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Noman Ali: Gadgets, Websites, Google, Social Media and SEO

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Tag Archives: Google

It’s a great day today, after waiting for 7 months Google has finally taken a look into Page Rank Update and has started rolling PR updates in Google Toolbar. While digging into the websites, we found that the page rank on few of the websites has been increased significantly. The update has been found today itself so we can predict that this update will be continued for 3 days as within 3 days all the updates gets completed by Google. We are happy to see increase in Page Rank in few of our websites.

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  • Comments Off on Google has started Updating Page Rank, Go and Check your website now!
  • Posted under Google, Search Engine

According to a recent international survey of 2,200 mothers, 81% of children under the age of two currently have some form of online presence — ranging from photos uploaded and shared by their parents, to a full-fledged profile on a social networking site. A full 92% of children in the U.S. have an online presence by the time they are two, compared to 73% in western Europe.

The study, which was conducted by Internet () security firm AVG, found that nearly one in four children have an online presence before they are even born. On average, 23% of parents share images from prenatal sonograms on the web; a full third do so in the U.S. The practice is even more common in Canada (37%), and significantly less popular in western Europe (13-15%) and Japan (14%).
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After birth, 7% of babies and toddlers have an e-mail address created for them (12% in Spain), and 5% have their own profile on a social network.

When asked why they were inspired to post images of their infants online, more than 70% of parents said it was because they wanted to share them with friends and family; 22% of mothers said they wanted to expand the content on their social networking profiles, while 18% admitted they were merely mimicking their peers. Few (3.5%) expressed concern about the amount of information that would be available about their children in future years.

AVG CEO J.R. Smith said he found it “shocking” that most 30-year-olds have an “online footprint stretching back 10 to 15 years at most, while the vast majority of children today will have online presence by the time they are two years old — a presence that will continue to build throughout their whole lives.”

He cautions parents to think about the kinds of information they upload about their children to the web, since that content “will follow him or her for the rest of their life.”

Personally, I’m grateful that my parents weren’t able to chronicle my childhood online. It’s infinitely reassuring to know that home videos of spaghetti-eating and squabbling with my little sister are safely stored not in the Google ()-optimized archives of YouTube () but in obsolete videocasettes, where they belong.

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The phrase “Google it” is getting a whole new meaning today; the search giant has just released its goo.gl URL shortener to the public and created a standalone website so that anyone can use Google to shorten and track the URLs they share via social media sites and e-mail.

Goo.gl initially debuted last December as a feature integrated into other Google products. Google’s newly public URL shortener competes with a myriad of other popular services, Bit.ly being the most notable of the bunch.

The company claims that its shortener boasts stability, security and speed. The former two are especially important as several other services have been plagued by both downtime and malicious parties masking deceptive links. Goo.gl features automatic spam detection, and “near 100% uptime since our initial launch,” according to the company’s announcement.

The product also comes with expected URL-tracking features. As a goo.gl user, you can log in to your Google account to view URL history, traffic sources, referrers and visitor profiles for countries, browsers and platforms.

Google is known to hide bonus easter egg features in its products, and goo.gl is no different. Earlier today, Google engineer Matt Cutts tweeted one such easter egg — add .qr to a shortened goo.gl URL and you’ll create a QR code that, when scanned, will redirect to the original URL. It’s a quirky additive that makes goo.gl all the more friendly for brands and marketers experimenting with QR codes. A Twitter tipster also informed us that you can add .info to the goo.gl URL to check out analytics.

As for why Google is going public with goo.gl, it’s anybody’s guess. Initially, goo.gl was designed because the company didn’t want to rely on other URL shorteners for the same purpose. Our guess is that it’s another small part to the much speculated about social strategy. After all, Google is the business of URLs, and URLs are the fabric of the social web. What’s your take? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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More details have emerged about Facebook’s plans to launch a smart phone, with reports that the social networking site is working with handset maker INQ Mobile. Bloomberg writes that INQ could launch two Facebook smart phones in Europe in the first half of 2011, followed by the United States later in the year.
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Bloomberg’s sources indicate the phones might be branded AT&T in the U.S. although the carrier is still considering whether to carry the phones. It’s understood they would run on Google’s Android mobile operating system and may not carry Facebook branding.

Mobile is increasingly important to Facebook, with about one in four of the 500 million users already logging into the site while on the move. That number will likely continue to grow as smart phones become more widespread and location check-in services such as Places take off. It’s also important for Facebook from a revenue perspective that mobile game players can buy the Facebook Credits virtual currency with the phones to support their game habit on the go.

I don’t think a Facebook-branded mobile phone makes a whole lot of sense. The company is known for its services not actual gadgets so it would confuse the brand message to launch its own phones. (However, I would have said the same thing about branding phones with the name of the phone network and that practice seems relatively common).

The best scenario for Facebook would be if all smart phones – whether Android, Apple’s iPhone or Blackberry – ran the social networking site smoothly. Since Facebook is unlikely to be allowed input into either the iPhone or Blackberry, it makes sense for it to work with Android developers to ensure that it gets the features it wants.

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If ever a trailer did not depict what a movie is actually about it’s this trailer for Universal Pictures’ “Catfish”, a movie about Facebook the subject matter of which could not be further from that other movie about Facebook. I’d like to use this sentence to say “Spoiler Alert” about fifteen times because the next couple paragraphs are going to be full of them.

If you hate spoilers do yourself a favor and stop reading now. That said, the following exposition shouldn’t prevent you from seeing the movie, I’ve seen it twice and enjoyed both times.

“Catfish” is a movie about Nev Schulman, a 24-year-old New York photographer and his relationship with Abby Pierce, an eight-year-old girl and her 19-year-old sister Megan Faccio whom he meets on Facebook in 2007. I’m sure all of you can see this coming, but Megan isn’t who she claims to be and neither is Abby. Nev and Ariel Schulman, Henry Joost and the viewer get taken for a wild and well-documented ride, especially for the last 40 minutes of the movie.

In summary Megan and a bunch of other Facebook identities are characters invented by artistAngela Wesselman’s imagination, as Wesselman is trapped in Michigan taking care of two disabled children and has no outlets for creative expression other than her paintings — which she ships to Nev Schulman under the guise of them being her (real) daughter Abby’s — and her elaborate storytelling on Facebook. “Scam is not the word,” say the filmmakers regarding Wesselman’s bait and switch.

Plot twists aside, the film uses social networking and other tropes unique to the Internet age such as Google Maps, “sexting” and Photoshop in order to give a richer view of the emotional narrative, as Nev Schulman and Angela/Megan’s digital courtship drags on for eight months of phone calls, MP3 exchanges and even Facebook wall “infighting” among the various imaginary members of the Pierce family. At some point Schulman sends Megan an IRL post card, and remarks how odd the act of sending snail mail is.

What’s the most interesting about the film is that Wesselman is a totally new kind of artist, creating a entire world for Nev through multiple fabricated online identities. When asked during a screening last week why he, as a self-proclaimed part of the “Google Generation” never bothered to Google search Abby Pierce or Angela Wesselman or Megan Faccio, Nev Schulman said he did and came up with nothing, not pushing it any further because wanted to believe.“There are plenty of people with no Google presence,” says Schulman. Heh

This ambiguity surrounding “Catfish” (including its bloody Catfish logo) has lead it to be the subject of many attacks most notably from Movieline in their post “Does Sundance Sensation Catfish Have A Truth Problem?” which asserts that both the Schulmans and Joost knew that Megan wasn’t who she said she was right from the beginning. As counter to this, filmaker Ariel Schulman revealed that the movie is not being marketed as a documentary because the “D-word” turns off younger viewers to whom he thinks the film would be most beneficial as a cautionary tale.

While some scenes from the movie tend to reinforce the “they knew the entire time”hypothesis (as does Schulman’s shit-eating grin throughout) the “whether or not any of the boys suspected it” issue is complicated and best left to individual viewer discretion.

What should remain with you after seeing “Catfish” is how convincing the Facebook soap opera Wesselman pulled off could be to someone yearning for a human connection, and also as a side note, that model Aimee Gonzales’ boyfriend, whose images Wesselman used to pull off the ruse, chided her shortly after hearing about her inadvertent role in the film, “See I told you you shouldn’t have put all those pictures online.”

Catfish hits theatres September 17th, one month before the more glamorous “The Social Network.” Both Wesselman and Nev Schulman are still friends on Facebook.

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Google doesn’t have a native app for Gmail on the iPhone. I know, it sucks. Thankfully, their mobile Safari-optimized version is pretty damn good. But it’s not perfect. And they’re working to make it better.

This morning, I loaded up the mobile version of the site on my iPhone as was greeted by a shiny new version. The entire look and feel has been mildly revamped: everything is a slightly darker blue hue, and the buttons are now more rounded. But more significantly, buttons have been shifted around — and one key one has been removed altogether.

As you can see in the screenshot, the new Gmail header bar now simply has a “Menu” and a larger “Compose” button alongside the unread count. Gone is both the search button and the reload button. This version wasn’t live long enough for me to check where search went, but I do know that it was auto-refreshing so the reload button was no longer necessary.

If added, this will be a very nice addition. Currently, you have hit the reload button to get new messages as they come in to your account on this mobile version. On the regular web version of Safari, obviously, this is not the case.

This alongside the new Push Notification-enabled version of the Google Mobile App for iPhone makes for a much better push experience with Gmail on the device.

Also new in this update to Gmail is a secondary bar below the main bar that contains the “Archive,” “More,” and “Delete” options. In the current version, these only appear as hover items when an individual message is selected.

We’re always experimenting with new products and ways to enhance and improve our current products. We don’t have any specific plans to share at this time,” is all a Google spokesperson will tell us about the changes.

Considering Google just updated the version of Gmail optimized for the iPad (though this is different looking from that), you can probably look for this revamp soon.

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On New Apple iPhone iOS4, Bing was added as an alternative for the default search engines, but in case when Google is the search engine and we try to browse on Bing or Yahoo is will prompt you to switch to one’s individual search engine!! And if you will click Okay, the switch will be happened in an instance.

How to switch?

When it comes to change search providers on the normal browser toolbars it is not as trouble-free but on iPhone it can happen without a user really thinking about it. Gaze below intensely:
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If you are using iPhone iOS4; go to Yahoo.com, perform some search; message prompt “Google is my current Search Provider”

Reflection

Apparently, A Yahoo representative told:

This is a Yahoo! Search feature, and not specific to the new iPhone OS. If you conduct a search on the iPhone/iPod through Yahoo!, and have another default search engine set on the browser, we’ll prompt the user to see if they’d like to make Yahoo! Search default. If the user selects no, they won’t see the message again.

This is something that was enabled on the iPhone in November of 2009; and tested it earlier in 2008/2009, and then re-enabled it after last year’s Yahoo! mobile homepage launch.

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