or organization to take the online course or test.

It costs only 50 bucks to take the Google Analytics IQ test. Once you pass (over 75% mark), you’ll be registered as Google Analytics qualified!

So don’t wait up, study the free online course materials and give the Google Analytics IQ Test when you are fully ready. Best of luck!



Google Adwords – Change in Display URL Policy

google-adwords-url-policy-updateThe official Google adwords blog has notified that starting from 24th February 2009, Google will implement a change to their current AdWords policy in regards to having multiple display URL domains in a single ad group.

Emel Mutlu, Inside AdWords crew writes:

In an effort to provide more relevant results and a high quality experience for our users, we’ve made the decision to disallow multiple display URL domains within a single ad group. Going forward, all display URLs within an ad group must have the same top-level domain

Which Advertisers will be affected by this change?

Advertisers who are using multiple/different display URL Domains on the same Ad Group on a campaign will be affected. So for instance, if you have an Ad group (i.e. Ad Group 1), with many different kinds of Display URL of one single domain that you are likely to be safe.

So the following Display URLs would be fine for a particular Ad Group:

www.example.com
www.example.com/product
product.example.com

However, if your Adgroup has display URLs showing multiple domains then you will be affected by this new change in policy.

For example the following Display URLs won’t be accepted, if used under one single Adgroup:

www.example.com
example.product.com (The Domain here is different – Product.com. You can only use ONE domain per Adgroup)
www.product.com

What should Advertisers Do?

If for some reason you need to have multiple domains in the Display URLs, you can simply create a separate Ad group for that purpose. Just make sure that you don’t have different display URL domains on a single ad group.


Google Webmaster Central YouTube Channel

google-webmaster-central-Youtube-channelGreat news for the Google Webmaster Central Fans! Google Webmaster Central has officially launched a dedicated youtube channel at – www.youtube.com/GoogleWebmasterHelp.

Michael Wyszomierski of Google’s Search Quality Team writes:

We plan on releasing more videos like these in the future, so we’ve opened up our own channel on YouTube to host webmaster-related videos.

So how do you keep yourself up-to-date? Just subscribe to the Google Webmaster Help Youtube channel using your youtube account and you will be instantly notified when they release something new. You can also grab this RSS feed if you’d like to keep track in your feed reader.


Protect Your Site from Spammers – Matt Cutts

matt-cutts-talks-on-spam

Head of Google’s Web Spam Team, Matt Cutts recently spoke on a panel about “Preventing Virtual Blight” at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. So for those of you who couldn’t attend that conference, Matt cutts has recorded a special summarized version (“director’s cut”) of his presentation and made it available for Free (~ So nice of you Matt).

Its a 20 minutes videos, where Matt explains how you can use some common ways to prevent spam and also protect your site & domain from usual spammers & hackers. If you own or maintain any Web 2.0/3.0 service or even just a blog, this video is a must watch.

And here is the actual presentation slide:

Matt cutts writes in the Google Web Analytics blog:

One of the things I’m thinking about in 2009 is how Google can be even more transparent and communicate more. That led me to a personal goal for 2009: if I give a substantial conference presentation (not just a question and answer session), I’d like to digitize the talk so that people who couldn’t attend the conference can still watch the presentation.

Well this is certainly an excellent move by him or by Google (who ever made the actual decision). I hope that this move by Matt Cutts will open eyes of other key individuals, who holds important position in big organizations and possesses a lot of experience & knowledge but are reluctant to share anything with the public.


Google Dumped by Firefox for Yandex

Firefox & Google

Firefox is planning to choose Yandex (Google’s Rival) as the default search provider for all Russian firefox users.

Google is currently the default search engine for in the Russian Firefox, but according to the blog post by Mozilla’s General Counsel Harvey Anderson – Yandex is a far better choice.

He writes:

Over the past few months, we have listened to feedback, talked with our localizers, studied the trends of our Firefox Yandex builds, and reviewed the Yandex user experience. All this activity led us to the conclusion that our Russian users really wanted direct access to the Yandex search services in official Firefox RU builds…….As a result, we’re planning on setting Yandex as the default search provider for the Firefox 3.1 Russian locale builds…..

CNet reports that, Mozilla gets over 90% of its revenue from Google under a revenue sharing partnership with Google’s search advertisements. In 2007, this revenue from Google was reported $66 million of Mozilla’s total revenue of $75 million.

Now I wonder whether this whole move of making Yandex the default engine in Russia will make their ‘already completed relation‘, more complicated. Mozilla has a “reasonable” relationship with long-time partner Google , but the launch of Google’s browser Chrome has made it more complicated admitted Mozilla’s chief executive.

In last December Mozilla’s Cheif Executive, John Lilly said in a statement:

We have a fine and reasonable relationship. But I’d be lying if I said that things weren’t more complicated than they used to be.


Do you like Google’s New Favicon?

Have you noticed that Google has a New Favicon? Favicon is the small icon that sits right next to the address bar in your browser. For instance, my favicon is the cartoon head that you can see right next to the address bar and also on your browser tab.

So what about Google’s Favicon? Here it is –

google-favicon

Personally, I don’t really like it because its just too colorful. I still prefer the original Google Favicon. Barry is running a poll @ Search Engine Roundtable and so far the results are pretty competitive. Out of 190 votes, 35% likes the new favicon and 36% likes the original favicon. Make sure you cast your own vote too.

Google has developed many favicons that they have never used. Here’s a sampling that they shared last June in the official Google blog:

favicon_iterations

So do you like this new favicon? Share in comments!


Semantic Data in Google Search Results?

Google has started to display ‘so-called’ Semantic data for some of the search queries. For example a search for “Who is Barack Obama’s Wife?” in google gives me the following result:

google-semantic-search-example-1

Similarly if you do the opposite and search for – “Who is Michelle Obama’s Husband“, it does display the correct answer, however from a different source.

google-semantic-search-example-2

Why I think these aren’t regular Semantic Data?

I checked some of the source pages from where the results were derived from. I have not found a single semantic markup used in any of the pages that defines “Barack Obama” as Michelle Obama’s husband and so on. Thus the data that google is showing is either from an external page (which isn’t listed) that contains the structured data. If that is not the case then I guess Google has came up with a completely different revolutionary solution. Semantic web is far from being a reality at this moment, and it will take a long time before everyone starts to embrace it and do the ‘extra’ work so that the static information on the web can become ‘useful’ and can be processed by a computer.

So I believe Google has somehow taken a ‘short-cut’ approach to the problem with promising results. But of course the results are not 100% accurate. A search for “Yahoo CEO” gave me the following result –

yahoo-ceo-google-search

Poor Jerry. See what I mean? Even on that referenced page there is no markup that defines Terry Semel as Yahoo’s CEO. So this leads me to believe that google is still playing with “keywords” – perhaps a bit more intelligently by using related phrases, position of the words, common verbs etc.

Google has done similar things before – for example in May 2008, Search Engine Roundtable reported that Google automatically highlights related terms in the SERP. So for example if you search for accredit, It automatically highlights words like – accreditation, accrediting etc.

Google can also answer direct questions like – “whats the capital of China“?

capital-of-china

I couldn’t help noticing some of the comments that has been made about this by the ReadWriteWeb’s readers. Some of them are saying they have seen these before – well, I agree if we are talking about ‘what’s the capital of x’ type of queries. But some of the queries that Marshall Kirkpatrick of RWW came up with are completely new for me. But definitely these aren’t semantic or structured data. Because the results don’t reflect that. For instance a search for “Laura Bush Husband” gave me the following result:

laura-bush-husband

A search for “Who is Justin Timberlake’s Girlfriend“, gave me the following results:

justin-timberlake-girlfriend

The source page, doesn’t even contain the keyword “girlfriend” anywhere.

Google is definitely onto something! Share your views in the comments!