Did You Like Google +1 on Facebook?

Facebook Like is for social sharing on Facebook. You like a page on a website, Facebook puts it on your profile page and your friends on Facebook check it out (maybe not). Though, Google +1 is slightly different. It is based on your Google profile. Whenever you make a search, you get a list of results and when you “+1″ one of those results, those in your social circle on Google also see those likes within their search. Is Google’s +1 any better than Facebook Like? Let us find out.
google-plus-1
Google has been showing social results within search for a long time now, and this is a step further towards making its search product more social. The social aspect here is not related to a social network, and seemingly, the +1 has that zing (think Buzz) to it that Facebook Like lacks. People arriving from Google search will bring in more organic traffic and will have more conversions into ads. This is an advantage over Facebook Like. Google has watched and learned from the failure of Buzz and from the success of Facebook Like. The +1 feature has a potential of topping Facebook Like.

This new +1 feature is also available for ads in Google Search, giving them the benefit of social sharing too. In addition to this, it is speculated that Google will use +1 to influence the ranking of your search results. All in all ,the +1 feature will be the most used addition to Google Search this year.

Check how Google explains the new +1 feature.

Google’s ISP Speed – 524 Mbps Download Speed, 147 Mbps Upload Speed

Google is known for it’s speed in search results. Not only are they blazing fast, they are literally there before you blink your eyes. In recent times, Google also took faster to a new level with .

Google ISP Speed

From this information it is easy to gauge that Google’s servers are powered by some really big servers who have an enormous bandwidth. But what about people working in Google’s offices? Do they have fast internet connections?

Well, yes. Let’s just call it blazing fast. Brad from The Next Web unearthed a speed test done by a Google employee on a Reddit QnA session by the team.

The speed test as you can see above is something unbelievable. Google offices in SFO have a download speed of 524Mbps and upload speed of 147.2 Mbps speed. Being in US, I am used to some high speed connections, but it does not come anywhere close to what Google has in it’s office. Also the speed test says that it is faster than 99% of US users, so are all the other 1% Google employees Smile.

The ISP that provides internet in Google offices, is Google themselves. I Bet the people who are going to get the Google ISP lines will be really happy about it.

Google Chrome 12 Released to Dev Channel; Adds Experimental New Tab Page, Multi-Tab Select

Google Chrome 12 (v12.0.712.0) has made it to the development channel from the Canary Build. The new version adds a few new features to the browser and contains more behind the scenes updates and code refactoring.

One of the new features in 12 is called multi-tab select (Windows only). This feature allows you to select multiple tabs using the Ctrl button and perform actions on them like reloading all webpages or closing tabs among other things. I tried working with this feature but could not use it very well.

chrome_12_new_tab_page_experimental

Another new feature available in this build is an experimental new tab page (through about:flags). The new experimental tab page adds a paged navigation for apps which will allow users to scroll through all the installed apps. It looks like it is more geared towards touch interfaces. However, this experimental new tab page is in its infancy stage and does not do much as of now.

Chrome 12 also has a new experimental feature called FPS counter which will display a page’s actual frame rate (FPS) when hardware acceleration is active. Other than that, the V8 engine has been updated to 3.2.3.1 in all versions of the browser.

Update: Google Chrome 12 also reverts back the new logo that was introduced earlier and switches back to the older one.

Google Looks to Curb Chrome’s Ballooning Installer Size, Constitutes Task Force to Reverse the Bloat

Three years ago, Google shook up the browser world by announcing Chrome. Since then, it has gone on to redefine what we expect from a modern web browser. Even if you are not a Chrome user, you are probably reaping the benefits of the innovations introduced by Google. Almost all browsers, including Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera and Safari, have adopted the minimalistic appearance introduced by Chrome.

Chrome, which started off as a bare-bones browser, has added a significant number of features to its repertoire over the past few years. However, the new features have come at a cost. As pointed out by Shankland, it has gone from being approximately 9 MB in version 1.0 to more than 26 MB in version 10.0.

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Google Chrome Installer Size (Chart by Shankland)

Chrome is currently smaller than Safari, which is a 34 MB download, but is doing a lot worse than Firefox and Opera. Firefox 4 is a 12 MB download, while Opera 11.10 Beta measures in at just 9 MB.

The increase in broadband penetration around the world means that download size is less of an issue than it was three years back. However, it’s still an issue. Opera recently changed its installer, and stopped bundling Unite extensions to reduce the download size. The chief disadvantages of having a large binary size pointed out by Chrome Developer Ian Fette are:

1. We do distribution deals with Chrome, where we bundle Chrome with other products. These get difficult when our binary grows.
2. We see increased download failures / install dropoffs as the binary grows, especially in countries with poor bandwidth like India. India also happens to be a very good market for Chrome (we have good market share there and growing), so that’s also very problematic.

One way to tackle the problem of failed installations would be to provide an offline installer, instead of the web-installer that Google currently serves by default. The other way is, of course, to reduce the download size. Google has decided to take the second route. It has launched a new task force that will aggressively look at options to reduce the installation size. While the Windows edition of Chrome is the primary focus of attention, Chrome for other platforms should also benefit from this move.

It would be irresponsible to dub Chrome as a bloat. Nevertheless, it’s true that the installer is larger than I would have preferred. It’s heartening to see that Google jumping in before the ballooning binary size became a serious issue. What is your thought on Chrome? Has it become too bloated? Don’t forget to let us know.

Google Funds Net Neutrality University Research at Georgia Tech

Google is all up in the battle against Government censorships and Internet throttling. Going a step further, it is funding research at one of the nation’s top research institute, Georgia Tech to create tools to detect the same.

google-funds-net-neutrality-research

(Image via: watblog)

Google has invested a whopping $1 million to the research and that amount of money will be enough to cover two years of research. The research aims to create services to check if the Government is tampering with the data people receive, whether ISPs are throttling their Internet speed and if there are other constrains laid down by their ISPs.

These tools are due to release as web-services in two years. However, what worries me is, why at all any Government will let Google run this tool in their county if they are already censoring the Internet. These tools are not enough unless people speak up for themselves and their rights.

Ars Technica writes,

The Tunisian government early this year added bits of code to Facebook login pages in order to capture user credentials.

Events like these are shocking to their core. However, once the Internet is already being censored in a country, and the ISPs are fine-tuned by the Government as it suits them, the reach of such a tool cannot be guaranteed. This kind of research can work only for countries only where there are well funded independent bodies, fighting for net neutrality.

Sprint Announces The Nexus S 4G; Also Integrates Google Voice Into Their Wireless Service

Sprint, Samsung and Google have teamed up to announce the 4G’ version of the Nexus S the Nexus S 4G.

The Nexus S 4G is totally identical to its T-Mobile sibling, which launched at the end of December last year, except for some minor changes. The handset is powered by a 1GHz Hummingbird processor and packs 512MB of RAM and 16GB of on-board storage. A PowerVR SGX540 handles the graphics department of the handset.

The handset sports a beautiful 4-inch Super-AMOLED curved display, dubbed as the Contour’ display with WVGA (800×480) resolution.   The phone also includes the usual GPS with A-GPS, Compass, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi b/g/n.

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The back of the phone sports a 5MP camera with an LED Flash, while there is a front facing camera for video calling as well. The Nexus S 4G also sports NFC capabilities.

As its name suggests, the Nexus S 4G supports Sprint’s 4G WiMAX network.

Being a Google branded handset, the Nexus S 4G runs on the latest version of Android without any skin – stock Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

Sprint has also gone ahead and integrated Google Voice. This means that users can now use their existing Sprint number as their Google Voice number. Sprint owners can know more about this here.

Google also announced that the Nexus S will start retailing in six more countries France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Romania, and Portugal.

Google Testing Google Analytics 5; Faster UI, Widgets and More

is one of the most used analytics software. Many websites use their analytics tool to learn more about their visitors, check their AdSense payments and more.

google_analytics

Google Analytics provides a comprehensive set of tools including heatmaps to check user clicks, ability to drill down AdSense payments by country and ability to track outbound links among other things.

The interface for Google Analytics is overwhelming for many users, and it has almost remained stagnant for the past few years. However, Google is now testing out a new version of Analytics, dubbed Google Analytics 5, which adds some much need features to the Analytics software.

According to an early beta tester AJ, Google Analytics 5 has some new features, which include but are not limited to:

  • New Home Section
  • New Dashboard
  • Widgets
  • Updated Custom Reporting Tool
  • New Admin Section
  • World Cloud Visualization
  • Goals as Events

I am pretty excited to see Widgets support in this version as it would allow me to add relevant sections of the reports and view them with a quick glance, rather than having to click on multiple links.

Google Analytics 5

I was able to get  a screenshot (click to enlarge) of the new analytics tool, courtesy @RonakBhagdev from http://www.greatestdesigns.net. As you can see from the screenshot above, the new interface is sleeker and add more widgets to the dashboard. Users will also be able to customize these widgets.

You can sign up to become a Beta tester of the new Google Analytics by visiting this page. Watch the video of the Google Analytics 5 in action in below. Click here if you can’t see it.

Facebook Comments Plugin Could Deprive Your Site Of Google SEO Juice

recently launched a new commenting system for websites and blogs which allowed website owners to add a commenting system to their blog posts.

No SEO Facebook Comments

The idea is very good considering that Facebook now has around 600 million users on the web and it would allow a user to comment with ease while allow them to also post those comments to Facebook itself. Facebook comments plugins also has a lot of other nice features like automatic plugin ratings based on likes and comments among other things.

However, the new Facebook commenting system also comes with a catch. The comments are only accessible to Facebook and cannot be indexed by Google or any other search engines for that matter.

Facebook Comments Bad for SEO and Webmasters

Commenting plays a big part on any blog allowing users to discuss a topic or add their own opinions to one. However, in addition to that comments are also a important part of SEO for a website, because they add value to it and Google often uses them while rating a webpage in their search results.

A very insightful post on Blind Five Year Old discusses this issue in depth and talks about how users comments are owned by Facebook. In fact I don’t think that even a webmaster has a way to export their comments from Facebook and integrate it in your own backend. This is a definite put-off for me since I would like to have control over data for my site.

Of course Facebook will more likely than not address these issues in the future, but it might take time. As of now, I feel that the Facebook comment plugin makes more sense on static websites which do not have a commenting system. I would definitely have loved to have tried out the Facebook comment plugins on the site, but these two pitfalls seem to be too big to ignore.

Do you use the Facebook comment plugin? Would you use it in future considering that you might lose out on Google rankings as well or not be able to re-import the comments to your blog? Do let me know through your comments.

Google Displaying Promoted Tweets on Real-time Search

Twitter has been in the news for all the wrong reasons this past week. After the #dickbar fiasco, and the recent update of the Twitter API terms to discourage developers from building new Twitter clients, Twitter, under the leadership of Dick Costolo, seems to be charging ahead to turn profitable, at least enough to justify its sky high valuation which recently jumped to $7.7 billion in a private auction.

Unlike Facebook, which seems to have found a way to make money without irritating its users, every time Twitter makes a move towards monetizing the millions of tweets its users create, somehow it always seems to rub off badly with either the users or the developers.

In its latest move, Twitter seems to have convinced Google to display promoted tweets in real-time search results. It seems like if you search for any keyword in Google for which a promoted tweet exists, the promoted tweet is display on top of the results, highlighted as “Ads by Twitter”. Twitter likely plans to jack up the price of Promoted Tweets based on how much additional traffic they gain from real-time search users.

Bing, Google’s closest competitor in the search space, isn’t displaying the promoted tweets in the real-time search results though. We wonder if this is because Google has only the Twitter firehose as a source for real-time search results, while Bing has access to both Twitter and Facebook data streams. Maybe, that’s how Twitter coerced Google into display promoted tweets in results. At this point, it’s still speculation though.

Google Promoted Tweets Ads by Twitter

Google Chrome 12 Now Available in Canary Build

Barely a few days after Google released the Google Chrome 10 to the stable channel. They have updated the Canary Build to Google Chrome 12. Chrome Development channel is still on 11 which means that it will get rolled out to other channels soon.

Google Chrome 12

The latest version has been bumped to 12.0.701.0 whereas the current development build is at version 11.0.696.3. I haven’t seen any new changes to the user interface or settings in this build, but I do know that there are some really big changes in them.

I will continue looking at what changes have been pushed to this build and will update this post with more information about them. One thing I am happy though is that couple of bugs I had reported have been fixed in this build.