Guest blogging network PostJoint Confirms Google Penalty

This time it is PostJoint- the second guest blog network after MyBlogGuest has been penalized for distributing paid guest posts. Matt Cutts confirmed on twitter that Google has taken manual action against PostJoint who claims to have zero footprints.

postjoint

In his tweet, Matt Cutts writes “any link or guest blog network that claims to have “zero footprints” is waving a giant red flag.”

PostJoint has confirmed the penalty, and explained it as a manual penalty.  Though there is no confirmation yet, it is believed that blogs participated in the PostJoint network are also penalized, just as the ones involved in MyBlogGuest.

Bing’s Homepage Is Getting Smarter, All Thanks To Cortana

Microsoft has made Bing homepage more personal ahead of its Cortana launch. In a bid to make Bing’s homepage smarter, Microsoft has rolled out personalized information cards like Google.

Microsoft had announced this new feature from the start of April but it was available to its worldwide users on Wednesday.

Bing’s homepage personalization shows a series of thumbnails that is designed to suit your interests across the bottom area in the landing page. There is a star in front of each personalized thumbnail. This new feature came out just ahead of Microsoft’s launch of Cortana which is Microsoft’s first voice activated digital assistant.

Bing

The personalized cards on Bing’s homepage will help its users to keep track of their interests like weather, stocks or other news.

You have to simply sign in to your Microsoft account and set up your interests in the settings of Bing to have the Cortana IQ remember your interest items. And then, Bing will let you know whenever a change occurs in your selected items as long as you stay signed in.

The personalized cards will appear on Bing.com homepage, Cortana for Windows Phone 8.1 users along with all other Bing-powered apps on different mobile devices and Windows 8.

Cortana is just like Google’s Now, the only difference being that Cortana asks the user to set up their interests before it starts working but with Google’s Now, it just starts working once you authorize it.

Cortana is designed to be like your own personal assistant who first understands your interests, build a relationship based on that and then finally gets smarter over time by constantly interacting with you and tallying your interests accordingly.

You can personalize the Bing’s homepage by setting up your own interests and receiving updates accordingly.

Basically, Cortana understands your interest from your viewing habits and the settings, searches for you and filter out the unimportant stuff that doesn’t matter to you so that you can stay updated on things you like.

Before developing Cortana, Microsoft actually talked to many personal assistants to understand their job description and design the software accordingly to work in the most efficient manner.

Google’s New Search Layout Blends Paid Ads with Organic Search Results

Are you experiencing a little difficulty in blocking out ads even if, you have adblock installed on your browser?

Are you getting confused in differentiating your search results with those constant pestering ads, when you search in Google?

Don’t worry. Your adblock is working just fine. It is Google who has made these tweaking to its all new search layout.

Google has been one of those companies who have constantly made changes even in its most successful of products. Recently, the Internet giant led out a new search layout showing paid ads with the real search results without any distinction. This new layout has already gone viral.

Google’s New Search Layout

Earlier, Google displayed its paid ads with a yellow colored background with your search results directly below them. This way, you could distinguish the ads from the search results and proceed without any difficulty.

The new search layout shows the paid ads with a yellow ad button right next to each link, instead of distinguishing them with a colored background. The search results follow directly behind them making it difficult for the users to tell the difference at first glance. 

The sidebar of paid results similarly displays a yellow ad button next to it. Just a plain simple line separates the paid search results from the organic ones.

Okay, this might seem like a bit of a stretch, but it looks like Google has intentionally designed this new layout so that the users mistakenly click on the ads because they couldn’t tell the difference. Without the distinctive color background, Google has made it difficult for the users who are always in a hurry!

Another distinct change is that Google has removed the underlines from both paid and organic result links. An increase in the font size of the titles has led to lesser characters which imply that you have to revisit your title tags. This means extra hard work for businesses to rework their titles so that their titles don’t appear poorly incomplete which could impact the click-through rate and ultimately their business.

The new layout has surely affected the SEO world in a much more definitive way. The black text has also been changed into a gray text which hasn’t met well with most of the users.

This new layout is all part of an ongoing test that has been happening since last year. Google users worldwide aren’t too happy about these changes as it makes it nearly impossible to differentiate between the paid results and the organic ones. But, despite these poor reviews, word is that this new layout is here to stay for a long run.

Google believes that this new layout offers better readability and a more defined look for their search result pages. This layout in fact makes the desktop users more comfortable with their searching as they did earlier with their mobile and tablet users. They also thought of creating a more consistent look for all platforms included (desktop, mobile, tablet).

According to Google, the new layout actually makes way for a much cleaner look for the users to get what they want. Having a uniform layout in all platforms also makes it easier for Google to manage all the changes from a single board.

But, Google users have been anything, but happy. Searchers feel like they have gone back to those old times when the search engine results looked somewhat like this. Some users have also complained that this layout with its increased font size is even harder to read on desktops.

The reviews haven’t been so good ad there is no dearth of upset searchers as many even thought at first that they were victims of Google spoofing when they first saw the changed search results.

The new layout may result in increased paid clicks but it certainly seems to have come on the price of loss of Google’s users’ trust. 

AOL Joins the Race; Focus Is On Becoming a Video-Ad Powerhouse

Tuesday saw AOL reformatting its website, launching a premium video experience for its customers worldwide. The company took this step after it admitted the ongoing demand for watching online videos among people. Last month AOL customers watched 158 million videos and this encouraged the company to focus on becoming a video-ad powerhouse.

AOL.com, the online media company decided to highlight the videos from its content partners as it is accepting the fact that video ads are in vogue. Online video advertising is undeniably the fastest growing sector of the ad world on the Internet.

AOL’s CEO Tim Armstrong, Google’s Ex Advertising Head, intends his company to become the undisputed king of online video advertising. AOL’s video service launch provides enough meat for the users with the power of a time centric programming strategy and scaled online videos.

Last year, AOL’s CEO Tim Armstrong bought Adap.tv, the video ad technology company making inroads for some success as AOL surpassed Google at the ComScore rankings to be in the Internet’s top video-ad properties.

People love watching videos that are current, specific, informative and entertaining and AOL has decided to draw in more users from this single strength of video advertising. The online video service provided by AOL will be programmed dynamically based on the daily video viewing habits of AOL.com’s audience.

Relying on its content partners like the ESPN, Conde Nast Entertainment, The Wall Street Journal, etc AOL will constantly add rich new video content for its users. AOL will also feature content from its subsidiaries like the Huffington post and Engadget.

AOL stocks were inactive for the most part of the day as they fell by 1% before closing on Monday. Not long ago, AOL was precariously teetering along the edge with a moderate stock and market performance. Its attempt to claw in Internet authority by asserting itself into the online video advertising sector makes AOL join the race of thousands to provide exclusive, unique online video content.

Twitter.com: Real-Time Notifications for its users

This week, twitter is to roll out an interactive and real-time notification alert for the users for any engagement to their account.  So now you will receive any real-time alert to every engagement to your tweets such as replies, favorite, or retweets. These notifications will be different from the others that you receive via email or the mobile apps.

Twitter.com: Real-Time Notifications for its users

Including the replies and retweets, a user will also receive the alerts for new follower and direct message. But to get notifications you have to change the current notification setting and chose which notifications you want to see.

The company is working on a wide array of features that are expected to come handy for its users

Google to Block Paid Search Keyword Data

As expected, to keep Google searches secure yesterday the search giant announced that they are no more offering the paid search keywords data for the advertisers. But Adwords & Webmaster will keep their keywords data and advertisers are still be able to access the detailed search terms report in AdWords and Search Queries report in Webmaster tool.

paid search keyword data

In a blog post, Google announced “Today, we are extending our efforts to keep search secure by removing the query from the referrer on ad clicks originating from SSL searches on Google.com.”

The result will be hardly affect to the direct Adwords users but the third party Google partners have to make changes to their systems and operations. Until now, AdWords advertisers had full access to keyword data, whether it’s through Google itself or through one of the third party tools using the API for this data.

New Twitter layout :Twitter Rolling Out New Profile Design

The micro-blogging site Twitter has introduced a new design. The redesign includes elements that could remind one of Facebook, the Palo Alto based social networking giant. The previous layout was quite mundane comparing to the new layout.

There are five new features that come with the new layout. They are cover photo of larger size, pinned tweets, best tweets, filtering tweets and refurbished followers and following lists. These features are introduced to deliver improved user experience.

twitter new profile

The profile setup process is somewhat different from the previous process. When setting up his profile, a user would first have to post a profile pic and a description. If he skips uploading a photo, a default silhouette image will automatically become his profile picture.

When the user will land on the profile page, the profile picture will become larger in size. Also, he would be able to set a header theme. The header theme is similar to background  image in Facebook. User could select a header theme from Twitter’s stockpile or upload a theme of their own. Width of the header theme couldn’t be more than 1500 pixels.

The following list is no longer a list in the new layout. It mimics the Pinterest style pinboard. Recommendations on who to follow and Trends have been placed in the lower right navigation. If a user visits someone else’s profile page, he could see ‘Tweet to’ box feature which resembles Facebook Message.

The Pinned tweets feature allows Tweets to appear on a user’s wall just like a Facebook status update. Users will have control over this as they could select which tweet they want to be featured on their profile page.

Tweets which will receive most engagement will appear on the profile page as the best tweet. When first posted, the tweet will be of normal size; as more retweets or more conversastions take place, the font size of the tweet will automatically increase so the particular tweet stands out in the stream.

Users could filter tweets through options such as Tweets, Tweets and Replies and Tweets with Photos and Videos. This will help users to browse through galore of tweets and look up for selective tweets.

The new Twitter profile layout will be started to roll out to existing users from the next week. Twitter’s official blog indicates that new users will see the new layout immediately.

Universal Analytics Out Of Beta – Google Analytics Update

First offered in October 2012, Google Universal Analytics is now out of beta. All the reports, features, and tools are now a part of Universal Analytics with re-marketing and audience report, which is as robust as the classic Google analytics. “Universal Analytics is now out of its beta stage and available for everyone”, Google announced.

According to the announcement:

“Universal Analytics is the re-imagining of Google Analytics for today’s multi-screen, multi-device world and all the measurement challenges that come with it… Today we’re happy to finally announce: Universal Analytics is out of beta and everyone can use it with the same robust set of features you’re used to with classic Analytics.”

cross device reports analytics

Also, as per service-level agreement, premium account holders will not see a change in their level of service or product features when they upgrade.

If you are using Google Analytics for your business, log in to your Google Analytics account today and upgrade it.

For more in-depth look and help topics you can log on to Universal Analytics Upgrade Center,

Econsultancy Nofollows All Its Links form Contributors

Until last week guest post was the most trusted method of link building a.k.a SEO and today it is in the death bed. Guest blogging is no safe for SEO.

Earlier last week when MyBlogGuest got penalized for a guest blogging, the industry was in panic and the result is Econsultancy now nofollows all the links form contributor & Guest posts.

No doubt Econsultancy is a respected internet marketing blog with high quality editorial content. But it seems as they say, they want to play it safe.

The debate on guest blogging will live on for some time now. Check out the conversation going on in Twitter about this change.

Google Unveils Gmail Shelfie Feature to Make Custom Themes Shareable

Google proves it once again that they are always one step ahead of other internet companies by introducing Gmail Shelfies on the April Fool’s Day. The concept behind Shelfie is quite enthralling as it is based on mockery of today’s self-obsessed netizens.

The word Shelfie is an acronym of shareable selfie. Internet users regularly post and share selfies on social networks. Last month when Ellen DeGeneres posted the Oscar night selfie on Twitter, it received a huge number of views within such a short time that the microblogging network’s server got jammed.

Google must have taken note of all these and thought of ridiculing the selfie culture. The gmail background is a custom theme; gmail shelfie makes it shareable with other gmail contacts. So one gmail user could view the custom theme of the other thanks to Shelfie.

On Wednesday, when users log on to their gmail accounts, they see an offer from Google which reads, “Introducing Shelfie: selfies with personality”. Below is the screenshot of the shelfie notification along with the image that popped in front of users;

Selfies are normally personalized. A selfie of a user conveys not just his expressions, liking and disliking, but also his personality traits. That’s why Greg Bullock of Google wrote in the company’s official blog that selfie custom themes are quite popular as they bring out personality traits of a user. With the new shelfie, Google believes the gmail custom theme feature would get even better as it eyes at increased personalization.

Bullock wrote in the blog, “As the pioneering platform for selfies, Gmail is committed to being at the forefront of innovation in the selfie space. And we think it’s a tragedy that your handsome hair, luscious lashes and beautiful brows have been trapped in your own inbox. Until now, that is. Today, we’re proud to free your selfies by launching Gmail Shelfie, the SHareable sELFIE.

The gmail shelfie in many ways resembles the custom caller tune feature, offered by telecom companies. A cellphone user could decide what tune/music his friends could listen to when they give him a call. In case of shelfie, sharing is required instead of calling.

Google has also announced (April Fool’s Day 2014)Pokemon challenge, another fun way to lampoon the Pokemon lovers. Google published a video that presents the challenge before users to find the best Pokemon master, hidden in Google Map.

Google called it the Pokemon master challenge.