Google improved their Webmaster Central reporting tool by adding +1 reporting. By now, if you are a webmaster, you are surely familiar with the +1 button used to get a sense of quality of a post / site. What we didn’t have until today was a way to quantify the impact that +1 actions by visitors will have on your ranking. Wait no more, just log-in into your Google Webmaster Central and you’ll find out how many posts were +1, data about the search impact and audience (unique users, etc). Read More…
While the Page Rank measure is not anymore what it used to be in terms of number of visitors flowing to your website, and the PageRank number displayed in your toolbar even less so, the number offers a certain comforting feeling to the webmasters, especially if is above 5.
Today, Google pushed a new global update (which can happen any time between 6 months and a year) . The new update happens about 6 months after the previous one and it might establish a new trend – a PageRank update two times a year.
PageRank is a measure indicating how well your pages are linked from outside. Its scale is logarithmic which means is much harder to jump from 4 to 5 than to 1 to 2 for example. While only a part of the algorithm Google uses to determine how much organic traffic sends to your pages, it is nonetheless an important one although lately it seems that the search giant places more and more weight on the social aspect. Also, as the number of websites/pages available grows, Google will have to adjust the PageRank scale regularly to keep the relative values updated. This is one reason many websites might see their PR values dropping, even if their websites actually gained links.
As Dish Network a subscriber, I just received an e-mail from them to inform me that Google TV with DISH Network is available and that, as a subscriber I qualify for a special price of $179. The current MSRP for the Logitech Revue Google TV box is $299 so there is quite a savings. Unfortunately the discount is not available for Sony Google TV products.
The deep integration between Google TV and Dish Network should make available for search all your recorded shows as well as the shows listed in the electronic Guide. Unfortunately, during my recent tests, the only Dish Network receivers compatible with a Google TV unit ares ViP 622, ViP 722 and ViP 722k. As I have the more advanced VIP 922 (full review here), I am out of luck for now.
Check Dish Network’s full press release and a video clip demo-ing the Dish network – Logitech Revue Google TV integration. Read More…
It didn’t take long, did it? Google takes an additional step toward Google everywhere dream and now you can find their Google Search app on competition’s phones, the recently released Windows Phone 7 devices. The application is as expected, free, enables web searching along with images and local news and features Google latest trick, instant search, displaying suggestions as you type. If you want to download it right now, the link is here. (use it from a Windows Phone 7 device)
There is no way currently to replace Bing as the main search engine on the phone, but having it pinned to Start page (and in the top position) should do the trick…And wait for the day when the regulators will force Microsoft to include all search engines and browsers on their phone, in a neat random order waiting for you at startup
Not everybody believes Steve Jobs when he preaches the death of Flash, at least not the over one millions users downloading the 10.1 version for their Android smartphones. These are the latest numbers coming from Adobe and they certainly have something to brag about. Unlike Apple, Google is certainly not concerned about supporting Flash and made it official announcing that Froyo (Android 2.2) will support Flash. Since the announcement, it was a good collaboration all over the place.
Android OS is the only major platform for smartphones that officially supports Flash. Microsoft said at some point their new Windows Phone 7 OS will support it, although not at launch. Let’s not forget that Microsoft is deeply involved in Silverlight which is the main Flash competitor. Apple of course will never support it unless you jailbreak your iPhone and install Frash (see here how).
Today is a very important day that might define the future of television. We already announced the new Google TV Website but today we get to see the first devices supporting Google TV a standalone box called Logitech Revue that will connect between your existing set top box and your TV and display its data as an overlay over the existing TV image enabling real time searches while you watch a TV Show. The Logitech Revue boxes will run a new Android OS optimized for large screens and, more important, starting early next year it will also support applications from Android Marketplace. The initial price will be considerably higher than Apple TV ($300 vs $100) it will offer more content and also Adobe Flash 10.1. This way we can expect a lot more applications (and games) in the following months and put the final nail in the Yahoo! TV Widgets coffin which never took off (We had foreseen that 😉 )
Google TV will come pre-loaded with apps like Netflix, Twitter, CNBC, Pandora, Napster, NBA Game Time, Amazon Video On Demand and many other so in terms of pure content it beats most media streamers boxes available on the market. Apps to remote-control the box will be available on iOS and Android OS devices. Most important for some, it includes a DLNA client and attached hard drives (and it can search there as well) and supports MKV files. No HULU yet (they are blocking the box) but Google and HULU are in discussion, so we might see some agreements soon.
Google TV Logitech Revue Highlights:
- Dish Network’s subscribers will get a much better price at $179 which is well worth it since the box will have deep integration with Dish Network Guide and DVR boxes – can search the recordings from your DVR for example
- Logitech Revue also uses Logitech’s universal remote control technology to manage various components in your entertainment system send IR signals
- really neat RF Keyboard
- HD camera for video conference (Die overpriced Cisco umi, die!) capable of 720p. You will need to buy a separate camera as it won’t come in the box and it uses Logitech’s Vid HD Service. Skype (and others0 computability can presumably come via 3rd party apps later through the Android marketplace. Neat!!! The camera has autofocus Carl Zeiss lens and microphones adapted to be used in the living room
- You can use existing Harmony remotes for the box as well (that goes without saying)
- a new Logitech Mini Controller, (customized from a DiNovo Mini). I wonder if I can use mine as my Dinovo Mini or we need to buy a new one…
- Voice search via your smart phone
- launch day apps include CNBC, Photo Gallery, Chrome, HD camera, Napster, NBA Game Time, Netflix, Pandora, Podcast
- Netflix interface is rather old, it just displays the queue, no categories. Uhhhhh 🙁
- Logitech Media Player – DLNA client – and indexes DLNA feeds and locally connected drives, and it also supports MKV files!!!
- The Revue box costs $299 ($179 via Dish Network) including keyboard
- Keyboard by itself costs $99
- DiNovo style mini keyboard costs $129
- HD TV camera costs $149 (everything pretty steep but that’s Logitech prices for you). All in all, cheaper than Cisco’s solution and no monthly fee.
- Available for pre-order at Amazon sometime today, will ship by end of October
Logitech Revue supported media formats and audio/video codecs:
- Music: AAC (.aac), FLAC (.flac), MP3 (.mp3), OGG (.ogg),WMA (.wma)
- Photos: JPEG (.jpg, .jpeg), BMP (.bmp) PNG (.png), TIFF (.tiff)
- Videos: WMV (VC-1) (.asf .wma .wmv), WMV (VC-1) + WMA (.asf .wma .wmv), WMV + WMA (.avi), Xvid (H-264) + AAC (.avi),
Xvid (H-264) + AAC (.mp4), Xvid (H-264) + AAC (.mt2s .mt2), Xvid (MPEG4part2) + AAC (.avi), Xvid (MPEG4part2) + MP3 (.avi)
Check photo gallery after the break.
Adding to already impressive arsenal of maps, Google just released a new one specifically to help you get the right information about the upcoming elections, how each state/zone is split between Republicans / Democrats in all the races across US (Senate, House and State Governors). The cited sources are various political blogs and newspapers like RealClearPolitics, CQ-Roll Call, Cook, Rothenberg, etc. You can see the states which are decidedly Democrats, decidedly Republicans or a toss-up. The data will be refreshed daily and we imagine as we get closer to the election, maybe even more often. You can embed the map in your own website as a widget (see below).
If you did some some late night (or early morning) tech browsing on Saturday, July 31th 2010, you might have had the surprise to find your favorite tech blog identified as malware by Google as containing elements from the site bin.clearspring.com (which is also classified as malware). The blog I am talking about is the popular Engadget. While the hiccup lasted only around an hour or so, it is certainly embarrassing, although I am curious on which side the fault is…I would not surprised to find out it is on Google’s site since they once identified their own search results as malware :D.
Well, time to go to bed now, we’ll probably find out more in the morning. Read after the break for the full screenshot.
Update: Works fine now!
Internet users are not the only ones to agree that Bing search just sucks! Although Yahoo! signed an agreement with Microsoft to have their search engine powered by Bing, Yahoo Japan which apparently has a certain degree of control over its destiny has chosen a different venue: Google. You read right, Yahoo! Japan will use Google’s mighty search engine to power its results, and also to serve its ads, and that is probably worse (for Microsoft). At this point, we cannot stop wondering if this trend might continue in other countries as well, and how will Microsoft’s strategy will change. On the other side, we cannot help but agree with Yahoo! Japan’s decision: If you reached this site you probably did it using Google since after several month it is still not indexed by Bing (along with many other newer websites) while being indexed by Google from day one!
Just In: Read More…
Ever asked yourself how Google works? How your query provides thousands and thousands of useful or less useful results? PPCBlog released a really nice diagram illustrating the process. Various steps will have different weight, for example the page authority seems to be less important in certain situations than page content. My blog is very new, only several months old and its page rank is still 0, however it still ranks on Google’s first page for terms like “Vip 922 review” or “top media streamer 2010” for example, so Google has also ways to calculate the usefulness of a page.
There is a feverish activity to optimize one’s website to rank well in Google’s results since a good ranking brings traffic and traffic brings money, in advertisement or potential sales (20 billions as PPCBlog mentioned), and everybody wants a piece of the pie. This activity is called SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The result pages are called SERP (Search Engine Results Page).