Monday, September 28, 2009

How to promote a group on facebook

Success of any group is based on what kind of posts (NOT people) are there on that group. I have seen groups where there are more than 500 people on that group but there is hardly any post / topic e.g. search for Pune group and you will see what i mean. If you look at those people's profile who have joined that group, they have mentioned that they love that city ...etc. but they hardly participate in any topic or discussion and there is hardly any activity since months.

Things to take into consideration while forming a group:
  • Whenever you create any group try to encourage people to talk by either starting some topic/discussion or let other to start.
  • Make sure all the group sections are used to their fullest potential. When you first start the group, you'll see sections for Recent News, Discussion Board, The Wall, Photos, Links and Video. Put something new and relevant in all these sections.
  • Put the link for the group in most if not all your other communications.
  • Make it very easy for group members to share the group with their Facebook friends. Other people, with whom you are not directly connected will automatically join your group.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Does Google use the "Keywords" meta tag?

I have been telling this to my clients for really long time but still there are many who insists that "Keywords" SHOULD be the top priority, so have decided to put an article.

Google doesn't use the "keywords" meta tag in their web search ranking. Google web search (the well-known search at that hundreds of millions of people use each day) disregards keyword metatags completely. They simply don't have any effect in search ranking.

Matt Cutts, have now officially confirmed that "Keyword" meta tag does not hold any value, and have explained this on google web master central blog.

He said too many people has spammed with this meta tag so much, that we dont use it anymore. But that doesnt mean we dont use any of the meta tag. We use "Description" meta tag, if you have a good "Description" meta tag, you will be placed higher or maybe on first page of google as this screenshot shows

For more information, which meta tags google uses, click here

Listen to what Matt Cutts says:

In the end, I will say, CONTENT is the Key for best ranking.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Google: Growing the Display Advertising

The new DoubleClick Ad Exchange helps to open the ecosystem and establish a new marketplace for buyers and sellers. Google's plans to make display advertising more useful to users, advertisers, and publishers.

This is what, Google wrote in its official blog

We've been working hard to put these principles into practice, and today we're excited to announce the new DoubleClick Ad Exchange, a step towards creating a more open display advertising ecosystem for everyone. The Ad Exchange is a real-time marketplace that helps large online publishers on one side; and ad networks and agency networks on the other, buy and sell display advertising space.

These publishers and ad networks manage and represent large volumes of ads and ad space from lots of advertisers and websites. By bringing them together in an open marketplace in which prices are set in a real-time auction, the Ad Exchange enables display ads and ad space to be allocated much more efficiently. This improves returns for advertisers and enables publishers to get the most value out of their online content.

For a large publisher managing multiple sales channels and ad networks, the Ad Exchange provides real-time yield management to maximize returns. The small-time advertiser or business can now buy targeted display ads on thousands of DoubleClick ad-serving websites. In other words, this could be a major boom to marketers as highly targeted ad campaigns can reach everywhere. It will also increases Google's competition with Yahoo.

An explanation of the Ad Exchange is here (PDF).

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Google News - How does it work

How do these articles appear - Google gather these articles by
1) Crawling,
2) Grouping and
3) Ranking them

1) Crawling:
  • Discover crawls - Google bot visits your URL more than once, so that it can show you updated content.

  • News site maps - What are the benefits of submitting a news sitemap?
    It provides greater control over which of your articles appear on google news. Furthermore, it allows specification of meta information for each individual articles -
    a) Publication date
    b) Keywords

  • Robots.txt file - Robot.txt file will help you with -
    Which article you want Google bots to crawl or which document you want to exclude from crawling.

2) Grouping - Grouping is done according to:
  • Individual article content

  • By region

3) Ranking - Google rank stories by Aggregate Editorial Interest
  • Story Ranking - how important do editors think the story is?
    A small story has a small effect on publishing activity, whereas A big story causes rapid, independent, publishing activity worldwide.

  • Article Ranking -
    a) Fresh and New - Recent, substantial, original and focused on the topic
    b) Duplicate and Novelty Detection - Credit to Original and Novel content
    c) Local and Personal Relevancy - Weighted by section and story and more credit to local sources
    d) Trusted Sources - Boosts for trusted sources for each edition and section via various signals

Best Practices for better results for News Search-
  • Unique, permanent URL with atleast 3digits - if you dont have 3 digits in your news URL then best is to submit to news sitemap

  • Dont breakup article body

  • Put dates between Title and the body

  • Titles Matter - Good HTML as well as article title

  • Separate original content from press releases

  • Publish Informative and Unique content

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Gmail outage that lasted about 100 minutes

Gmail's web interface had a widespread outage earlier today, lasting about 100 minutes. Actually Gmail was not completely down,but only its web interface.

Google posted the explanation on official blog with a long article written by Ben Treynor, VP Engineering and Site Reliability Czar.Cutting it into short,the issue was an underestimation during offline maintenance.The details are as follow:

Here's what happened: This morning (Pacific Time) we took a small fraction of Gmail's servers offline to perform routine upgrades. This isn't in itself a problem — we do this all the time, and Gmail's web interface runs in many locations and just sends traffic to other locations when one is offline.

However, as we now know, we had slightly underestimated the load which some recent changes (ironically, some designed to improve service availability) placed on the request routers — servers which direct web queries to the appropriate Gmail server for response. At about 12:30 pm Pacific a few of the request routers became overloaded and in effect told the rest of the system "stop sending us traffic, we're too slow!". This transferred the load onto the remaining request routers, causing a few more of them to also become overloaded, and within minutes nearly all of the request routers were overloaded. As a result, people couldn't access Gmail via the web interface because their requests couldn't be routed to a Gmail server. IMAP/POP access and mail processing continued to work normally because these requests don't use the same routers.

The Gmail engineering team was alerted to the failures within seconds (we take monitoring very seriously). After establishing that the core problem was insufficient available capacity, the team brought a LOT of additional request routers online (flexible capacity is one of the advantages of Google's architecture), distributed the traffic across the request routers, and the Gmail web interface came back online.

Gmail team also promises that they will enhance the service by adding more capacities of routers and optimize the system policy to avoid this kind of matter happen again.