Google Powered 404 Page Update

Askapache.com LogoI was curious as to who was making the money via the sponsored ads that are displayed on the first tab and the web tab of this plugin.

As it turns out, the sponsored ads are for Google because the Ajax powered API is so new. Here is the 411 on the issue.

That is a really great question that I had to search awhile to find. The answer is because this Search API is still so cutting-edge new, Google is the only one making any money from these Ads. It is still pretty beta now, but in the future it will very likely have the features we want. It is against the TOS to remove the ads, and currently you cannot hook your own AdSense account into the Search API. You can however use css to re-position the sponsored links.. like:

.gsc-control .gsc-ad-box {padding-top:100px;}

Does the AJAX Search API contain advertising?

Yes. The Web Search results may include up to 2-4 clearly marked sponsored links. There are currently no ads displayed among the News, Video, Maps, or Blog Search results. If you’re interested in earning money for displaying relevant Google ads on your site, you can do so with Google AdSense.

Thanks to AskApache for clearing this up.

Google Reader Has Impressive Numbers

GoogleReader LogoThe hot news item of the day seems to center around a leaked GoogleVideo which was supposed to be a training video for ‘Noogles’ or new Google employees. The video contained quite a few interesting tidbits of information.

* Google Reader has two kinds of feeds:
– feeds that have one subscriber (two thirds from the number of feeds, they’re updated every 3 hours)
– feeds that have more than one subscriber (these feeds are updated every hour)

* Google Reader uses 10 TB for storing all the raw data

* Google Reader crawls 8 million feeds

* Google Reader is the only major feed reader that keeps the entire history for all the feeds.

* many Google applications use Google Reader’s infrastructure for feeds: iGoogle, orkut, Gmail’s web clips, Blogger widgets, Google Spreadsheets, Ajax API. Google Reader is the place for any kind of user-driven activities that involve feeds and it’s independent from Google Blog Search.

* the rate of user growth = the rate of growth for the number of feeds

* the index size grows 4% every week

* 70% of the Google Reader traffic comes from Firefox (a lot of geeky users)

* Gmail and orkut are the only Google applications that have a bigger number of pageviews/user than Google Reader

* search requires a lot of computational resources. Google Reader uses two indexes for search:
– a big tree updated twice a day (150machines, 600 million documents)
– 40 small trees for recent posts, updated every 5 minutes (40 machines, 40million documents)

* future features:
– very soon: internationalization, feed recommendations, accepting pings sent to Google Blog Search
– in the near future: simple clustering based on links (posts that link to the same page), adding comments to the shared items
– idea for monetization: adding AdSense ads and sharing the revenue with publishers, assuming they use AdSense

Most of the information from this post comes from a leaked, confidential video in which Google’s Ben Darnell explained to some Nooglers how Google Reader works. The video was hosted by Google Video, but it’s no longer available. More about the video here.

You can hear the audio portion of the video by using the player shown below.

PageRank And NoFollow Myths Answered

SEO Theory has put together a very well written document that covers the SEO myths surrounding PageRank and the NoFollow attribute. The document is a long, but informational read. I’ll try to cover the highlights for you.

SEO Myth Number 1. You Can Control The Flow Of PageRank On Your Site

Fact: Your PageRank is influenced by four factors:

  1. What you do with your pages
  2. What other people do with their pages
  3. What Google does with its filters
  4. Time

Fact: PageRank begins with your pages.

Fact: PageRank is an estimate, not a specific value.

SEO Myth Number 2. Rel=’nofollow’ Can Be Used For Search Engine Optimization

We throw “SEO” around like a word these days, and in some ways it has become a word. But it also remains an acronym for “search engine optimization” and optimization refers to the process of modifying Web pages so that they achieve optimum visibility in search results.

Can you use “rel=’nofollow’” to optimize for search? No.

Can you use “rel=’nofollow’” to optimize for anything? Yes.

Be sure to read the entire article, The PageRank control myth and the nofollow-for-SEO myth

Cagora – Interests Groups 2.0

Typically, if you want information on a particular subject, you fire up your favorite browser and type in your search terms into Google. Depending upon your method of searching and the popularity of the specific topic you are searching for, Google may or may not provide you with the most helpful results. Cagora hopes to change this by creating a site where hundreds of communities and special interest groups will be able to provide you the information you need.

Ajax Powered Password Strength Meter

Password Strength MeterCode and Coffee has put together a password strength meter using Ajax to check the strength of a given password in real-time. Google and other web services are picking up on the trend of using these meters to inform new users, just how strong their chosen password is.

Using Code And Coffee’s demo page, I typed in the password, ( password ) and the meter read, VERY SECURE. Obviously, the algorithm needs some work, but the good news is, you can actually change the way the algorithm works. Code and Coffee decided to base their password algorithm off of Intelligent Web. Their algorithm calculates how many different combinations there are for a password, as it’s being entered, then determines how many days it would take to crack the password. The algorithm returns a percentage that is turned into a GUI for end users to see.

Code and Coffee has released the javascript file along with the demo.html page that you would need, in order to add one of these password meters to your site or service. There is also a detailed explanation as to how the code works which can be read, by clicking here.

My First Podcast Sort Of

Talkshoe.Com Podcasting Made Simple

Every Monday, Pete Balasch Jr. hosts a show on Talkshoe called Internet Marketing And SEO Tips. About 2 weeks ago, Pete decided to do an apprentice type show where he takes a generally inexperienced user and teaches them about SEO and the different ways a new user can gain ground on search engines. This past Monday, as I was waiting for the show to start, Pete informed me that his guest couldn’t make it. Since I was the only one in the room, he asked me if I’d like to do a show and be a special guest host. I said “sure”.

The show which you can listen to here, EPISODE18 – The SEO Apprentice Course Week 3 turned out to be rather informative. In the show, I gave an audio review of InviteShare, along with an explanation of how it works. Pete and I both discussed the effects of Web 2.0 on search engine optimizations along with a new term that has been created called Social Media Marketers. Think of SMM’s as the SEO guys who apparently get the gist of Web 2.0 and social media. During the middle of the show, Highway_Of_Life the new co-host for PHPBBWEEKLY joined in and gave us some valuable information concerning Google’s Supplemental index. This segment alone is enough to warrant a listen.

Last but not least, we covered PingBacks/Trackback URLs, the No-Follow link attribute, blogging in the blogosphere, using Twitter to update multiple other services and sites, and general SEO tips. If you happen to listen to this episode, I’d love to hear your feedback as I plan on having my own Talkcast/Podcast show in the not so distant future.

Yahoo And Google Social Networks Round 2

In a recent blog post, I described the way I am trying to converge my online presence, as I am beginning to go through social network fatigue. Thankfully Google and Yahoo get the gist and are working on two new social networks which hope to combine a user’s online presence onto one page. Their first attempts, Orkut and Yahoo360 have failed, with the exception of Orkut which actually has a strong following in Brazil.

Google sponsored a project last year at Carnegie Mellon University’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute that was designed to “rethink and reinvent online social networking,” the Google Operating System blog reported. The site also has screenshots. Dubbed “Socialstream,” the service would be more like a unified social network that would allow someone to have accounts on multiple services but centralized contacts in one location.

On Yahoo’s side, there is a project called Mosh. Check out this job description for a summer intern spot at Yahoo on a “cool new social network product.” According to the post, Yahoo’s looking for someone with lots of friends on MySpace and Facebook and who is “damn funny.”

I would love to see either one of these new social networking services actually see the light of day. It’s a breath of fresh aire to see that companies are beginning to realize the potential behind social convergence.

Would You Pay For An Invite?

In a recent post, I described a conversation I had with my father concerning invitations and if there was a business opportunity in the making by perhaps, selling these invitations. Here is what was discussed.

I asked my dad if he thought that perhaps, there would be some sort of business opportunity surrounding invitations to these new services. Allow people to bid on an invite or pay a low price. My father responded by saying “people won’t pay for something that is free, or that they could obtain by some other means.”

Turns out, my father was wrong. While browsing around on Ebay, I came across a few auctions in which the item being sold was an invitation to GrandCentral, the new service which was acquired by Google. Here is a link to an auction that has already ended as you can see, there are other auctions taking place, asking for as much as $10.00 for the invitation.

Now I can’t wait to tell my dad that people are willing to pay money for something that really has no monetary value. Would you be willing to pay for an invite?