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Showing posts from August, 2010

1 Million Gmail Calls the First Day

If you remember in the earlier blog, we have mentioned about how you can make calls from your Gmail account now. The fact is that people out there are making these calls, and they are making it big!. What Google Wave and Google Buzz couldn’t do, this new feature has made up for in more ways than one!

Google has received a big victory when a million calls were placed from Gmail on the first day itself. Now, the search giant seems very pleased with the figure rising.

This service allow the users to make free calls to the US, Canada and calls to other international regions come very cheap. Here, Gmail is used as an interface and it can integrate optionally with Google Voice to receive calls.

In US, a number of calls were made when this new feature was activated initially. This rise has indicated that a sizable number of Gmail users have given it at least a try.

Some people have appreciated the efforts made by Google. They have shown their delight over the ease of use and the affordability of…

Google Acquires Angstro

Google announced on Sunday that they have acquired start up Angstro as a part of their effort to build a powerful social networking service which effectively competes with Facebook.

Google has been hysterical over the past few months trying to compete with the social networking giant Facebook. They have been purchasing a plethora of services and sites for the past months to win over Facebook.

Earlier this year, Google had purchased the social gaming site, Slide and recruited its founder Max Levchin as VP of engineering for the social network efforts.

The search giant had also invested $150 million in Zynga, a social gaming network. They are targeting to win over the user with games just like Facebook is using games to retain their users.

Google new social networking venture, ‘Google Me’ is still in a stealth mode and Google is strictly guarding its privacy over this.

It’s no secret that Google has been on its toes to do everything in their power to overthrow Facebook but till now their eff…

Now making and receiving calls in Gmail is Possible

You can make a phone communication from Google Voice. You can make and receive calls on any of your existing phones. But now you will be able to make or receive calls from your computer using Gmail.

You can use Gmail to make or receive Google Voice calls. To get started you can check the box which is next to Google chat in the list of forwarding phones and when someone tries to call you on your Gmail Voice number. Gmail will notify the user of any incoming calls. Calling or even listening in when a caller leaves a message is all done in a single step from the computer.

If you want to make a call in Gmail, you can do it by clicking on the Call phone link and enter any name and number from the address book. While making calls from Gmail, the Google Voice phone number will be displayed as the outbound caller ID and your Google Voice calling credit will be used by international calls and the same low Google Voice rates will be charged. If you are not familiar with international rates, you c…

Google Buys Like.com

Looks like Google has started its shopping spree again! This time they have bought the visual search engine for retailers, Like.com for an estimated $100 million.

This deal came years after rumors about Google’s interest in acquiring Like.com, previously known as Riya. This new addition will increase Google’s shopping search functions and services.

Like.com’s CEO had announced that they are joining Google to super-size their vision and super-change their passion.

Like.com uses machine learning and computer vision technology which gives the users a visual search engine focused on products. Rather than serving as a catalog for the users, it tries to identify the characteristics that will drive user interest.

This visual search engine uses its advanced technology to identify what likes and dislikes a person has and serves up to a specific category to match with the interest.

Like when a person types a certain color or pattern, the visual search engine will serve up all such items.

Like.com, al…

Bing Powering Yahoo Searches

If you search in Yahoo, you will find no difference except just three words at the bottom of the page - “Powered By Bing”.

It’s been nearly 13 months after Microsoft and Yahoo announced their plans to collaborate in hopes to challenge Google’s market dominance. They have also announced that all Yahoo English language searches made in the US and Canada will result in Bing’s search engine.

The two companies are also trying to complete the paid search transition, text advertising links which run beside and above the standard results before the make or break holiday period.

Now nearly 30% of US searches are made from Yahoo sites or from Bing and it seems the clock has starting ticking to compete with Google in a way which they could not do individually. The search result that both search engines have achieved is a big milestone in this search industry.

Yahoo has dismissed the rumor that it is no longer a search engine. They said that the money it will save by outsourcing the big computer in…

3 Facebook Limitations Marketers Should Know

Everyone knows Facebook is a great marketing tool, but there are certain limitations that you should be aware of before you move on to take advantage of the platform.

As you know it does have a limitation of restricting the friend limit to 5000 but there are also few lesser known limits. The three lesser known, yet important limitations are listed below:

1.500 liked Page Limit: If you feel you should ‘like’ each page shared, you may be disappointed to know that you can’t do that for more than 500 pages. This means, you have to be very selective of what you ‘like’.

2.5000 Group Limit: In Facebook, you can stay in touch with your followers and message all members all at once and the message will be delivered in the members’ Facebook inboxes, which will be more visible and you can even invite all members in bulk to an event. However, you won’t be able to enjoy this advantage once your group gets popular or once your group reaches 5000 members. You won’t be able to invite members of a host g…

A New Kind of Search by Google that delivers as you Type

It has always been a constant battle for the search engine giants to compete with their search capabilities. Google, Yahoo and Bing search engines are trying different innovative search capabilities to make their users stick on. If you see, the searches are now becoming quicker and saving you lots of time.

Google had earlier made some changes in their search engine to make the user searches even better. You can filter your searches with the help of the left menu. This has earned them a lot of applaud from the users.

Google loves to experiment with new ideas for their users and now they are developing a new kind of search that delivers results instantly as users type the letters.

When the new experiment was found out, Google confirmed that it was real. This new search capability, if launched as a standard part of the search engine, will boost their user friendliness even more. This will help users save time as if the search is shown instantly and click upon. When you type the letters, you…

One Domain Dominating Google Search Results

It is not known whether it is a test or a bug, but recently Google has allowed a single domain to dominate the first page of the search results on some brand related searches. The domain of course is a well known brand, ‘Apple’.

In the result page, seven out of the 10 natural search results came from apple.com. Some news and shopping results were mixed in and the 8 to 10 spots were occupied by other sites.

But this occurrence of so many results occupied by a single domain is something new. The same result appears to take place when you search on other brand related searches and it doesn’t happen with other brand searches not related to Apple.

If you remember, just a couple weeks ago, Peter Norvig of Google had specifically talked about the need for diversity in search results. However, Google is keeping mum about this case.

This patent may mean that the search engine giant recognizes when a search query, which involves a particular entity and again if the entity is associated with a speci…

Yahoo Search Engine Gaining Market Share

The war between Google, Yahoo and Bing has become increasingly interesting with the passing of the days. Yahoo! Inc.’s search engine has gained U.S. market share according to a survey done last month and Google Inc. has lost ground.

Yahoo currently ranking second had 17.1% of searches, a good raise from 16.7% in June. While Google fell to 65.8% from 66.2% while Bing’s share remained unchanged.

Yahoo and Microsoft are teaming up under a 10 year agreement to expand their search based advertising revenue and to take on Google. As per the deal, Yahoo plans to use the search technology of Bing on its sites.

The results shown in July has a new category called the “explicit core search”, which tracks the users who retrieve search results. Bing and Yahoo have gained share in recent months from clicks on contextual searches.

The US search ad market is estimated to grow to 16% this year, while the overall online advertising market may expand to 11%.

Yahoo will start the procedure of transitioning Mi…

Google First in Sign-In Wars With Facebook Close Behind

The sign-in wars have been won by Google with a maximum number of web users preferring to log in with Google account, but Facebook is just a close second threatening to throw Google off the track, according to one survey.

Google and Facebook are the two winners in this competition much ahead of Twitter. Microsoft’s Windows Live, which has been for years designed to be one sign in solution, long before Facebook was born, only had a meager portion of log in activity. While MySpace, AOL and LinkedIn make it up to the list with few percentages.

Google is winning the Sign in battle but there are different surveys which tell a different story. According to one survey, Facebook was holding the number one position with about 46 % of logins while Google held the second with 18%.

In another survey, Yahoo lead the competition with 34% of logins to news and media-related sites, Facebook in second with 28% and Google on third with 25% and AOL with only 10%.

Though the surveys show different figures, F…

Facebook Marketing – It’s More than just a Fan Count

Online marketers can go to any extent to attract audiences, and they will go to just about any place where people gather in large numbers. A great place where they can find groups of potential customers is the social media platform. The marketing venture in this platform is quite promising and it is now one of the most cost effective and reliable forms of promoting businesses online. For instance, on Facebook, online business owners are floating to attract more traffic.

However, a common trend that we see today is that promotion companies are running around concocting new ways to get new fans. One popular strategy they adopt to achieve this is to give away discounts or prizes once the fan counts reach a certain limit. But, what really happens at later stages? Will they stick around after wards? This is a problem that most marketers face in most Facebook marketing campaigns today.

Facebook marketing is more than increasing the fan count. In SEO, you need more than just the ranking to mak…

China Mobile, Xinhua Developing New Search Engine

China’s biggest cell phone carrier, China Mobile and their news agency, Xinhua, have signed an agreement to establish a new Internet search engine and an international media company, the Search Engine New Media International Communications Co.

Though it has not been made cleared whether this venture applies only for mobile search or whether the traditional search engine will be included.

420 million Internet users reside in China only and along with that there is an additional 800 million mobile phone subscribers. Baidu, China’s online search market is dominating the nation controlling 70% of the market share in the nation. Even Google has not been able to extract more. It ranks second and it has fallen down to 24.2% from 30.9% in the 1st quarter.

Baidu also leads in the mobile search followed by Easou, which is a WAP based mobile search collaborating with Chinese Web portal Sohu.com and Google at third place.

Google had already pulled out of China after complaining about online attacks, …

Mobile E-commerce May Jump by 2015

According to some studies, it has been predicted that the mobile e-commerce sales will be amount to 8.5% of all the e-commerce sales by 2015, within the United States. This will be a huge shift from today’s statistics, as mobile e-commerce only generates 2% of the overall sales.

The main factors that are behind this big jump in the mobile e-commerce sales will be that there are going to be lots of improvements in the smart phone technology and it can be used along with the mobile applications that allow for bar coding scanning.

There are around 800 million smart phones in the world as compared to the 1.3 billion computers. By 2016, it is estimated that there will be around 2 billion smart phones circulating and 2.5 billion computers. This will help mobiles drive more e-commerce and sales towards the devices.

The mobile phone application technology is growing in leaps and bounds, and with the increasingly advanced applications available today, it can drive mobile e-commerce sales to its m…

New Mobile Ad Format now in Google Ad Words

Now AdWords advertisers have the option to create ads, which can be delivered through mobile devices. These ads can also be targeted to certain devices and if you want, you can select mobile carriers.

Google had launched a click to call ad format earlier this year in Beta, which can be location targeted to the mobile phones. Now, this is out of beta and it will be available to all in the coming weeks.

The ads will appear as a banner text ad with a business icon, which will expand to show the business location on a map. It will also be displayed along with a click to call the mentioned contact number and an ad creative.

This is great as you will be charged only when a user clicks on your ad if they are interested in your business. However, the price for the calls is yet to be confirmed. If you want to participate, you can follow the listed needs to be set up:

The ad campaigns must be opted into the Google Display Network.Location extensions must be set up and the business phone number and …

Google to drop the old Keyword Tool by month end

Google has posted in their Adwords blog that they are taking the new keyword tool out of beta. Now, they are saying their ‘new’ keyword tool, which basically has been there since September 2009 when Google phased out the old keyword tool for this new one.

The old keyword tool that is currently accessible will be available through the end of the month. From September 1, 2010 onwards, the old keyword will start redirecting to the new keyword tool. Google has also stated that they will give the updates once the switch happens and they will also drop the ‘beta’ label from the current tool.

Based on early feedback, Google has also added and removed some features. The new feature includes removing duplicate keywords as well as negative keywords and other additions.

The new keyword tool has got numerous benefits over the old one. It offers flexible search options like search by any keyword combination, category, website/URL and receive one set of results. It also offers easy filter results eith…

Video Sitemaps Errors added to Google Webmaster Tools

Google has been focusing a lot on videos and videos sitemaps lately. They have also announced that they will be putting their efforts on this venture over the rest of this year. SEO have also been recommended to focus a bit more on the video sitemap efforts due to this change.

Now, over this weekend Google has added a Video Sitemaps section under the “Lab” section of Google Webmaster Tools. When users will access it, it will show or tell as:

“Video Sitemaps Errors. We are constantly updating our data, so please keep checking back with us to make sure your sitemaps are healthy.”

Though, more details cannot be pointed out as of now, if Google has added a special Video Sitemap page, then it must be for some reason. But we can tell a bit about what might happen in the future. For instance, video Sitemaps will become more and more important and something different will be displayed here as compared to the Sitemaps section under the Site configuration.

Google Acquired Slide

Google announced that they have acquired Slide, a social technology company who has made innovative ways to help people connect with others across various platforms online.

As for Google, the web is all about people and they are working to develop interesting, transparent and open ways to allow users to take full advantage of technology and see how it can bring them closer to their friends and family and offer useful information just for them.

Already, Slide has created powerful social experiences for millions of people across various platforms. They have built some strong social elements into products such as Docs, Blogger, YouTube, Gmail and Picasa. Now as the team of Slide is joining Google, they are now investing more to make Google services socially aware and to expand their capabilities for their users across the web.

With the skyrocketing popularity of Facebook, it seems Google has been searching hard for ways to make their products more fun and collaborative.

Google had also annou…

Google Launching Small Business Blog

Now, Google is giving small to mid-sized business owners an increased chance to grow their business online. Those businesses without big IT budgets try to make the most of the free email, software and web services which are available on the Internet. Small businesses and real life entrepreneurs can fuel their success using Google tools. Online resources like Google Apps, Google AdWords, YouTube and Google Places have the capability to boost the online marketing efforts.

Google is targeting small businesses with its free online services with the introduction of its new Google Small Business Blog. This new addition will focus on how the small businesses can leverage Google’s online tools. Small to medium size businesses are always eager to learn about the latest and most innovative web tools and tricks.

This new business blog will serve as a platform where businesses can find information about the tools such as Place Pages, Adwords advertising tools, gmail and templates to create video a…

Google Halts Wave

When news about Google’s Wave came rippling through, we all thought it was their most prominent new innovation, but it turns out to be their biggest flop.

Google has announced that they are going to halt the development of Google Wave, the real time collaboration tool designed to be a cross between group chat, email and instant message. Google Senior Vice President of Operations, Urs Hölzle, posted on Google Blog on Wednesday, “We don’t plan to continue developing Wave as a standalone product.”

The main reason for this abortion is the slow user adoption. They will still support Wave through the year ending but after that the product will be slowly phased out.

Wave was unveiled in May 2009 at Google I/O, the yearly developer conference of the company. Developers were quite excited about this new service. With several new technologies incorporated, which pushed the boundary simultaneously of what was possible in the browser based apps and tapped into real real time communication boosted b…

New Search History Link Introduced in Google

You may have visited many websites in a day and sometimes it happens that going back to a site may be a bit difficult as we don’t remember all of them. But, it can be quite frustrating if that is hindering your search.

Now, a new history feature has been introduced which will help users get back to the sites which they have been to recently, and see the items they have starred from Iphone, Android or desktop searches. You can just sign in and click on the history link at the Google homepage bottom.

Enabling the search history in an account, you will be able to see the history of all the searches while you sign in from anywhere. In the mobile searches, a little phone icon is used to mark, which tells them apart. If you search from a laptop or desktop, you will be able to see screen-shot thumbnails that will help you recognize and visit the site again quickly. You can also remove any history item, there is an “Edit” button at the page top and you can delete individual queries. In case, yo…

Is Bing More Innovative than Google

Bing has been enjoying huge applause from many of its search engine users. Surprisingly, Bing has been moving so fast and becoming more innovative that even Google is trying to catch up with them.

Google is considered the smartest and most innovative search giant in the world, what with their home page loading faster than any one else's and their simple white background. Bing on the other hand was launched with a colorful, photography driven background design.

It is undeniable that Bing’s colorful look became more popular and with that Google also launched a feature that enables their users to make the search engine home page look more colorful. They even replaced their default background with a picture to mimic Bing’s look. After their users howled over the matter, they changed back to their original plain white look.

This action shows that Google is feeling the pressure that Microsoft is giving them. Microsoft has also tried to pursue search from different angles than that of Googl…

Bing and Google Racing for Search Features

Most of Google’s loyal users have recently made a shift to Bing. Though they still use Google as their main search tool, they also find themselves navigating to Bing for certain tasks.

Bing is certainly new to the search industry and they have been handling a small percent of web searches as compared to Google. But, we do see a gradual increase in their share while Google’s has been shrinking.

No doubt, Google is still the search king, but they are keeping a close watch over Bing and mimicking some of their innovations. This has resulted in enhancing their search features and giving their users more sophisticated tools for search.

Competing with Google seemed an impossible task as they have been dominating the search industry with a staggering high percent, higher than putting together all search engines’ search percent. But now, there is a surprising twist in the competition with Bing giving Google a run for their money. They have introduced some great features, impressing analysts. The…