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Googlemania! – getting the lowdown on Google

Wired magazine this month offers visitors the chance to read articles from the March edition, which ran a special feature on Google, called Googlemania! The feature contains the following:

• Surviving IPO Fever
• It's an Ad, Ad, Ad, Ad World
• How to Speak Google
• Google's Open Source Idea Lab
• I'm Feeling Lucky
• How to Kill Google
• 4 Scenarios for the Future
• Redesigning the Interface
• The (Evil) Genius of Comment Spammers
• Google vs. Gates


Google’s Gmail in beta testing

Google's new Gmail e-mail system looks like it has started to raise a few eyebrows and speculation about what the future may hold. The new system is currently being beta tested, though this is what the service is likely to offer:

Gmail is a free, search-based webmail service that includes 1,000 megabytes (1 gigabyte) of storage. The backbone of Gmail is a powerful Google search engine that quickly recalls any message an account owner has ever sent or received. That means there's no need to file messages in order to find them again.

Pamela Parker in her article Google Gets E-Mail in Clickz believes that Microsoft could soon have something else to worry about, apart from search engine rankings. She says:

The move pits Google even more strongly against Yahoo! and Microsoft, both of which offer extremely popular free e-mail services. It also more firmly establishes Google as a portal, rather than simply a search destination.

One issue that Pamela says creates privacy problems for the new service, is the ability to generate AdWords, like the main search engine, which are relevant to each message. In short, Google's technology will be able to read the content of a message and provide an ad based on this.

For another take on Gmail, have a look at Google's big opportunity on Seth Godin's blog. It raises some interesting thoughts, too.


Search Engine Optimisation – Don’t Forget Design!

It's a given that the main goal of Internet Marketing is to drive traffic to your website. However, so many people neglect a critical element in the whole process, namely making sure that those who arrive at your website make the right call to action: be it buy, learn or contact. In order for them to do this the site must be stuctured in the right way, with ease of use and content being essential pre-requisites. Shari Thurow has written an interesting article on this subject, entitled Design Matters, which discusses the importance of making sure that you optimise your site not just for search engines but also for visitors. As Shari says:

Optimization is not only a marketing process. It's also a design and usability process.

Related Article
The Ten Most Violated Homepage Design Guidelines


25 Entrepreneurs we love (as seen by INC.com)

As a way of celebrating 25 years of publishing, Inc.com will publish a brief profile of 25 of their favourite entrepreneurs every day during the month of April. The first article looks at Sergey Brin & Larry Page of Google.


Looking at site statistics

Yesterday was the busiest day on my other Web site, Mad About Madrid, for many weeks. Ever since the dreadful bombings in Madrid a few weeks ago traffic has been down around 40% but is now starting to reach pre-attack levels. However, the reason for yesterday’s big spike in traffic was due to the memorial service held in Madrid’s Cathedral, the Almudena. Many people from all over the world heard or saw the news about this event on TV, radio and the press and so made a beeline to their search engine to find out more about this cathedral. As Mad About Madrid is number 1 on Google for these search words, many people clicked on the Almudena Cathedral link.

Using the statistics package that I have from Stat Counter, I have been checking the activity of the people coming in to the site, most who have come in have read the information and left. However, a small percentage have moved around the site and will hopefully be added to my 'returning visitor' list. This is a snapshot of how one referrer, from Italy navigated around the site. The final 3 results indicate that the person is carrying out a search using Google on the Mad About Madrid site.


Page Titles Revisited

A few times on this web log I have mentioned the importance of using page titles to help drive traffic to a website. An article on MarketingProfs.com entitled 'Page Titles That Attract Readers' gives useful tips on how to use page titles effectively.

Related Articles
Search Engine Marketing - Page Title (Step 2)


Keyword Links – Try not to ‘Click here’!

When writing an article, or adding content to to your website, there is always the temptation to use the words 'click here' to take you to another page. However, it is much better, from both a search engine and visitor perspective, to create keyword (or text) links which tell visitors where they will be going. And we mustn't forget that keyword links are used by search engines to rank sites, albeit to a lesser extent.
Let's look at an example: an online New York food guide will be given greater credibility if another site uses a good keyword link, like New York Food Guide, to link into it. The link New York Food Guide gives the destination page much more relevancy in the eyes of the search engine, hence helping in its ranking. The same can also be said of links from A to B within your own website.

In their 'Quality Tips for Webmasters' the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) offers some good advice on using text links.


Quersyter – for your search engine queries

Queryster is a great tool for searching multiple search engines. Simply type in your search term and select your preferred search engine; your search results will then be displayed on that search engine. The cool thing about Quersyster is that a floating graph, with a search box and list of search engines, appears as a layer on that same page - you can move the graph wherever you like. If you want to carry out another query on another search engine, just click your choice and hit return. The intitial selection is for 10 search engines, though you can customise this from a list of around 25. This is a neat tool for both searcch engine optimization and surfing the web. Queryster can also offer you a blog viewer which allows you to search blogs according to category and view and rate them in the form of a slide show.

Source: Thanks to A Fun Multi-Search Tool by Chris Sherman.


Google hits 6 billion!

Google now has just over 6 billions items listed on its databases. The figure breaks down as such:

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