See Who Linked to Your Website Recently in Google Webmaster Tools

In the past, we have told you about several tools which allow you to check the backlinks to your websites. However, Google has also been providing with a similar feature to check for links to your website in . The problem with the Google Webmaster Tools product was that it did not show you the dates for those links and you had to figure them out yourself.

Download Latest Backlinks from Google Webmaster

Earlier today, Matt Cutts tweeted about a new feature in Google Webmasters which would allow you to download the most recent links to your website as a CSV or also view it directly in .

The new addition allows a webmaster to view the most recent backlinks to their website as seen by Google. The CSV file contains the URL of the webpage which linked to you along with the date Google found the backlink on. This feature is definitely very useful since it will allow you to figure out who is linking to you from Google itself and not have to rely on external tools.

Also See: Easily Remove URLs From Google Index and Google Cache

If you want to download a report of the most recent backlinks to your website, you can visit Google Webmaster Tools and click on the website you want to download it for. Once on the website dashboard, expand the “Traffic” menu item and click on the “Links to Your Site” link.

On that page, you will find two options. The first is “Who links the most” and the second is “Your most linked content”. You can click on the “More >>” link at the bottom of those sections to open any of those options. Once on the inside page, you will find a button to “Download latest links”. Click on the button to download a CSV file or to store the report to your .

As a webmaster, I find this feature very useful and reliable because it is coming from none other than Google. What do you think about this new feature? Do you think it will be beneficial to you? What other features would you like to see built into Google Webmaster Tools? Do share your thoughts with me.

Is Your WordPress Site Slow? Problem May Lie With MySQL, Here is How to Fix it

When I initially started out with using VPS, I had tons of problems with Apache but quickly switched to Nginx which has proven to be more than a boon, because it meant that I could do more with less. However, having used WordPress I have come to know that the system is not necessarily scalable in itself when it comes to self-hosted websites.

In the past, I have written about the architecture that powers Techie Buzz and several guides like Scaling WordPress Using MySQL Replication and HyperDB and setting up memcache with WordPress among others.

However, over time, I have learned quite a few things about managing WordPress for a website with heavy traffic and also sorted out several issues which had become a bottleneck for us.

One of the biggest issues I have faced over time with WordPress is the database. More often than not WordPress websites work slower than expected because of the MySQL database and heavy load on it. However, many a times a simple change in MySQL could speed up the website considerably.

The default engine (not forced by WordPress) while installing WordPress is MyISAM for most hosting companies. The problem with MyISAM is that it locks the entire table when it inserts or updates rows. This in turn locks other queries which are accessing the same table slowing down the entire website in the process.

For example, when you are updating a post, you will be updating the wp_posts table and during this update all other select, insert, update and delete queries will be queued till the insert/update query completes. This in itself should not be a big problem when you have a site with less traffic. However, it does make a big impact when you have a large website with multiple queries being run every minute or so.

So what is the solution for this? Well, the best I could implement was switching the tables with the frequent queries to InnoDB. InnoDB is a storage engine in MySQL which might become the default one in future MySQL versions. With an InnoDB table the queries don’t lock the entire table, but just lock a single row it is inserting/updating. This leaves the other queries to complete without having to wait in a queue.

Making this small change has definitely made life easier for us. Along with our other caching mechanisms we now have almost 0 load on our database, which is definitely a great thing.

While this has definitely been helpful for us, I would suggest that you spend some time reading up the differences between MyISAM and InnoDB and their advantages and disadvantages before you make the move. Once you are convinced that you are ready to migrate, head over to my earlier guide on how to safely and easily migrate tables from MyISAM to InnoDB Engine.

How To Migrate From MyISAM to InnoDB in MySQL Safely and Easily

Since the time that I have run this site, I have had my fights with keeping the website running smoothly. However, over time, I have identified several areas we need to improve on and one of them has been MySQL.

The problem I have had with MySQL is whether to use the MyISAM engine or the InnoDB engine. I have more recently tilted towards using InnoDB more often than not because of the advantages it has for a high traffic website. Though, I won’t go over the advantages in detail here, I might ask you to read my article on why we switched to InnoDB.

Nevertheless, here is a quick and easy tutorial on how to switch from a MyISAM engine to a InnoDB engine safely and easily. You can run these queries on the command prompt or use a GUI like PHP MyAdmin as well. However, you must note that the data in your MyISAM table might not be similar to your new table due to frequent updates and you might want to plan downtime so that you don’t lose data or have to sync the tables again.

So without further ado, here are the steps:

Create a Replica Table

The first step is to create a replica table of the one you want to switch the engines for, for that run the query given below. Make sure to replace the table names as appropriate.

CREATE TABLE new_table LIKE old_table;

Once you have run this query you’ll have a new table which has the same schema as the older table and you are already on your way.

Drop FULLTEXT Indexes in New Table

The biggest difference, if you measure it that way is that InnoDB tables do not support FULLTEXT indexes. So before we do anything else you will have to drop the FULLTEXT indexes from the table you just created. To do that follow the steps given below.

Run the query:

SHOW INDEX from new_table where index_type=’FULLTEXT';

Drop individual indexes from the query (rename indexname for the index you want to drop):

ALTER TABLE new_table DROP INDEX indexname;

Once you have done that, you are now ready to move your MyISAM table to the InnoDB engine. So lets get ahead with it.

Moving MyISAM Table to InnoDB Engine

The next move is to update the Engine of your MySQL table to InnoDB. For that, you will have to run the following query:

ALTER TABLE new_table ENGINE = InnoDB;

That’s it. You now have the new table in InnoDB format, now you just need to move the data.

Move Data From Old Table to New Table

You will need to move the data from the old table to the new table. To do that, run the following query:

INSERT new_table SELECT * FROM old_table;

And the data is finally there. The last but not the least step is to switch between your older MyISAM table to your new InnoDB table.

Rename Old Table to Backup and New Table to Old

Run the following queries to rename your tables:

Rename Table old_table TO old_table_backup;

Rename Table new_table TO old_table;

That’s it. You have now successfully migrated your MyISAM table to the InnoDB engine while having a backup which you can quickly switch to by renaming the backup table again.

Facebook Comment Box Moderation Is Lousy for Administrators

I have been using Comments Box on this blogs for over a week now to test out and increase interaction on the site. For starters, I did like the amount of interaction from Facebook users. However, there are quite a few problems with Facebook Comments when it comes to moderation.

Facebook Comment Moderation Broken

First off, the website where you can moderate Facebook comments (https://developers.facebook.com/tools/comments/) is down most of the time (or whenever I try to access it). It gets frustrating because it is the only way you can see new comments and trash spam or hide comments from users.

On the other hand, Facebook comments moderation in itself does not work most of the time and administrators have problems when marking a comment as spam or banning a user.

Overall, I feel that Facebook comments do provide a lot of ease for their users to quickly comment on a website. However, there is a lot of work to be done when it comes to administrating those comments. I will continue working with Facebook comments for some more time and see if there is any improvement with it before I decide to remove it for good.

What has been your experience while using Facebook comments? Have you had problems with moderating comments and administrating them? I am looking for some alternatives so please feel to suggest them (No Disqus Please).

Facebook Activity Feed Showing "Invalid Action Type" Errors

has a had a huge week with them going public with their $5 Billion IPO. However, it looks like they are facing problems with their infrastructure with the "Facebook Activity Feed" for websites showing an "invalid action type" error all across the web.

Facebook Activity Feed Invalid Action Type Error

Website owners who have been using the "Activity Feed" social plugin from Facebook might notice that the feed is no longer showing up and instead an error box with the message "Invalid action type" has taken it’s place. This problem is occurring on all websites and seems to be a big problem on Facebook’s side.

Facebook Social Plugin Error

The error is also apparent on Facebook’s Social Plugin code generator for all websites as seen in the screenshot above. Facebook has faced several problems in the past where the site has gone down for hours due to database problems and DNS issues among other things. However, this look like the first time that their social plugins have had issues.

If you are a webmaster who uses the Facebook Activity Feed on your website, you might see the above error. However, having the widget in question on your site does not affect loading time. We have contacted Facebook to check why this problem is occurring and will update the post when we get a response.

How To Add rel=canonical to Blogspot Blogs

Google recently started redirecting Blogspot.com blogs to Blogspot.in and other country specific domains. The reason being that Google wants to give more freedom of expression to users while also being able to adhere to removal requests from different governments.

The country based redirection was first rolled out in India thanks to some recent stupid court judgments against websites in India. However, this will highly inconvenience Blogspot blog owners in India since they will not have duplicate content. Even though Google has promised to minimize the  negative effects of this change, you can definitely take an initiative to minimize the problems this will cause.

Google had introduced the rel=canonical meta tag to overcome this issue. This tag allows users to point tell search engines the actual location of the content if there are one or more URLs which have the same content, thus avoiding duplicate content on your website.

If you are Blogspot blog owner, you can avoid duplicate content by adding the following content to your template. Please note that you will have to edit the HTML code of your Blogspot template and add this before the </head> tag.

If you are using a HTML template for you blog, you should add the following code:

<ItemPage><Blogger><link href='<$BlogItemPermalinkURL$>’ rel=’canonical’/></Blogger></ItemPage>

On the other hand if you are using a XML template, you will have to add the following code to include all meta tags:

<b:include data=’blog’ name=’all-head-content’/>

Or also individually include the rel=canonical tag by using:

<link expr:href="data:blog.url" rel="canonical"/>

Once you have added the tags, make sure to save your template and then view source of your browser to check if the tag is added to your template. That’s it. Once you have added the rel=canonical tag, search engines will only index one page instead of creating duplicate content.

Check AdSense Earnings in Google Chrome With AdSense Publisher Toolbar

is one of the biggest revenue generator for small and medium traffic websites. The AdSense team have been revamping their reporting interface which makes it easier for publisher to see their earnings and other related reports.

Google Adsense Earnings in Google Chrome

As a publisher I have always been comfortable using desktop reporting software to keep an eye on my AdSense earnings. However, of late most of the software have stopped working.

Also Read: Useful Tips and Tricks To Grow Your AdSense Income

This means that I have to constantly login into the AdSense web interface to check on my earnings every now and then. However, thanks to Google that will now be a thing of the past. Google has released a for which will allow AdSense publishers to view basic details of their earnings in Google Chrome.

The AdSense Publisher Toolbar extension (Download) allows you to view your current days earnings, yesterday’s earnings, current months earnings and last months earnings. In addition to that it also displays the top custom channels and lifetime earnings.

Once you have installed the extension, you will have to click on the icon and then authorize your Google account. If you use different account for AdSense and , you can easily sign in to another account thanks to Google’s multiple account sign in.

The AdSense Publisher extension is definitely a nice way to keep an eye on your AdSense earnings without having to constantly login to the actual AdSense website. I would highly recommend this extension if you are in a habit of checking your earnings multiple times through a day.

Of course, it is always a healthy habit to login to the actual AdSense reporting interface to check on detailed reports and performance of your channels and other data from time to time to increase your performance.

Don’t Forget to Read Other AdSense Tips and Tricks

Google Analytics Adds Realtime Tracking and Premium Accounts

has definitely been one of the best services to track your website visitors. However, it has been lacking a key feature that most of its competitors like Woopra and Reinvigorate have been offering for a while now; Realtime tracking.

Realtime user tracking is a very important feature for any webmaster who wants to track campaigns in realtime without having to wait. This helps users to make business decisions quickly if something is not working. Unfortunately, prior to today, Google never had this feature.

google_analytics_realtime

However, that is about to change because Google has announced a new feature for Analytics which will help you track your visitors in realtime and make business decisions quickly. The new feature in Google Analytics will allow users to track how many visitors are currently visiting the site, how many users have visited in the last few minutes as well as the number of visitors visiting your website every second.

Additionally, Google Analytics will also display the source for traffic and the keywords users are using and the geographic locations they are visiting from. As a webmaster, this is a pretty cool feature since I can now just use Google Analytics instead of using other realtime analytics tracking services.

Google has definitely been ramping up their analytic services with the introduction of Google Analytics 5 which brought about a new UI, dashboard, widgets and more. Additionally, Google has also been adding some neat features to Google Analytics like heatmaps and in-page analytics among other things.

The biggest advantage of Google Analytics is that is is completely free unlike it’s competitors. However, they are now introducing a new set of premium features which users can signup and use. The new Google Analytics Premium service is targeted at business users who want in-depth data about their users and the ability to quickly make business decisions.

Some of the key features of Google Analytics Premium include:

  • Extra processing power – increased data collection, more custom variables and downloadable, unsampled reports
  • Advanced analysis – attribution modeling tools that allow you to test different models for assigning credit to conversions
  • Service and support – experts to guide customized installation, and dedicated account management on call – all backed by 24/7 support
  • Guarantees – service level agreements for data collection, processing and reporting

Users can request access to premium accounts by visiting the Google Analytics Premium homepage. Realtime Google Analytics is being gradually rolled out to all users, however, you will have to use the new Google Analytics interface to have access to it. Additionally, only Analytics administrators will have access to Realtime Google Analytics.

If you don’t see the Realtime Google Analytics in your account. You can request for access to the service by filling up this form. Please note that Google Analytics will continue to remain free for webmasters including the new Realtime Google Analytics feature.

I am definitely loving the new Realtime Analytics features as it allows me to track campaigns and also understand where our traffic is coming from. Do you have access to the new Realtime Google Analytics? What do you think about it?

Google Testing New Sitelinks Format

Google has been displaying sitelinks for several websites to help with easier navigation for users when they are searching for a brand or product. Sitelinks have proven useful for both search engine users as well as for website owners, since it gives users an option to navigate through the website without even visiting it.

A Google webmaster help page for Sitelinks states this:

he links shown below some sites in our search results, called sitelinks, are meant to help users navigate your site. Our systems analyze the link structure of your site to find shortcuts that will save users time and allow them to quickly find the information they’re looking for.

We only show sitelinks for results when we think they’ll be useful to the user. If the structure of your site doesn’t allow our algorithms to find good sitelinks, or we don’t think that the sitelinks for your site are relevant for the user’s query, we won’t show them.

In the past, sitelinks have been just plain links to webpages within a website without any description or URL associated with it as seen in the screenshot below.

Google Old Sitelinks

However, it looks like Google is now making some changes to the Sitelinks format and is including description and the URL of the link for them.

new_google_sitelinks

The new sitelinks are also larger in size and take up a huge chunk of space under the main search results. However, they are now more prominent and easier to read. The descriptions are also helpful for users to find out basic information about a page.

Also Read: How To Control Sitelinks That Appear For Your Site In Google Search?

The new Sitelinks format is a experimental feature and might not be seen by all users yet. However, it is definitely something Google has been working on in addition to the other changes they have been making to their products. It all started out when they decided to add a Bing like background to their homepage and continued with a slew of other changes including removing the I am feeling Luckybutton, using a new design for search results and yet more, simplifying the image search results, adding top references to results and updating their home page design while adding a new black bar.

So what do you think of the new Sitelinks? Will they help you or do you think that they use up too much space?

One Tricky AdSense Policy That Might Get You into Trouble

adsense_logo is one of the most lucrative ad service used by millions of bloggers all around the world. However, it is also one of the most strict and smart ad network in the world too. Every day, thousands of users are banned from AdSense because they have violated one or more policies laid down by Google.

While some of the policy violations are pretty straightforward, there are some which are really confusing and hard to figure out. I was the victim of one such policy in December 2010 and had received an automated email from Google which had me both confused and scared. I was pretty sure that I was not violating any policies, but Google thought otherwise. The email in question is posted below [some parts have been obscured].

This message was sent from a notification-only email address that does not
accept incoming email. Please do not reply to this message.
————————————————————————————————————–
Hello,

While reviewing your account, we noticed that you are currently displaying Google ads in a manner that is not compliant with our policies. For instance, we found violations of AdSense policies on pages such as [redacted]. Please note that this URL is an example and that the same violations may exist on other pages of your website.

Publishers are not permitted to alter the behavior of Google ads in any way. This includes resizing ad frames to cut off parts of ads or hiding the Ads by Google moniker.

As stated in our program policies, publishers are not permitted to alter the behavior of ads in any way. This includes displaying more than three ad units on each page.

Please make any necessary changes to your webpages in the next 72 hours. We also suggest that you take the time to review our program policies (https://www.google.com/support/adsense/bin/answer.py?answer=48182&stc=aspe-1pp-en) to ensure that all of your other pages are in compliance.

Once you update your site, we will automatically detect the changes and ad serving will not be affected. If you choose not to make the changes to your account within the next three days, your account will remain active but you will no longer be able to display ads on the site. Please note, however, that we may disable your account if further violations are found in the future.

Thank you for your cooperation.
Sincerely,
The Google AdSense Team

So Google basically just told me that I only had 72 hours to fix my stuff or else I would be banned. This happened just 3 days before Christmas and I totally panicked because I couldn’t for love of God figure out what I was doing wrong. The content of the above email also confused me further more.

Also Read: Best Google AdSense Placements for Blogs/Websites | Useful Tips and Tricks To Grow Your AdSense Income