Tuesday, February 26, 2013

PageRank And A 301 Redirect

Matt Cutts in his latest webmaster video says:

"The amount of PageRank that dissipates through a 301 is currently identical to the amount of PageRank that dissipates through a link."

There is a fairly good discussion going on at http://searchengineland.com/google-pagerank-dilution-through-a-301-redirect-is-a-myth-149656

I think we consider a 301 redirect only when we have moved the URL permanently or when we want to sort out duplicate content issues.

Hence, we should consider the purpose of using a 301 server side redirect or meta refresh client side redirect or use a normal link depending on the purpose and not on the basis of how much PageRank will get dissipated.Its high time we came out of the PageRank syndrome.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Technical Anatomy, Basics And Beauty Behind A Tweet

Twitter, the widely accepted micro-blogging platform offers a limit of 140 characters per tweet, but you will be surpirised to know the amount of information a tweet carries about the (Twitter Account holder /user or the author of the tweet). It surely is worth taking a note of.

With social signals being integrated to search and businesses allocating increasingly a huge amount for digital marketing every year , the data that can be extracted by just analyzing one tweet from a person individually or collectively can really help in gathering the necessary social signals needed to take important decisions.

The data that can be collected per tweet is as follows:

  • The tweet's unique ID. These IDs are roughly sorted & developers should treat them as opaque http://bit.ly/dCkppc
  • Text of the tweet. Consecutive duplicate tweets are rejected. 140 character max 
  • Date when the tweet was created. 
  • The ID of an existing tweet that this tweet is in reply to (If it’s a reply to a previous tweet). Won't be set unless the author of the referenced tweet is mentioned. 
  • The author's screen name 
  • The author's user name 
  • The screen name & user ID of replied to tweet author. If it’s a reply to a previous tweet) 
  • The author’s bio along with the picture
  • The author’s URL 
  • The author’s location 
  • The creation date of the twitter account 
  • The author’s background and color preferences 
  • Whether this account has contributors enabled - http://bit.ly/50npuu 
  • The timezone of the author 
  • No. of users the author is following 
  • No. of favorites this user has 
  • The language preferred by the user 
  • Whether this user is protected or not. If the user is protected, then this tweet is not visible except to "friends" 
  • No. of followers of this user 
  • Whether the user has verified badge 
  • The place associated with the tweet i.e is it in the neighborhood and the name of the country. 
  • The application used to send the tweet 
  • The total no. of tweets sent by the user till date 

All this information can offer a lot of information about the user especially to search engines for integrating social signals to search results . Hence if you are serious about search then please check if you have filled in the correct details in the Twitter profile so that you convey the right message about yourself and your brand when you next time post a tweet.

Every tweet along with the post also publishes your preferences creating a footprint of your social personality on the web .

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Google Glasses Project - The Future Technology

Wonders of technology never seem to cease. Google has been working on its Project Glass since a year now and has launched a Project Glass website and a Google+ page to share the progress of the project.

Google glasses are no ordinary glasses. They are embedded with smartphone parts, processors , batteries, camera and a glass display.Google has been working on its functionality and also focusing  on the aesthetics and making them wearable too.

Glass (Photo credit: Max Braun)
Google co-founder Sergey Brin said in an interview last year that, “Beauty, style and comfort are as important to Glass as the latest technology.”

Google also has launched a contest on http://www.google.com/glass/start/how-to-get-one/ and asked What would you do if you had Glass? Answer with #ifihadglass.

The deadline for applications is February 27th. If you are chosen, Google will reach out to you with an invitation to become a Glass Explorer (please remember to follow us so that we can contact you directly). Explorers will each need to pre-order a Glass Explorer Edition for $1500 plus tax and attend a special pick-up experience, in person, in New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles.

The terms and conditions for participating in  the contest are as follows:

· Your application must be 50 words or less

· You must include #ifihadglass in your application

· You can include up to 5 photos with your application

· You can include a short video (15 secs max)

· Be sure to follow on Google+ (+ProjectGlass) or Twitter (@projectglass) so that Google can contact you directly

· You must be at least 18 years old and live in the U.S. to apply

· For more details, please see  full Terms and FAQ

It seems to be a very promising product and I am sure it won't take long for children in future to question their parents that how was it ever possible for people to go out without their Google glasses... 

For more information view the following videos:

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

5 Most Useful SEO Tools

 Guest Post

SEO, the act of optimizing a website for search engines, can be a rewarding undertaking. It can give your site better web presence. It can improve your online visibility. It can give you an edge over competition. It helps draw traffic to your site.

However, SEO is a time-consuming and endless process consisting of multiple tasks. You need to do link building, keyword research and analysis, directory submissions, blogging, and many, many more. Then each task has sub-tasks, and doing them on a day-to-day basis can leave you exhausted and frustrated. How do you stay on top of all these?

Fortunately, SEO developers have created tools that enable webmasters to accomplish specific tasks more efficiently and quickly. These tools enable you to optimize your work and time even as you improve the traffic flow to your site. There are dozens of tools out there, but remember even if you have the best tools on your best laptop, Google is ever changing, so you need to stay updated all the time. 

Here are the top 5 most useful tools: 

Google Webmaster Tools  

The Google Webmaster Tools is a set of resources that gives you a solid understanding of how Google sees your site. It’s actually a keyword analysis and a diagnostic tool in one. It shows you what keywords Google sees when it visits your sites and the number of click-throughs each keyword receives. Do you see your target keywords in the list? Are you receiving the number of click-throughs you have hoped to achieve? If not, the Google Webmaster Tools also provides some tips on how you can improve the performance of your site.

The Webmaster Tools can also audit your site. You can use it to check for duplicate titles, duplicate descriptions, broken links, website speed, moved content, and malware, giving you the opportunity to correct the issues and improve your site’s performance. 
Backlinks are one of the criteria for how search engines rank your site. More important than quantity of backlinks for search engine is the quality. Quality is measured using three criteria: where the banklinks originate from (popular vs low-ranked or empty websites), validity of the link, and the relation of the anchor text to the destination page (e.g. if the anchor text says 'best laptop', it should point to a site about laptops and not cars or something else). Backlink Checker is a tool that helps you determine how the links leading to your site are helping (or not helping) your page ranking. It scours the web, then gives you a detailed report about the quality and the number of backlinks pointing to your site.

SEO Book for Keyword Research 

The keywords that you use can mean the whole difference in the outcome of your SEO campaign. The SEO Book is a keyword research tool that helps you find the most relevant keywords to your niche or post topic. It’s one of the most comprehensive free keyword research tools out there, providing you a variety of keyword variations and long tail keywords that you can use in your post. In addition to the keyword research tool, creating a free account with SEO Book also gives you unlimited access to other SEO tools, such as keyword density analyzer, PPC keyword wrapper, and AdWords ad group generator.
Microsoft SEO Toolkit

The Microsoft SEO Toolkit is one of the most powerful auditing software out there. It lets you check your website for SEO violations, such as broken links and missing alt tags, giving you an opportunity to correct them. Even better, it provides potential solutions to these issues and how you can improve it for better search results. 

Because search engine rankings directly impact your bottom line, you need to make sure you stay on the top of the search results. The SEO Rank Tracker by SEO Moz makes it easy to keep track of your page and keyword rankings in multiple search engines. If you want to know, for instance, where your site ranks for 'best laptop', just type it into the search box. No more manual hunting for a URL buried on page 20 of search engine results pages.

There are many more amazing SEO tools out there that scale down your efforts and increase your productivity. Sound off below your favorite ones! 

This post is a guest post by "Sujatha who is an engineer by profession and loves to write about technology, gadgets and the world wide web."

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Drawing Professional and Friendship Boundaries At Work

Author : Bharati Ahuja

The Professional/client relationship is defined by boundaries. These boundaries are the limits that allow for a justified connection between you and your client and are always based on the deliverables and the commitments made at the time of the contract. The focus on these boundaries becomes more important when the contract is a long term contract and the interaction with the client is on a daily basis.

When you have to communicate and interact with a client on a daily basis and have developed a great rapport with the client then there is a great possibility of friendliness creeping into the way you deal with each other.
Professional Boundaries

Having a friendly rapport with the client is not bad but when this friendliness makes each one of you take each other for granted then there arises a situation where the professional relations blur. In a professional relationship, you can be friendly with your client, but not your client's friend. This may result in adversely affecting the quality of the services that need to be provided to the client.

As a professional, you must draw a very clear demarcation about the power that you have.

This requires you to:

· Recognize that the power of a professional relation exists

· Understand the elements of that power

· Accept that these elements create an imbalance within your professional/client relationship, and then

· Use your power appropriately within the professional/client relationship to maintain or increase the efficiency of your work and deliver quality services

This clarity of the demarcation will also make the client appreciate the work done by you. Danny Brown in one of his articles has mentioned that:

We all want to be friends. We all want to have the most amazing relationships. And, often, that can be the case (or a close resemblance to it).But we also want to be successful – for our clients, our customers, ourselves and our families who depend on us to keep a roof over their head. If we confuse friendship and relationships with friendliness and professional relationships in that order, we run the danger of losing sight of crucial decisions that need to be made.

The main catch here is that in the process of creating clear professional boundaries does not mean that we need to be high handed or totally curt and unfriendly but we need to be clear about the limits which are set for maximum mutual benefit.

The Professional Boundaries:

· In a professional relationship, you can be friendly with your client, but not your client's friend.

· Every deal or action should have a mutually benefit you and the client as it is a business relation

· Don’t talk about one client in front of another.

· Always have a written contract as this protects both the parties and can be very useful whenever there is a dispute or disagreement.

· Don’t play favorites.

· Don’t’ discuss personal issues or reveal personal information to the client.

· When a client crosses boundaries , it should be immediately brought to notice so that it is not repeated.

Professional boundaries define effective and appropriate interaction between professionals and the public they serve. Boundaries exist to protect both the professional and the client. We usually enter the danger zone when a friend becomes a client or a client becomes a friend.While we look out for our friends unreservedly, often we can’t offer the same support to our clients, vendors, customers. If you know where the cut-off point is then you know where the help can begin and end.

It is solely your individual professional responsibility to maintain the boundaries. when faced with an issue that is causing the blur, work out the options and develop and implement an action plan. And finally, don’t panic—you are human. Therefore, the heart of ethical practice is taking responsibility for your actions or seek the advice or consultation needed to restore the boundary appropriately, and, ultimately, continuing to learn and grow professionally as a result.
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