Thursday, 7 August 2014

HTTPS As A Ranking Signal


Security is a top priority for Google. They invest a lot in making sure that their services use industry-leading security, like strongHTTPS encryption by default. That means that people using Search, Gmail and Google Drive, for example, automatically have a secure connection to Google.

Beyond their own stuff, they are also working to make the Internet safer more broadly. A big part of this is, they are making sure that websites people access from Google are secure. For instance, they have created resources to help webmasters prevent and fix security breaches on their sites.

They want to go even further. At Google I/O a few months ago, They called for “HTTPS everywhere” on the web.

They have also seen more and more webmasters adopting HTTPS (also known as HTTP over TLS, or Transport Layer Security), on their website, which is encouraging.

For these reasons, over the past few months they have been running tests taking into account whether sites use secure, encrypted connections as a signal in their search ranking algorithms. They have seen positive results, so they are starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. For now it's only a very lightweight signal — affecting fewer than 1% of global queries, and carrying less weight than other signals such as high-qualitycontent — while we give webmasters time to switch to HTTPS. But over time, we may decide to strengthen it, because we’d like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.

In the coming weeks, They will publish detailed best practices (we’ll add a link to it from here) to make TLS adoption easier, and to avoid common mistakes. Here are some basic tips to get started:

Decide the kind of certificate you need: single, multi-domain, or wildcard certificate

  • Use 2048-bit key certificates
  • Use relative URLs for resources that reside on the same secure domain
  • Use protocol relative URLs for all other domains
  • Check out our Site move article for more guidelines on how to change your website’s address
  • Don’t block your HTTPS site from crawling using robots.txt
  • Allow indexing of your pages by search engines where possible. Avoid the noindex robots meta tag.

If your website is already serving on HTTPS, you can test its security level and configuration with the Qualys Lab tool. If you are concerned about TLS and your site’s performance, have a look at Is TLS fast yet?. 

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Optimize Your Content For Google News With Google News Publisher Center


Yesterday, Google announced something new for content publishers that will allow them to have more control over how content shows up in Google News. The newly launched Google News Publisher Center will let you make changes to Google’s record of your news site.

With the Publisher Center, your potential readers can be more informed about the articles they’re clicking on and you benefit from better discovery and classification of your news content.
To use the new Publisher Center, first you have to verify ownership of your site using Google Webmaster Tools. Then you can use the Publisher Center to directly make the following changes:
  • Update your news site details, including changing your site name and labeling your publication with any relevant source labels (e.g., “Blog”, “Satire” or “Opinion”)
  • Update your section URLs when you change your site structure (e.g., when you add a new section such as http://example.com/2014commonwealthgames or http://example.com/elections2014)
  • Label your sections with a specific topic (e.g., “Technology” or “Politics”)
Whenever you make changes to your site, Google recommends checking for their record of it in the Publisher Center and updating it if necessary.

Getting started with it is a simple process, all you have to do is click on the link above and
  • Verify ownership of your news site.
  • Review and update your news site details.
  • Review and update your site’s news section URLs & labels.
  • Review the info again when your site changes.
At the moment, this new tool the tool is only available in the U.S. but Google plans to introduce it in other countries soon along with more features.
Source: -http://goo.gl/8si8K9

Friday, 1 August 2014

Google Now Launcher

Today we're releasing the Google Now Launcher for all devices that run Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) and higher.

The Google Now Launcher gives you a home screen that's clean, simple and customizable. One swipe leads 


Google "Pigeon" Updates Local Search Algorithm With Stronger Ties To Web Search Signal


Google has released a new algorithm to provide a more useful, relevant and accurate local search results that are tied more closely to traditional web search ranking signals. The changes will be visible within the Google Maps search results and Google Web search results.
Note: We’ve named this update the Pigeon update.
The core changes are behind the scenes, but it does impact local search results rankings and some local businesses may notice an increase or decrease in web site referrals, leads and business from the change.
Google told us that the new local search algorithm ties deeper into their web search capabilities, including the hundreds of ranking signals they use in web search along with search features such as Knowledge Graph, spelling correction, synonyms and more.
In addition, Google said that this new algorithm improves their distance and location ranking parameters.
The new algorithm is currently rolling out for US English results and aims to provide a more useful and relevant experience for searchers seeking local results. Google didn’t share any details about if and when the update would roll out more widely in other countries and languages.
Google has not commented on the percent of queries impacted by this algorithm update, nor if certain web spam algorithms were deployed in this update.
If you have noticed any ranking changes and referral changes for your local business, please let us know in the comments.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

5 More Killer Firefox Addons for Designers

If you compare the way you use your computer today with how you used it, let’s say 10 years ago, you will probably notice a big difference, even if you essentially still do the same tasks with it. Applications replace Software and Add-Ons replace Stand Alone Programs.

It’s obvious, we are doing a majority of our work in our browser. Even designers can utilize free photoshop alternatives which are completely web based, without ever leaving their beloved browser. Extensions and Add-Ons enhance this experience also, by turning your web browser into a real hub. Mozilla Firefox is one of the browsers which can offer you very powerful assets of tools, if it’s used right.

Whether if it’s Web Design, UX, UI, Typography or anything else; some of Mozilla’s Firefox Web Browser’s strong points lie in it’s broad selection of available add-ons. Apart from the must have add-ons as the Web Developer Toolbar by Chris Pederick , and Firebug by Joe Hewitt, there are a lot of other little tools which can make your design life a tad bit easier.

Following is a small selection of great design add-ons for Firefox, which you probably haven’t heard of, but will appreciate getting to know now.

Dummy Lipsum


Current Version: 3.0.0

No. of Users: 12.000 +

Avg. Rating: 4 stars

Download

Lorem Ipsum: As web developers, we probably remember it better than any verse we might have learned at elementary school. First introduced in the 16th century, it is still useful for us today. It scans like proper text, reads naturally and doesn’t distract the reader (unless you are a latin-reading doctor or DaVinci Code super-fan, of course ).

If you are also one of the Lipsum enthusiasts and tire of opening a Lorem Ipsum generator every time you need to insert dummy text, try out this small add-on which can be accessed very quickly in your Firefox toolbar. You can specify precisely how much text you require, and even insert HTML tags in the generated text.

Lipsum Text

If you work a lot with text and mockups, this is a must-have tool for you.

FireFTP


Current Version: 2.0.19

No. of Users: 775.000 +

Avg. Rating: 4 stars

Download

Okay, this is not really designer specific, but if you work on any website and tweak and fiddle around with elements, you probably upload and update files several times. In this case, having a FTP File Manager built right into your browser really helps speed up the process.

If you currently use an FTP client like FileZilla, you may well prefer a faster work process, especially for quick and dirty changes.

FireFTP

Once you logged into your FTP account, you can update, edit, move and copy files without leaving Firefox. You can open several files with your favourite program and update them “on the fly” directly, without the need of reuploading them manually.

FontFinder


Current Version: 1.1.0

No. of Users: 25.000 +

Avg. Rating: 4 stars

Download

Typography maniacs, listen up. FontFinder is your new daily companion for all your font needs.

Font Finder

As you can see, you can copy font elements, replace them or even disable them. It also offers you to copy the Color code of any text. Really helpful if you don’t want to zoom in to inspect it with a colorpicker.

The spacing and size tools are also very powerful, especially if you use it together with Firebug and Colorzilla. That way you can prototype even web pages right inside your browser.

If you are not Firebug devotee, or are just looking for fast, hightly-targetted, concise information on the sites you’re looking at, take FontFinder for a test drive.



Lightshot


Current Version: 4.6.7

No. of Users: 51.000 +

Avg. Rating: 4.5 stars

Download

Lightshot is quite likely the easiest and fastest (if not the best) screenshot tool for Firefox. It’s lightweight, yet very powerful. It offers you the ability to upload your images to imgur with only 1 click, so you can share it instantly.

It even lets you search for similar images of your captured screenshot directly on Google Images, often saving you time on repetitive task processes.

After you have selected a capture area, you can add notes, arrows, shapes, scribbles, markings and similar. This all happens in a very smooth way, perfect for an optimized workflow.

Lightshot


Easy Screenshot


Current Version: 0.3.4

No. of Users: 128.000 +

Avg. Rating: 4 stars

Download

Easy Screenshot is another useful screenshot tool, which offers an important feature that is missing in Lightshot: It lets you capture whole web pages at once (without windows and browser borders of course).

It’s useful if you don’t want to stitch separate screenshots together yourself.

Easy Screenshot

Like Lightshot, it lets you also capture area selections of your screen, albeit with fewer editing options and no cloud sharing options. However, I’ve found having both Easy Screenshot and Lightshot installed covers off all my screenshot needs in Firefox.

Conclusion


Firefox is clearly a very powerful browser, and with such a broad selection of add-ons and tweaks, it can terrifically enhance your web experience. In 2014, web browsers are no longer just the lens with which we view the web, but they have decentralized many of our working habits from our desktop to the web.

Customizing your experience with addons and other personalizations, can speed up your workflow immensely, regardless what kind of work you do.

Source:- http://bit.ly/1vgImVF

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Can Social Media Spending Fit Into a Simple ROI Formula?

Most businesses have accepted a social media presence is worthwhile, although many seem unable to back that feeling up with hard facts and figures. In a recent survey of 410 chief marketing officers almost half (49%) said they weren’t able to quantify whether social media has made a difference for their companies. 36% said they had a good sense of qualitative (though not quantitative) results, with only 15% reporting they had seen a proven quantitative impact.

In traditional marketing terms return on investment (ROI) is relatively straightforward to work out.

Put simply, ROI = (Return – Investment)/Investment

So if you spend $1,000 and make a return of $10,000 as a direct result of this investment the ROI would be:

(10,000 – 1,000)/1,000 = a return on investment of $9 for every $1 spent.

Variables on both the return and investment side of the equation can make the calculations more complex of course, but the basics remain the same. The problem in applying this formula to social media spending is the return is not always so clear.

How much is a ‘like’ or a retweet worth to your business in purely financial terms? How about a slightly nebulous concept like ‘spreading brand awareness’ or ‘fostering relationships’?

In many cases, social media ROI can be measured, especially for individual campaigns. But, it may require a different approach than more traditional marketing techniques.

The Changing Face of Social ROI Metrics

As marketers and other interested parties have gained a clearer picture of what social media can and can’t do for them, there has been a marked drop in purely financial metrics. From 2010 to 2013 the number of marketers using a revenue-per-customer metric as a main indicator fell from 17% to just 9%.

Other factors are seen as increasingly important (and measurable) signs of success include audience reach, engagement, and sentiment.

The CMO Survey looked at the metrics companies used most often to measure the success of their social media campaigns between 2010 and 2013, as displayed in this chart by Forbes:

Metrics 380x341 Can Social Media Spending Fit Into a Simple ROI Formula?
(Source: Forbes)

Metrics 380x341 Can Social Media Spending Fit Into a Simple ROI Formula?
(Source: Forbes)

Easily measurable data like the overall number of hits and repeat visitors remain the most commonly used metrics, but both have fallen over the past three years. The biggest drops were in purely financial metrics – sales levels, revenue per customer, profits per customer, and customer retention costs.

The highest upward swings were ‘voice metrics’ used to ascertain levels of engagement, attitude, and brand loyalty. The number of followers and friends is a simple enough way to track customers who could be considered to have an ongoing relationship with the brand. Text analysis (sometimes known as ‘opinion mining’) uses algorithms to determine sentiment from written material such as posts and tweets while Net Promoter Score is a customer loyalty metric based on the question ‘How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?’

Measuring The Impact of Individual Campaigns

Customer engagement, attitude, and brand loyalty can all be very useful indicators, but there are also often opportunities to use financial metrics, especially across individual campaigns with defined goals.

Google Analytics is a great free tool for small businesses as it allows you to track how many visitors land at your main corporate website via your social media channels. You can also track how many of these visitors result in a conversion, whether this is a sale, a subscription to email marketing, or any other pre-defined action.

Social media exclusives such as vouchers and special offers with a direct click-through are another way to measure the effectiveness of any given campaign. You can also simply measure sales while a campaign is active versus sales before and after, although the waters can be muddied somewhat if you have a constant, ongoing social media presence and other campaigns, which may well be interlinked, are running at the same time.

The success of some individual campaigns will be easier to quantify than others. Texan coffee-house The Coffee Groundz, for example, used Twitter as a direct ordering channel and saw both sales and market share rise by 25%. Pennsylvanian green tea makers Steaz offered coupons via Twitter and Facebook and saw 250,000 downloaded, building an active community of more than 10,000 in the process. Chicago’s Foiled Cupcakes implemented a ‘relationship-building program’ over Twitter and Facebook and reported that 97% of its customers now originate from social media.


Social media marketing might be difficult to fit into the traditional model of ROI. But, by looking at specific parameters, setting goals, and expanding your definition of value, it is more than possible to measure the success of individual campaigns and your ongoing social presence.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Matt Cutts Is Going On Leave For Several Months

matt cutts meta descriptions

Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam, announced today that he will be going on leave for several months. Matt cited the need to spend more time with his wife as being among the key reasons behind his decision to go on leave.

When I joined Google, my wife and I agreed that I would work for 4-5 years, and then she’d get to see more of me… And now, almost fifteen years later I’d like to be there for my wife more. I know she’d like me to be around more too, and not just physically present while my mind is still on work.

Matt’s leave is scheduled to start next week, after which time he will be gone through October. He has the utmost confidence in the webspam team while he’s gone, saying that they’re much better at spam fighting than even he is.

Matt won’t be checking work email while he’s gone, at all. This is a point he repeated several times throughout his announcement. Gmail filters will be set up to forward some of his outside email to individuals on the webspam team, but they won’t be replying to those emails.

While Matt’s gone, how can you communicate with Google about search topics or find out about new things in search? Here’s his advice:

There’s still tons of ways, from our webmaster forums to Office Hours Hangouts where you can ask questions to experts. On the social side, instead of sending SEO-related comments to me on Twitter, you can ping the Google Webmaster Central account. Likewise, make sure you follow Google Webmasters on Google+. A bunch of different Googlers will continue to speak and answer questions at search conferences too.

Matt has some fun things scheduled for his time off, he explains. Including taking a ballroom dance classes with my wife, and we’re going on a cruise in late August. He also intends to spend more time visiting his parents, and he’s going to try his hand at a half-Ironman race.

We hope Matt enjoys his well deserved time off.

Reference :- http://bit.ly/1qvBaFR

Sunday, 27 April 2014

9 New Features in Keyword Planner Tool


These new additions by Google bring some enhancement to the Keyword Planner tool giving deeper insight into data over time to the advertisers. With each new addition the visual components are more enhanced and making data more meaningful at a glance. The tool also gives information to the web publishers about what internet users are looking for on the internet.

 Let’s talk about what these nine new features include.
  • Specify a time period

This feature provides the keyword suggestions and estimated volume around the specified time period. In addition to this a graph also provided which displays a visual of changes over time. If you move a mouse pointer over one of the bar, it will give you the details of the corresponding month.


  •  Period of time comparison

Visual graph display the time period comparisons which we can also perform. This comparison can be made by choosing one of the options i.e. Previous period, Same period last year, and Custom.

Previous period: If this option is selected then it means the set range (for example April 2014 to June 2014) will compare and displays the result for the previous time period i.e. January 2014 to March 2014.

Same period last year: The set range (April 2014 to June 2014) will compare and displays the result for the same period in last year i.e. April 2013 to June 2013.

Custom: This will allow you create your own custom comparison. For easy visuals Google will graph the comparison time if the comparison is set ON.

  •  Visualizing Mobile Trends

In this, a graph is displayed which shows the comparison between the mobile device (green) and all types of devices (blue). Placing the cursor over the bar gives you the volume of the corresponding month.

  • By comparing two periods look at the relative and absolute changes for keyword’s volume and each ad group

This is used to understand what keywords are on the decline or in-flux and this can be done by reviewing total change or percent change.
  • Flexible time periods

The results can be scale (Time period based) to achieve monthly, quarterly, or annual results. Advertisers can specify the time period based estimates in addition to daily estimates.

  • Look at the targeted locations and breakdowns by device

Expected contribution from individual devices is displayed in form of a visual graph which is easily understandable by the advertisers.

  • Location breakdowns of your targeted location For Sub-Geographic

If you choose United States (for example) as your targeting area then there are the following options which you will have.

In Blue: Area targeted – You can look at the estimates for your specified geographic targeting.

In Red: To look for further granularity of your targeted area select one of the option from automatic breakdowns.

  • Device segmentation and bid adjustments

Look at the estimated volume breakdown done by device and for mobile bid adjustments get estimates specific.

Device specific estimate breakdowns

Baseline bid based estimates are applied to all devices. By adding a bid adjustment, the bid adjustment based adjustments will be provided.

  • For Sub-Geographic

The visualization above depicted the breaks the targeted area with volumes and it is based on your choice above. You can change the time view as you want. The example above shows the clicks per quarter.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

How Google Evaluate New Search Algorithms

Few days ago Head of Search Spam Matt Cutts gives us a video that describe how Google evaluating new search algorithm which one they are going to use or which one they are going throw away.

A question was asked by James Foster of Sydney:


What metrics Google used to calculate that one function of the ranking algorithm is gives the good quality result to user than other?

Matt Cutts give the answer into the three steps, that how they evaluate search algorithms:

  1. They test the results of the algorithms and compare their results rank with the new algorithms offline, If the URLs in the result are of high quality then the last algorithms takes place. The quality of a URL is based on search quality raters that how they rate the URLs in the last cases. If the URLs are not rated, then Google could request the raters  to rate the new URLs or benchmark the previous search result to this set of new test. Based on these metrics, Google can decide to carry on to the next level.
  2. Online Tests, here Google have the sample of real live searchers and place them to the new results with the new test algorithm sets. If Google catch the high rate of clicks in new search results, then it shows that the results in this are better than older ones. Matt Cutts said that, this case is not for always but in general the more click at the specific search result page more is the quality result.
  3. After that the Search Quality Launch Committee of Google have to decide that the algorithm is going to live or not. Matt Cutts told that Google have a “very pretty system” but they need to filter some of his processes within the workflow.
video

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

OneBox Restaurant Menus added to Google Search Results Pages

Once again a good news came from Google, That it is going to add restaurant’s menus in the SERP, which was in the beta mode several weeks ago. This feature was introduced in the form of OneBox which is capable of showing the restaurant’s specification.

It’s not defined from where Google exactly collecting these information for each Restaurant’s menu. From SEL Matt McGee have a word with Google spokesperson, that they are getting all the information of menu data from a third party, just like they are getting data to weather and answers. Google is not capable to adding individual menus for restaurants directly, but it’s working regularly to extract their database for menus and restaurants.


Image source:  http://www.ironpaper.com/

This feature could grow the instant traffic for restaurant’s official website when user are searching specifically for their menu but on the other hand it can also be helpful to generate more business by giving the answer to the user’s query as fast as possible.

The Google’s OneBox now only available in U.S. but Google is also rolling out the information regarding restaurant’s menu in its database and it totally depends on the restaurants owners that how they want to appear in Google’s OneBox, after that Google will launch this feature all over the world.

Friday, 21 February 2014

14 Effective Plugins for Photoshop

Photoshop is an amazing tool for producing the attractive images, high definition video and even creative 3D effect. Photoshop is a world of providing possibilities but even is worth of adding so many plugins in it to get more effects.

There are some plugins that are more useful to get awesome images, amazing videos and for the time savings.

1.Subtle Patterns : It is a quality library of free, tillable textured patterns by Atle Mo. It provides the functionality to feed all the text directly into your Photoshop panel. For this just click on the thumbnail and the texture is available as a layer style into your current layer. It only cost $11.99.


2.Renamy : Name your layer is first rule of Photoshop. But sometime you have to change your layer name that would be difficult for you, But with the Renamy you can rename multiple layer at a single moment.


3.Pixel Dropr : It’s gives you ability to create your own collection of icons, photos and drop them into Photoshop document when you are working. It’s a great function to raise up effort when you are working on multiple projects.


4.Perspective Mockups : In the Perspective Mockups sites lots of swearing and impropriety, would be found either hilarious or offensive. Essentially it’s a great tool to make perspective mock-ups for your design by the use of CSS3 3D tansforms.


5.CSS Hat : CSS Hat is Plugin that is used for to turns your Photoshop style instantly into usable CSS3 for your website.


6.Virtual Photographer : If you are trying to get more effective images in a mean time then you have to use virtual photographer, that provides you the quick and effective way to get attractive images.


7.CSS3PS : This Plugin uses the cloud to perform the method which required to convert your Photoshop into CSS3 layer, where there are complete with live effect and easily achievable. So, drop anything this Plugin convert automatically into CSS3. It’s worth to use for reduce the coding time.

8.Silver EFEX Pro 2 : This plugin may carry an expensive price tag, but the results it can produce are quiet stunning. There's a vast range of options with easy controls focused around producing the best black and white photographs possible.



9.Fractalius : This Plugin uses fractal patterns that are hidden within the image source to generate the procedural effect that are similar to pencil sketches.


10.Dream Suit Ultimate : The effect of this suit covers everything from textures to pseudo-3D effects, tonal correction and borders. It’s not that cheep but covers very wide range of effect.


11.Exposure 4 : It’s a tool that provides you to simulate the film effect on  your digital images, and gives the output like analog style  finishes, borders.


12.Texture Anarchy : This Plugin is a combination of three different filters for Photoshop. That filters provides you seamless and wealthy texture into your incorporate design. Some are little predictable , but they are sheer range available to generate the true fractals.

13.Fluid Mask 3 : This Plugin makes the masking simpler for everyone. While Photoshop has improved its built-in masking tools with the help of CS5 and CS6, there is still plenty of area available for some dedicated tool to help you to get the clear and accurate mask possible while hair and fur around you.


14.3D Invigorator : This Plugins is uses a pen like tool to create or editing the shapes. While Photoshop comes on leaps and bounds with the 3D engine, There is so many way to simplifies the process of drawing the complex 3D scenes and models.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Protect your Business Listing at Google Places, Warned By Google


In these days Google Business help Forums have received many reports by Business owners about Google Place Listings that they are receiving mail forms Google with the Subject line: “Attention: 3 weeks left to save your Google Places Listing.”




The Format of the massage in the body was:

Hello,
We are going to do some changes in Google Maps, So we’d like to have your confirmation and review on the information in your Google Places account, Otherwise we are not able to keep and show it to Google users after 21/02/14.
If you want to keep your listing alive, Follow these 3 steps:
         1.Access to your Google Place account
         2.Read and Confirm your Details 
       3.Enter the “Submit” button
Sincerely,
The Google Places Team
The Google’s Business Community Manager Jade Wang , Has confirmed that this is the legal email which is send out by Google and it says that Google is going to make some different into Google Places for Business and Maps. These changes also involve for asking to Business owners to review and confirm the data in their Google Places accounts. The Business Community Manager Jade Wang also feel sorry for any problem.




Some business owners who did not receive this email and but they have Google Places listing, it does not mean you are not affected. The Email  should be trashed by default in the Spam box in your mail box, So you have to check manually to avoid your Places listing become discarded.
To manually check just  log into your account at Places for Business and check your Business information. After login into your just update it if required, then enter the “Submit”. This process goes for all your listings in your account before 21/2/2014, to clear that they are remain live at Google Maps.
If you avoid this then you have to add your Business information and the PIN verification using Google Places all over again.