Google Making Street View Anonymous

In an attempt to protect the privacy of those who have been captured on Google Street View doing something embarrassing, Google has announced that they will be blurring out all faces in the service, along with license plate numbers. This will start when the Street View service launches in Europe and they have stated that they are thinking about doing the same with the U.S. version.

Google Street View Gif

That will take the fun out of sites like Street View Hotties. I guess I can make that kind of comment until I’m caught doing something embarrassing. What am I saying? I don’t do anything that could get me in trouble. Heh.

Flock: The Social Web Browser in Review

Anyone who uses the internet knows that social media is growing exponentially and can also be vital in bringing in new traffic to your website. Not to mention a great way to network. So anyway, Flock is a new social web browser and can be used as a regular browser if you want, but to get the most out of it, you need to use it for what it was created for. To connect everything you do in the world of social media.

Flock

Once you download the browser to your computer and open it up, you’ll be brought to a page called “My World.” Here you have a collection of all of your favorite sites, which already includes Myspace, Flickr, YouTube, and several more. Then there is a section for your feeds. This area is also pre-filled with several RSS feeds, mostly news related. The third section on this page is for your favorite media sites.

Flock Extensions

You can also add extensions. Most Firefox extensions seem to already work in Flock, but of course some don’t…yet. Just download your favorite extension and see if works. People are already creating Flock specific extensions, so you can be sure that your favorites will be included at some point.

Flock

One of the coolest features of Flock, is the ability to right click on a web page and select “Blog This” in the menu. A little editor will pop up that will give you the ability to type something up real quick, add tags, and preview your post. All you have to do is hit “Publish” and you can select from a drop down list of hosting services, which include sites such as Blogger, LiveJournal, and WordPress. When you are done, it will add your post directly to your blog and will take you to your site to preview it.

There is just so much stuff in this browser it can be a little daunting at first, but once you start poking around and checking things out, you can see just how useful this browser can be. Keep in mind that it is still in the very early stages of development, but I seriously recommend trying it out now and watching it grow more and more useful.

Private Domain Registration Is Ok In Googles Eyes

It has been debated that private domain registration may affect your ability to rank in the search engines, due to the fact that you may be a spammer and might be trying to hide something. Many people won’t do it because they think that if you are a legitimate business, you don’t have anything that needs to be hidden from prying eyes.

Well, if you take a look at the signup page for Google Apps, one of their bullet points mentions that they will give you private domain registration to protect you from spam at no extra cost.

So basically, Google thinks that private domain registration is ok. By the way, I’ve used Google Apps domain service, and I think it’s absolutely horrible. No freedom and customer service is non-existant, at least for me it was.

What Are Meta Tags?

If you look at the source code of a page on someone’s website, you’ll likely see the title tag <title></title> and <meta> directly below that. Of course the title is extremely important, but just how important are the meta tags? Most meta tags are useless actually. The only two that I actually use are the “keywords” and “description” tags. Many people believe other meta tags are important but testing has proven that they don’t do anything to help your website. Here is the basic template that I use:

<head>
<title>Enter Page Title Here</title>
<meta name=”description” content=”This shows up in the search engine listings. Catch the searchers attention.” />
<meta name=”keywords” content=”Keyword, Keywords, etc.” />
</head>

Even the keywords tag isn’t very important, but it doesn’t hurt. What you really want to do with the “keywords” tag is place just a few keywords in there. They should be related to what is actually on that page also. Don’t stuff the “keywords” tag with a whole slew of keywords or you just may set off a red light to the search engines and get your site penalized or even worse, banned.

The reason that the “Description” tag is important is because what you place here is what will usually show up as the description of your listing in the search results. If you do a web search for “video games,” you will get 10 results back. You get whatever the title <title> of the page is and the description <meta name=”description> of the page. This is your chance to suck in those customers. Use something catchy or interesting. Make sure that those searchers know that you have what they are looking for. It would probably not be wise to use salesy talk or something like “Free! Free! Free!.” Searchers will just suspect that your site is most likely spam and skip right over it and end up going to your competitor.

Experiment with your tags and find out the best copy that results in click-throughs. The <title> tag is not a part of the meta tags but most people include it, so one last thing you should know is that, in my opinion, changing the <title> tags are NOT usually a good idea, so try to get that one right the first time. There you have it. Now you know what meta tags are.

How to SEO a Website

Do you know how to optimize a web site for the search engines? Or do you even know what Search Engine Optimization is for that matter? If you don’t know what search engine optimization is, the basic definition is that SEO is the process of improving the quality of traffic and the website’s prominence in the search engines via “organic” or natural and free listings.

People often think of SEO as just tossing keywords into each page and calling it a night. Sorry folks, but this just isn’t the way it works.

A lot of time and thought goes into the process. This is what I consider SEO:

  • Site structure review
  • Fix Technical Issues that may hinder SEO success
  • Competitor analysis
  • Keyword Research
  • Content Creation
  • On-Page Implementation
  • Internal Linking
  • Link Building
  • Analytics Review

These are all things that are very important if you want your site to be successful. I’ll be explaining all of these things in upcoming posts so stick around, and you’ll soon be optimizing sites like a pro.