Sunday, December 13, 2009

New SEO Academy in Washington D.C.

New SEO Academy in Washington DC

Washington D.C. is now home to the Search Engine Academy. There are already academies operating in several places round the world, including Raleigh, North Carolina; Detroit, Michigan; the San Francisco Bay Area, California; Orange County, California; Tampa, Florida; the New York City Metro Area; South Carolina; Oregon; Toronto, Canada; Montreal Canada; Singapore; Malaysia; and Indonesia. Each one of the schools is independently owned and operated by a licensed associate of the Search Engine Academy.

The Search Engine Academy is a group of professional search engine optimizers who are committed to teaching individuals and businesses ethical ways to get the most out of their websites' and blogs' searchability. It features hands-on experience and in-class guided instruction to students and in some cases, provides a mentoring program for six months following the completion of classes.

The Search Engine Academy - D.C. has already begun enrolling students in upcoming certification courses. There are classes designed for both those with little or no SEO experience and for advanced optimizers looking for current skills and certification. The Search Engine Academy - D.C. will conduct classes in D.C., Virginia, and Maryland.

"Search engine optimization is constantly evolving because the major search engines (Google, Yahoo! and Bing) refine their parameters and algorithms almost weekly. The Search Engine Academy researches the latest SEO processes and incorporates those into its classes. Search Engine Academy-certified SEO personnel receive the instruction and tools they need to make web pages achieve maximum visibility in search engine results," said Nancy Wigal, the owner of Search Engine Academy - DC and a Certified Advanced SEO Trainer.

The Academy will offer two, three, and five-day SEO certification classes that start every four-six weeks. Workshops are also available for companies hoping to train multiple in-house SEO specialists. The classes are beneficial to business owners, marketers, bloggers, entrepreneurs, webmasters, SEO specialists and consultants, students, and people looking to start new careers. Students who complete the classes are even eligible for continuing education credits from the University of Southern Mississippi.




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Sunday, December 06, 2009

Social Media at the Altar

Social media is everywhere these days and people use it for thousands of different reasons. With mobile phones becoming more and more social media-friendly, people are updating their Twitter and Facebook statuses to report everything from the mundane: what kind of coffee they just bought at Starbucks or what they thought of the night's episode of "Glee," to the outrageous: celebrities announcing big career moves and astronauts posting about space walks.

But one Maryland couple took their love of social media to a whole new level, recently. Dana Hanna surprised his new bride, Tracy Page, by whipping out his cell phone during their wedding ceremony and changing his Facebook relationship status to read "married."

"Dana is updating his relationship status on Facebook," the pastor told wedding guests, as the congregation erupted into laughter. "It's official on Facebook, it's official in my book," he said before telling the groom he could kiss the bride.

The groom said no one knew of his plans but himself and the minister, not even his bride. He also kept her cell phone in his pocket in case she wanted to join him. The crowd watched, surprised, as the couple updated their Facebook statues and Hanna (or @SoftwareJedi for Twitter users) updated his Twitter feed to read:


Social Media At the Altar


The groom told the Huffington Post that he and his wife are very "technology centric" and use Facebook and Twitter to keep up with their large families, who are scattered all across the United States. He says that they even took to Facebook to announce their engagement,

"...when we got engaged, we changed our Facebook statuses and didn't even call anyone since the word would spread on Facebook far faster than it would have over the phone calling all hundreds of our friends and family. After doing that, we received a lot of laughs, and some minor criticism from family whom were insulted that we couldn't even pick up the phone to call them."
The newlywed couple has received much media attention. According to the new bride's (aka @TracyMarieHanna) latest tweets, they were interviewed on the show "Fox and Friends" and their video has aired on "Good Morning America." The groom now has over 700 followers and many of his recent tweets include "thank you's" to followers wishing them congratulations and mentions of more media attention.

Want to see the social media wedding for yourself? Check out this YouTube video of the big moment:


Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Annoying Side of Facebook

These days, it seems like the question "are you on Facebook" is almost synonymous with the phrase "nice to meet you" and most everyone between the ages of eight and 80 can probably answer "yes." And almost everyone of those Facebook users probably has some sort of complaint about the social networking media. Recently, Switched.com took a look at "The 10 Most Annoying Things About Facebook." Here's are a few of the things they found:

1. No, I don't want to play Mafia Wars. From Mafia Wars to Farmville and everything in between, Facebook is full of games. Some people play them daily, a lot of us don't. And being that most of these games require you to recruit new members to win, you may find yourself getting dozens of invites from your friends each week. There are some ways to cut back on these things. When you get an invitation, click "block this application" and that should prevent you from getting other invitations. And if you're tired of seeing your friends' gaming updates in your news feed, simply click "hide."

2. Please don't post that picture of me from high school. You've spent your entire life trying to keep certain pictures of yourself hidden from the world. Maybe the one of the ridiculous outfit you wore on the first day of eleventh grade or the one from when you had a little too much to drink at that football game. But now your best friend or your parents can not only post their copy of the picture to their own Facebook page, they can tag you, which puts the picture on your profile page as well. Whether it's well-meaning or just an attempt to embarrass you, you can always untag yourself from a photo, but you may have to keep a close watch to make sure you get to it on time.

The Annoying Side of Facebook


3. We know who you voted for, now please be quiet. Some people see Facebook as another outlet to push their political agenda. And that's fine, they have the right, but it can be annoying, especially when your friends and you don't see eye to eye on topics like health care reform and gay marriage. In fact, recently, I was thrilled to find someone who I haven't seen in over four years and add her as a friend. Unfortunately, her first status update was something along the lines of us "How do I tell my daughter she can't have a Happy Meal because french fries are the reason polar bears are dying?" Unfortunately, there's not much you can do about this. You can always hide the friends whose updates you don't care to see or if you are the offending political poster, you can choose for certain people to not be able to view your own, but for the most part, Facebook friends representing opposing political view are just going to have to learn to play like grown-ups.

4. What on earth is a hashtag? Lots of people like to synchronize their social networking sites and often let their Twitter updates feed into Facebook, as well. Personally, I use Facebook and Twitter for two separate purposes and would probably be horrified if the two mixed, but some people feel both sets of friends need to view their every update. Unfortunately, marrying the two isn't always the best idea. For one thing, those who aren't familiar with Twitter's rules (140 characters, hashtags, lingo, etc.), some updates don't exactly translate into real world conversation and can leave you confused. And if you're friends with someone on both mediums, getting double updates can get old. Again, there's not much you can do about this but simply ignore it.

5. Where's the "dislike" button? Facebook's "like" button is a very handy tool. If someone says something you find clever or you'd like to comment on but can't find the words or the time, you can simply click "like" to show your appreciation. But what if they post something that's not so pleasant. Maybe they lost their job, their dog died, or their child's team lost the big championship game? These aren't really things you want to "like" and maybe you can't really find the words to offer your condolences but would like them to know you noticed. Wouldn't it be great if there were a "dislike" button? There isn't yet, but there is a lobby to get Facebook to incorporate one and it's over half a million people strong. Maybe soon!

Click here to read more of The 10 Most Annoying Things About Facebook

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Twitter No Longer Cares What You're Doing

Twitter Doesn't Care About What You're Doing

Remember when you joined Twitter and posted your first tweet? The question "What are you doing" loomed over the text box and you probably felt compelled to answer it before you realized no one actually cares if you're getting ready for work or eating dinner. As the hottest thing in social media becomes a tool for everything from finding a date to breaking news, the question "What are you doing?" has become irrelevant. Perhaps that's why Twitter changed it to now read, "What's happening?"

The new phrase broadens the spectrum and gives new users a better sense of Twitter's potential. While it's not a huge change like the others Twitter has recently made- the not-so-popular RT button, for example - it's still important. Twitter co-founder, Biz Stone said in a recent blog entry,


People, organizations, and businesses quickly began leveraging the open nature of the network to share anything they wanted, completely ignoring the original question, seemingly on a quest to both ask and answer a different, more immediate question, “What’s happening?” A simple text input field limited to 140 characters of text was all it took for creativity and ingenuity to thrive.

Sure, someone in San Francisco may be answering “What are you doing?” with “Enjoying an excellent cup of coffee,” at this very moment. However, a birds-eye view of Twitter reveals that it’s not exclusively about these personal musings. Between those cups of coffee, people are witnessing accidents, organizing events, sharing links, breaking news, reporting stuff their dad says, and so much more.

He also added,
We don’t expect this to change how anyone uses Twitter, but maybe it’ll make it easier to explain to your dad.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Splurb: The Most Popular Links From Social Media Sites

A new website has launched to help find the most popular links across the web. Splurb is very similar to Bit.ly, Tweetmeme, and Topsy, in that it indexes links from various social media sites and indexes them based on popularity.

Splurb searches sites like Digg, Reddit, and Propeller and then lists the most popular links from those sites. In order to get listed the link must be popular on at least two different social sites. The more popular the link, the bigger it is on the Splurb. All links are listed in 1 of 15 different categories ranging from business to humor to technology. You can change the sources required for your search to 2, 3, 4, and 5 different sources in each category.

One great feature is when you click a link, it takes you to the original story, which is very nice and bypasses the hassle of sometimes having to click 2-3 different links to find the original story. Under each link is a list of the sites where the story is popular, how many collective votes the story has and a place to comment.

Splurb is another great tool to add to your belt when searching for what's popular, breaking news and the latest web hype. The site is very simple and easy to use. Being able to adjust the settings to see what's popular across 2 or more sites makes it possible to only see stories and links that are the MOST popular from all across the web.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Microsoft CEO Ballmer's first address to the SEO Community

Danny Sullivan, President of Search Marketing Expo SMX, has booked as keynote speaker,  Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. This will be the first time Ballmer will address the SEO community.

Why is Balmer coming to an SEO conference and trade show? It's Bing. In a recent interview, Steve said, "Search and advertising, we are a small share. It's all about Google. They have share, we don't..."

It is about time for Microsoft to show respect to the community of people who work on the search product you seek to promote. SEO is grass roots. It's brainstorming at every facet of search, organic and pay. I am happy to see Microsoft send their top man this year. For the first time, Microsoft has gotten my attention and probably allot of other search experts.


Photo: Matt Cutts from Google and Danny Sullivan prepare for You&A, a question and answer session that is most popular at SMX Seattle. Matt is a regular at all search community conferences. I have seen him at PubCon, Search Engine Strategies and SMX.

MIA are:
Ask.com's CEO Barry Diller
Yahoo! President Sue Decker

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Right Now Searches: Twitter teams up with Google and Bing

Right Now Searches: Twitter teams up with Google and Bing
Anyone who uses it for a period of time knows that news breaks instantly on Twitter. Major news corporations often seem too slow, and by the time they get a link up on their site, the news that broke on twitter has already been an hour old and people are moving on. Many people that don't use twitter regularly don't think to check the search when looking for information on breaking news, while pundits and journalists are often tweeting when in meetings with the President, tech news is received direct from top level CEOs and sports news direct from the athletes.

The deal between Twitter and the two major search engines hasn't been disclosed but it's apparent that Twitter's public feed is of great value to both. It could be a real way for Twitter to earn some money and for Bing and Google's search results to be more realtime relevant.

The process is a bit complicated but what the search engines will do with the Twitter feed is index the tweets as they are popping up and scan them to check for patterns and spikes in keywords. This will help them get a better grasp on what people on the web are paying attention to and talking about. If a certain link is particularly popular, Google and Bing can take note and move the link or topic higher up on the results page.

The most daunting task for the search engines is that tweets will show up in the search results, but when there are millions of tweets coming in at once how do you rank them in the results? Twitter is apparently attempting to solve this issue, as are a few others to come up with a "pagerank" style of operating. But until that gets figured out by everyone involved I wouldn't expect a crisp and clear operation.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Actors Banned From Twitter

Actors Banned From Twitter


The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that a number of Hollywood studios are putting "no social media" clauses in the contracts of actors, executives and other employees, in an attempt to prevent the leaking of information. A Dreamworks writer's deal warns against preempting a studio press release with a "social networking site..." while another talent deal prevents bashing a production with social media. At Disney, a recent contract states that confidentiality breaches via "media such as Facebook, Twitter or any other interactive social network or personal blog" is forbidden. Viacom goes as far as to enforce online confidentiality for a year after a production is finished.

In recent months, many celebrities have taken to various media sites, usually Twitter, taking their PR into their own hands. This is true of everyone from NFL players to American Idol judges, and the self-made announcements have left the people they work for wondering what they can do to prevent potential leaks of confidential or disparaging information.

A top talent lawyer told The Hollywood Reporter, "This is just the beginning. Hollywood has a long history of controlling what talent says in the media. This is just a new area of media that hasn’t been controlled yet.”

But still, some studios are encouraging their talent to use Twitter and enjoying the extra publicity that comes along with it. At ABC, actors' tweets are posted on the network's website and they are encouraging actors to post regularly. Of course, the encouragement is not without guidelines that included a list of things not to do, such as revealing spoilers or bashing the network's shows.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Google Caffeine Coming Soon

Google Caffeine Coming Soon


Google is getting ready to release a new, improved version of its search engine. Nicknamed "Caffeine," Google claims the upgraded version will be faster, more accurate, bigger, and more comprehensive than the original Google search. The current version is a pre-beta release but tech websites across the internet are already chattering about Caffeine and putting it to the test. At the social media-oriented website, Mashable, they set out to judge the speed, accuracy, temporal relevancy and index size of the new search engine.

To measure speed, they looked at how fast the search engine loaded results compared to the original version. Whether the search word was "dog" or a longer phrase, the new Google won with every test. As a matter of fact, with "dog," Caffeine more than cut search time in half - coming in at 0.12 seconds vs the old Google's 0.25 seconds.

When it came to accuracy, it wasn't as easy to judge but Caffeine was declared the winner. The new version of Google appeared to consider more of the key words in searched phrases. One difference was that Caffeine didn't integrate image and news results into its searches like Google's current search engine does, but it's possible that will be added before the finalized product is released.

As for Temporal Relevancy, neither version really outshines the other. Bing (Microsoft's new search engine) actually appeared to be just as good, if not better than both versions of Google. The newer version did seem to change news article results faster as they became more up-to-date, but Mashable calls this one a draw.

As for index size, another search of the word "dog" showed that the new Google surpassed the old with a total of 359,000,000 matches to 51,900,000. But other, more complicated searches showed that Microsoft's Bing surpassed both versions.

Based on these few, short tests, it appears as though the new Google is much better than the old and will only get better before the final version is finished. It also appears that Google is starting to feel some competition from Bing.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Google Video Views Up

Google Video Views Up

comScore's Video Metrix service has released data concerning online video viewing for August 2009 and as it turns out, online video received its biggest audience ever! Over 161 million internet users watched online video at some point in August and the average viewer watched almost ten hours of video during the month (or an average of 157 videos). Over 25 billion videos were viewed with Google-owned sites accounting for at least ten billion of those.

Of course, one reason the top honors went to Google sites is because the company owns what is probably the most popular website for viewing online video: YouTube. 99% of Google's ten billion videos viewed were viewed at YouTube.com. Microsoft came in at a very distant second with about 547 million videos viewed, followed by Viacom with 540 million and Hulu with 489,000.

As for unique viewers, 121 million Google visitors watched an average of 83 videos during August, with Microsoft, again, coming in at second with almost 55 million viewers watching about ten videos all month, and Yahoo! coming in third with just over 51 million viewers watching just seven videos.

comScore also measured data relating to the top online video ad networks by comparing potential of unique viewers to viewer penetration. In August, Tremor media was number one, reaching 42% of the potential viewing audience with YuMe Video ranked second with about 37% and ScanScout coming in at a close third with 36%.

So what else did comScore find? Well, 81.6% of the entire United States internet audience viewed an online video in August and the duration of the average online video viewing was about four minutes. Read more at comScore, Inc

Monday, August 31, 2009

FTC to Monitor Blog Reviews

FTC to Monitor Blog Reviews

Just when you thought the government couldn't get anymore involved with your life, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has decided to take a stab at regulating blogging. This would be the first time that the government has tried to control what is said or done on individual blogs. Their reasoning is that many people go online each day to search for "everyday Joes and Janes'" reviews of certain products before making a decision about purchasing them themselves and that often times, bloggers who post reviews of products aren't disclosing the perks or any payments they are receiving for making such reviews. They claim bloggers are receiving "free laptops, trips to Europe, $500 gift cards or even thousands of dollars" for 200-word blog posts.

While the FTC sees this as troublesome, most of the blogosphere (on both sides of the political aisle) sees it as, well, ridiculous, and many of them are taking to their blogs and pointing out the reasons. Many of them are claiming that no company has ever approached them, asking them to take part in such a deal and they probably never will. As Ed Morrissey of Hot Air points out, if it were the case, it wouldn't exactly be cost-effective for the companies doing the paying,



No one has ever approached me to write a blogpost for “thousands of dollars”, not at 200 words or 20,000 words, to sell a product or not. If there are bloggers making that kind of money for 200 words, well, God bless you. I don’t know who’d be foolish enough to make that kind of offer. Maybe it’s from the new Government Motors marketing department, because I’m not sure the blog exists that can generate the sales necessary to make that a cost-effective strategy.


Millions of people across the United States have blogs and most of the little guys are probably thinking this program would only apply to the bigger, more notable blogs. The government would never be interested in the blog where you post pictures of your baby's first birthday or your fantasy football scores, right? Think again. The FTC cites a popular program with Amazon that allows bloggers to post links to their favorite books, movies, and music, and receive a very small percentage if one of their readers purchases the item based on the blogger's recommendation. Harmless enough and most people who are intelligent enough to be reading a blog probably understand this concept without having to be informed about it by the government. Furthermore, no one has ever made "thousands of dollars" through this Amazon program.


But the government sees it differently. The FTC sees this as pulling one over on your readers and basically assumes blog readers are unable to think for themselves. As Morrissey and others point out, if a blogger wants to maintain their readership, they must remain credible and that is a task that is up to the blogger, not the government. When readers begin to realize that a blog is not credible, they'll get their political opinion or celebrity gossip elsewhere. It's one of the few places where the free market is truly allowed to be free these days, but for how long? Anyone in the United States can create an unlimited number of blogs and say or do almost whatever they want with them, but with new government regulations like this being examined, you have to wonder if those days are numbered.



Says Morrissey,

This is the equivalent of using a bazooka to kill a fly. If the trade and consumer issues in the US are resolved to the point where the FTC’s biggest problem is bloggers recommending books and DVDs to their readers, they’ve just made the argument for their dissolution.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

BuzzBoost appears to be Broken

Cheech: "Why do they call it BuzzBoost?"
Chong: "I don't know, I got your Buzz Boost right here, he, he."

If you are a feedburner fan, like I am, then you probably are experiencing problems with feedburner like some of the fine folks on FeedBurner Help Group.

Here are a few comments from others:
mintmark: BuzzBoost Malfunctioning. Only Incomprehensible HTML Displayed
BuzzBoost appears to be malfunctioning. Our auctions are now a mess! Only incomprehensible html is now displayed. Is there an good alternative service that converts RSS to HTML? If this situation isn't corrected soon, we'll be forced to remove Feedburner from all of our sites. Until now, Feedburner has been an excellent service. It would be advantageous (and good business sense) if Feedburner posted the status of thier service. For example, "We're sorry, but we are currently experiencing some technical difficulties with BuzzBoost." We have many clients who purchase high ticket items from our auctions -- auctions which can not now be seen.

baz: I am having the same issue on my page. Interesting to see that it was at some point working. On Aug 26, 7:46 pm, mintmark wrote: - Hide quoted text -- Show quoted text -> BuzzBoost appears to be malfunctioning. Our auctions are now a mess! > Only incomprehensible html is now displayed. Is there an good > alternative service that converts RSS to HTML? If this situation isn't > corrected soon, we'll be forced to remove Feedburner from all of our > sites. Until now, Feedburner has been an excellent service.

It would > be advantageous (and good business sense) if Feedburner posted the > status of thier service. For example, "We're sorry, but we are > currently experiencing some technical difficulties with BuzzBoost." We > have many clients who purchase high ticket items from our auctions -- > auctions which can not now be seen.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Social Media and Politics

Social Media and Politics
Since announcing his candidacy for governor of Ohio on June 1, John Kasich has made use of several popular social networking sites to get his message out to the people of Ohio. Besides taking advantage of mass emails that have become a common form of communication for campaigns, the Kasich campaign is also taking advantage of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to get information out to as many people as possible, as fast as possible.

These new social media make it faster and easier for the campaign to get the message out to more voters than a regular email blast. By linking to their sites, to the campaign site and emails, it makes it easy for voters to find and sign up to receive updates, which are made much more frequently than emails are sent. Not only can they update their fans and followers more readily, the updates are more likely to be forwarded to others when comments are made, or with retweets, getting the message out to more people than a regular email.

Barack Obama has already shown us how a campaign can effectively use these types of social media to get their message out to as many people as possible and how effective it can be to get their message directly to the people. Kasich has become another politician that has taken notice of the advantages of using these social media in what is sure to become the norm for future political campaigns.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Recovery.gov Redesign Costs Taxpayers $18 Million

According to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Recovery.gov was meant to be a "user-friendly, public-facing website to foster greater accountability and transparency in the use of covered funds." The website was established by the Obama administration to allow taxpayers to monitor the "progress" being made by stimulus dollars and includes features such as weekly updates of agency funding notifications, financial and activity reports; map presenting state-by-state funding and recipients of funds and the resulting projects; and tools for the public to report waste, fraud, and abuse of recovery funds. But the amount of taxpayer dollars being used to fund the project's redesign has raised some eyebrows this summer.

According to ABC, the Maryland firm Smartronix was awarded an $18 million contract (lasting through 2014) to make the new website, "Recovery 2.0." The dollar amount allocated for this project is seen by many as a misuse of stimulus dollars. Conservative blog Hot Air points out that another website that serves the same function as Recovery.gov, for the entire federal budget, operates at only a fraction of the cost. The Republican National Committee also created an ad, suggesting the move is "outrageous" and "unreal."

Smartronix provides services for a number of government clients. In 2007, the firm received $47 million in government contracts alone. The Washington Examiner points out that Smartronix president Mohammed Javaid, vice president Alan Parris, and partner John Parris have contributed a combined $19,000 to Democrat and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer since 1999, leaving many to question whether or not other companies received the opportunity to bid on the project.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

An Essential Blog For Gamers: The Gaming Feed


If you're into video games, consoles and keeping up on the latest gaming technology, The Gaming Feed is one to keep in your feed. Even if you wouldn't consider yourself a "gamer" but like to keep up with the topic to understand what your kids are talking about, this blog is also one for you.

While its still on the new side, you can surely look forward to getting great gaming news and reviews from the folks writing on The Gaming Feed. While some gaming sites offer lingo that would make any "non-gamer's" head hurt, this blog is written in such a way that would feel as though you're just casually talking with a friend about a new console or the latest game to hit the shelves but with the informative nature you would expect from a reviewer.

So be sure to keep The Gaming Feed in your blog feed to stay on top of the ever changing world of gaming!

Monday, July 06, 2009

How Do Social Media Sites Help Your SEO?

Social MediaOne of the biggest questions on the minds of website creators and such these days is how much do social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Digg, YouTube and others affect the SEO for your website? The most important thing you can do for your website and your business is to create a crawler-friendly website that uses the keywords that most people use in their internet searches. Doing this helps people to find the products and services you are offering. But that is only half of the job. You also need to put good content on Social Media sites like blogs. Then you have to engage in communication and promotion through these sites which can create a lot of synergy.

Basically, with SEO you want to build your website so search engines can read your websites for certain keywords that people are looking for when the search engines send out their web crawlers. Social Media sites are probably one of the best ways to promote your website, product or service. You need to involve social media sites by creating good content, interacting with it and promoting it. Social media sites are one of the easiest and fastest ways to get your content out to the public. YouTube has done this for many companies, most notably the company Blendtec, whose YouTube videos of a man blending different interesting objects has gotten over 3 million views per video with some videos reaching over 6 million views.

People used to be all about getting their web page links on sites like Digg and Reddit. But now the tide has turned and many companies, including some very large and productive ones, are using sites such as Twitter, Myspace and Facebook as PR sites for their content. In the SEO community, it is believed that social media sites like these will be a major source of ranking signals of future search engines. What this means for SEO is that the breadth and depth of different skills and tactics that are required to succeed in an SEO project is growing. This just means that a plethora of added data for search engines to use which is good for them. However, this makes an increased challenge for SEOs.

Companies that are looking towards the future are investing in social media sites for a number of different reasons. Some of these reasons include gaining a decent advantage over rival companies through the relationships that are built, content created, and capturing the mindshare. This provides a distinct advantage to companies using social media sites to connect with their customers. In a survey of the Top Digital Marketing Tactics for 2009 by TopRank Blog had 6 out of 10 tactics being Social Media tactics.
1.) Blogging - %34 - Social Media
2.) Microblogging(Twitter) - %29 - Social Media
3.) SEO - %28
4.) Social Networking Participation(Facebook, Myspace) - %26 - Social Media
5.) Email Marketing - %17
6.) Social Media Monitoring and Outreach - %17 - Social Media
7.) Pay Per Click - %14
8.) Blogger Relations - %12 - Social Media
9.) Video Markketing - %10 - Social Media
10.) Social Media Advertising - %7 - Social Media

Marketingsherpa's Study of Social Media Marketing and PR reported that social media was top marketing budget item for an increase in 2009. This is likely so due to the benefits offered by the different social media sites like build thought leadership, improved recruiting, improved search engine rankings, influence of sales, improvement of customer relationships, reduced customer service costs, and an increased media coverage. The use of social media sites for companies is new ground for most. But promotion is one of the most important things you can do for your content. Bottom line is that the companies that take the time to invest in finding out how to best utilize social media in their websites will have a definite advantage over those companies who don't.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mac Desktop Rentals Project

This week at Xponex I was given an assignment from Rentacomputer to give some much needed updating to the Apple Computer Rental pages. The plan was simple we were not showing up anywhere on the first page of Google for Mac Desktop Rentals and my job was to completely change over the Apple-Desktop page to Mac Desktop Rentals.

The best way to get a keyword like Mac Desktop Rental to show up on Google is to make the entire page about that particular keyword. It can really harm your webpage if you try and combine a bunch of keywords on the same page. If you have the time you are often better off making a single webpage for every keyword set you want to hit for Google.

The webpage was a simple fix over. I found a page very similar to it and just changed around all the images, links, titles, and text to match the new Mac Desktop Rental theme. I also try to add something new to each page to not only make the page look better, but to help Google not see the pages as duplicate content.

Here is a quick look at the page:


The final step I took was to take all of our other Apple/Mac rental pages and give them a much needed update and link them all together using a simple include on each page. This not only helps the customers find the right page they are looking for, but it will help provide page rank to each page because Google sees that they are all connected.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Major Changes Coming for Domain Extensions


In the internet marketing age if you're a brand you want people to easily find you, right? Well ICANN, Internet Corp for Assigned Names and Numbers, is about to implement a new plan to allow anything to be a web address extension. Across the internet there are very few "extensions" or TLDs, (ie: .com, .net, .us, etc), when the new rules are implemented and application process started, you could see that number jump to millions.

The idea behind the new rules is to allow more options when it comes to creating a domain name. You could replace the generic .com or .net with anything your heart desired. If you own a tattoo shop, you could purchase .ink or .tattoo for roughly $185,000 and its yours, then your website address could be, broadwaytattoo.ink. But with the high price tag, and its yearly renewal fee of $25,000, its more than likely going to be taken advantage of by major corporations to keep their brand names safe. This could also start a bidding war between competitors such as Pepsi or Coca-Cola for a gTLD (generic top level domain) of .soda or .pop or .drink.

ICANN is also taking into consideration trademark protections and a way to "police" some more offensive gTLDs. They won't even begin the application process until those major concerns are dealt with, at the earliest, that may be the end of the year. And according to ICANN they don't foresee the new gTLDs to overtake the most popular extensions such as .com or .net but they see it as a fun way to use the internet and will bring internet competition and marketing to a whole new level.

Some fear its a form of extortion, to force big corporations to spend billions in brand protection, according to the non-profit Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse. Its also believed by some that most corporations would buy the extensions out of necessity and protection rather than to improve business or increase aid or support to their clients. Then these corporations are left paying for something they're not even using.

The other issue ICANN is going to run into is publicity. They will have to promote the new rules heavily because according to Reuters two thirds of businesses are not even aware that these changes are going to happen. This could lead to last minute scrambles to secure ones brand as an extension. With an unlimited amount of domain extensions available, and with less brands as there are possibilities, you can bet there will be competition and many more interesting options when it comes to choosing a domain name, if you can afford it.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Link Sites for the New Copier Blog

Copiers
A new blog has been started which is completely dedicated to copiers, copier news, and basically anything related to copiers. Sometimes it can be hard to find news on copiers so I created a list of 15 sites related to everything copier. So enjoy, and get writing on some good copier stories.




Xerox website

Color Copier Blog
Crazy For Copiers
Cannon Copiers Website
HP Copiers
Copier Superstore
Digital Copier Consultants
Copier.in
Top Office
Toshiba Copiers
Ricoh Copiers
Digital System Copiers
ThomasNet Industrial News Room
Thaindian News
Brother Copiers

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Domain Registrations Continue To Grow

Domain Names Sales GrowAccording to VeriSign's Domain Report the first quarter of 2009 ended with 183 million registered domain names world wide. This is a 3% increase over the 4th quarter of 2008. The increase was lead by .com and .net registrations as well as an increase in the number of ccTDLs (Country Code Top Level Domain Names) registered.

In the first quarter of 2009 nearly 11.8 million new TDLs were registered. This is a 17% increase over the fourth quarter of 2008 but down 17% from the first quarter of 2008. The rank of TDLs in terms of size are .com, .cn, .de, .net, .org, .uk, .info, .nl, .eu, .biz. In terms of ccTDLs, there were 74.1 million total registrations at the end of the first quarter of 2009. This is a 18% increase over the fourth quarter 2008. In total the first quarter ended with 3 million new registrations, that's 38% over the fourth quarter of 2008, but down 39% compared to the first quarter of 2008. There are more than 240 ccTDLs globally, and the top ten contribute to 64% of the total number of registrations.

.us - grew the fastest of all the ccTDLs with a 12% increase over previous quarters.

.ru (Russian Federation) - grew by 8%, which was lower than previous quarter but still second fastest in growth

.cn (China) grew only 4%, slowest in past twelve quarters and partially due to big fee increases.


.com/.net registrations grew to 92.4 million total registrations. That is a 2% increase over the fourth quarter of 2008, and 9% over the first quarter of 2008, and a 34% increase compared to the first quarter of 2007. Roughly 2.4 million new .com/.net domains were registered each month during the first quarter bringing the total to 7.3 million new registrations.

Domain renewals have only increased slightly from the fourth quarter rate of 70% to 71% in the first quarter of 2009.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Search Engine goes Bing, Boom, Bomb

Seems like only yesterday there was a new kid on the search engine block. Bing is the new kid with advanced 'on page' search features and results that are nearly as good as Google. Bing indeed has more consumer orientation in its look, feel and the results presented.

During its introduction, "Bing" looked like the latest challenger to Google's search empire with an impressive spike on June 4, 2009 to 15.64% of US Search! Data Credit: StatCounter.com

Did you blink? I hope not, because by June 7th, Bing Boomed back to 5.61%, more than a 10% Drop in search share.

Phase I of Microsoft's $100 Million stimulus package codenamed: "Bing" made a nice first impression. But early indications is that it is not a lasting one.

Stay tuned while Microsoft burns through most of it's annual advertising budget. Can they buy market share? Or does Bing just need a better introduction?
Discuss on the Tech Army Blog Forum: BING.com the New Softy Search

Saturday, June 06, 2009

SMX Seattle Best Panel of SEO Experts Part 1


SMX Seattle Best Panel
Originally uploaded by John Beagle
Danny Sullivan and his SMX Advanced in Seattle, WA once again, brought in an excellent panel of experts. Here are some thoughts about these panelists I have met and or followed over the years.

From Left to right is Danny Sullivan at the Podium. Stephan Spencer, Bruce Clay, Vanessa Fox, Todd Friesen, Rae Hoffman and Brett Tabke.

SMX Seattle 146
Danny Sullivan is probably the best known expert on search engine behavior. I have been a fan of Danny since I first met him at SES in Chicago December 2004. Since them I have branched out to his SMX Expo. I regularly read his blog, Daggle and his business SEO website Search Engine Land.

SMX Seattle 145
First up, the SEO Genious Stephan Spencer. I only understand about half of what he says. Last year, there were 2 SEO sessions, "Blow Your Mind Link Building Techniques" and "Give it UP!" that were less than white hat. I blogged about it here The Yin and Yang at 2008 ADVANCED SMX Stephen Spencer revealed a cacophony of SEO Tricks in 'Give it Up!" that I'm sure that had Matt Cutts and Danny Sullivan cringing.

End Part 1 SMX Best

Monday, June 01, 2009

Google Authority Basics

Google Authority Basics

Many internet marketers believe Google page rank is the key to success, but the truth of the matter is that it is only one of many ways to boost your search results. So exactly how do you grow your Google authority? Let's take a look.

Authority essentially means that people want to know what you have to say and trust your insight into the industry of which you are writing about. Because Google trusts what its users are doing, good user authority equals good Google authority. Google considers all of the elements of your website including quality and quantity of links, traffic, and the domain, then grades it on a scale of of how much authority it has. Of course, the more authority you have, the better your page will rank.

So how does Google know who to trust? One of the most important indicators is who is linking to your site. Supposedly, Google has an inside list of trusted websites such as Wikipedia that will automatically appear at the top of search results without much effort. Becoming one of those trusted sites is not easy and often impossible but if one of those websites links to your site, you will certainly see a boost in your search engine ranking. Unfortunately, only Google insiders know exactly how this is calculated, but it is not impossible to make some educated guesses.

There are many ways to ruin your own site's trust and it is possible for your competitors to ruin it for you. Allowing your site to evolve organically is key. Here are a few ways to prevent that:

1. Do not buy links. This is a sure way to not last long in the search engine and some websites are so bad to Google that a purchase can ruin you over night.

2. Watch who your neighbors are. If your links can even be associated with some of those bad websites, don't expect positive results.

3. Don't allow comment spam or if you do, remove it immediately before it can be indexed.

4. Mind your growth. If a brand new site has 10,000 visitors in less than one day, something is usually out of the ordinary and Google will take note. Even if it happens in a very innocent way, you probably won't be penalized but be sure, Google will take notice.

5. Are your links just from your other websites or are they appearing because people like your content? If all of your links are from the same type of websites created by the same groups of people, Google will take notice.

6. Poor content. Are you duplicating content, spamming, or just posting enough to get by? Google only wants to promote quality and will use human checkers and watch customer reactions to get it. If you're not putting it out there, don't expect good results.

So now that you know what not to do, what should you do to improve your Google trust and see to that your website grows naturally?

1. Traffic - there are three main things to remember about your website's traffic: get people to visit your site, allow your site's traffic to grow naturally, and try to maintain consistent traffic.

2. Use Links - take advantage of directories, websites with great Google authority (these includes anything from old and new media websites, social voting and news websites, social networking sites, and companies such as Apple, Microsoft, and Oracle), and domains such as .edu and .gov that aren't quite as easy to obtain. There are other things to keep in mind when thinking about links such as theme, strength, diversity, age, and location of the linking sites.

3. Domain - something as simple as a domain can automatically grab Google's attention. The more trusted domains usually include older, consistent domains, TLD domains such as .edu and .gov that require you to prove your identity, how long has your domain been registered, and what the real details are of your registration.

4. Your website - is the content high quality and original? Do you have a privacy policy? Could the average user take advantage of your website? Is it easy to navigate? Does it take a long time to load? Do people spend long amounts of time on your site?

While all of these factors play into your Google Authority, the two key things to remember are to allow your site to grow naturally and be sure that your site contains only top-quality content. Once you've mastered these goals, the little things can be fixed and tweaked until you are well on your way to achieving higher search engine ranks than ever before.

Friday, May 29, 2009

SMX Advanced 2009 in Seattle

SMX Advanced 2009 in Seattle

Search Engine Marketers from all over the country with gather in Seattle on June 2-3, 2009 for SMX advanced. The Search Marketing Expo, which will take place at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center, is a great place to exchange ideas build networks, and make your impact on the search marketing industry.

Attendees will have the opportunity to meet the people behind the blogs they read, meet some of the most influential members of the search marketing community, and make connections they never dreamed of. The Expo is super fast-paced, packed with Questions and Answer sessions, unbelievably informative and often controversial - you won't want to miss it!

Keynote speakers will include Dr. Qi Lu, president of Microsoft's Online Services Division and Google software engineer, Matt Cutts. Lu will participate in a conversation with SMX conference chair and editor-in-chief Danny Sullivan and Cutts will participate in an always popular "You & A" session, where he will answer questions from members of the SMX audience.

SMX Advanced will also feature a number of fascinating sessions on today's hottest topics including Google Quality Score Under the Microscope, Mythbusting PPC Urban Legends, Twitter Tactics and Search Marketing, Duplicate Content Solutions and the Canonical Tag, and dozens more! Sessions fall under a variety of tracks: PPC (paid search advertising), search engine optimization, social media marketing, and search marketing company business issues.

You won't experience anything like this anywhere else in the world. To learn more about SMX advanced visit: searchmarketingexpo.com/advanced.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Google SEO Starter Guide

Hi, my name is Katie Sellers. I am new at XPONEX, and as part of my training I read the Google SEO Starter Guide. I thought that there was tons of valuable information in this packet. Some of the topics discussed were over my head, but many of the aspects were perfectly clear and will be most helpful to me in the future.

I thought all the facts on “nofollow” were very interesting and informational. They addressed things that I had been unclear on previous to reading the packet. I had not realized how “nofollow” could influence the effectiveness of certain search engine and help avoid those engine’s spam filters.

I had also not been aware of the extreme importance of your selection of keywords. Keywords can make or break the amount of traffic your page, article, or whatever else you’re promoting receives. By carefully selecting appropriate words, Google’s search engine can assist in furthering your number of views and aid in the endorsement of your project.

There were many in depth situations discussed in the Google SEO Starter Guide that I studied. Although I could not possibly remember them all, I certainly gained a large amount of knowledge that should further my blogging success in the future.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Tweeting From Space

Tweeting From Space
Twitter has become all the rage here on earth but history was made this week when astronaut Mike Massimino sent the first tweet from space. His message? "From orbit: Launch was awesome!! I am feeling great, working hard, & enjoying the magnificent views, the adventure of a lifetime has begun!" Of course, Massimino does not have internet access in space, but he is able to send his messages to the Johnson Space Center which posts them to Twitter.

Under the user name "Astro_Mike," Massimino began "tweeting" in early April when he started training for his current mission. He now has over 305,000 followers. Massimino, a mission specialist , is one of seven members of the Atlantis crew currently on an eleven day high-risk mission to service the Hubble space telescope. This is his second trip into space.

Astronaut Mark Polansky, who will command the next shuttle flight, set to take place in June, has begun using Twitter, himself. Polansky, like Massimino, has been giving a behind the scenes look at his training and preparation. He is also urging other Twitter users to send 30 second video questions to him via YouTube, some of which he will answer while in orbit during a live event broadcast on NASA Television. Polansky's Twitter user name is "Astro_127."

NASA's Public Affairs Office came up with the idea of using Twitter to help create publicity and connect with the public. NASA has been using multiple Twitter accounts for months including accounts set up for the Astrobiology Institute and the Earth Observatory among others aspects of the program.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Atlanta Georgia Technology Rentals

Atlanta Tech Rentals
Xponex has recently been working on the technology rental pages for www.rentacomputer.com. I used to be a blogger but recently I have been learning how to edit the html of our rental pages and I just worked on the Atlanta Georgia computer rentals pages. These pages have been around for some time and they were due for an upgrade.
Rentacomputer.com offers a wide variety of technology rentals. Through a Tech travel Agent, you have access to hundreds of different laptops, desktops, kiosks, plasma tvs, projectors, and anything else you would possibly need for your convention or trade show.

When doing a trade show, you always run the risk of losing a piece of equipment at the airport or worse, having it break during transportation. With Rentacomputer.com, you can have any piece of equipment you need delivered locally right to your event and have it set up by a trained technician all within a days notice!

So if you are doing a trade show or event in or around the Atlanta area and you need an Atlanta Desktop Rental, Atlanta Laptop Rental, Atlanta Projector Rental, or an Atlanta Plasma Rental then go to Rentacomputer.com and get set up with a Tech Travel Agent today.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Google Data Centers - A Brief Overview

Google Data Center
Nearly everyone has heard of the giant search engine known as Google but you will be hard pressed to find anyone who knows much about about their data centers. Google itself is extremely secretive about their data centers and their operations, citing a competitive advantage as the main reason for their secrecy. Google believes that details about the size, power usage, and number of its data centers could be valuable information to many of its competitors. Google often seeks permits for its data centers using Limited Liability Corporations (LLCS) so as not to mention the Google name. While nobody knows for sure just how many data centers Google has out there, it is believed that there are dozens in the United States as well as dozens more stationed internationally including Canada, South America, Europe, Asia, just to name a few.

What is important about these data centers is how they directly interact with the Google search engine itself. The Google search engine maintains an index of all its data across physically separate data centers and updates to this index will occur gradually as one server after another updates. Its during this process that users often observe different Google search results for the same website at different times. This period is often referred to as a "Google Dance".

Due to this distributed approach many Search Engine Optimization (SEO) technicians use hundreds of IP addresses to query different data centers in order to compare the search results. By comparing these results an SEO analyzer can identify changes in Google page rank, search result index, and Google algorithm.

Tech Travel Agent 800-736-8772Need a PC Server on a temporary basis? Renting for a 3 month project can save thousands of dollars. Consider a server rental from Rentacomputer.com.
Contact me, your Tech Travel Agent from Rentacomputer.com at 800-736-8772.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Xponex Featured City - Las Vegas

Las Vegas
Known as the Entertainment Capitol of the World due to its internationally renowned casinos, fine dining, and entertainment, the city of Las Vegas has become one of the most popular destinations in the Nation for both business and pleasure. With the prime drivers of the Las Vegas economy being tourism, conventions, and conferences, it is certain that anyone traveling to Sin City is going to be in need of some type of Technology Rental.

For Rentacomputer.com, Las Vegas Computer Rentals and Convention Rentals have been part of the company for over 20 years. With thousands of business professionals traveling to the city every year for business conferences and conventions, all types of rental equipment are delivered every month to Las Vegas including Projector Rentals, Laptop Rentals, Computer Rentals, Plasma Rentals, Kiosks, and more. Las Vegas stays on top of the entertainment industry by constantly having new shows, bigger conferences and better conventions than the last meaning that a short term Las Vegas Computer Rentals can be one of the best decisions you make.

Whether you are in need of a great business laptop with wireless capabilities to work while you go or you need a 4x4 Plasma Video Wall to make a big impression at a big convention, you can rest assured that Rentacomputer.com will get you exactly what you need and when you need it without any hassle. If you are going to be traveling to Las Vegas for business or pleasure take a look at our Las Vegas Computer Rental Directory to get a full idea of the PC and AV rental equipment we offer.

Call us today at 800-736-8772 to talk to your personal Tech Travel Agent about your next equipment rental, or see here for a quick and easy Las Vegas Computer Rental Quote Request.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Tools to Tweet By

Twitter Logo

Twitter is an incredible tool improving your life, expand their social circle, promoting business, keep their coursework organized, and more. Now there are some fantastic tools to help you achieve your Twitter goals. For example, Do you want to find out where you rank in the world of Twitter? With Twitterholic you can check out the top Twitter users and find out your Twitter stats on Twitterholic.


These were my Stats :
Joined Twitter on 2008-11-09 23:43:28
etha is ranked 12,470th on twitterholic! (by followers)
etha is ranked 1st in their location on twitterholic! (by followers in 'Hamilton,
Ohio USA')


Is your message being passed on? Find out with Retweetist , you not only can check out the ranks but also the hottest links being retweeted on Twitter. This is an awesome tool to find out if your tweets are being retweeted.

Who Should I Follow?: Allows you to find good recommendations for Tweeps to follow based on your interests and other people you have added to your network.

Did you know that in order to help protect users from extensive spamming, Twitter will freeze new follows if you are following way more people than are following you ? A good way to avoid that is Friend or Follow: this tool helps you to manage your Twitter contacts and find out who’s not following you back.

Promoting your business, shareing photos, and more is easy with Ping.fm: This service will update all of your social networks at once, which saves a lot of time.

Get organized with Tweet Later: this tool offers a great way to set up alerts, schedule tweets, send thank you DMs, and more.

WithVacatweet, you can set up an autoresponder for your Twitter account while your away. You don't want your Twittermates thinking you are ignoring them

TwtQpon: allows you to create simple Twitter coupons for your business with TwtQpon. What a great way of boosting sales!

Track your health using Tweetwhatyoueat You can keep a food diary to track your diet every day.

These tools are a great way to grow and expand your network in Twitter. Tracking, organizing and keeping in touch and staying active is the name of the game with social networking; and with these tool, anyone can be a winner.

To learn more click here for a full Twitter Tutorial.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Top 10 Negative Factors of Google's SEO

GoogleWell, I've done a post about the top positive factors of Google's SEO, and a post about the top most controversial factors, so now I think it is time I give you the top 5 negative factors of google's SEO.

Server Is Often Inaccessible To Bots - The server is often unable to be accessed by bots and some pages may not be accessed.

Content Is Very Similar or Duplicate of Existing Content in the index - This can affect a sites hits or page rank if it is dropped because it is viewed as a duplicate.

External Links to Low Quality/Spam Sites - Some links lead to a site of poor quality or a site that is mainly spam.

Participation in Link Schemes or Activley Selling Links - Participating in the selling of links to other sites.

Duplicate Title/Meta Tags on Many Pages - Having the same tags on many pages could make locating specific pages difficult.


Manual Authority/Wait Given to Site by Google - Sometimes Google is accussed of of applying manual manipulation to a domain or page.

Rate of New Pages Added to Site - The amount and frequency of new, spiderable documents added to the domain over time.

Overuse of Targeted Keywords(stuffing/spamming) - The overuse of a targeted keyword, which results in the spamming of a site.

Very Slow Server Response Times - Sometimes the server is slow in respone or even unresponsive.

Low Levels of Visitors to the Site(Measured via toolbar, clicks in SERPs) - This could be detrimental to your site and cause it to have very little visitors.

There you have it, the top 10 negative factors of Google's SEO, hope it was useful.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Iraqi Journalist Jailed After Attacking Bush

Muntadar al-ZaidiAbout a month ago, I posted a story about the Iraqi journalist who took off his shoes and hurled them at former President George W. Bush who was attending a farewell press conference in the country. The video of the attack generated major internet buzz and the eager anticipation of what would happen to the reporter also gathered a large following. Well now the sentence is finally out and people have mixed feelings about it.

When former president Bush made a surprise visit to Iraq towards the end of hs term, something happened that nobody had anticipated, reporter Muntadar al-Zaidi of al-Baghdadiya T.V. took of his shoes and threw them directly at former President Bush who was giving a speech. In the Iraqi culture, throwing or striking an individual with your shoes is the ultimate sign of contempt and disrespect. And what was Zaidi's reason for throwing the shoes? When he threw them, Zaidi called Mr. Bush "a dog" and shouted "this is for all the womwn, children and inoccents that died!"

Zaidi is widley seen through the arab culture as a hero, though is actions have been condemned by the Iraqi government as shameful. The attack by Zaidi is considered a very serious crime in Iraq. Zaidi was charged with attacking a foreign leader on a diplomatic visit, a crime that carried a 5 to 15 year jail sentance. The offical Muntadar al-Zaidi throws shoessentance for Zaidi was greatly debated. Since his arrest, Zaidi's defense lawyers said that he had been beaten and tortured, which is odd considering he looked perfectly fine at his hearing. Zaidi's lawyers argued that Zaidi's sentace be lessened to an attempted assult on a foreign leader considering the fact that tje shpes did not actually hit former president Bush. When Zaidi was first charged, his lawyers deemed the punishment "harsh". They argued that Zaidi did not intend to harm Bush, he only wanted to show his contempt of former President Bush.

Relatives and friends of Zaidi who attended his hearing, went with the thought that Zaidi would be free of all charges. When asked by judge Abdul-Amir al-Rubaie if he was innoccent or guilty, Zaidi responded saying "I am innoccent. What I did was a natural response to this occupation." After everything was said and done, the judges asked everybody to leave the court room and deliberated for 15 minuets. As a increasingly frustrated crowd waited outside the decision was made. Muntadar al-Zaidi was charged with the attempted assult of a foreign leader and sentenced to three years in prison. When news of the results reached Zaidi's family, some of them began to cry and shout insults at the judges. The shouted things like "It's an American court!", "He's a hero!", "Down with President Bush!", and "God is great!" News of the attack was seen worldwide and in a poll for BBC and ABC, 62% of Iraqis shared the feelings of Zaidi's family, calling him a hero while 24% considerd him a criminal and another 10% considered him both a criminal and a hero.

Bush/U.S. ProtestorsAlthough being attacked by Zaidi, former President Bush did not hold any hard feelings toward the individual. Bush described the incident as "weird, "interesting", and "unusual" but insisted he didn't harbor any ill feeling about the incident. Bush also added that "It was amusing - I've seen alot of wierd things during my presidency, and this may rank up there as one of the weirdest."

Like I said in my earlier post about this case, it upsets me. I find it ridiculous that this man is praised as a hero not only in Iraq, but in many countries all over the world. I do not feel this way because the man is from Iraq. If the tables were turned, if an American reporter threw shoes at a foreign leader, that man would be locked up in Guantanamo Bay, beaten, and hailed as a terorrist all over the world, bringing shame and more hatred on America just because it was an American that did it. But because someone from a country other than America did it, well lets drop everything and hoist up on our shoulders and give him praise because he s a great man. This entire thing is ridiculous and in my personnel opinion, Muntadar al-Zaidi deserves what every he gets and should count himself very luck that all he got was 3 years in jail because I think he deserves the 5 to 15 year sentence.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Let’s Follow the Ohio State Patrol!

Ohio State Patrol Patch
Their mission is to patrol our neighborhoods and keep the community safe and now the Ohio State Patrol is offering us the opportunity to “follow them.” Twitter is one of the fastest growing forms of social media since the emersion of MySpace. It’s unique mirco-blogging format allows people follow one another and broadcast to the masses what they are up to. The more followers you have, the more people to receive your messages. Announcing album releases, new products or a politician agenda are some of the things that you can see on Twitter, and now we are going to be able to receive patrol alerts. When you think of Crimestoppers and Amber Alerts it could be a pretty amazing way to help others. Ohio State Patrol expects to launch broadcasts next week.

Friday, March 06, 2009

From Windows Live Search to Kumo Spider Cloud?

Windows Live Search Logo
Since early last year Microsoft executives have been leaking information to the media about the rebrand of Microsoft’s Live Search. A recent post by a Microsoft executive on the social networking site, Twitter give extra validation to the changes; the post read, “Played today with Live search upcoming (to be rebranded) launch pre-beta. I like the new features and UX so far.”

Kumo seems to be the winner of potential new names according to reports. As Microsoft is looking for a more user friendly name and wants a name that will allow for other services than search such as its social network. Interesting enough Kumo means “cloud” and “spider” in Japanese which gives a lot of creative opportunities for a really cool logo and lets face it, visual appeal and usability is the name of the game.

Kumo is presently being tested internally and is already receiving some criticism due to the popularity of Google and as Chrome develops and matures it is going to take some pretty big bells and whistles to top it. On the other hand Microsoft does have the capability to pull the resources to give Google a run for their money. Question is…will they?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Top 10 Most Controversial Factors of Google's Search Engine

Google Search BarA few weeks ago you saw the top 10 positive factors of Google's Search Engine. Well now I'm going to take things to a different side. I now have a list of the top 10 most controversial factors of Google's Search Engine.

Manual Authority/Weight Given to site by Google - Occasionally Google is accused of applying manual manipulation to a domain or page. This specifically refers to positive ranking manipulations but is not limited to it.

Relevance of Site's Primary Subject Matter to Query - The topic of relationships between the full content of a website and a user's given query.

Participation in Link Schemes or Activley Selling Links - helping sites with certain links gain rank or not allowing sites to gain rank until after they remove certain things.

Duplicat Title/Meta Tags on Many Pages - This severley limits the page ranking of your sites.

Global Link Popularity of Linking Site - How your site is linked to other popular or not popular sites.

Quality of the Document Content(as measured algorythmically) - Assuming search engines can use text, visual or other analysis methods to determine the validity and value of ontent , this metric would provide some level of rating.

Domain Extension of Linking Site(edu, gov, com, ca, co.uk, etc...) - Taken by itself it is meaningless but is, on the other hand, important when part of a larger whole.

Server is Often Inaccessible to Bots - Makes the crwling ability of the site very limited.

External Links to Low Quality/Spam Sites - Linking to a site that is dull or useless or just a spam site.

TLD Extension of Site(edu, gov, us, ca, com, etc...) - The top-level domain of the site. Some domains, however, like .edu, .gov, .mil or others have restrictions on who may purchase them.

And those are the top 10 most controversial factors of Google's Search Engine. To find out more information go to www.seomoz.org

Monday, February 23, 2009

A single search on Google can involve 1000 machines.


Ever wonder how Google is able to bring you search results so quick. Well for years now Google has kept many of its secrets under wraps locked up in their Google vault. Recently though Jeff Dean gave a keynote talk at ESDM 2009.

According to Dean, a typical Google search consumes the processing power of 1000 machines. He also stated that in that 10 years the number of Google searches has gone up by x1000. Dean also claimed that Google has brought their search query time down to 200ms, 10 years ago they were running around 1000ms. The largest growth though can be found in the update latency of Google’s website Crawlers. They have dropped by a staggering x10000, which has reduced the crawler update speed from several months to now just a couple of minutes.

Dean went on to say that the improvements are a result of switching the holding indexes to now being completely in memory. The result is that it takes thousands of machines to process a search query, but it has made near instantaneous searches possible.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Top 10 Positive Factors of Google's Search Engine

Everybody who uses the internet these days has definitely used a search engine. Whether it be Google, Yahoo, Ask Jeeves, or any other site, a search engine is the best and quickest way to find anything on the internet. And here is a list of the top 10 positive factors:

Keyword Use in Title Tag - this is placing the targeted search word or phrase in the title tag of of the web page's HTML header.

Keyword Use in Body Text - Using the targeted search term in the visible HTML of the text.

Anchor Text of Inbound Link - Helps peple know just exactly what your site is about.

Global Link Popularity of Site - The overall link weight/authority as measured by links from any and all sites across the web (both link quality and quantity).

Age of Site - Not the date of the original registration of the domain, but rather the launch of indexable content seen by the search engines.

Link Popularity of the Site's Internal Link Structure - This refers to the number and importance of internal links pointing to the target page.

Topical Relevance of Inbound Links to Site - The subject-specific relationshib between the site/pages linking to the target page and the target keyword.

Link Popularity of Site in Topical Community - The link weight/authority of the target website amongst its topical peers in the online world.

Global Link Popularity of Linking Site - the popularity of the site in countries spanning the entire globe.

Topical Relationship of Linking Page - Important due to the fact that it helps with the ranking of other pages.

There you have it, the top 10 positive factors of Google's search engine. For more information on the topic go to www.seomoz.com

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Recent Plane Crashed On Autopilot

PlaneMost peopel have no doubt heard of the tragic plane crash that happened a few days ago. Stories have appeard all over the internet, nes, papers, and all other forms of media. While there are many factors that could attribute to the crash, one major aspect is that the plane was on autopilot just before it went down.

According to the airline instructions and federal guidelines, a pilot should not engage the autopilot feature while flying through bad weather, an ice storm in this case. If the ice is bad enough, the pi;ots are required to shut off autopilot and fly the plane manually. Steve Chealander of the National Transportation Safety Board, commented that a pilot "should be able to sense problems sooner in manual mode than the autopilot can sense it." The plane was automatically switched to manual mode just before it fell from the sky.

Chealander described the flights chaotic last moments before the crash retrieved from the planes flight recorder. The plane pitched upwards at an angle of 31 degrees, then down at 45 degrees followed by a roll left at 46 degrees and finished when it shot right at 105 degrees which is 15 degrees beyond vertical. While also inspecting radar, the plan was revealed to have dropped from an altitude of 1800 feet to an altitude of 1000 feet in just 5 seconds which would inflict g-forces on the crew and passengers up to twice as much as being on the ground. After all this trauma the plane finally came down belly first on top of a house killing all 49 people on board as well as 1 person on the ground.

The cause of the crash has been determined to be significant ice build up on the wings and windshield which is consistent with reports from various other planes. The strange thing is that the plane's deicing mechanism was activated just 11 minuets after takeoff and was on the entire duration of the flight. Indicator lights showed that everything was wrking normally the whole time as were both engines.

During cleanup, authorities had found remains of 15 passengers. Crews raced in a mad rush to cleanup the remains before an impending storm approached. Cleanup efforts were stated to be at full foce despite weather conditions. It has been estimated that the cleanup could take as much as 4 days but will not waver until the job is done.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Social Networking Giants: Myspace Not Top Dog?

Social Networking SitesSocial networking sites are everywhere these days and its pretty much impossible to not be apart of at least one. No matter how much you say you hate them you undoubtably will be dragged into one because, lets face it, everyone you know has one and they will do their best to try and get you one, or in my case, forget asking you all together and make you one anyway.

In the magical world of social networking, three sites reign supreme above all else: Twitter, Facebook, and, of course, Myspace. These sites completley revolutionized how we talk with friends, interact with new people, and display ourselves to the world.

Until recently, Myspace had been the undeniable leader in the market. However, things have taken a recent turn away from Myspace's favor. Myspace is now holding the number two spoot as the top spot has been conqured by Facebook with Twitter quickly closing the gap in third place. Myspace, which used to be the hottest social netwrking site around, has become pretty flat as of late with its content, functions, and all around performance. Facebook, which recently turned five years old, has surged past rival Myspace in nearly every way.

Most people probaly can’t believe that their beloved Facebook was receiving a tremendous amount of bad press by this time last year saying the site had “jumped the gun” but it now appears to be just the opposite.

In order for a social networking site to work, they need to have a good stream of activity in their user base. What that means is they need a lot of time and visits from each unique visitor. In these categories, Facebook has excelled while Myspace has remained stagnant or fallen off and with the new hot rising site Twitter quickly climbing the ranks.

Social networking sites are, indeed, everywhere and you would be hardpressed not to be apart of one or to not know at least ten people that are apart of one. Facebook is now the top dog of the social networking scene with Myspace staying in a strong second. However, with Myspace’s trends in key areas lacking the same spice they used to have and with Twitter quickly growing stronger, Myspace may have more than just Facebook hovering over them.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Google Flags Entire Internet As Malware On Its Search Engine

Google Breaks Jan 31, 2009

On January 31 between 6:30 a.m PST and 7:25 a.m. PST Google's search engine began flagging every search result as malware with the message, "This site may harm your computer." The error was reported to be global.

Google quickly fixed the problem within 55 minutes of the problems arrival. They have also responded via the Google blog stating the problem occurred due to human error after a '/' was added to the list of websites that StopBadware.org considers to be malware infected. Since / is in every website this means that the entire internet was flagged as malware.

Here is the official response from Mayer on Google's Blog

"If you did a Google search between 6:30 a.m. PST and 7:25 a.m. PST this morning, you likely saw that the message “This site may harm your computer” accompanied each and every search result. This was clearly an error, and we are very sorry for the inconvenience caused to our users.

What happened? Very simply, human error. Google flags search results with the message “This site may harm your computer” if the site is known to install malicious software in the background or otherwise surreptitiously. We do this to protect our users against visiting sites that could harm their computers. We work with a non-profit called StopBadware.org to get our list of URLs. StopBadware carefully researches each consumer complaint to decide fairly whether that URL belongs on the list. Since each case needs to be individually researched, this list is maintained by humans, not algorithms.

We periodically receive updates to that list and received one such update to release on the site this morning. Unfortunately (and here’s the human error), the URL of ‘/’ was mistakenly checked in as a value to the file and ‘/’ expands to all URLs. Fortunately, our on-call site reliability team found the problem quickly and reverted the file. Since we push these updates in a staggered and rolling fashion, the errors began appearing between 6:27 a.m. and 6:40 a.m. and began disappearing between 7:10 and 7:25 a.m., so the duration of the problem for any particular user was approximately 40 minutes.

Thanks to our team for their quick work in finding this. And again, our apologies to any of you who were inconvenienced this morning, and to site owners whose pages were incorrectly labeled. We will carefully investigate this incident and put more robust file checks in place to prevent it from happening again.

Thanks for your understanding.

Posted by Marissa Mayer, VP, Search Products & User Experience"

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Defusing Obama’s Google Bomb


The Google bomb is a virus initiated to attack President Bush in 2003. The virus utilized Google as a tool by arranging to have countless web sites link the words "miserable failure" to Bush's official biography on the White House Web site. So when someone typed the search term "miserable failure" into the Google search box, Bush's bio was pushed to the top of the search results.

It took Google four years to create an algorithm to detect what became known as "Google bombs" and re-directed the term "miserable failure" to non-political pages. I can’t help but picture Wonder Woman deflecting bullets with her magic bracelets. But why did it take Google four years? Could it be that it took that long to develop a proper algorithm? Perhaps Google just didn’t worry about how many people would search under those specific terms.

When President Obama came into office the "miserable failure" pest adapted and took aim at Obama’s bio page. Another Goggle bomb was hurled with the phrase cheerful achievement. However, this time the algorithms were moved into place within days. Is it fair to say that Google could have anticipated Obama’s Google bombs and that is why they moved so quickly this time? Google did say the reason it took only a few days to redirect Obama's Google bomb was that, this time, it already had the algorithm in place.

According to an article by CNET News, the Obama "cheerful achievement" Google bomb was created by Montreal blogger Eric Baillargeon, who did not return requests for comment.

It has been reported that a Yahoo! search of "miserable failure," however, returns the official White House biographies of Obama and Bush so it seems that Google is not the only search engine being manipulated.

I don’t know about you but I am glad I don’t have to worry about inventing some algorithms to combat bombs but fighting off viruses is an everyday battle when you spend most of waking moments on the internet. I am just thankful that there are services out there like Computer Service Now that can take care of those problems for me.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

George Bush's Attack by shoe spawns Iraqi Monument

Bush doges shoe at press conferenceLast month, we all saw former President George W. Bush giving a speech at a Baghdad press conference. And we also saw something we didn't expect to when an Iraqi journalist hurled his shoes at the former President. The attack erupted across the internet as soon as footage was released receiving over 800,000 views, it also birthed enormous amounts of political satire, web quips, street rallies across the Arab world and now it has even spawned a work of art.

A single, copper-coated sculpture of a shoe the size of a couch was put on a stand carved to resemble a flowing cloth. The sculpture was formally unveiled Thursday in none other than the hometown of tyrannical Iraqi dictator Sadaam Hussein, uh, former tyranical dictator that is. During the brief outdoor ceremony, officials and visitors walked around observing the sculpture questioning its oddities, like why in the heck there was a freaking tree protruding out of the shoe's interior.

Laith al-Amari, the Baghdad-based artist, called it a fitting tribute to the shoe hurler, Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi, who has been giving a folk hero reputation in parts of the Muslim world and beyond. He stated that the work honors al-Zeidi, that it was "a source of pride for all Iraqis, not a poltical work."

Its location in sadaam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit, which lies 80 miles north of Baghdad, is considerd a place of prewar nostalgia with some Iraqis. The shoe sculpture includes an ode to al-Zeidi. It talks about the virtues of being "able to tell the truth aloud." The truth al-Amari is talking about is what al-Zeidi shouted as he threw his shoes at Bush. In Arabic he shouted "This is from the widows, the orphans, and those who were killed in Iraq."

Although Bush used his "cat-like" reflexes to dodge the oncoming projectiles, the image was powerful in the Arab culture. This is largely do to the fact that in the Arab culture, trowing shoes at someone is an extreme sign of contempt. For example, Iraqis bashed the toppled statue of Sadaam Hussein with their shoes and slippers.

Fatin Abdul-Qadir al-Nasiri, the director of an orphanage in Tikrit whose children helped fashion the sculpture stated that, "this monument...will remain a present for the forthcoming generations. They will remember the story of the hero(al-Zeidi) who bid farewell to the US President in such a way." You know with comments like this I can only imagine when the next group of radicals will arise and try to take America down.

Its not surprising to me at all that al-Zeidi, who was charged with attacking a foreign leader, was supposed to stand trial a month ago but that trial has been postponed as al-Zeidi's attorney wants a reduced sentence.

This really irritates me, extremely. While I know Bush was not the greatest President, he was still the president, and this nut wants a reduced sentence? Sorry, but if an American were charged throwing a shoe at an Iraqi leader he'd be locked away so fast your head would spin. He probably would be given the death penalty and America would be known as tyrants who hate other countries. But no an Arab man does it and nothing happens, we get to wait while he tries to get a lesser punishment. At least Sadaam got what he deserved.