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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Google Plus One For Search Results And Ads

Google Plus One Button

Google Plus One it is. Google's Social Network project which appeared in techrunch article entitled "Google Toying With Naming Social Product “Google +1″ As Sergey Brin Gets Involved" last December 2010 finally been launched. The project was originally named as "Emerald Sea" but then eventually change its name as the project progresses and pick the final name of the product to be "Google +1" or "Google Plus One". The name itself was derived from the functionality of the project which is to give your approval to the sites which you like or recommend to others the things that interest you in the search result.

Google Plus One

Rumors quickly erupted that this new service form Google will rival the Facebook Like Button. Is this Google's version of "Retweet" and "Like." Perhaps it is since users aren't doing something alone on the web, it's social. So what it's gonna be called then "+1ing" sounds terrible. One thing you can also notice is that Google did not launch the project as a stand alone social website but they have included it on their current services mainly the Gmail and Google search result. Hope that things would not turn out to be like what happened to Google Buzz and Google Wave in their attempt to make search more social.

Google Plus One Search ResultNow search marketers are concerned if this service will going to affect the search engine rankings of websites since the searchers or users are involve in the Plus One Vote. Logically, users preference to plus one a webpage or what they found on search result will give it a positive webpage quality/relevancy score. Will Google use this as a signal to adjust and include Google Plus One on its algorithm? For now as an experimental service Google stated that the Plus One feature will not initially affect the rankings of search result but Matt Cutts said "When someone recommends something, that's a pretty good indicator of quality".

Google Plus One is another sign of innovation and improvement from Google delivering search result that is most relevant to users query. I think Google nailed it right in the head this time. Hitting two birds in one stone, Google Plus One will play a major role Googles algorithm in providing quality search content on the web as well as a chance to penetrate social web community letting users to interact by sharing and recommending the things that interest them across the web.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Facebook Places Philippines Goes Live

As for me and other Filipinos out there who are anticipating and fan of facebook places, the long wait is over as Facebook Places Philippines is now available. Just like Foursquare, Gowalla, or Yelp users here in Philippines, you can now share where you at by checking-in to locations via Facebook Places . You can open in your Web browser or use the Facebook for iPhone app on your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad and start checking-in to places here in Philippines.

Facebook Places |Philippines
Facebook Places Philippines

You can tap Check In to check the list of nearby locations then tap the place you want to check into. After that you can choose to comment on what you are doing in that place and tag your friends as well. Then in order to show it up on your news feed press Check In button.

Facebook Places is powered by Bings mapping engine, if you want to add your location you can do it by pressing add, and then fill out the name and description of your place. List of available places or locations will appear if its been already added on Bings Mapping engine or other people already added and check ins are made.

Also business owners can use this in order to put their business establishment on Facebook Places and turn it into a proper Facebook Page in which they can use it as a map in order for customers to locate them easily. So here is a quick guide on how to do it:

How to Set Up Your Business Page
Here’s a step-by-step to help you get started.
Sign up for your business page here:
1.You need to be a Facebook member in order to create your business page, so if you aren’t a member, jump on board.
2.Upload your logo and any related business pictures, including your locations, facilities, products, etc.
3.Fill in all your company information, including a link to your company’s web site
4.Share your new page with all your friends on Facebook
5.Encourage your employees who are likely already on Facebook to become a fan and share with their friends
6.Promote your Facebook page on your web site and on other social media sites. See how one of my clients has added her Twitter and Facebook profile links right to her home page:
7.Update your page regularly with news about your company, products, and services.

How to Claim Your Business on Facebook Places
Using Places on your mobile device
How do I create a new Place?
To create a new place, follow these steps:
1.Access the Places application on your supported device.
2.Click "Check In."
3.Click the "Add" button to the left of the Places Names search box.
4.Enter a name for the new Place as well as an optional description of it. Then, click the "Add" button at the bottom right of the page.
5.You will then have the option to both write a description of what you are doing at the new Place, and/or tag your friends there
6.Click the "Check In" button to share your visit.

So there you go, check in to your favorite places and expect to see your friends location and what they are doing via Facebook Places Philippines.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Google Panda Update Episode 1: The Phantom Panda

As Google continues to revolutionize and improve the quality of its search result, new algorithm shake up has taken place to address the duplicate,content farm, low quality and spammy search result in order to filter out and reduce the rankings of low quality sites which are less helpful for users. Matt Cutts announced on his blog way back in January about the launched of the algorithm change in order to decrease or irradicate "content farms" and "spammy or low-quality content" in Googles search result. The answer is their major algorithmic update known as the "Google Panda Update".
Google Panda Update
What is Google Panda Update?

"This update is designed to reduce rankings for low quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on." - Matt Cutts, Google’s head of spam.

At first it was known as the Google Farmer Update as labeled by media which started to roll out in February 2011 and made major significant changes in Googles algorithm. The big algorithmic update immediately impacts almost 12% Of US results, noted to be one of the most noticeable algorithm changes of Google that attacked on the relevancy of their results.

Google Algorithm Drop
Article directories definitely took a major hit and most of their site pages dropped their keyword rankings and traffic. This only shows how Google influence and takes control over the web that in a single algorithm update, search result will be different. Though Google didn't officially said that they are going after content farms, both “scraper” sites (those sites who are pulling contents from other sources or those sites that don't have original content) and “content farms" (those sites that has pure web-spam content or sites with shallow and low-quality content) are the affected and badly hit of this Google Panda Update.

For me I'm impressed by the big leap made by Google in order to improve their search result and ranking. This algorithm update will reduce the low quality and spammy sites from appearing in Google's search result and make the web ecosystem friendly which will take search quality in a higher level.